Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Stewart/Colbert Rallies in Pictures

It only stands to reason the three major differences between a typical Tea Bagger rally and one of ours is A) Better-spelled signage, B) a surfeit of actual intelligence and awareness and C) We tend to be much more numerous. What follows below are all the pictures Mrs. JP and I took of the rally today. Much of the signage was hilarious (Click on the images for bigger versions).

Hey, who's that handsome devil?

Tony Bennett and you just missed him.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Memo to Teabaggers: You Can't Tread on Us, Either

The two questions that first spring to mind are, why isn't Rand Paul campaign coordinator/professional thug Tim Profitt in jail for curb-stomping a defenseless woman and why does he think she owes him an apology? An apology for what, putting her head and shoulder under his jackboot?

Another question I'd like to add is, considering that Profitt is not only still a free man and that there are no pending assault charges and nothing worse than a criminal summons against him, how come Democrat Jon Taylor was arrested, wrestled to the ground and charged with three crimes just for peacefully appearing at an Eric Cantor event with an invitation?

And, while I hate to side with Tim Profitt on this issue, how come Kentucky police let things get so out of hand that a woman was openly assaulted when they were certainly within range to do something about it if not prevent it?

It would be easy to dismiss these random acts of violence visited on Democrats and liberal activists on campaign staffers and supporters but the one fact that no one had addressed is why the police are letting them get away with it? Anyone keeping track of the rise in right wing violence as the midterms approach will see an unmistakable pattern of the police aiding and abetting such violence if not not actually taking part in it. After all, why would Jon Taylor get tossed from a coffee shop when he had an invitation to the Cantor event? It seems to more than suggest that if you're a Republican, you have the right to create your own little (Sorry, Ms. O'Donnell) witch hunt. Just point your finger at a Democrat, tell lies such as him disturbing the peace and the local constabulary will be only too glad to do your bidding. It seems for every Victor Phillips, there are 100 Tim Profitts and Alan Wests.

So, what's going on? Is police protection only for Republicans in spite of the fact that they and they alone are calling for "2nd amendment remedies" and hiring bikers and other camera-blocking, unlicensed thugs to do security at a middle school?

Well, I have had enough. Mrs. JP and I are going to be at the rallies from start to finish. And to anyone out there planning on organizing a counter rally to the Stewart/Colbert counter rallies, I have one thing to say to you:

Try and start trouble, I'll step on you like I would an over ripe grape. Just try to disrupt this rally with your right wing thuggery and you'll be outnumbered probably by at least 1000 to 1 and I'll be right at the vanguard taping the whole thing. It's a public event and anyone can come but that doesn't give you the right to start violence. You start it, I'll finish it if I have anything to say about it.

Because I've had it with us being the nice guys and I think we all know what Leo Durocher said about nice guys. You don't want to be treaded on by our big, bad Socialist government? Fine.

But you can't tread on us, either, starting with me.

Trying to Keep Fear Sane and Rational

Mrs. JP and I will be leaving in a little over 12 hours to drive down to the rallies in DC. If anyone knows the area well, please tell me where the wifi hot spots are on the Mall or between 3rd and 7th streets since I'll be bringing my Dell and will try to videotape and live-blog the event both here and at Pottersville.

And if you'll be there, too, look for the screaming lunatic wearing a Jason hockey mask, an official rally tee shirt and a black leather jacket. Mrs. JP will likely be standing a respectable distance away pretending not to know me.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More Republican Thuggery

When we hear the phrase "curb-stomping", many of us, I'm sure, think of the practice of gang members placing their enemies' teeth on a curb and violently stomping on the back of their head. Those of us who are movie buffs may think of that indelibly violent scene in the Edward Norton movie, American History X.

But even in today's highly polarized and openly nasty partisanship that often involves Republican thuggery, we certainly don't expect to see or hear about liberal activists getting literally curb-stomped by Republican voters or campaign coordinators such as Rand Paul staffer Tim Profitt.

Yet this is exactly what had happened to liberal activist Lauren Valle, a 23 year-old young lady of slight build who'd merely tried to give Paul a fake employee of the month sign from the fictional organization Republicorp and to get her picture taken with Paul. That's when she was wrestled to the ground and then curb-stomped by Profitt, a guy who easily had 6 inches and about 100 pounds on Valle.

Valle was taken to the hospital and released after being treated for a concussion and a sprained shoulder and arm. To make the Paul campaign look even more out of touch with reality than it already is, the campaign issued a statement expressing relief that she wasn't injured.

Wasn't injured? What the fuck do you call a concussion, and a sprained shoulder and arm?

This is very reminiscent of the 2006 attack at the Omni Hotel on left wing blogger Mike Stark at the hands of two middle aged staffers who nearly put Stark's head through a plate glass window. Stark offered no resistance but he's a former Marine who can take care of himself. Valle isn't.

So what was Profitt's excuse for curb-stomping the diminutive Valle? "I'm sorry that it came to that, and I apologize if it appeared overly forceful, but I was concerned about Rand's safety." (Note: the video plainly shows that Paul had already long since passed her.)

Uh huh. I guess Paul didn't have a paramilitary, wouldbe Blackwater doing his private security like Joe Miller.

I suppose we shouldn't be shocked to hear of Republican thuggery even when we learn that the curb-stomper in question is an official campaign coordinator for Rand Paul out of Bourbon County. Rather than being a random supporter, this ties Profitt, his thug life tactics and brutal misogyny directly to the Paul Camp, a campaign that is so unbelievably out of touch that either they believe or pretend to believe that the girl didn't sustain any injuries.

When the hell are we going to man up and start fighting back? Now they're assaulting our women and what else are we gonna do besides blog about it?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Black Gold, Texas Tea

Pastor Stephen Broden is pure black gold and Texas Tea. If only every Congressional district in the country could field someone as spectacularly insane and as shamelessly disingenuous as Pastor Steve, there wouldn't be any more of this nonsense from the MSM about the GOP retaking either chamber of Congress (You have my guarantee that, while the Democrats' majority will erode in both, the GOP is not going to take either.).

And Pastor Stevie isn't even saying anything new. Other GOP candidates in the past had also threatened the establishment with revolution (like these idiots, for instance) if not enough of them come out to vote for some of the most extreme fringers running for office. Democracy, for Republicans, is only viable and a hallowed institution if they win or get to steal every election with impunity.

Oh, sure he was talking about revolution at the ballot boxes... after the 2010 midterms, not now. Broden's comments were obviously a desperate Hail Mary pass thrown in the hopes that the Tea Baggers will come out in force for him and save him from a humiliating 30 point loss to the corrupt incumbent Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (who has some ethical issues she doesn't want to talk about).

And when you lose the prior support of the right wing Dallas Morning News and even Glenn Beck, who's also threatened open insurrection that led at least one guy to literally take up arms, you know it's time to shut your pie hole.

What I can't understand is, why hasn't this guy's church lost its tax-exempt status when he's plainly getting involved in politics?

Quote o' the Day

"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of their prosperity until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered." - Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Great Moments in History #312: Dick Armey Meets the Teabaggers, 2009

FreedomWorks' Dick Armey Meets with the leader of the Tea Baggers in the Tea Party movement's super duper, double secret underground bunker.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The French Disconnection

We have been disconnected from France for a long time. Right wingers have been largely responsible for that and the meme of how cowardly the French really are started long, long before they wisely took a pass on Iraq.

And that's a shame, that we've swallowed wholesale these lies about the French as mindlessly and indiscriminately as we do Freedom French fries at McDonald's. It's a shame because the youth and leftist movement of France is carrying on its fourth round of riots (this last one lasting ten days and still going strong) since Sarkozy was elected. The third round was after a rioter was killed by French police last July. The second round was in early October 2006. The first round of riots was in late 2005 or right after Sarkozy was elected.

As is typical with right wing police states such as Sarkozy's, the crackdowns resulted in several protesters losing their lives. But that's a trade-off the French seem willing to make in order to make their voices heard. And the rewards for this latest round of protests is staggering: The nation has ground to a standstill through protesters blocking major roadways, stopping oil shipments and halting production at refineries. (Note worth remembering: When the Grandpuits refinery was virtually shut down by rioters, it also grounded air traffic since they're the major supplier of fuel to De Gaulle International airport.)

When oil companies import oil to our shores through blowouts and leaks, we wind up going to work for them for substandard wages, no health care and allowing them to publish their propaganda ads even on liberal blogs who don't care where their advertising revenue comes from.

Yet, in the five years since the French began the first of what would prove to be four rounds of riots, the United States has not had one major protest that resulted in anything more damaging than the occasional arrest to tarnish one's reputation. As it is, with many reasons to take to the streets with pitchforks and torches, brushes and buckets of hot tar, ropes and shotguns, we Americans, especially we so-called liberals, tremble at the thought of a preemptive Republican charge of "class warfare" at the merest whisper of elitist corporate genocide.

The French government has proposed raising the retirement age from 60 to 62. In our own country, Republicans have somehow managed to propose with a straight face raising Social Security eligibility from 62-65 to 70. France is rioting in the streets over their retirement age getting raised a modest two years. In our country, a Republican majority would all but guarantee a nation of septugenarians working as greeters for Wal-Mart so they can at least have a shot of financing their own funerals after they drop dead in their little blue vests.

The funny thing is, France, according to the CIA Factbook, enjoys the 8th highest life expectancy on the planet at almost 81 years while the United States is a dismal 49th, or barely over 78 years (which neatly sandwiches us between Albania and Wallis/Futuna). That means, according to world actuarial tables, the French would still be able to enjoy almost 20 years of retirement while Americans can look forward, under a Republican plan, to a mere eight years (without factoring in how older workers working until well past age 62 could detrimentally have their health and life expectancy affected).

So why are the French rioting and how come our asses are conforming to the seats of our Laz-E-Boys while watching Jon and Kate and the latest Jackass movie on DVD?

And where did this meme come from that the French are nothing but cowardly, elitist Gauloise-smoking malcontents wearing berets and sipping bitter little cups of coffee in outdoor cafes while spitting even bitterer diatribes against anything smelling of the bourgeois?

The French, while historically being one of the easiest nations to conquer, nonetheless enjoy a reputation of being one of the most perennially difficult to govern. Napoleon found that out after a revolution that beheaded a king. The French obviously have never forgotten their classist roots and are always ready to light up the streets if they see their government is shortchanging them.

And it always seems to be the leftists, the Socialists and the young who are at the vanguard. In this country, with no draft, our own youth would be disconnected from more than just France were it not for the fragile tether to the world provided by Apple iPhones and Dell laptops.

Unlike France, our nation doesn't even have a actual culture as much as a ruthlessly bottom line-driven hyperactive consumerism let alone have a backbone worth straightening. And while Jon Stewart may be putting together a rally on the 30th that preaches bland temperance and civility, such a call would fall on deaf ears in the land that gave us the very symbol of our liberty.

It also ought to be mentioned that raising the retirement age from 60 to 62 in France affects the country's retirement pension plan. In this country, pensions outside the government sector have gone the way of doctors that make house calls and mail delivery twice a day.

We Americans have had so much taken away from us, from pensions to actual interest on interest-bearing accounts, that if we had the sensibilities of the French, Wall Street and Pennsylvania Avenue on any given day would look like downtown Baghdad in late 2006. But we are not like the French. We have been disconnected from them and the lessons they gave in vain of the value and efficacy of civil disobedience.

Instead, liberals write blog posts railing about the status quo and not progressing beyond the manifesto stage. Right wingers and tea baggers rail about the government for completely different (and invariably erroneous) reasons and congregate in anemic little mobs so they can be ridiculed by the liberals.

Mike Whitney (not to be confused with the Mike Whitney of Firedoglake) in his latest article "Thank God for France" brings up some very good points and rightly excoriates our impotent and complacent cuntry (and yes, that is deliberately misspelled). He also brings up the excellent point that force is the only language tyrannical governments understand. That is a geopolitical truism that crosses all national boundaries. We ought to retest that theory sometime. It worked pretty fucking well against the British in the 18th century (although, to play Devil's advocate, we wouldn't've stood a snowball's chance in Hell were it not for the aid of, you guessed it, the hated French).

I'd say "thank God for France", too, were it not for one painfully obvious truism: We can only thank a good influence if we take those lessons to heart. But when we choose not to heed those lessons in brutal efficacy, we only doom our wouldbe mentors to irrelevancy as well as ourselves to repeat the less palatable lessons of history.

Looks Like We Do Body Counts, After All

...despite what Rummy once told us.

If nothing else, the new Wikileaks release, while it may not contain any revelations that would be shocking to those of us in the reality-based community, at least tells us that the real story is actually, hold on to your hats, worse than we've been told. As has always been the case, if you want a sense of what's going on in Iraq, all you have to do is use "Iraqi bodies" as a Google image search.

If you index your wikileaks search to just murder, you'll get almost 25,000 incident reports filed by both Iraqi and American forces. With each page containing ten entries, you'll have to wade through dozens of pages using a general search just to get past January 1, 2004.

These 391,000+ incident reports, which often make for dry reading (and about half of the particulars are obvious, such as GSW [gunshot wound] to the ___. Virtually all execution-style murders are gunshots to the head), still provide a more comprehensive overview of what the Pentagon and the press have not been telling us.

It shows that not only are we guilty of killing innocent Iraqis but that so is the Shi'ite government that we'd installed in the wake of de-Baathification. The newest Wikileaks disclosures show that we'd relied on private "security contractors" such as Blackwater far more than had been previously admitted. No matter who did the killings, the blood eventually spatters on us because we put that bloody sham of a puppet government in power and we're the ones who'd invaded Iraq on blatantly false pretenses. You have to wonder how many hundreds of thousands of Iraqis would still be alive today had we not.

And, above all, even a cursory reading of all the documents shows that far more Iraqi civilians have been killed overall than had been previously admitted by the Pentagon, which claimed years ago to not bother itself doing body counts.

The Pentagon has, indeed, been keeping track and Wikileaks' latest coup shows us why they had not released this information to us.

Plus, you have to laugh and shake your head that the NY Times, with their super-serious-sounding War Logs series, is following the lead of a guy who isn't even a journalist. This is part and parcel to the problem, to begin with: If Judith Miller and the rest of the Times had just chosen to do its fucking job for a change instead of helping the Bush administration beat the war drum, then perhaps Julian Assange wouldn't have had to make this massive revelation and perhaps, just perhaps, we would've left Iraq already if we'd known way back then just how bad the situation really was on the ground.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Abe Lincoln Talks to George Bush, March 18, 2003

On the night before Bush invaded Iraq, the 16th president came back from the dead to speak to the so-called 43rd president and gets a crash course on how much the Republican Party has changed since 1865.

Larry King Interviews Sarah Palin for the Last Time

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Brief History of Political Douchebaggery 2001-2010

This is my first virtual video courtesy of It'll be the first of many.

Doubting Thomas

“Good morning Anita Hill, it’s Ginni Thomas. I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband. So give it some thought. And certainly pray about this and hope that one day you will help us understand why you did what you did. O.K., have a good day.”

Lord only knows why Ginny Thomas, Justice Clarence Thomas's Tea Bagger wife, would call up Anita Hill at her office in Brandeis University here in Massachusetts and demand an apology for telling the truth about her husband nearly 20 years ago.

If it was intended to cover the Republican Party with glory, then rehashing one of the most sordid confirmation hearings of all time, one that involved a right wing judge, is certainly no way to go about it. Or perhaps Ginny Thomas is a pathetically deluded person who honestly believes that Prof. Anita Hill will suddenly have a change of heart after having gotten on with her life and career and apologize because of an out-of-the-blue phone call.

Either way, people like Ginny Thomas is the gift just keeps on giving, the ghost of porno films past, a transparently disingenuous Tea Bagging zombie who thinks we're all, starting with Prof. Hill, so stupid as to believe her story that she was extending an olive branch.

As Prof. Hill stated, there is no way she can ask for an apology, which would also have to come with a retraction of her 19 year-old testimony, without accusing her of outright lying. It shows that Ginny Thomas, who openly works for a Tea Bagger organization funded by private donors while being married to a sitting Supreme Court Justice and who alone could've and should've immediately gotten Thomas recused from ruling on Bush v Gore in 2000, is deluded as to what her husband really is: A purveyor of pornography, a sexual harasser in the workplace and a whiny beneficiary of Affirmative Action who whips out the race card as fast as his "larger-than-usual" cock complaining about his "high tech lynching."

Because in light of Prof. Hill's sordid testimony, Robert Bork looks like a better-qualified candidate for the Supreme Court than was Clarence Thomas. It brings to mind the, at best, questionable moral rectitude and even the sanity of the conservatives on the court, starting with racist and antisemitic former Chief Justice Rehnquist's drug addiction and ludicrous behavior during his detox, Antonin Scalia advocating sex orgies, current Chief Justice Roberts upholding the strip search of a 12 year-old girl over one french fry and Justice Sam Alito belonging to a Princeton organization called CAP, one that advocated barring women and minorities from the New Jersey Ivy League university.

So, are you sure you really want to revisit this, Ginny?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The News at a Furtive Glance

Sometimes the headline tells you everything you need to know, such as this one: "U.S. Pushes to Ease Technical Obstacles to Wiretapping." Essentially, the Obama administration is applying pressure on cell phone and internet carriers such as Verizon, AT&T and Comcast to keep their systems vulnerable to wiretaps. The FBI spends $20,000,000 a year to ensure this, meaning we're paying the government to spy on us and paying handsomely to greedy carriers to allow the government to spy on us. I'd like to know if our Constitutional scholar president, unlike Bush, is going through the FISA courts on these wiretaps or if, like Bush, he considers court orders a cumbersome obstacle. In the meantime, watch who you friend on Facebook or Twitter: It could be your Uncle Sam.

Meanwhile, in case you started missing Bush, this bit of nostalgia ought to cheer you up: We've killed another 18 people in Afghanistan in another drone attack. We went after a specific Taliban commander and even our lying military won't claim that we got him. Meanwhile, eyewitnesses on the ground in Baghlan Province are saying that all 18 bodies were those of civilians.

Meanwhile, back at the other glorious front in the war on terror, comrades, we'd launched yet another unauthorized air strike in Pakistan, killing 8 more people, although a local security official said the death toll would go up. Says the article,
The aerial assaults, initiated by former US President George W. Bush, have been escalated under President Barack Obama.

Washington claims the airstrikes target militants, but most of the attacks result in civilian casualties.

Since August 2008, about one thousand people have been killed in about 100 attacks by US drones in tribal areas of Pakistan. Over 90 percent of the victims were civilians.

And, just to let Yemen know they haven't been forgotten and that we're letting Pakistan and Afghanistan have all the fun, we also just killed one of their old men.

"Miss me, yet?" Hell, Dubya, it's like you never left!

And speaking of Pakistan, did you know that our allies in the Glorious War on Terror are terrorists themselves? According to David Headley, an American citizen who was picked up after the terrorist attack in Mumbai last year, Pakistan's ISI, or their government's intelligence service, met many times "with senior militants from the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group responsible for the Mumbai attacks." This shouldn't come as any surprise for those of us in the reality-based community. After all, our staunch allies not only helped let bin Laden escape from Tora Bora but even guarded him while he was receiving treatment on September 10th and even controlled the financing for the 9/11 attacks. Yes, we have met the enemy and it is us.

Also out of Pakistan, and just in time for Halloween, the late Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri have come back from the dead. But this isn't the first time al-Zawahiri has been resurrected: Just two years ago, he came back in spooky audio tapes taunting then President-elect Obama.

Speaking of a tale of two dictatorships, as further proof that the Obama administration is merely a third Bush term, here's another ethical outrage as well as an ethical outage: The Obama admnistration is openly advocating for former Attorney General John Ashcroft in light of speculation that he abused the power of his office to illegally detain people and under false pretenses. In the DOJ's brief filed with the Supreme Court, it would "severely damage law enforcement" if Ashcroft or any AG were found guilty of breaking the law and abusing the power of the AG's office. IOW, as long as terrorism exists, anything the AG does isn't illegal. Shades of Nixon.

Speaking of scumbags getting off scot-free, the Obama DOJ just announced that it won't seek an indictment of Andrew Moonen, the drunken Blackwater thug who murdered the bodyguard of the Iraqi Vice President back in 2006. Meanwhile, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is still being hunted down by the Pentagon (even as they beg the media not to exercise their first amendment rights) and Sweden rejected his application for residency status. Thank God we still remember who wears the white hats and black hats.

Finally, the Obama administration thinks odds are you're being foreclosed on for good reason, even if you don't have a mortgage and paid for your house cash on the barrel head. Because our government is once again letting Wall Street have its way by refusing to step in to get BoA to extend its moratorium on foreclosures. Instead, they're standing idly by while letting BoA ramp up the foreclosure mills again by ending their moratorium sooner than expected. Just a week and a half ago, BoA decided to extend their moratorium to all 50 states but those palmy days are gone forever so the repo men are fanning out again while Obama, as he so often does, saturninely looks on.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Iraqi Government Still Paying al Qaeda to Kill Our Troops.

(This al Jazeera piece was broadcast the day after Obama pronounced combat operations were over in Iraq)

So says the NY Times in today's lead story, above the fold. Here's the opening paragraph:
Members of United States-allied Awakening Councils have quit or been dismissed from their positions in significant numbers in recent months, prey to an intensive recruitment campaign by the Sunni insurgency, according to government officials, current and former members of the Awakening and insurgents.

Which is followed up a little later with this money shot (emphasis mine):
Although there are no firm figures, security and political officials say hundreds of the well-disciplined fighters — many of whom have gained extensive knowledge about the American military — appear to have rejoined Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. Beyond that, officials say that even many of the Awakening fighters still on the Iraqi government payroll, possibly thousands of them, covertly aid the insurgency.

Bottom line: Not only have we done a complete 360 and wound up back to where we started at the start of the invasion and occupation in March of 2003, we taxpayers had once paid al Qaeda in Mesopotamia double agents to attack our troops and some of them are still being paid by our man al-Maliki to use our own troop positions, strength, strategies and tactics against us.

This is a stunning but not unexpected turnaround, stunning in that a mere month and a half (the al Jazeera video was broadcast on September 2 of this year) the Awakening councils went from being fearful of an American withdrawal to walking off the job, some of them still collecting paychecks.

The damnable thing is that al Qaeda, as with the early part of the war, is wooing them with lures of cash, and reports are that they're paying them more than the $300 a month they were getting from the Iraqi government that, 6 months after the last parliamentary elections, may or may not be legitimate. This is plainly an intelligence failure. Despite early gains the Bush administration made in freezing al Qaeda assets, those assets had obviously been diverted to other accounts in "secure, undisclosed locations."

These Sunni insurgents, of course, are originally Iraqi soldiers who'd served under Saddam. When Bremer came in at the start of his Year of Living Dangerously as Viceroy of Iraq, he'd made the colossal blunder of disbanding the Iraqi army, leaving hundreds of thousands of soldiers without work and with families to feed, thereby making a perfect Petri dish for a well-armed and well-trained insurgency with right on their side. It would be easy to miscategorize these Sunnis as mere mercenaries, whores of war who ally themselves with whomever waves the most money in front of their noses.

But when Bremer came in, Iraqi farmers and merchants suddenly had to cope with competition from abroad, making them serfs and immigrants in their own country and playing havoc with the tax structure, and they got priced out of their own jobs. By 2004, at least a quarter of all Iraqis were on some subsistence program not dissimilar to food stamps. We'd smashed their military and economic infrastructure, played havoc with their oil industry and hastily replaced Saddam Hussein's homegrown tyranny with an American made tyranny that left dead Iraqis lying facedown in open sewers.

They're getting far less electricity than they did under Saddam, they now have not only an insanely persistent occupying force to contend with but also a local al Qaeda branch that's gunning for them for being our allies (at least Saddam kept them out of Iraq save for Mosul and Kirkuk in the northern region). Iraq still has far fewer schools and hospitals than they need and we'd built only a quarter of the hospitals we'd promised to build.

And the government's death squads are still killing civilians. The only difference is, it's the Sunnis getting wiped out this time.

So, is it any wonder the beleaguered Sunnis, sick and tired of empty US promises of steady jobs in the Shi'ite government of Nouri al Maliki, have lost patience and gone over the hill where the grass is greener?

This is a comment from Zuhair al-Chalabi (no relation to white collar criminal and pathological liar Ahmad Chalabi), head of the government's "Reconciliation Council" (little more than a religiously partisan organization):
“Fighting the Al Qaeda organization does not mean you are giving service to the government or to the people, and that you deserve gifts, rank, presents or benefits,” said Zuhair al-Chalabi, head of the National Reconciliation Committee, set up to heal the country’s sectarian divides. “It is a national duty.”

Of course, if either al-Chalabi or al-Maliki were truly sincere about reconciliation, they'd bring these soldiers back into the government fold instead of freezing them out and asking them to fight al Qaeda without the support of the government. After all, "Fighting the Al Qaeda organization does not mean you are giving service to the government." In other words, just fight your fellow Sunnis with what you've got because it's your patriotic duty. But putting Saddam's former troops back on the payroll is the only major instance in which Iraq has not done a 360. Going around in circles is our job.

So what will Obama do in light of this information? Will we still stick to our August 2011 timeline and the December 31, 2011 SOFA agreement withdrawal deadline like we did by June 30th 2009?

If you're an Iraqi, few if any auguries are of good fortune. Obama never said even on the campaign trail, that he would withdraw all the troops. That's just what we wanted to hear and preferred to think he was still the 2002 Obama that excoriated the Bush administration's plans for war with Iraq and not the 2008 Obama already fitting himself for the trap that Bush had carelessly laid out for him.

There's no such thing as violating SOFA if you merely redraw the city lines so we can claim with a straight face that we no longer have combat troops in the capital. Besides, SOFA can always be "renegotiated". Plus, we can pronounce combat operations as being over (like they were by May 1, 2003) if we just rebrand our combat troops as "peacekeeping advisors." (This would include, as the Army Times tells us, the 2nd Stryker Brigade out of Fort Lewis. The 5th Stryker Brigade, also out of Fort Lewis, has been rocked this fall by credible allegations that a dozen soldiers either murdered, mutilated or assisted in murdering and mutilating Afghani civilians.)

So, at the risk of oversimplifying a complex situation, there you have it in a nutshell: If you've been unemployed or erstwhile employed for 7 1/2 years and are the target of either American forces who are killing your countrymen or terrorists who are also killing your countrymen, it comes down to making a choice that's the lesser of two evils, which is going to work for the people who at least pay you better. And money cuts through a lot of religious loyalty and ideologies.

We've done a complete 360 in Iraq. And, as Rob Grace said in August of last year, "(A)s far as the Iraq War goes, the 2008 election didn’t matter."

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Silly Season

...or Jack Conway vs the Aqua Buddha.
We have endured, to date, one of the most shallow and contemptible campaign seasons in modern political history. The main storylines of the 2010 midterm season have centered around whether a Delaware Senate candidate is a witch, if one Nevada Senate candidate has been easier on child molesters than the other, and if the President of the United States has a valid birth certificate. 'Vapid' doesn't begin to describe this campaign season so far, a fact that appears ready to pay dividends for the GOP, because real issues don't play well for them these days. Thanks to the mindless void that is the 'mainstream' news media, serious issues have been getting passed over in favor of the crass and the carnival. - William Rivers Pitt, Truthout.

Just a few minutes ago, I got an email that's all too common: One from some bird running for public office in a state and district in which I do not live begging me for money. Once in a blue moon, I'll donate a few bucks to some truly worthy incumbent like Russ Feingold or Alan Grayson but usually I draw the line well short of them for the simple reason that I do not live in their state or district. After all, why should I give them money when they not only would not represent me but would even bar me half the time from emailing them directly simply because I do not live within their jurisdiction? Back in '06, I was screaming bloody murder about out of state muscle and money being used by the Lieberman campaign after he lost the CT Democratic senate primary to Ned Lamont. Out of state resources being used to elect or re-elect someone is a growing trend that I do not like.

I sent a short email in response to Conway's beg for money asking what the provenance was of the Aqua Buddha story, why it's being used as an attack ad during a US Senate campaign, and why I ought to contribute money to a guy who wouldn't even represent my state. Then I decided to check out Conway's breathless allegations for myself.

And William Rivers Pitt's words on Truthout were brought home to me when I got this email from the Jack Conway campaign. Here's the video that was linked to in the mass email (enjoy the pot-and-patchouli oil music in the background):

Yes, you heard that right. This "Democrat" was inveighing against the evils of Rand Paul and the "Aqua Buddha", over an, at best, apocryphal story first broken by GQ magazine last August. The Aqua Buddha story's authenticity seems to rest entirely on the testimony of a woman who'd been allegedly abducted by Rand Paul while he was an undergrad at the ultra conservative Baylor University. She was brought to a creek and forced to pray to the "Aqua Buddha".

Now, I'm not a fan of Rand Paul, as my regular readers have no doubt guessed by now but let's take this in perspective: Paul was obviously in his early 20's, an immature undergrad (Paul is in the lead picture wearing the black robe and straw hat), and engaging in a harmless ritual that's as much a part of college life as keggers and all night cramming sessions.

And Jack Conway's attack ad would be ridiculous enough to warrant a withering post on those "merits" alone were it not for two other things.

Firstly, Paul's youthful disrespect for organized religion, which was no doubt spurred on by the ultra-conservative Baylor faculty (they didn't allow even dancing on campus until 1996), is given front and center attention in the ad that's obviously endorsed by Conway at the start.

Paul apparently, thought the Bible was a hoax (it is) and later stated he'd like to stop funding for faith-based organizations (something else on which Paul and I agree). But the very act of sucking up to the fundie base on whose support Jack seems to think is essential for getting into the Senate presents us with a startling transformation:

Ergo, secondly, Jack Conway, supposedly a Democrat, looks like a Bush-supporting religious stormtrooper and Rand Paul (albeit a very youthful Rand Paul from 27 years ago) is painted as a hippie, liberal paganist praying to Aqua Buddha in the water.

It's like those campaign spots in that Kevin Costner movie Swing Vote in which the Democratic challenger, played by the late Dennis Hopper, makes him sound like a conservative while painting his Republican challenger, played by Kelsey Grammer, as a flaming liberal:

...and this one...

Of course, this is answered by the formerly conservative President Boone (Grammer) thusly:

Now, as is inevitable in politics (witness Wag the Dog vs Iraq), real life has caught up to satire. Let's just hope that Rand Paul resists the urge to respond in kind or at least with an ad that doesn't double down and stubbornly renew his faith in the Aqua Buddha.

This kind of Democratic pandering to the rabidly anti-gay, anti-free choice evangelical basement dwellers is what's ruining the Democrats' reputation among liberals and real progressives. Bush's faith-based initiatives were a sham and hardly what one would call productive. It reserved federal money to certain entities based on a single man's religious ideology while other faith-based groups got the short end of the stick (and David Kuo told us in Tempting Faith that Bush had underfunded faith-based organizations by 90% since he'd disbursed to them only 10% of the funds he'd promised on the campaign trail).

It's despicable enough that Conway's campaign is desperate enough to use a decades-old college prank alleged by some anonymous person as a campaign issue and to pathetically try to wring money out of it from me when we ought to focusing on things a little more important than false idols and faith-based funding that should've ended on January 20 last year. It's even more despicable not to mention confusing when, as at the end of Orwell's Animal Farm, the two sides morph and turn into each other and we can no longer distinguish which is which.

So go fuck yourself, Jack Conway. Even if I lived in Kentucky, you would've lost my vote.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Lost Boys Meet the Dirty Dozen

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari Goldstein.)

"What if I'm not the hero
What if I'm the bad guy
" - Quote from Twilight, tattooed on Pfc. Justin Stoner's back.

If you were to watch the interrogation tapes of some of the 5th Stryker brigade that had been obtained by CNN, you'll be struck by several things. First thing I'd like to address is the conduct of some of the 12 soldiers. These are some of the troops that have been charged and are under investigation by Army CID for three separate incidents in which innocent Afghan civilians were allegedly murdered by members of the 5th Stryker Brigade.

It would be very easy to label them as irredeemable psychopaths and to expect them to look and act the part. But if you were to look into the faces of these boys barely out of their teens, you'll note a disturbingly discordant note of contrition that's at odds with the crimes with which they've been charged. In a way, it's creepier than staring this madness in its twisted face and one can scarcely believe these sweet boys from the Bible or Corn belt are even being investigated much less preparing for an Article 32 hearing (the UCMJ's version of a grand jury investigation).

The Devil may wear Prada but Jekyll and Hyde wear olive drab.

Of course, they're not sweet boys, unless this is some massive hoax or colossal mixup. These are Army troops who've been trained to kill (but, apparently, not to distinguish between civilians and) insurgents in an alien, hostile land and have, instead, murdered unarmed civilians. Whether the troops in question are the ones who'd carried out the murders remains to be seen but one soldier, Justin Stoner, had already been given a blanket party by his fellow soldiers for complaining about their daily drug use. It was that first pulled thread that led to the discovery of the murders. Since they've started ratting out each other, someone's guilt is in little doubt.

It's a twice and three-told tale that is by now alarmingly familiar: Young soldiers either unfit to serve in a combat zone (which, as with Iraq, is virtually every square inch of Afghanistan since neither are conventional wars) or made unfit to serve and wind up deliberately killing civilians and then staging the carnage if it was combat-related. Throw a gun near a corpse and, voila! Instant insurgent. The bad guy becomes the hero and the good guy gets killed.

And when one juxtaposes these newest incidents that have been filtering out of Afghanistan since Obama's surge with a particularly horrific incident on February 12th that left three women (one pregnant) and two men dead, the horrors at Bagram Air Base, Abu Ghraib, Gitmo and elsewhere, it seems like a cross between the vampire movie The Lost Boys and Lord of the Flies. In Sabrina Harman's own account, published 2 1/2 years ago, the head of a kitten was even used as a running gag. Was the boys' pig's head from Lord of the Flies very dissimilar?

Indeed, these boys are lost and if they were ever fit to serve, they certainly are not now after being exposed to a hostile, alien environment historically unfit for any conquering army from Alexander the Great to us. How could they be fit when daily drug use, staged murders, mutilations and coverups are the orders of the day without seemingly any effective command structure in place or one that guides and disciplines these young men only after the fact?

Now they're likely to be charged under Articles 81 (conspiracy), 93 (cruelty and maltreatment), 112a (abuse of controlled substances) 118 (murder), 124 (maiming), 130 (Housebreaking) and whatever article, if any, pertains to the subsequent coverup.

How did this happen?

The more cynical of us would say, not altogether without justification, that it's inevitable. Where ever we go, we leave bodies in our wake like some organized plague and pestilence. It happened in Vietnam, it's happening in Iraq and it's happening in Afghanistan. American troops are guilty of war crimes where ever they're stationed or deployed. Historically, the American military barely has a better war conduct record than the Nazis or Soviets.

In a way, the plummeting support for either war is to blame for the quality of today's recruits. As support for the war wanes, fewer young men and women can be wooed in with the old promises of college tuition and free travel and the DoD is forced to lower recruitment standards. Now, people who were once deemed undesirable are now getting a second look from recruiters like drunks wearing beer goggles at last call.

Now, we're seeing white supremacists and career criminals being made respectable and legit by a uniform and free guns and ammo. And do they take advantage of this golden 2nd chance in some redeeming Dirty Dozen mission? Hardly. Many of them come back hating Arabs and Jews more than ever. One was further radicalized during the first Gulf War and he wound up murdering 168 fellow Americans by blowing up a federal building. One was "so proud of (his) kills" he publicly bragged about it at a neo-Nazi rally.

But whether chronic or acute, evil has a price and once again, the US Army is found tragically if not criminally lacking. Last July, it was reported that the already freakishly high suicide rate among Army troops alone had increased, with 32 killing themselves just in June. (The article qualifies this figure by hastily adding that only a third of those 32 were actually deployed in either Iraq or Afghanistan, thereby deliberately downplaying the effect either war has on the American military mind. What's missing from that cheery takeaway is that PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder, often takes months if not years to manifest in suicide, often long after the individual has been sent stateside or mustered out of service.)

The second thing I'd like to mention about the interrogation videos is the stark difference in humanity between our interrogation of our own and many of the interrogations of the Muslims in our custody. No one beat them, smeared them with feces, made them get naked and form human pyramids or threatened to sic guard dogs on them. You'll immediately note that the interrogations are deliberately civil and low key and the CID investigators know at least some of these boys are guilty of war crimes.

The Iraqis and Afghanis who'd been beaten and murdered in our custody were often not guilty of anything more than being at the wrong place at the wrong time. I'm no more in favor of torture than the next guy. But the stark difference between how our military treats the guilty and the innocent seems to depend entirely on skin color, religion and citizenship status and not at all on evidence. I just think that that's worth bringing up.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

How the World Looks to San Francisco

This was passed along to me by my friend Generik. He swears, as a native San Franciscan, this is exactly how the city's natives see the world. Unfortunately, most the perceptions, if generally generalized, are true. (Click on the image then again for an expanded view.)

Yesterday Belongs to Them

(With a little help from D r i f t g l a s s)

That's really the only difference between the Republican and Nazi Parties: The Nazis thought the future belonged to them. The Republicans, starting with Reagan, think the past belongs to them.

Take the case of Rich Iott. Now, those of us who are history buffs can appreciate the thrill of putting on period costume and to more or less walk in the jackboots shoes of those who'd trod before them in desperate battle. Civil War re-enactors do it all the time and we don't vilify those who put on Confederate uniforms because someone has to play them. After all, there was an enemy for the Union to fight, right?

But it comes off as looking typical, if not outright stereotypical, when you see a Republican and Tea Bagger favorite like Rich Iott dress up as a Nazi. After all, we all know the foundation for the right wing think tanks that would eventually write policy for Republican administrations were generously seeded with Nazis smuggled into our government and industry by Republicans who nonetheless shared an ideological kinship.

Which is at stark odds with the Republican Party's love-hate relationship with Nazis and Hitler as they automatically dust off and wave around the swastika flag at Democrats, liberals and anyone else they feel the need to smear. And this beggars the inevitable question: If the Nazis were such loathsome chaps, then why dress up like them, study their history, bring them to the seat of our federal government, introduce them to US industry and even speak at their functions?

Plus, one would be a fool to completely dismiss Naomi Wolf's 2007 top 10 list. Our nation had already become a fascist/Republican dictatorship under Bush years before then, starting with them creating bogey men a little more common and relevant than scorched Nazi skeletons.

There's also an infuritating double standard at play here: When Obama was whipping people into a pre-election frenzy, it was derided by the Little Goebbels at Fox "News" as a mere cult of personality. His rally near the Berlin Wall was compared to speeches given by, you guessed it, Nazis. It was generally agreed upon by right wing mouth-breathers like Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity that if a black man proved to be popular, then there was either something wrong with America or the black man was "indoctrinating" right proper white folks with something sneaky and underhanded. One Tea Bagger doctor even suggested it was mass hypnosis not unlike the bad guy's plan in Halloween III.

Oh, but when greedy, self-dealing corporations and special self-interest groups Republican statesmen whip Tea Partiers into a frenzy, it's termed "stirring the patriotic masses" or whatever bilge that spews from Karl Rove's fax machine.

Pay no attention to the fact that Obama's supporters weren't guilty of hurling racial epithets and calling McCain a terrorist and screaming "Kill him!" or holding up misspelled signs ridiculing McCain or Palin as being the racist scumbags they really are.

Liberal enthusiasm: Mass hypnosis, indoctrination, cult of personality.

Conservative enthusiasm: Patriotism and passion.

Got it?

So what are we to do with Nazi-loving bags of pus like Rich Iott and Tony Zirkle, who thinks we're so stupid as to believe that he can stand before a huge portrait of Adolph Hitler and address neonazis in full uniform on Hitler's birthday and not know what they stood for?

Why dress up in the uniform of the Nazi SS Waffen, part of the same Einsatzgruppen who were guilty of rounding up dozens of Jews and killing them before tossing their bodies in a mass grave? They were our sworn enemies and a political/military movement that still makes the skin of every Jew crawl whether or not they lived through the Holocaust, putting dread and loathing of the Nazi Party on an atavistic level. The confederates did none of those things.

Yet somehow, Iott, with typical or stereotypical Republican obliviousness, doesn't understand what all the fuss is about even when his own party beginning with Eric Cantor is turning their back on him (putting Iott in the nearly pathetic position of going on CNN and counter-denouncing Cantor, calling him "a Democrat.").

Let's get one thing straight: It wasn't a case of Iott reluctantly wearing a Nazi uniform because someone had to play them: Iott expressed a fascination for the Wiking regiment without knowing or caring that the real life version of the SS Waffen murdered innocent Jews. He also thought it would make for a wonderful "bonding experience" with his son.

Personally, I don't see the thrill of re-enacting wars. I've worn the uniform and I've killed for my country. There's nothing glorious about it. But civilians seem to seek that vicarious thrill as long as they get to shrug off the costumes at the end of the day and go back to their plasma screen TVs and iphones. Republicans also like to live in the past except they also choose to go back in the Nazi past and it just comes off as stereotypical when they choose to walk in the footsteps not of the American GIs who really did defend our liberty but the Nazis who would've taken them from us.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

DADT Struck Down by Federal Judge

Yesterday, federal Judge Virginia A. Phillips of the central district slapped an injunction on the 1993 Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy that had barred gay, lesbian and bisexual servicemembers from serving while openly gay. Since this despicable and cowardly law's implemetation, between 13,000-14,000 US service men and woman had been kicked out after being outed, investigated or voluntarily coming out.

This essentially puts the kibosh on the law unless the Obama Justice Department wants to appeal the ruling. They have 60 days from the ruling to do so. For now, Clinton appointee Phillips's ruling is under review. Historically, the Department of Justice defends laws passed by Congress and signed into being by the executive branch. But it's unlikely the Obama DOJ will challenge Judge Phillips's injunction... before Election Day, anyway.

Predictably, this has wingnuts in a lather. Tony "Who's the Girl, Norman?" Perkins of the Family Research Council is calling Phillips (yawn) an activist judge and professional nonentity Robert Gates is grumbling that it wasn't within the judge's purview to hand down such a ruling when the case came up before her court. This should've been Congress's call, he said (This is the same Gates who'd fairly recently testified before Congress to end DADT but on a painfully slow timetable).

Well, I beg to differ, Dr. Bob, but the Senate didn't do shit and decided to punt this smelly turd, as with the Bush tax cuts and Obama's nominees, past the midterms. Senate Democrats, as usual, caved faster than a Murray Energy mine in the face of the shrinking Republican minority when they started calling them bad names. They had their chance and, unlike House Democrats, they blew it. It was certainly within the judge's legal purview to hand down her ruling and it now stands as law: For US servicemembers all over the world, DADT cannot be enforced. The law still stands on the books, mind you, but without an enforcement apparatus, it might as well be stricken from the books.

There are two ironies at play here: First, the guy who signed DADT into law in his first months as president is also the guy who'd nominated Judge Phillips to her present position in 1999. So much for Clinton's reputation for being a flaming hippie liberal.

Secondly, how come it was up to the Log Cabin Republicans, a national organization of gay conservatives, to challenge Don't Ask, Don't Tell years ago in a federal court? Where were our organizations? Why didn't the ACLU file a complaint, or Moveon or any gay rights organizations on the progressive side? Why did it come down to conservatives fighting for what was right for our LGBT servicemembers and winning a potent victory for perhaps the most vocal part of the liberal movement?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Where's Hari Seldon When You Need Him?

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)

"HA! And just like that, the critic is expelled from the realm. Fuck you fags. Can't take the truth. Enjoy your nigger." - "Magnus the Destroyer" at d r i f t g l a s s

It's hard to tell to whom Drifty's antagonist was referring: Our current president or the late Steve Gilliard, who was once again dusted off by our man in Chi Town and wheeled out for the edification of we bloggers who still struggle to make sense of what had happened five minutes ago let alone predicting what will still be relevant 6 1/2 years from now. I suppose it doesn't matter. Racism is racism regardless of the neck its noose cinches around.

It's also hard to divine what "truth" is so intolerable to us pecker-sniffing, Gaulois-smoking Commie liberal faggots since "Magnus" never told us what it was that supposedly ran counter to d r i f t g l a s s's epic, cornholing-without-lubrication takedown of the Tea Baggers who can't wrap their pointy minds around the fact that democracy actually elected a black guy to run a country they still think of as "theirs."

OK, whatever.

We had a Hari Seldon and his name was Steve Gilliard, whom the Powers That Be took from us on June 2, 2007. For those of you who don't know who Hari Seldon is or have read the Foundation series by the late Issac Asimov, here's a quick rundown:

Hari Seldon is the guy who saved our galaxy from itself by compressing an inevitable galactic Dark Ages from 1000 years into 100 30,000 to 1,000. You see, Hari was the closest thing the galaxy had to a prophet and he used a new science called "psychohistory."

Psychohistory was a way of predicting human trends and even influencing them by a massive and complex series of mathematical calculations. By tweaking human progress across the galaxy at certain places and certain times, Seldon was able to save humanity from 900 years of darkness, barbarity and ignorance. In the real world, we have precious few people who can do that and when we dullards do encounter one, we throw up our hands and pronounce them "prophets."

I'm not a big believer in prophecy but I am a huge believer in informed, courageous intuition and the late Mr. Gilliard had that in spades. If you were to go to Steve's old site and peruse the archives that go all the way back to August 2003, sometimes you'll almost think you're reading something current and up to date. Only the occasional snarky reference to "President" Bush will bring us back to the real 2010.

But virtually all of Steve's old posts about Iraq were prescient and spot-on while Iraq still had that invigorating new war smell. Steve wasn't afraid of telling people "I f*cking tolja so, losers!" as in this post about Iraqi history written not long after he left DKos and hung out his own shingle.

This was our Hari Seldon and while he might have been lionized in the NY Times after his untimely death at 42, we didn't appreciate him enough and many of us still don't. Because apparently, some of us just don't get it. Some of us, as He of the Great Movie Line Jarheaded Jack Nicholson said, still can't handle the truth.

Steve not only could handle the truth but he ate, drank, breathed and slept with the truth. It tugged at his elbow whether he liked it or not and there was a secret to Steve's uncanny prescience and I'll tell you what it is if you'll just scootch over and I can whisper it in your ear.
You ready? You listening? Here's the secret:


That's all. Just some good ole fashioned, brass-plated cajones that clanged with every step. Courage to speak inconvenient truths. Courage to stick by his convictions and observations. Someone who, in spite of his impressive vocabulary, didn't know the definition of the word "compromise."

Oh, yeah, he also kept his fucking eyes open and used all 10% of his brain power that was stingily allotted to him by nature.

Which is more than you can say about all but perhaps three or four people loping up and down Capitol Hill, including our savior who was going to close Gitmo, end the war in Iraq and was trusted not to widen up the Afghanistan war like a billionaire adding new wings onto his Bel-Air mansion.

And maybe, just maybe, he even saw the Teabaggers on the way cresting the berm because Steve, ever the historical scholar, would quiver his nostrils at the slightest sign of fascism as in this post just before Election Day 2004. Yeah, we're not supposed to sign or verbally swear loyalty oaths to one man at political rallies. They did that to Stalin and Hitler and even wrote and sang paeans to those tyrants.

But don't tell that to the Teabaggers. They twitch and drool and start acting even ookier than usual when you compare them to Nazis. Don't ask me why. It's not as if they blindly love private industry, hate any white or non-white people dissimilar to them or have the Nazi Party's message discipline or anything.

And what do we see this election cycle? We're hearing about Vichy Democrats and Tea Baggers and moderates and Independents who are going to kick the Democrat liberals outta Congress. Or so says the Very Serious Pundits who also gave us this marvelous tidbit of prescience about a month and a half before Super Tuesday 2008:

And right around the same time, there was this prognostication from EMVSP (Even More Very Serious Pundits):

But, as d r i f t g l a s s reminds us, these Teabaggers seem to forget that history did not begin on January 20, 2009 any more than the earth was first opened for business a mere 6000 years ago. They also forget that the unemployment rate began to skyrocket just before Bush slithered out of the White House like the unwelcome slug that he was, that the first round of bailouts began under Bush when the abovementioned EMVSP told us this was the only way to stop a Great Depression, the only way to get credit and liquidity flowing again, the only way to create jobs and the only way to stop foreclosures.

But there's an eight year gap in the minds of these brain transplant candidates we now call Teabaggers (In a less charitable age, we nasty lib'ruls used to call them Birchers and Klansmen). To them, they prefer to think that the country has been held hostage Lo these past 17 years by two ultra lib'rul presidents named Clinton and Obama with an unnoticeable interregnum of eight years where, inexplicably, everything happened.

That would be September 11th, the invasion of Afghanistan, the invasion of Iraq, the housing bubble bursting, the job market tanking, Hurricane Katrina, etc.

But this is all the Black Guy's fault, even though he handed Big Pharma and Big HMO's 300,000,000 new customers by legal mandate even as he was taking them over in some massive, but open, Commie conspiracy. Even as he made war profiteers even richer than Bush and Cheney ever did by keeping us in a Sadrist-led Iraq and escalating Afghanistan, even as he let Wall Street have sloppy seconds at the Taxpayer Trough and even as he basically let BP fuck up the southern shoreline of our ecosystem with near-complete impunity.

Socialist? Communist? Uh, yeeeeaaaah, right.

So lest we succumb to the temptation of kicking out the few weak-kneed, wet-legged noodle dicks that stand between us and another goosestepping Republican Reich, let's keep one thing in mind: Barack Obama is not up for re-election. But you could fuck up the second half of his first term if you let the GOP have even one House of Congress. They gave Bush everything he ever wanted and then some. They are bound and determined to deny Obama everything and then some no matter how often he plays Stepin Fetchit for the racist right wing, Wall Street and the US Star Chamber of Commerce. You don't have to be prescient or a Hari Seldon or even Steve Gilliard to see what's coming. Maybe none of us can save us from 900 years of darkness and ignorance but we can damn sure see what's coming in two years and to do something about it.

Oh and, lest we forget, the Yankees can still go fuck themselves with George Steinbrenner's decaying dick.