Friday, October 31, 2014

Weekend Money Song

Johnny Marr is the former lead guitarist/ songwriter and co-founder of the great British alt rock band, The Smiths.  He has a new solo album out ("Playland"), and here's a cut from that album -- "Easy Money."  (It's also Johnny's 51st birthday, so happy birthday!)  Enjoy the song and your weekend.

Virus Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

Fear, whether it's of ISIS, or immigrants or Ebola, works for politicians who lack the backbone to lead or shape public opinion, or whose ideas are unpopular when exposed to scrutiny.

If the Ebola virus is not contained in West Africa through the efforts and courage of health care practitioners, we'll have to "quarantine" more people than a nurse or doctor returning home.  Many more.

(cartoon: Jim Morin, Miami Herald via

Li'l Danny's Thuggery

Perhaps due to his diminutive stature, Washington's football team owner and short-fingered money grubber Daniel "Li'l Danny" Snyder likes to use his wealth to push people around.  Years ago, he filed a lawsuit against the Washington City Paper, a small weekly newspaper that had used countless examples of Li'l Danny's avarice and arrogance in an unflattering article.  First, Li'l Danny had his lawyers send a threatening letter to the investors in the paper, suggesting that he'd bankrupt the paper and investors through costly, prolonged litigation. Eventually, Li'l Danny dropped the suit.

It seems that Li'l Danny can't stop himself.  Now, he's having his lawyers sue the five Native Americans who successfully petitioned the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to cancel the team's six trademark registrations.  Clearly the five Native Americans don't have the financial resources to match Li'l Danny's, and their lawyer has questioned why they're being sued instead of the PTO.  The answer's obvious:  Li'l Danny wants to crush any future challenges to the team's name, through intimidation and threats of individual lawsuits.  His thuggish tactics demonstrate why the public needs to oppose him and his attempts to roll over people that object to the derogative name for his football team.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Koch Brothers Advertising FAIL On "The Daily Show"

Jon Stewart "welcomes" the newest sponsor/ advertiser on "The Daily Show"... the Koch brothers (really).  Hilarity ensues.

Economy Chugs Along

Figures released today indicate that the economy grew at a healthy rate of 3.5% in the third quarter, with non-housing private investment and defense spending spurring the pace.  With lower gas prices and consumer confidence up, the third quarter figures indicate the economy continues to strengthen as unemployment is the lowest in nearly 7 years.

Why Democrats seem incapable of touting the good economic news, preferring a defensive crouch instead in the upcoming mid-term elections, is something beyond us.  As we noted yesterday, with the cooperation of a shallow political press focused on who "won the news cycle" and "gaffes," the public thinks the economy-crashing Republicans would be better at "fixing" the economy.  They'll "fix" it alright, but not for the middle class and for working families.

Volcano Meet Hurricane

New Jersey's loudmouth buffoon of a Governor, Chris "Krispycreme" Christie, was at an outdoor p.r. event yesterday commemorating the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy when demonstrators in the audience stood up with signs asking what had happened to relief funding for their community.  One of the demonstrators, former Asbury Park city councilman Jim Keady, wanted to know why $800 million hadn't been allocated to allow people to rebuild.  That, apparently, was too much for the easily-angered Krispycreme, who launched into a furious verbal assault ending with Krispycreme telling Keady to "sit down and shut up."  Clearly, Krispycreme thinks citizens work for him, not vice versa, especially when he's trying to pat himself on the back.

After his posturing over quarantining nurse Kaci Hickox, he belligerently challenged Hickox, who was in West Africa trying to halt the Ebola outbreak, to sue him over her detention in an isolation tent.  People who don't think Krispycreme's anger is out of control are probably the people he wants to appeal to:  low-information, angry and confused partisans who love his bullying, authoritarian pose.  However, the pose may be getting old with the majority of Americans, who have to wonder how he would handle a genuine crisis as President without blowing his stack -- and potentially blowing up the rest of us with him.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

From The Fever Swamps of the Right, Cont'd.

Most wingnuts are content with the goal of imposing their reactionary views on the rest of America (with the exception of neocons, who want to include most of the Middle East).  It's a rare loon who thinks we should adopt the "today America, tomorrow the world" neo-Fascist goal of forcing every government -- even those of democratic nations like Sweden, Brazil, Italy and Germany -- to adopt a close facsimile of our Constitution, by force if necessary.  That rare loon would be Fux contributor and someone who should have his own bullet head examined, "Dr." Keith "Blows"Ablow.  As Steve Benen notes,
"In the 19th century, Americans had a spirited debate about 'manifest destiny' on a continental scale, but Ablow apparently sees no need to stop where the oceans start. Rather, he’s describing 'manifest destiny' on a global scale."
When Blows trotted this lunacy out on Fux and Friends, even the wingnuts on that show were a bit taken aback.  When one commented that the "thesis," ahem, deserved discussion, Blows barked "What's to discuss?"  Jawohl, Doktor Geschosskopf!  Because discussion doesn't belong in the kind of "democracy" that you want to promote abroad, right?

(photo:  When the inmates run the asylum, they appoint their own doctors.)

You Blocks, You Stones, You Worse Than Senseless Things

The Campaign for America's Future has a look at some pretty counter-intuitive results from a recent Washington Post- ABC News poll, in which 71% believe the economy is rigged.  OK so far.  But based on other polling, it seems the public is inclined to trust the Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid party to fix it!  [Ten minutes of stunned silence.]  As far as the "why?!" we can only subscribe to what Charles P. Pierce said:
...[T]he country doesn't have the analytical skills god gave a stone, that's why. And they have been badly led. And they have been heavily -- and effectively -- propagandized.
Of course, if we had a Democratic Party that could sustain a message for more than 2 minutes, when it's not in a defensive crouch, that would be helpful.

BONUS:  Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog has a good read on how dumbing down political reporting leads to a dumbed down electorate.

(Headline courtesy of W. Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act I, Scene I.)

Governors Spreading Disease

Now that two of the nurses who treated Thomas Eric Duncan at the Texas Presbyterian Hospital are Ebola-free -- along with Dr. Kent Brantly, nurse Nancy Writebol, and NBC cameraman Ashoka Mukpo -- and the treatment protocols at isolation facilities from Omaha, to NIH, to Emory University are working, all we need are political clowns to gin up public fear and paranoia.  Dr. Kent Sepkowitz, Memorial Sloan Kettering's infectious disease control director, take it away:
"Right on cue, as if in an attempt to push the discussion ever further toward irrelevancy, the twin towers of presidential posturing, Governors Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo, agreed to hog the spotlight together in order to get presidentially tough over an issue that needed no decisiveness at all: What to do about the small trickle of health-care volunteers who return to the States from West Africa? Tired, apparently, of all the goddamned evidenced-based pussy-footing coming from people who understand science and public health, the Two Big Guys made their kick-butt pronouncement: They are throwing those weenie volunteers into the 21-day slammer, no ifs or ands or buts. Goddammit."
And how did that work out?  New York Dem Governor and relentless opportunist Andrew Cuomo backed down from his earlier order that people arriving from West Africa having direct contact with Ebola victims (e.g., health workers) be quarantined in a government facility.  Now, they're restricted to their homes.  His counterpart in New Jersey, blowhard traffic cop and head of New Jersey's Rethug crime family Chris "Krispycreme" Christie reluctantly followed suit, but not after digging himself deeper in his belligerent, anti-medicine/anti-science hole.  Quarantined nurse Kaci Hickox, who has tested negative for the virus, blasted Krispycreme's ham-fisted posturing, saying.
"First of all, I don't think he's a doctor; secondly, he's never laid eyes on me; and thirdly, I've been asymptomatic since I've been here."
The only thing showing symptoms are cowardly political weasels and bullies carrying the 2016-itis disease.  They are the ones requiring quarantine.

Mid-Week Memorial Song

We noted Cream bassist and vocalist Jack Bruce's passing last Saturday.  Along with legendary guitarist Eric Clapton and master drummer Ginger Baker, Bruce's tenor voice carried the melody on nearly all of the supergroup's songs.  Their second album, "Disraeli Gears," is a true rock classic, and today's song from that album showcases Bruce's beautiful tenor, with Clapton's soaring guitar and Baker's driving percussion:  "Dance the Night Away."  R.I.P.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Today's Cartoon

As the Lexington Herald-Leader put it, Kentucky Republican Sen. Mitch "Missy" McConnell "commands a perpetual-motion money machine;  dollars flow in, favors flow out."  It's nice he has that kind of quick cash lying around his log cabin.

(click to enlarge)

(Matt Wuerker, via

Desperate Moves

Republican candidate for Senate in Virginia, former RNC chairman and lobbyist Ed "Ichabod" Gillespie, is running so far behind popular Dem Sen. Mark Warner that he's throwing a final desperate Hail Mary pass:  he's making Washington's disparaging football team name an issue.  Ichabod says he'll fight proposals to change the team's name (the team's facilities are in Northern Virginia, where much of the fan base resides).  Ironically for Ichabod, team owner Li'l Danny Snyder has given Mark Warner's campaign $5,200 in contributions, a pretty clear signal of who he's betting on to win.

He's so far behind Warner that he pulled his own ads a few weeks ago, and is being deserted by contributors who see the handwriting on the wall.  Stalwart Republican icons such as former Sen. John Warner (no relation to Mark Warner) have appeared in ads for Sen. Warner.  Gillespie's desperation moves won't help him chip away at his opponent's overwhelming lead.

Today's Steaming Heap of Stupid

Texas wingnut and probably the biggest moron in Congress, Rep. Louie "Screwy Louie" Gohmert, got the treatment from Stephen Colbert last night for his incredibly ignorant comments on gays in the military.  Screwy Louie's incoherent remarks on the topic are hilarious, but troubling in that he is an elected official (albeit from secessionist Tex-ass).  Colbert's summary in the last 40 seconds is perfect.

Monday, October 27, 2014

We'll Have Some Of Those Brownies, Too

If you haven't already seen it, watch Ellen DeGeneres's hilarious send-up of one of Matthew McConaughey's Lincoln commercials and have a laugh.  You're welcome.

Today's Tomorrow Cartoon

(click to enlarge)

If you have any symptoms of the above described diseases -- gunfluenza, climate denial fever and so on -- you're likely a Republican….or a low information voter…or both.  You need to be quarantined for 10 days, which would get us past the mid-term elections.