Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Drill, Barry, Drill?

First of all, some of you have asked if I am going to comment on the Hutaree cult and their recent arrests. To be quite honest, I don't really feel like it. For the time being, I have said all I need to say about the rise of right wing nut bags.

Instead, I thought I would examine the stunning announcement today by President Obama that offshore oil drilling in areas of the Atlantic Ocean, Alaska's North Slope, and the Gulf of Mexico. Combine this with his recent dedication to pursue nuclear energy solutions and, my oh my, do we have a whole shit load of pissed off tree huggers.

The plan authorizes the Interior Department to conduct seismic surveys off the south- and mid-Atlantic coasts to "determine the quantity and location of potential oil and gas resources to support energy planning," according to a statement from a White House official. It would include lifting a 20 year ban on drilling along the Virginia coastline but keep the ban on drilling around Bristol Bay in Alaska.

"This is not a decision that I've made lightly," Obama told an audience at Maryland's Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility. "But the bottom line is this: Given our energy needs, in order to sustain economic growth and produce jobs and keep our businesses competitive, we're going to need to harness traditional sources of fuel even as we ramp up production of new sources of renewable, homegrown energy."

I've heard this same suggestion from several of my conservative friends and wonder if they will now give him credit for doing this. In fact, I'm really curious as to how they are going to spin this one. Drill Baby Drill has been their cry for awhile and now that he is actually doing it, how can they complain? I'm certain they will find a way.

While I wholeheartedly support all in roads to nuclear energy (in fact, I think efforts should be greater), I'm not sure I can get on board with him on this one. I'm sure he sees things that I don't (obviously) but Drill Baby Drill has always seemed to me, as Thomas Friedman said, like someone in the year 1994 screaming about the effectiveness of a typewriter. To me, drilling for oil around our coasts is a waste of time, money, and energy that could be put to use somewhere else.

I can't help but think that this new drilling will stymie our effort to keep ahead of China in the green energy race. I get the fact that we need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil but shouldn't that mean that our efforts should be doubled in wind, solar, and nuclear energy?

Monday, March 29, 2010

They Never Do

It is truly amazing to behold, in this day and age, that when people make racist remarks that we still have a nation in denial. In fact, not only is it verboten to say the word "nigger" is also unheard of to accuse a member of the Cult as being racist.

I've talked about this before and, as expected, it's been met with derisive snorts and even outright denials. Take the recent chants of "Kill the Bill, nigger" that were heard as Reps John Lewis, Jim Clyburn, and Emanuel Cleaver headed into the Capitol last week to vote on the health care bill. I am told now that Lewis, Clyburn and Cleaver are all liars and it didn't actually happen. Never mind the scores of reports from witnesses in the crowd as well the confirmation from Capital Police. The Tea Party activists are not racist. To say otherwise...well...I think you can guess how the Cult views this transgression.

Leonard Pitts Jr., writing for McClatchy News Services, sums it up best.

So it turns out that, contrary to what I argued in this space a few weeks back, racism is not "a major component" of the so-called tea party movement. I am informed of this by dozens of tea party activists indignant and insulted that I would even suggest such a thing.

In other news tea party protesters called John Lewis a "nigger" the other day in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol.

So, don't believe your lyin' eyes/ears. This jibes with the rest of their bullshit. Of course, Lewis has faced this sort of denial before in his life as Pitts notes.

He faced it in Nashville in 1960 when he was locked inside a whites-only fast-food restaurant and gassed by a fumigation machine for ordering a hamburger.

He faced it in Birmingham in 1961 when a group of Freedom Riders was attacked and he was knocked unconscious for riding a Greyhound bus.

Most famously, he faced it on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma 45 years ago this month when his skull was fractured by Alabama state troopers who charged a group of demonstrators seeking their right to vote.

Bring this up to a member of the Cult and be prepared to be met with an onslaught of anger and hate combined with a whiny-squeal-like-a-pig tone in their voices. To discuss historical facts of this nature are anathema to them...especially if there are any racial overtones. Why? Well, that's simple.

There is no racism in our country. And if you teach it in school then you are race monger, leftist who is encouraging social justice which are code words for communism and fascism.

Tea party leaders have spent much of the last few days spinning the incident, deflecting renewed suggestions that their stated fears — socialism, communism, liberalism — are just proxies for the one fear most of them no longer dare speak. Some even faxed the McClatchy news bureau in Washington to suggest, without offering a shred of evidence, that the episode was sparked by Democratic plants within the crowd.

Really? Wow...

Amy Kremer, coordinator of the Tea Party Express, went on Fox News to dismiss what she called an "isolated" incident. Your first instinct may be to cede the benefit of the doubt on that one. It seems unfair to tar nine reasonable people with the hateful behavior of one lunatic.

So, Kremer admits it DID happen. Hmm...

Given how often tea party leaders have been forced to disavow hateful signs and slogans and even the presence of organized white supremacist groups in their midst, is it really fair to use the word "isolated"?

Is there not a rottenness here? And is not the unwillingness to call that rottenness by name part and parcel of the reason it endures?

Yes, Leonard, there is a rottenness and that's why it does endure. It endures for the same reason why it endured so many years after the Civil War...because people aren't owning their responsibility for it. I have no problem admitting that I am horribly biased against Muslim men. It is a form of bigotry that I will probably struggle with my entire life. I may be a flawed person in many ways but at least I have the sack to admit that I do, indeed, have a problem. The Cult, of course, will never admit their obvious bias. Admitting Fault=End of all that is Holy.

I'll let Pitts close this one out.

Often we tell ourselves lies to spare ourselves truths. Had you asked them, the people who locked John Lewis inside that restaurant, the ones who mauled him at that bus station and smashed him down on that bridge, would not have said they acted from a rottenness within.

No, like the ones who called him "nigger" half a century later, they would have told you they were good people fighting for principle, trying to save this country from the liberals, the socialists and the communists.

They would not have said they were racists. Racists never do.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Facts and Logic-Encore

And what we saw this Tuesday, once the president signed the health care bill at the 11th hour in the morning on Tuesday, that effected 51% government takeover of the private economy. It is really quite sobering what has happened. From 100% of our economy was private prior to September of 2008, but as of Tuesday, the federal government has now taken ownership or control of 51% of the private economy.

--Michelle Bachmann (MN-06), on Wednesday, during an interview with North Dakota talk radio host Scott Hennen.

UPADTE: Bachmann repeated these numbers on live television this morning (3-28) on WCCO. Where is she getting these percentage points? Anyone?

Say it and (poof!) just like magic-It's True!

Facts and Logic

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

Shrivelling Into Dementia

I've lost track of Bruce Bartlett of late and was glad to hear him back into the mix commenting on the firing of David Frum from the American Enterprise Institute. Bartlett was a senior policy adviser for both Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. A voice of fiscal conservatism and, no doubt, one of the keenest conservative minds of the last quarter century, Bartlett was kicked out of the Cult when he wrote the book Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy.

Bartlet's latest entry on the Cap gains blog echoes what I have been saying on here for a long time. Commenting on the Frum firing:

Since, he is no longer affiliated with AEI, I feel free to say publicly something he told me in private a few months ago. He asked if I had noticed any comments by AEI "scholars" on the subject of health care reform. I said no and he said that was because they had been ordered not to speak to the media because they agreed with too much of what Obama was trying to do.

It saddened me to hear this. I have always hoped that my experience was unique. But now I see that I was just the first to suffer from a closing of the conservative mind. Rigid conformity is being enforced, no dissent is allowed, and the conservative brain will slowly shrivel into dementia if it hasn't already.

It has already, Bruce. A recent trip to the gym saw a woman scream at me that President Obama has broken his oath to the Constitution and should be impeached. She went on to tell me that I should read Glenn Beck and that he, not Obama, should be president. She was terrified that the government, now that they have "taken over" health care, were going to "get us." She then went on to explain that she was mad at Obama for taking away federal funds for a charity with which she works. WTF?!!?

I knew things would be bad but I didn't think they would be bad AND complete devoid of sense!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Last Friday, just before the House voted on the health care bill, the Monroe County Democratic Committee office had a brick thrown through their window of which contained a note.

Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.

The quote comes from Barry Goldwater, who ran for president in the year 1964. Rep Louise Slaughter also had a brick thrown through her office window which is in the same district-her district-as the MCDC. One might think that these are just random acts by the proverbial lone nut. Not so much.

“I’m advocating broken windows. I’m advocating vandalism," says Mike Vanderboegh, owner of the Sipsey Street Irregulars blog. He says his invitation to “break windows…break them now” is behind the incident in Rochester and at least two others in Tucson and Kansas. The Kansas City Star identifies Vanderboegh as a former leader of the Alabama Constitutional Militia. His post from March 19th states:

They will send the Internal Revenue Service and other federal police to do this in thousands of small Wacos, if that is what it takes to force us to submit. This arrogant elite pretends that this oppression is for our own good, while everyone else understands that this is about their selfish, insatiable appetite for control over our liberty, our money, our property and our lives.

Hmm...familiar two ways, actually. First, they sound like the latest postings over at The Smallest Minority. Second, if translated into Arabic, they sound like hirabis.

Since the brick incident and her subsequent vote on the health care bill, Ms. Slaughter has received death threats aimed at her family.

Rep. Steve Driehaus from Ohio was one of the pro life Democrats who voted for the health care bill. Conservatives are planning a Sunday protest outside of his house, after a conservative blog put his address--complete with directions--on the Internet. Mr Driehaus has also been receiving death threats as well as a brick thrown through the window of a Democratic office in his district.

After a tea party organizer published the address of the brother of Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA) in a blog post urging anti-health reform activists to "drop by," someone cut a propane gas line at the house, Politico is reporting.

In the early hours of the morning on Monday just after the House health care vote, someone smashed the glass front door of the Tucson office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ). On Friday night or Saturday morning, a brick bearing unspecified "anti-Obama and anti-health care messages" was thrown through a floor-to-ceiling window at the Sedgwick County Democratic Party headquarters in Wichita, Kansas.

Yet, I have been assured by my colleagues on the right that these are just isolated incidents and not representative of their party. So, when I hear Rush Limbaugh saying "we need to defeat these bastards...we must wipe them out" and then see these threats and acts of violence I guess I shouldn't believe my lyin' eyes.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010


They won because they held Congress and the presidency, and therein lies the lesson: We need to defeat these bastards. We need to wipe them out.

--Rush Limbaugh, co head of the GOP

Of course, he was talking about defeating them in the coming election but I'm wondering what the Cult would say if these same words came from Ibrahim Hooper. And in Arabic.

I think we know what the Cult would say and that's why, in addition to being JLAQ, they are the finest example of hypocrisy in history. :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


So funny and true!

Repeal and...Sue?

So, not only have the Democrats won a great victory with the passage of the health care bill but now the GOP has given them two bonus gifts. The first is the promise that they will run this year on repealing the bill. No doubt, the Dems will lose seats in the coming election but they are going to lose a lot less if this is the platform on which the GOP will stand.

If I were an independent voter (see: Reagan Democrat), I would wonder what exactly the GOP stands for in their party. If I were an intelligent independent voter, I would wonder why a group of people who want to be elected to a government position hate the government so much.

But the real kicker is that many states, coincidentally with attorneys general running for governor, want to SUE the federal government over the recently passed health care bill. Let me see here...hmm...the Cult screams about tort reform and suing? Cool...

I have to admit I was worried about the midterms. I no longer am concerned at all.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Just a Few People

As members of the United States Congress headed in yesterday to make their historic vote on health care, several where accosted by members of the Cult. Rep. Barney Frank was called a faggot. Rep. John Lewis was called a nigger. Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver was spat on.

"It was absolutely shocking to me," Rep. James Clyburn said, "Last Monday, this past Monday, I stayed home to meet on the campus of Claflin University where fifty years ago as of last Monday... I led the first demonstrations in South Carolina, the sit ins... And quite frankly I heard some things today I have not heard since that day. I heard people saying things that I have not heard since March 15, 1960 when I was marching to try and get off the back of the bus."

But Jim, my loyal readers have assured me that it is only a few people in the Cult that feel this way. Oh, wait...sorry. THINK this way...because it's only the libs that are all about the touchy feelie feeling psycho babble baloney. Perhaps, Jim, you would benefit from the comments I am about to receive below which will show me that there are leftists out there that do the same thing.

And, let's not forget, Jim that it is people like Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor that are the ones who actually racist with their affirmative action, Title IX, and "wise Latina" remarks. In fact, all people who are non white are the REAL RACISTS. They are the ones who are on the attack...trying to take over our schools with their multi-culti bullshit and socialist ways. They are the ones who blah blah blah..eep! blurp! squonk!...blah blah blah..eep! blurp! squonk!blah blah blah..eep! blurp! squonk!blah blah blah..eep! blurp! squonk!blah blah blah..eep! blurp! squonk!

There now...whew. What was I writing about again? I know it was something about the Cult doing something wrong but now I have seem to forgotten. All I can think about is how much non white people and their leftist comrades are the ones that started it all.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Compare and Contrast

As the House votes today on health care reform, I'd like all of you to watch this 2 minute video of Bob, the man who sat down in front of the Cult and braved their insults and derision.

Compare this video with the various ones all over YouTube posted by the Cult. Notice any differences?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Shining Example

I came across this video yesterday and I don't think there is a purer example of the Cult in action.

With this video and Glenn Beck now saying that social justice is evil even within private organizations like the Catholic Church, any thoughts of me ceasing the "Cult" diatribe have vanished. Instead, I am more motivated to use my words and the information I gather to illustrate the seemingly bottomless depth of their anger, their ignorance, and their hate.

In other words, bring it on. Make my fucking day.

Friday, March 19, 2010


The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Glenn Beck Attacks Social Justice - James Martin
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorHealth Care reform

"I know when I think of Hitler and Stalin, I think of social justice."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Estimate

The CBO has released its assessment of the health care bill that Congress will vote on this weekend. It will cut the federal deficit by $130 billion in its first 10 years and by $1.2 trillion in its second 10 years. The cost is estimated at $940 billion over 10 years.

This is good news for the Dems as they can now say that it is not only deficit neutral but a deficit reducer. Of course, this doesn't mean much for life inside the cocoon as I'm certain these figures will be ignored and cries of everyone going bankrupt will be heard all over the airwaves.

If they only stepped outside of the cocoon for a bit, they could see that we already are going bankrupt.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Heatlh Care a Go Go

With all this hubbub about who is and who is not going to vote YES on the health care bill, wouldn't it be nice to know who the reps are that are in question? The New York Times has a handy dandy chart which identifies these folks. Check it out.

I was asked the following question in comments recently.

Tell me M, riding a motorcycle is dangerous. If we really wanted to save lives (and improve everyones health) we wouldn't let anyone ride one. Once you accept that people have a right to make that choice for themselves, they take on the risk that goes with it, no? Same goes with helmet laws - which are really just a fig leaf covering the otherwise naked risk. If you want to protect that person from their own bad decision making - you are arguing for a totalitarian system.

Honestly, I've given this a lot of thought and I don't accept this "if...then" principle. In fact, this is a core problem with how we debate things in our culture right now and it's especially frustrating to me because...ahem..certain people are usually the ones defining the issue with the limp noodle, milk toasters on the "left" sitting...amoeba like...wondering how to respond. This wondering usually turns into months of analysis-paralysis which then leads to people believing that sensible laws are totalitarian. They are not and I completely reject this view.

Riding a motor cycle is dangerous but it has been shown to be not enough of a danger to outlaw it entirely. Drinking and driving is dangerous and there are laws in our country which prohibit doing this because it has led to so much death. This is a law that protects us from bad decision making...does it make it totalitarian? No, it doesn't because it affects someone else more adversely than motorcycle riding. Smoking is another example of this. People bemoan the outlawing of smoking and yet it has been proven that second hand smoke causes cancer. Again, we see someone's bad decision making having an adverse effect on someone else so a law was passed.

Now we get to health care. If someone wants to eat like shit and take shit care of themselves and then die, who cares, right? But now this person's hospital bills are causing my rates to rise by 25 percent. His bad decision making is now having an effect on my life. One must look at all of these issues (drunk driving, smoking, poor eating habits) on a case by case basis and not be so black and white about everything. The question that needs to be asked is: to what degree does this affect other people? How many other people? How adversely?

There are many people in this country who are having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that we live in an interconnected society. Somehow "interconnected" has become totalitarian. Again, that is because we have allowed...some define the picture. These same people having the bizarre notion that we if we somehow become "rugged individualists" that we will be stronger. Aside from the fact that this isn't even close to being feasible anymore, it's simply not American. We are a country that helps other people out-at home or abroad-through both private and public means. Just because the help comes from the government doesn't immediately make it wrong, bad, or evil. This would be an excellent example of how well...a collective of like minded people...have cast the government in a negative light and corporations in a positive one.

Imagine what would happen if President Obama announced that there would be a 25 percent tax hike across the board. People would be outraged and rightfully so. But a 25 percent--40 percent in many cases--raise in insurance rates? Just fine. In fact, it's even OK when ALL corporations do it so each consumer doesn't have any real choice or freedom. Why?

(cue trippy chime music and blurred vision)

Because private industry is beautiful, golden, warm, and translplendant. You will love the Corporation....the corporation is your friend....You will love the Corporation....the corporation is your friend....You will love the Corporation....the corporation is your friend....You will love the Corporation....the corporation is your friend....You do have a do have freedom...You do have a do have freedom...You do have a do have freedom...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What Would You Do?

Dear President Obama

I am 50 years old. I was diagnosed with carcinoma in-situ 16 years ago and following my divorce 12 years ago I became self-employed. After my Cobra ran out I was able to find costly, but affordable health insurance. As a responsible individual, I have struggled to maintain my individual coverage and have increased my deductible and out of pocket-limits in an attempt to control my cost and keep my health insurance.

Last year (2009) my insurance premium was increased over 25% even though I increased my deductible and out of pocket to the highest limits available. I paid out over $6075.24 in premiums, $2415.26 for medical care, $225 in co-pays and $1500 for prescriptions. I never reached my deductible of $2500 so the insurance company only paid out a total $935.32 to my providers.

I must repeat, in 2009 my insurance company received $6075.24 in premiums and paid out only $935.32! Incredibly I have just been notified that my premium for next year 2010 has been increased over 40% to $8496.24($708.02 per month)!!!! This is the same insurance company I have been with for over 11 cancer free years!!!

I need your Health reform bill to help me!!! I simply can no longer afford to pay for my health care costs!! Thanks to this incredible premium increase demanded by my insurance company, January will be my last month of insurance.

I live in the house my mother & father built in 1958 and I am so afraid of the possibility I might loose this family heirloom as a result of my being forced to drop my health care insurance. The health insurance industry technically has not denied me insurance directly, but indirectly they have by increasing my costs. They perceive me as becoming a higher risk factor to them despite being a loyal customer. I will never be able to obtain new health insurance due to the lack of real competition.

We are talking about Anthem who apparently has no respect for your attempts to reform the health insurance industry.

Please stay focused in your reform attempts as I and many others are in desperate need of your help.


Natoma Canfield

For those of you who do not support the current health care bill, I have one simple question for you: what would you do?

Monday, March 15, 2010


My frustration and general downward feelings really haven't abated in terms of the political landscape in this country. In commenting in some of the posts below and over at TSM, I've sadly come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as reality anymore. Even instances like my friend Jill, who told me last Tuesday that she is becoming a Democrat because she sees direct evidence in her life of improvement as a result of President Obama's policies, do little, if anything, to assuage my frustration.

I can see it now....I would tell my friends on the right her story and they would laugh and say she's been brainwashed. Even though there is definable proof that nearly everything the Cult has told her has been wrong, it wouldn't matter. There would be howls of derision, personal attacks, and the insistence that my eyes are wrong.

I've also been giving careful consideration to jettisoning the "Cult" meme from the capsule but now apparently that's caught on as I have heard several Minnesota state legislators saying it over the past week or so in regards to the New Right's approach to the economy and government. It is what it is. I'm not the one behaving that way. When they are ready to return to the honest and fair conservatism of Ronald Reagan, I'll stop calling them a Cult. Until then, they can fall asleep listening to their Glenn and Rush podcasts. But even this line of thought doesn't get me anywhere. For the last few weeks, I've been searching for someone who sees things for what they unbiased as possible in our highly bi polar culture...someone who actually lives in reality.

While I'm not exactly dancing a jig, I think I have found that someone. And his name is David Brooks.

Brooks writes a column for the New York Times. He is considered a right wing tool by the left and a RINO by the right. Ironic, as his latest column pretty much says the same thing...about President Obama.

He starts off with a very important comparison of the criticism of President Obama. In a nutshell, this is it.

For the left, President Obama is
  • Indecisive
  • Overly Intellectual
  • A Weak Fighter
  • Letting the Cult dominate the debate
  • Too Compromising
For the right, President Obama is
  • A Big Government Liberal
  • Ruthless, Chicago style politics
  • Arrogant
  • Condescending
  • Adolph Hitler
Brooks goes on to say that both of these views are nauseatingly predictable and each hold a belief that "if only we had better messaging" that the public would be with them.

And finally, you’ll notice that both views distort reality. They tell you more about the information cocoons that partisans live in these days than about Obama himself.

Thank the Lord. Someone has finally got the balls to say it. Make no mistake about it. This is true of ALL of them-left and right-and even of yours truly at times. Perhaps part of my frustration is that I am finally breaking out of my cocoon.

This is exactly why my gym friend Nancy's mind will "never be changed." She lives in an information cocoon that distorts reality and tells her what she wants to here. This is why my friend Ralph now thinks that Barack Obama is a stooge of the banks and Goldman Sachs. He lives in the information cocoon that is the seriously flawed site, The Democratic Underground.

Brooks goes on.

The fact is, Obama is as he always has been, a center-left pragmatic reformer. Every time he tries to articulate a grand philosophy — from his book “The Audacity of Hope” to his joint-session health care speech last September — he always describes a moderately activist government restrained by a sense of trade-offs. He always uses the same on-the-one-hand-on-the-other sentence structure. Government should address problems without interfering with the dynamism of the market.

Exactly. Fucking. Right. And true of myself as well. I'm constantly painted as a "perfect example of the Left" by nearly everyone at TSM despite my various writings to the contrary. I am vilified by the left as a war monger because of my support for the effort in AfPak as well as my views on Israel. I've been taken to the mat a half a dozen times in the last few weeks by the "No Nukes" crowd as I have voiced my support for President Obama's fledgling nuclear program. Worse still, my official "leftist" party card has been now thoroughly burned by the fervents for my recent remarks regarding Ronald Reagan and innovation (courtesy of the Manzi article).

Continuing with Brooks.

Liberals are wrong to call him weak and indecisive. He’s just not always pursuing their aims. Conservatives are wrong to call him a big-government liberal. That’s just not a fair reading of his agenda.

Here is where we are going to start interfering with the comfortable cocoons. Sorry, caterpillars!

Take health care. He has pushed a program that expands coverage, creates exchanges and moderately tinkers with the status quo — too moderately to restrain costs. To call this an orthodox liberal plan is an absurdity. It more closely resembles the center-left deals cut by Tom Daschle and Bob Dole, or Ted Kennedy and Mitt Romney. Obama has pushed this program with a tenacity unmatched in modern political history; with more tenacity than Bill Clinton pushed his health care plan or George W. Bush pushed Social Security reform

He's right...again. Everyone in the Cult thinks that it's a government take over of health care. They are wrong. It's simply an increase in much needed regulation. I spent last night talking with my brother in law after a family dinner. He works in the insurance industry. I asked him if his company was worried about losing money. "Nope," he said. "Why?" I asked. "Because all this bill does is increase our customer base to the point where any rates that are adjusted due to regulation will be made up for by an increase in customers," he answered. "But what about all those people that say that the government will drive insurance companies out of business and/or drive up costs?" I asked.

"They're wrong," he answered. Oh, and he's a Republican, btw, who has thankfully left his cocoon.

Take education. Obama has taken on a Democratic constituency, the teachers’ unions, with a courage not seen since George W. Bush took on the anti-immigration forces in his own party. In a remarkable speech on March 1, he went straight at the guardians of the status quo by calling for the removal of failing teachers in failing schools. Obama has been the most determined education reformer in the modern presidency.

I applauded these remarks. Things are going to change even more and it's going to be great. Stay tuned!

Take foreign policy. To the consternation of many on the left, Obama has continued about 80 percent of the policies of the second Bush term. Obama conducted a long review of the Afghan policy and was genuinely moved by the evidence. He has emerged as a liberal hawk, pursuing victory in Iraq and adopting an Afghan surge that has already utterly transformed the momentum in that war. The Taliban is now in retreat and its leaders are being assassinated or captured at a steady rate.

The silence on this issue on both sides is deafening. Where's our sense of patriotism and rallying behind the president in this time of conflict? The left is just pissed off that he is over there at all and the right can't stand the fact that they can't paint him as weak.

Take finance. Obama and Tim Geithner are vilified on the left as craven to Wall Street and on the right as clueless bureaucrats who know nothing about how markets function. But they have tried with halting success to find a center-left set of restraints to provide some stability to market operations.

This would be the only part on which I disagree. Just because Geithner is one of the few people who knows what's going on in the financial industry, doesn't mean he gets a free pass for his fuck ups.

In a sensible country, people would see Obama as a president trying to define a modern brand of moderate progressivism. In a sensible country, Obama would be able to clearly define this project without fear of offending the people he needs to get legislation passed. But we don’t live in that country. We live in a country in which many people live in information cocoons in which they only talk to members of their own party and read blogs of their own sect. They come away with perceptions fundamentally at odds with reality, fundamentally misunderstanding the man in the Oval Office.

We DON'T live in that country. So, I guess my frustration is going to be seemingly never ending. Of course, none of what Brooks is saying here is going to make a bit of difference. After all he's a right wing tool. Or a RINO...depending on the cocoon in which you reside.

At least I take comfort in the fact that there is at least one other person out there who lives in reality.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


In response to Glenn Beck's call for people to leave churches that preach social justice, a friend of mine just wrote this:

This epitomizes what many racists believe, that social equality means white males will somehow be forced to the bottom of our social hierarchy and be subjugated in the same way others have been subjugated. I would like to think that even a moron like Beck would be better than that. I'd like to think that the Constitutionally protected justice he claims to support with every fiber of his being would include, as the Constitution itself says, all people.

This proves me wrong.

It sure does, Vince. It sure does.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Watch Glenn Beck

Or at least you should have yesterday with former Congressmen Eric Massa on for the full hour. As Beck strained to get Massa to admit massive liberal conspiracies, the former New York Congressmen wouldn't bite. Instead, Mr. Massa proceeded to speak in a language that only he understood. Not even Beck knew what to think and, to his credit, said at the end of the show that he felt like he "wasted our time."

Meanwhile, Rush had the following to say recently:
My guess in even in Canada and even in the UK, doctors have opted out. And once they’ve opted, they can’t see anybody Medicare, Medicaid, or what will become the exchanges. They have to have a clientele of private patients that will pay them a retainer and it’ll be a very small practice. I don’t know if that’s been outlawed in the Senate bill. I don’t know. I’ll just tell you this, if this passes and it’s five years from now and all that stuff gets implemented — I am leaving the country. I’ll go to Costa Rica.

He has since clarified his statement, saying that he would go there for private medical care. I find this to be quite interesting considering that the Costa Rican health care system is largely run by the government. It is a policy that operates under the notion that everyone should have health care at an equal rate. Private insurance is virtually nonexistent. Check out this American Journal for Public Health report for more information.

But he is smart in going there. Life expectancy, in the Americas, is second only to Canada at 78 years old. But wait! I thought that people in Canada had to wait in long lines or for months for treatment and the government just lets them die. Ah well, I guess I shouldn't believe what my eyes are telling me.

Double meanwhile, we have Liz Cheney running around saying that lawyers in the DoJ are Al Qaeda sympathizers if they defend detainees. Taking issue with this are several on the right including Lindsey Graham and Ken Starr. One has to wonder if this new found public support the right is enjoying will last at all with all of these latest shenanigans.

No worries, though. They can always fall back on this.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

News On The March!

I've received too many emais and requests on this story not to comment on it. Rather than play the game of "Gotcha!" as the Cult does all the time, I'm honestly curious as to why this is excused.

Calgary audience fans of former U.S. VP candidate Sarah Palin? You betcha!

The vocal opponent of health care reform in the U.S. steered largely clear of the topic except to reveal a tidbit about her life growing up not far from Whitehorse. "We used to hustle over the border for health care we received in Canada," she said. "And I think now, isn't that ironic."

Where's the piling on and heaping of cries of dissent? I guess it's OK when she does it.

My favorite quote from the article was this one.

Stephanie Hansen, 18, who wore a pin with Palin's face, could barely contain her excitement. She gushed that she felt out of place among the much older audience. "I love it, I'm really glad that I came. It was really enlightening." She admitted she didn't know a lot about Palin's politics, but said she loves her nonetheless.

I guess our neighbors to the north really do like to emulate us! And congrats to Ms. Palin for achieving her goal in life thanks several million Americans. It's not every day that people get to realize their dream of being a celebrity/media personality.


Check out this photo, courtesy of Zombie Girl

What blows me away (in addition to the dichotomy of an anti war sign next to this one), is the desperation. I thought public opinion had turned against him? Maybe this is a photo from last summer but still...

And I'm REALLY wondering what happened to all the screeds against protests? Remember when the Cult yelled, screamed and stomped their feet about Nancy Sheehan and the like? They bemoaned the "professional protester" and now we have the Tea Party.

Ah, well...remember folks...It's not ________ when they do it!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Say It and (poof! like magic) It's True!

My decided lack of posting has prompted emails, a few calls, and a concerned last in line who, with those loving and puppy dog eyes of his, asked me in person on Saturday night what the REAL reason was as to why I was not posting as much last week. Truth be told, it is just for the reason I detailed on here. I'm really having a difficult time, for the most part, seeing the point in having reasonable discussions with conservatives these days. Take, for example, the issue of civilian trials vs. military tribunals for hirabis. It's just another example of the Cult in action.

They will tell you that military tribunals are the ONLY effective way to deal with hirabis. Civilian courts are a mockery and are too good for these murderers. Besides, some lawyer will probably get 'em off and before long they'll be walking the streets and ready to kill...Kill....KILL!!!!!

After the blood lust has retreated slightly from their eyes, I respond by asking them a question. "How many hirabis have been tried in military tribunals to completion?" Their answer varies, depending upon the person, from several dozen to hundreds. This is incorrect. The actual answer is three.

Now, only one of the three (Ali Hamza Ahmad Suliman al Bahlul, a Yemeni) is serving a life sentence down at Gitmo. The second, David Hicks, plead guilty to providing material support to terrorism and received a sentence of seven years’ confinement. But a period of six years and three months was suspended and he was released. He is now free and living in Australia after serving the other nine months there. The third, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, plead guilty to providing material support to terrorism. This was in 2008 and he was sentenced to five years in prison. But he had already served most of that time at Gitmo so he was released to Yemen to finish and now he is free as well.

Compare this to the 174-523 civilian trial cases (the number has a range depending upon how you want to define "terrorism") that have ended in convictions over the last decade. Of these cases, 25 have been released, some of which simply served their time. In looking at these numbers, one would think that civilian courts would be the way to go, not just for conviction rates but for sheer expediency.

But not for the Cult. Oh no. If they say it, then (poof! like magic), it is now true. Show them the facts regarding military tribunals (direct from the DOD) and it still won't matter. The military is the only way to go and fuck you commie for thinking otherwise. It's basically like talking to Colonel Flagg. And this would be why I haven't posted much lately. This kind of's pathological...and so frustrating to deal with that these days I really can't take it anymore. It gets worse every day.

A recent visit to the gym further cemented this feeling. A new friend (we'll call her Nancy) and I were discussing health care. She is very conservative and is completely convinced that if it passes, we will have a socialist government. I explained to her that there is no public option in the bill. She informed that it's coming next. I reiterated how that it is not in the bill. It didn't was still coming and Obama-Reid-Pelosi were ready to pounce just like they were on the guns.

After hearing her deride the Manzi article (the social cohesion part) as being psycho bullshit that will further put us in a welfare state, I was completely at a loss. She went on to accuse me of being ultar liberal and a secret socialist. As I tried to explain to her that a recent article she sent me was fear mongering propaganda and how exactly it was just that (the word "threat" is mentioned in juxtaposition to reconciliation as you can clearly see), she then accused me of being brainwashed and drinking Kool Aid. So, again we see items 1 and 6 on my list of characteristics of being in a Cult.

1. Quickly withdraw into the group and distrust the outside world.

6. Accuse people outside of the cult of being brainwashed and/or in a cult.

While I'm certain this will elicit complaints, not only from my colleagues on the right but the left as well, that I am being too harsh...narrow minded...judgmental and that accusing them of being in a cult isn't helpful, I don't really see any alternative. If someone has any other ideas, I'm all ears.

The only one that I have come up with is to completely change the tenor of my posts or possibly not even engage in discussions like this any longer because the perception of these folks is so far off that I am monumentally dumbfounded. I guess I just have to face the fact that I can't help them.

I don't think anyone can. And that makes me really fucking sad.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

What to Choose....

This year, the Motion Picture of Association of America expanded the Best Picture nominations from five choices to ten. As many of you know, I do like to try to see all of the BP Noms so I have been quite the film attendee these last few weeks. Without further adieu, here are my takes on each of the nominees.

The Blind Side

I just got back from seeing this film. It tells the story of Michael Oher, current right tackle of the Baltimore Ravens, and how he overcame great adversity to be the star he is today. Sandra Bullock stars as Oher's foster mom and, aside from looking schmokin' hot the entire film, delivers and excellent performance. It's a good film but very Karate Kid-ish in several parts.


While there is no doubt that this film is visually stunning, the plot is on the thin side. And, of course, very predictable. Many have called this the "Star Wars" of this generation. I have one word for people who have this in their head.


District 9

Loads of shit blowing up...aliens...humans and a poignant message to boot? This is a very good film but when placed next to some others on this list, it's not a Best Picture. Many of my friends went ga ga over the slavery message but I wasn't all that gooey eyed over what is clearly a work of fiction. Perhaps some of them need to pick up a history book for a little dose of reality.

An Education

1962. London. Hot Brit Chick. One would think that this would be my choice but, again, it's just too simple of a plot. There is a great exchange between Carey Mulligan (the previously mentioned hot Brit chick) and Emma Thompson on the topic of Jewish people and Jesus, though, that alone is worth the price of admission

A Serious Man

Just a fantastic film especially for those who like the song "Somebody to Love" by Jefferson Airplane which is played about a dozen times throughout the story. The Coen Brothers homage to their childhood in St Louis Park, Minnesota which was, in fact, filmed here in my state. Filled with all the usual Coen cheer:)


The first 10 minutes of the film are extraordinary...a dagger of pure pathos. But then we segue into the usual journey that leads to redemption fare that makes up virtually all animated features these days. Honestly, not even in my top five of this list.

Up in the Air

Jason Reitman, the director of this film as well as Juno and Thank You For Not Smoking, has become the storyteller du jour in Tinsel Town these days and it certainly is not without reason. His pacing and style are excellent and Clooney, as always, is just fucking gorgeous. I take great comfort in the fact that he is pushing 50 and still looks as good as he does. It gives me hope.

Inglorious Bastards

I love Tarrentino. He's just money. Period. Any thing he touches, it turns to gold. This WWII Jewish revenge flick is so wonderful I could probably write a novel about it. Christopher Waltz is just fantastic and the scene in the basement bar should be studied in every single storytelling class for the rest of time under the heading How To Build Tension. Brad Pitt, as always, is mega and the end is so crazy I laughed for hours afterward. In fact, I'm chuckling right now as I write this as I still can't believe what he did to resolved the story.

This film is in my top three of this list.


My favorite of the ten but sadly the one that won't win. It's dark, depressing, and all too real. If you want to see the failure of our culture on as many levels as you can imagine, go and see this film. The performances are extraordinary. Gabourey Sidibe is amazing in the lead and Mo'Nique, as her mother, is just chilling...the nightmare of any social services worker and the rock bottom example of a parent.

Be warned that if you decide to see this film it will forever alter you. Quite frankly, it's almost too much.

The Hurt Locker

My prediction for the winner tomorrow night. It's got the mo and it has the story. Jeremy Renner is fantastic as bomb disposal officer in Iraq. I have spoken to several people who served in Iraq and AfPak and they assure me that this is EXACTLY what it is like. The tension and anxiety is almost unbearable at points. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest as they came upon each new site looking for IEDs. The camera work is stark..graphic...and perfectly barren. There's a shot at the end...I don't want to give away what happens...but will talk about it in comments if anyone else has seen it.

So, how about you? What are your picks?

Friday, March 05, 2010

The Decided Lack of a Litany

I haven't felt much like posting these last few days. School has been busy but that's not really the reason. I go through phases like this where I'm just tired of all of the lying that goes on with the Cult. In the past week, there has been so much complete dishonesty (hirabi trials, health care, climate change) that I'm too stunned to write anything. Actually, it makes me terribly sad that people believe them.

Tomorrow, I'll put up my take on the Oscars. Hopefully, a little break from the bullshit will do me some good.

Monday, March 01, 2010

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

I want to start off this post for thanking CenterPoint Energy for being such a great muse these last few months. Without them, I don't think I would've been able to cause so much cognitive dissonance within my very small (but loyal) readership.

As most of you know, I have talked a couple of times about how this company abuses its customers. They can do this because they are the only choice that most of us have for heating needs other than burning wood in the middle of our homes. Many might say that this is the fault of the government for legalizing this monopoly. As I have said many times, I don't doubt the government's involvement with this fact. Obviously, they pass the laws. But how did said law come to be passed?

The Energy Lobby. They are the ones that have the money to grease the politicians so, at the end of the day, they are the ones that are running the show. They can get a law passed, for example, that says that the CenterPoint has the right to come into my home and check the meter to make sure I am paying them every last cent they can get out of me. Yes, it is a court that is putting forth the order but they wouldn't be bothering with it unless someone was telling them to do so. That someone would be CenterPoint Energy.

Many here have also said that I still signed a contract so they have every right to do what they want. Again, what is my other choice for heat? There is none so basically I am beholden to them. So, when they call up customers and tell them, "Hey, we have this great way to reduce you energy costs every month by signing up for this fixed monthly payment" most people would jump at the chance, right? I, of course, did not and I'm glad I didn't.

Take a look at this article from the Mpls Star and Tribune. CenterPoint Energy, along with Xcel Energy, do not have to pay back the $33 million dollars in over charges as a result of their ironically named "no surprises" program. CenterPoint collected 26 million in fees for gas that was never used.

Altogether, more than 50,000 utility customers signed up for fixed-payment programs with CenterPoint and Xcel Energy, which charged customers the same amount each month no matter how much natural gas prices spiked. Xcel customers overpaid at least $7 million, or an average of about $683, according to the attorney general.

According to CenterPoint, that's not how the program works.

CenterPoint Energy and Xcel Energy say they don't have to pay any of the money back because the customers' contracts clearly indicated that they might pay more than the actual cost of the gas. The programs were pitched as "risk reducing," not necessarily cost-saving, the companies said.

Well, the customers did sign the contract but...

That's not how Al Stahlberg remembers it. He signed up for the program in 2005 because he thought it would "protect my pocketbook." Instead, over 19 months, he shelled out $313 that he would have saved under standard billing.

Basically, you need a team of lawyers to sign up for natural gas service. The people from CenterPoint and Xcel marketing this program lied about its purpose. And where is the government in all of this? State Attorney General Lori Swanson?

So far, however, none of the $33 million has been refunded, despite Swanson's conclusion that the two companies engaged in deceptive marketing and were not entitled to the windfall.

Swanson's investigators determined that customers were never told they overpaid for natural gas, and mistakenly believed they could quit the program whenever they wanted.

Though regulators agreed the two companies' billing practices were "disturbing," the commission said it didn't have enough evidence to force the two companies to make refunds, said Janet Gonzalez, the commission's energy manager. "We need a higher level of proof," Gonzalez said. "That's a real tough thing ... it's a difficult, difficult situation."

Yes, quite difficult when the Energy Lobby has unlimited legal resources and people like Al Stahlberg just have himself and...well...the government.

Stahlberg, who's 64 and retired in Fridley, doesn't understand why it took the commission so long to figure out he didn't deserve a refund. He said he still wants his $313.

"What bothers me is the state is not protecting the consumer," he said.

No shit. But, hey, let's continue to blame the government further so any small amount of power they did have is eroded completely. Ah, the Wrecking Crew...