Friday, July 11, 2008

Big Brother is Watching You Big Time is Monitoring You

"Welcome to the wholesale surveillance state. Enjoy it."
For Those Who Can Afford It

Long hot summers, $4 dollar a gallon gasoline...and cold winter to boot.

It's only July, but it might be time to start loading up on blankets and sweaters. Oil spiked to a new trading record as hostilities rise between the West and Iran -- raising the likelihood that this winter's heating bills will be the priciest yet.

Ouch. Despite being in the Deep South, my heavy utility bills are not for summer air conditioning (high ceilings and ceiling fans keep my a/c use low and summer bills reasonable), but in January and February, when it can get cold by Gret Stet standards/construction standards.

Here's hoping for a mild winter.

Oh--off topic, but Sadly, No! is featuring a graphic done up by none other than yours truly, in response to a contest they ran a while back. Take a look.

And no, I'm not upset; on the contrary, I'm glad they decided to use it.

Kudos to the John N. Kennedy campaign, which managed to scale new heights when it comes to not only flip-floping with the best but phoning it in like it was the mother of all unlimited calls and text messaging plans. Way to go.

Sad to say, it'd probably work with local media...
Meet Your (New) Money

It'll be just like living in a foreign country where the local currency isn't worth the paper it's printed on. Way to go, Bush administration...and the idiots who voted for them.
Cheeseheads, Hardhats...What's the Diff?

Maybe they were Steelers in the alternate universe...

Hullabaloo's right--if this had been done by a Democrat, the spittle-flecked rage from wingnuttia would've generated the sort of media avalanche that eventually forces the slightly less shrill to report on the reports, if nothing else...and it would've been fodder for the various television and radio chatterers until firmly planted in the collective consciousness/social mythology, along with the "lesson" that "people take sports seriously" and should "not be looked down upon" for doing so, blah blah blah.

But, since it's a's ok.

Remember John Kerry getting the treatment last election (part of what Jerome Doolittle described as "permafuck") re: NASCAR--which included a bit of cynical gerrymandering when it came to the actual quote in order to make him appear even more patrician and effete?

Your media--why do actual journalism when you can phone it in?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Taking the Challenge

So, the Iranian government seems to have joined Faux Noise in the Photoshop game. Not one to pass up a challenge, I decided to see how I'd fare...against the Iranians this time around.

The middle photo is apparently the original--of the remaining two, one was done up by yours truly, the other by the Iranians to possibly "cover a grounded missile that may have failed during the test." But I'll bet the Iranians had more than a Stone Age era version of the program and a run of the mill workstation.

Oh, and it'll take me a few days--or more--to come up with a version of Bill-O that competes with VF's....
From Turdblossom to Jailbird?

So, Rove ignored a Congressional subpoena, his lawyer invoking the ridiculous "doctrine" of Executive Privilege (essentially claiming the divine right of kings.)

Nixon and Bill Clinton both lost in court attempting to invoke the doctrine; Clinton managed to negotiate what amounted to a settlement...the Bush administration has gone WAY above and beyond in asserting the claim, which is about as undemocratic as things get.

Personally, I'd just as soon see Karl Rove assigned to an extended stay at, oh, I don't know, LSP...although I'd settle for him doing time in one of the cells at the Capitol...

Update: Meant to add, though, that with the Democrats in Congress caving on warrantless wiretapping, the odds are they'll likewise cave on this...damn weenies.
"I'm the Polluter-er"

Assclown's gotta be an assclown--it's his nature.
White Whine

Phil Gramm's dissing of America as a 'nation of whiners' certainly has a 'takes one to know one' quality to it, but it will be interesting and instructive to watch how the media runs with this...something tells me Gramm won't get the full Reverend Wright treatment, despite the fact that he deserves it.

You know, Gramm--and his wife's--involvement in the Enron debacle speaks volumes when you consider that his role in the McCain campaign is senior economic advisor. That's sort of like hiring George W. Bush to be a terrorist expert based on his reaction to the August 6, 2001 PDB.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

McScrooge McCain: Social Security a "Disgrace"


It was much better when "The Treadmill and the Poor Law [were] in full vigour..."
On the Local Front

I'm a little surprised The Pennington Center was even able to round up some volunteers for this study on the effects of reducing caloric intake and the aging process. No, Baton Rouge is definitely NOT New Orleans when it comes to gastronomic delights, but we try...and if that doesn't work, there's always the deep fryer.

Oh, and while I obviously retouched the picture, it's not far from the truth. On any given day, you can find someone selling shrimp or crawfish out of a truck along the roadside almost within sight of the Center, while Southside Produce is just a little further down.

The same folks who throw the mother of all hissy fits when it comes to, say, burning the flag, don't have the first problem with shredding the Constitution AND packaging up a sweet perk for their telcom bribers donors.

And a fair number of Democrats, including presumptive nominee Obama, aided and abetted (as did Landrieu, of course.)

Well, if there's any justice, maybe we'll soon find out just how decadent and depraved certain Senators are (I'm thinking about YOU, Orrin Hatch--audio link), as they discover just how much privacy they've chunked into the ashbin.
Like Grinding Out (Toxic) Sausages

I think more than anything this (from YRHT) demonstrates the absolute contempt with which the Bush administration--and the GOP--hold the citizens of this nation.

Linda Esparza and her son Tommy Yager can be added to the list of thousands of families feeling the effects of formaldehyde in the trailers FEMA sent to the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina.

"Fatigue was a big, big problem," Esparza said.

"It would be cold, flu like symptoms," Yager said.

But they didn't live in the trailers. They built them, in Indiana, for an RV maker, Gulf Stream Coach.

Sad to say, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if the GOP, their wingnut howler monkey chorus, and associated loons blamed THIS set of victims, given that they've repeatedly blamed the citizens of New Orleans for the failure of ACOE built levees.

By early 2006, the Gulf Stream Coach plant was cranking out more than 100 trailers a day--about three times normal production. That’s a pace, former employees say, that quickly forced the company to turn to low-quality materials.

This, despite the fact that Gulf Stream received a half billion dollar government contract.

OK, maybe that's a little harsh: by my math, it looks like it came to $10,000 per trailer, which I'll assume is a "reasonable" price. However, as we all know, thousands of these trailers ended Arkansas, where they've been surplused or auctioned off (probably at a loss), while those that ARE being used are little more than toxic holding cells.

Meanwhile, sensible options like Katrina cottages are dismissed as "too expensive" or "not within FEMA rules/guidelines" (as if this adminstration gives a damn about the law).

No, the very real problem is that our government--or, at least, the GOP--no longer gives a rat's ass about its own citizens. Hell, they rarely even call us "citizens" these days, preferring the rather patronizing term "consumers." Who apparently are little better than prisoners at this point.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Oil prices fell by over $5 dollars a barrel! Now it'll only cost $350 dollars to fill up the Humvee! O Happy Day!

Better get to the Exxon-Mobil station right now...and maybe fill up some five gallon containers to save, you know, just in case.
Save the Telcoms!

It's instructive that no one in the mainstream press ever notes or otherwise points out that today's GOP NEEDS terrorism, because FEAR OF TERRORISM is a if not THE central tenet of their governing philosophy and claim to power. Likewise, no one seems to point out that George W. Bush's ever more shrill insistence for telcom immunity in the FISA bill is, at the very least, a smoking gun indicative of criminal guilt...and worth looking into.

Countries have been invaded on FAR flimsier evidence, as we now regretably know.
Crooked to the Bitter End

No road is too low for Big Time to slither down:

Vice President Dick Cheney's office pushed for major deletions in congressional testimony on the public health consequences of climate change, fearing the presentation by a leading health official might make it harder to avoid regulating greenhouse gases, a former EPA officials maintains.

They should force the son of a bitch to live next door to an oil refinery when he leaves office.
Heckuva Job, Haley

More evidence that the "Mississippi Miracle" was just the usual GOP scam while a drooling press corpse nodded and dutifully played stenographer for an exercise in myth building
From Rising Hegemon:

Prisons in Mississippi got coffee makers, pillowcases and dinnerware -- all intended for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The state's Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks took more coffee makers, cleaning supplies and other items.

Plastic containers ended up with the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration.

Colleges, volunteer fire departments and other agencies received even more.

But the Mississippi hurricane victims who originally were intended to receive the supplies got nothing, a CNN investigation has found.

While it's nice that the press has FINALLY started to take a look at the mix and match of incomprehensible incompetence and sheer butt-ugly venality of the Bush adminstration, THREE YEARS after the fact is, to put it diplomatically, a little fucking late in the game, assholes. Your own drooling incompetence allowed Team Bush to write the narrative, i.e., "Mississippi Miracle," "Grandma Blanco in over her head," etc., etc.

Perhaps the most egregious example was/is nodding along and dutifully scribbling when Dana Perino--or whatever douchemook it was--averred that it "wasn't the time" to assess blame...even as Karl may-he-one-day-rot-in-hell-with-Jesse-Helms Rove spun like a top on crystal meth, and as it was stunningly clear that the fault lay with the Bush administration.

At this point, the facts hardly matter. The myth has been fed to and digested by a public that, thankfully, recognizes the taste and taint of Team Bush chickenshit. And I doubt they're in the mood for more from McCain.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Out of Sight, Out of Mind...and 25 Years Later

Here's a report on free market efficiency. Profits? Check. Assuming liability for an obscenely horrific chemical leak that killed thousands, maimed even more, and remains a severe health hazard a quarter century later? Not so much.

I'm old enough to remember the first reports of this disaster quite well, and have tried to at least kind of, sort of keep it in mind. A number of years ago I believe the Nation ran a report that mentioned the miserly compensation that Dow-Carbide hasn't even paid out to all the victims or survivors. A local man observed--correctly--that the life of a Bhopal citizen was worth less than that of a purebread dog.

Only The Good Die Young

The first day of the rest of Jesse's life...

In life, a single "l" shy of Hell, in death...
McCainian the Magnificent

He balances budgets, makes deficits disappear, and even proposes entire economic plans...without revealing ANY numbers.

How does he do it?

Maybe he thinks we can all marry into money...just like he did.
Appeasement in Our Time

Another Team Bush concession to bin Laden: ten years ago he demanded oil be priced at $144 dollars a barrel.

It's as if he had Shrub and Cheney in his back pocket.

And, somewhat related...isn't it about time some journalist ASKED whether or not Rethuglicans really want to stop terrorism? You know, a strong case could be made for "NO," starting with the fact that fear of terrorism has been THE central focus of the GOP for the last eight years, justifying $1 trillion dollars for war, the trashing of the Constitution, etc. etc.

And I haven't even mentioned Charlie Black.

Maybe the Rove playbook should be used AGAINST him...that is, hit their perceived strength. The GOP has no vested interest in stopping fact, stopping terrorism would badly hurt them politically. Perhaps the public should be made aware of that fact.