Friday, July 29, 2011

Michele Bachmann scares me.

Michele Bachmann... scary.

And here I was thinking Rick Santorum (synonymous with sexual spooge) was going to be the fun/nutjob candidate on the right. But while Mrs. Palin is still creasing her butt on the fence, we have the irrepressible, always quotable and imminently laughable Michele Bachmann. This is not the first time I have written about her and I daresay as the campaign stumbles along, she will come up again. So while everyone is justifiably fretting over the debt ceiling negotiations, there is Mrs. Bachmann to offer, if nothing else a little comic relief in the midst of a national crisis.

The Republican party could not be more divided. Speaker of the house John Boehner is not only seeming to be moderate, he is also alone, swinging in the breeze. Traditional Republicans are pretty much keeping mum as the Tea Party is dictating unrealistic guidelines for the debt ceiling negotiations. They have soundly rejected Boehner’s proposal, saying it doesn’t cut enough. But Our Lady of the Land of Lakes takes it even further…

According to the AP, Mrs. Bachmann has “vowed to vote against any increase in the debt ceiling and called the deal being negotiated on Capitol Hill as one based on ‘illusory’ and ‘counterfeit’ savings. She said President Obama has misled the American people on when the government would run out of borrowing authority and has employed ‘scare tactics’ that have needlessly spooked Wall Street.”

Talk about scare tactics. If this is indicative of her thinking, the very idea, no matter how remote, of her becoming the leader of the country sends chills down my spine.

But wait, it gets better… in an article from USA Today, Mrs. Bachmann was quoted as saying that, “if (President) Obama raised the debt ceiling on his own, ‘he would effectively be a dictator.’

And, of course, Mrs. Bachmann concludes that at that point, President Obama would have to be overthrown.

Not wanting to be left out, obvious Tea Party nutjob, representative Tim Scott, who has been on the job about six months, but is clearly a constitutional scholar (NOT), said that any “unilateral” action could be grounds for impeachment.

Yeah, right.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Amy Winehouse: Back in Black

There are plenty of pictures of Amy Winehouse you can find on a Google image search that show her at her worst: cocaine hanging out of her nose, her eyes rolling up into her head, in various stages of dishevelment, inebriation and worse. Amy became a joke. A sick and sad joke. Clearly, the woman had demons. She also was surrounded by enablers and fools. Family members, boyfriends (and a husband), and toxic hangers-on. Her death yesterday at 27 years-old was probably inevitable, but that doesn't strip the story of the inherent sadness and tragedy. It would be one thing if Amy was a no-talent pop star. But she wasn't. She was immensely talented. Her brilliant Back to Black album is both a personal watershed work and an important piece of soul-pop. Without her, we would never have seen the likes of Duffy or Adele and others. It is, I suppose, difficult to separate the artist from the woman, her artistry from her public personae. I sincerely hope that she will be remembered not as fodder for the tabloids nor just for one song (Rehab), but for her talent and a promise never to be fulfilled. Time may help. Bottom line: her death is a terrible waste. Her talent will be missed. Ironically, she and I shared our birthday. Her death, for the moment, is, according to the London police, "unexplained."

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Let Gary Haugen die.

"The law? The law's wrong."

Death-row convicted killer, Gary Haugen. Had a small victory today in his battle for the right to see his sentence carried out. He was able to fire his lawyers who have been publicly questioning his mental competence in his desire to see his sentence meted out. How incompetent is someone who would rather be put to death and spend the ret of his life locked up in a cell by himself with an hour or so a day outside? As I have written before, Mr. Haugen was tried in the beating murder of his ex-girlfriend’s mother. He was competent then to stand trial, and competent enough to be sentenced to life without chance of parole… until he, along with another inmate, crushed a third inmate’s skull and stabbed him 84 time. Again, he was competent to stand trial for the crime and competent to be sentence to death. Ah, but Oregon’s death penalty is hardly ever enforced. What Mr. Haugen is demanding is not beyond the realm of comprehension. It makes sense. He is clearly competent to have his sentence carried out.

It is of no small consolation to see that Oregon is not alone in the hypocrisy of having the death penalty on the books but makes every effort not to enforce it.

Not Ted Bundy

John Edward Duncan III was convicted in Idaho of kidnapping, torture and murder. He was sentenced to death. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has seen fit to request a competency hearing, to see if Mr. Duncan is competent to represent himself. The AP reported on Tuesday that “Duncan has been found competent by every court that has considered the issue that his three death sentences remain in place.” U.S. Attorney Wendy Olsen was quoted as saying the hearing was simply a procedural matter.

Mr. Duncan was sentenced to die in 2008 for kidnapping, torture and murdering a 9 year-old Coeur d’Alene boy in 2005. Prosecutors said that Duncan “snatched Dylan Groene and his 8 year-old sister from their Idaho home after killing their older brother, mother and mother’s fiancĂ©. Duncan kept the children at a Montana campsite for weeks before killing Dylan and returning with Dylan’s sister to Coeur d’Alene, where he was arrested.

Now, maybe I have mistaken the law according to fictitious San Francisco inspector Harry Callahan, but if a scumbag pervert like Mr. Duncan is not competent to being put to death—according to the law of the land for his crimes then the law is wrong… and there is no reason for the death penalty, at least in Idaho and Oregon.

* * *

UPDATE: The Statesman Journal reported on Saturday, July 16. that the two attorneys that the judge agreed to remove from the Gary Haugen case have filed a petition asking the Oregon Supreme Court to rescind the order.

The attorneys had noted that they had "explained to the judge at Thursday's hearing that 'the court should make a decision based on the request of someone who has been determined to be delusional and incompetent by the only mental health professional to examine him following the issuance of the appellate judgement."

Hmmm. Does this sound like a delusional, incompetent individual?

"You have attorneys that have agendas that have so overpowered their ethical obligations and oaths that they're willing to sit there and just blatantly lie in the face of a presiding judge."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Opinions on the debt crisis are kind of like assholes... everyone has one. I have one and I have this forum to lay it out for anyone who stumbles upon it or seeks it out.

1. Raise the debt ceiling. It is essential for the running of this country and its alleged good standing in the world. It need not--should not--have anything to do with cuts in spending or taxes or your mother-in-law. They can be dealt with later. Right now, raise the debt ceiling. And I say this to our weak-kneed, I-want-to-reach-across-the-aisle president.

2. President Obama should come out and announce he is not going to seek nor accept the nomination from his party for reelection. It worked for Lyndon Johnson. Dig in and make the next year matter more than anything.

3. Throw in congress. During the negotiations with the non-negotiating GOP scumbags, put their pay on the table. As part of the items "on the table" to reduce government spending, put congress's salaries and benefits. Fuck 'em. They have brought this on. They are holing the country hostage. Pull their bennies from under their noses. Stop reaching across the aisle and make them pay for their effete bullshit. Pull the fucking rug from out under Cantor, Boehner and McConnell. Strip them of the freebies and the fat salary. Sacrifice their sorry asses.

4. Tax the rich. They need to pay their fair share. Never mind fooling with loopholes and entitlements and the rest. Tax the rich the way you tax the middle class, which is disappearing faster than the bunny in the top hat.

5. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are off the table. Shall I emphasize the point? Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are off the table. End of conversation. You don't place the burden on the poor and the elderly. What's next, Mr. McConnell, you're going to run them over with your Escalade?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Out of the Box

Funny thing about Pandora's Box. Once she opened it, she couldn't get what had flowed out back in. A little like the negotiable items president Obama has let drop onto the table. Medicare. Medicaid. Social Security. The very items he promised were non-negotiable as a presidential candidate. The things that were never supposed to be "on the table." The leaders of the GOP are acting like terrorists, holding the country hostage. And instead of walking away, (as Representative Cantor did, in a rehearsed impulsive moment), and not negotiating with these fat cat thugs, the president flinches at first blush. You don't give in and give up before putting up a fight. Why no one can get through to t he GOP base and tell them that their leaders' tactics will only hurt them by burdening the middle and lower class even more than they already are, while continuing to enrich the top 2%, who are minimally taxed as it is. The GOP sham of saying increased revenues will hurt small business is so obvious, to everyone but those drinking the tea. In fact, damned near every argument on why taxes should not be raised for the wealthy can and has been debunked. Common Dreams ran a piece by Paul Buchheit on The 10 reasons not to tax the rich. And why they're all bad.--

The point is clear and the scenarios are only too obvious. The GOP represents the big business and the wealthy. They have stated their position and are visibly unmoving. The Democrats claim that they will not vote for anything that has the triumvirate of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in it. It is literally a matter of time before we know what the president said when he said, "Nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to." I'm not sure if the influence for that kind of quotable is Vince Lombardi or Yogi Berra. We will have to see if, unlike Pandora, the president can take off the table what he has put on it.

Personally, I don't have a good feeling.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Not helping my ambivalence

The July 1 issue of the Jewish Review reported that former Fox News nutjob Glenn Beck will address the Knesset’s Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Committee on July 11 during his “visit to Israel.” From past events, we know Mr. Beck doesn’t so much “visit” as trample. The meeting Mr. Beck will address “reportedly will focus on the September meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, when the Palestinians say they will ask for recognition of a Palestinian state.”

Mr. Beck will be filming his address to be shown on his subscription-based online “show,” which, according to the Jewish Review, will be used to promote Beck’s “Restoring Courage” rally to be held in Jerusalem in late August. The report goes on to say that Herman Cain, CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and a current Republican presidential candidate and Senator Joseph Leiberman have said they will attend the rally.

My faithful readers may recall I wrote about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and my desire to understand it more fully. I must say, my research has not made me more of a supporter of Israel. I must admit, I am, to be diplomatic, ambivalent. But Mr. Beck rallying in Israel does not make my support any stronger. In fact, it makes me more suspect.

Oh and the Gaza flotilla issue is not helping matters any.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Liars and Morons

The news has reported that, after Michele Bachmann’s stellar performance during the Republican Presidential debate, she is rapidly ascending in the polls to be the front runner. Not everyone is happy about this development. And I’m not talking about myself. As much as I want to see Rick Santorum be considered a serious candidate, I don’t think he’s got snowball’s chance in hell. Not with Michele in the race… and Sarah in the wings. But I’m jumping ahead of myself. To get back to Mrs. Bachmann–she’s the liar I am referring to, although the label “moron” also fits her like a J.C. Penny’s suit. Her gaff about Lexington and Concord being in New Hampshire was one thing. Her claim that John Quincy Adams was one of our forefathers that fought in the Revolutionary War (when he was 8 years old) was ludicrous, but she did try to back it up. Like Mrs. Palin, she insists on being right (vis a vis, half-governor Palin’s explanation of Paul Revere’s ride), even when she’s clearly wrong. And there’s the one about our forefathers fighting slavery… while they all had slaves. But, let’s put all that nonsense aside. For the time being, let’s focus on Mrs. Bachmann’s well-earned title of “liar.” She has said that she has “never gotten a penny” from a family farm that has received federal farm subsidies when in fact the farm produced income of at least $32,500 and as much as $105,000 from 2006 through 2009. In addition, she reported in personal financial disclosure reports (required annually from members of congress) that she holds an interest in the family farm worth between $100,000 and $250,000.When pressed on the issue, Bachmann responded that she “wasn’t involved in decisions about running the farm.” Uh… no one asked her about “running” the farm, only about earning an income from it. Then, there’s the one about her husband’s Christian mental health clinic. While criticizing the Democratic healthcare program and making the repeal of “Obamacare” her number one priority, her husband’s clinic has received tens of thousands of dollars in state and federal funding. Her response to these facts in a Sunday morning interview with Bob Schieffer was to divert the conversation to the Obama administration’s reckless use of limousines. Yes, behind that beatific smile, big hair and scary eyes is a liar. Meet the new boss… same as the old boss.

* * *

And then there’s the perpetual moron. Half-governor, fully-loaded nitwit with a persecution complex and a bizarre level of pride of ignorance… Sarah Louise Palin. This week saw the world premiere of the movie, “Undefeated” in Pella, Iowa… the movie capitol of the world. Wha? The director, Steve Bannon, saw fit to begin the movie with drawn-out footage of Sarah bashing by Hollywood celebrities, clearly setting the star up as a martyr and victim. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the movie “opens with several minutes of Hollywood entertainers using some of the most vulgar language imaginable to express their displeasure with the former vice presidential candidate.”

“This is the first that I've seen much of that. It kind of takes you back," she told the Hollywood Reporter. "It makes you want to reach out to some of these folks and say, What's your problem? And what was the problem? And what is the problem?

"What would make a celebrity, like you saw on screen, so hate someone that they'd seek their destruction, their death, the death of their children? What would make someone be so full of hate and, I guess, a sense of being threatened that they would want to see that person destroyed?"

Don't hate me because I'm, uh... because, er....

You see? She’s a regular hockey-mom martyr like Jesus on skates.

Personally, the title, “The Undefeated” stopped me dead in my tracks. Am I mistaken or did she, along with presidential candidate, John McCain, lose the election? Weren’t they… DEFEATED??? Details, details.