Archive for May, 2009

The Lion Appointed Ambassador To Tahiti…
May 29, 2009

In his dreams.

However, given that the Obama administration is continuing the practice of handing ambassadorships to people who essentially decided to pay to play and are otherwise unqualified, it’s not completely impossible.

From today’s Globe:

On Wednesday Obama nominated 12 ambassadors, only four of whom are career diplomats. The career diplomats were nominated for posts in Brazil, Iceland, Kosovo, and Sri Lanka. If confirmed, the eight political appointees will serve in Argentina, Britain, Denmark, France, Japan, India, the Vatican, and the African Union.

John Roos, the nominee for Japan, is a California technology lawyer and campaign fund-raiser who collected at least $500,000 for Obama’s campaign. Louis Susman, who would serve in Britain, is a former Citigroup vice president from Chicago who raised at least $100,000 as an Obama bundler. He also contributed $50,000 for Obama’s inauguration. Charles Rivkin, the nominee for France, is a former financial analyst at Salomon Brothers who runs a California entertainment company and who raised more than $500,000 for Obama. And Laurie Fulton, picked for Denmark, is a corporate lawyer in Washington who raised between $100,000 to $200,000 for Obama.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs defended Obama’s choices, describing them as "a group of committed individuals and proven professionals."

Committed to buying ambassadorships?

Professional whats? Certainly not professionally qualified diplomats.

The Lion gave the Obama campaign twenty-five dollars. Tahiti is a small place. Since ambassadorships are for sale, The Lion should receive equal consideration.

It’s hard not to look at this in a gloomy light. The world is cracking at a variety of seams and the guy who was supposed to be a light of reason and rational action is sending a bunch of unqualified, egotistical, know-nothings, diplomatically speaking, to handle political relationships with other countries.

If any one of these people had an ounce of integrity and concern for the country he would refuse his appointment and insist that a qualified diplomat be appointed.

And that just ain’t gonna happen, baby, it ain’t gonna happen.

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Sonia Sotomayor, The Judge Who Killed The Republican Party
May 28, 2009

It is impossible to fail to comment on the nomination of Judge Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, but The Lion commits 2.7 impossibilities before breakfast every morning, which certainly leaves room for this impossibility.

Besides, The Lion would not want to interfere with the ongoing self-destruction of the Republican Party by injecting fact, reason, and logic into the conversation. Or rather, on the Republican side, name calling. Republicans no longer have conversations, and The Lion suggests that there is no longer any point in conversing with them.

Judge Sotomayor could well be the tar baby that traps the Republicans into revealing their psychotic, racist heart. The rational part of the country may soon have the pleasure of watching the Republicans burn on the pyre of their bigotry, their crude and oafish intellect, their utter abandonment of genuine American values and their derogation of the Constitution.

More On Georgia Representative Paul Broun And ‘Year Of The Bible’ Bill
May 26, 2009

Read all about it here. Quite the fellow, this Mr. Broun. Yup. Probably used to work for the Inquisition.

Comments
May 26, 2009

Catholic stuff….

More whining from the Archdiocese of Boston in today’s Globe in a story about the failing pension fund:

The archdiocese, in its most recent annual financial report, described the clergy pension fund as "our largest liability and most significant financial concern." The document describes the plan as underfunded by $114 million, and warns that it will run out of money in 2011 unless it is restructured. The archdiocese currently brings in $5.4 million a year from Christmas and Easter collections to support the plan, but spends $15 million a year on benefits.

If the priests hadn’t spent all those years poking their penises into children, and the bishops hadn’t spent all those years covering up for the priests, maybe the Church wouldn’t have this problem.

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Taliban stuff…

The Pakistan Taliban that took over and brutalized the Swat area is asking civilian residents who fled the fighting there to return, pledging not to shoot them, according to an AP story in today’s Globe.

"I would like to appeal to the people of Mingora to get back to their homes and start their routine life as we will not fire even a single shot," [spokesman Muslim] Khan said in a phone call from an undisclosed location.

Hmmm, let’s see, do the civilians want to take the word of medieval, lying, sadistic barbarians who butcher women and children, or do they want to wait out the battle?

For all the horror of the fight, the Sri Lankan government had the right idea. If you’re going to go after brutal ideologues, it’s best to crush them completely, once and for all. The Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan have earned no less.

But of course some variant will just pop up elsewhere elsetime. When the dominant population of the planet comprises talking monkeys, the murderous nonsense never ends.

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Gun flu stuff…

Twelve people died of the swine flu in the United States. The press is ga ga over the catastrophe. The government wrings its hands. The vaccine companies plot their profits.

Thirty six thousand people die in the United States from normal, everyday sorts of flu. Nobody pays attention except for the mourners.

Thirty one thousand people die of gunshot wounds every year in the United States. Gun sales have soared since a half-white man was elected President. The NRA frothed at the mouth until Congress agreed to let people carry loaded, concealed weapons in national parks. Apparently the thinking is that children and other innocents will feel safer if surrounded by so-called grown-ups who need to have a weapon at hand to feel adequate. The Lion might be forgiven for thinking that NRA-sanctioned behavior is psychologically equivalent to priests waving their penises in the faces of children.

Guns are the real plague in the United States, and the NRA is at the heart of the disease. But apparently it’s okay by them for people to use guns to kill people. They think murder and suicide by gun is as natural as flu.

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Civil War Obama stuff…

President Obama yesterday did something no white President ever did.

Obama laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, a customary presidential undertaking on Memorial Day. He also had one sent to the Confederate Memorial there, a traditional practice but not well publicized. Obama also took the unprecedented step of sending a wreath to the African American Civil War Memorial in Washington’s historically black U Street neighborhood.

That memorial – to the 200,000 blacks who fought for the North during the Civil War – had been mentioned as a compromise in recent days.

It’s nice that someone in power recognized that American Blacks fought successfully against the ignorant, arrogant Christian crowd down South that considered Blacks inferior sub-humans. Some of those members of the White Master Race must have had interesting expressions on their faces as their former slaves took them prisoner or stuck a bayonet in their gut or maybe even smacked them around a little bit on the sly. Of course we may never know. And after the war those folk didn’t like coming out from behind their silly, pointy-headed hoods.

That the racists still have way too much influence is demonstrated by the statement that giving a wreath to the black memorial is considered a ‘compromise’.

(Is there some overriding legal misreasoning why the Klan and the other white racist militias aren’t considered to be terrorist organizations and aren’t treated as such?)

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Jeff Jacoby lies…

A letter in today’s Globe drives another nail into the heart of Jeff Jacoby’s propaganda machine:

AFTER READING Jeff Jacoby’s column "Peace isn’t Arab goal," it became clear that the columnist was either ignorant of important facts about the Arab-Israel conflict or intentionally deceiving the public. He claims the entire world is for a two-state solution except "the Arabs," but never mentions the fact that the Arab Peace Initiative calls for a two-state solution. The initiative was adopted not only by the Arab League, which includes all Arab states, but was affirmed by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which includes all Muslim states, even Iran. Jacoby goes on to cite that the charters of Hamas and Fatah call for Israel’s destruction, but he has never read, or has conveniently ignored, the Israeli prime minister’s Likud Party charter, which explicitly opposes the creation of a Palestinian state anywhere in the West Bank and Gaza.

The Arab and Muslim world have said time and again that they will agree to peace with Israel if it follows international laws, but it is Israel that continues to illegally occupy Palestinian territory and violate humanitarian law.

Yousef Munayyer
Washington
The writer is a policy analyst with the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

Frankly, The Lion thinks Mr. Munayyer is being way too polite. Israel is a brutal terrorist state.

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Speaking of Israeli duplicity…

Mark Lavie of the AP writes in today’s Globe that a secret Israeli report claims that Venezuela and Bolivia are selling uranium to Iran.

The two South American countries are known to have close ties with Iran, but this is the first allegation that they are involved in the development of Iran’s nuclear program, considered a strategic threat by Israel.

The wingnuts and the American Zionists in Congress and the government will take this as gospel, of course. And how convenient that the Israelis are accusing two nations not in favor with the United States for the simple reason that the people of those countries, in free and open elections, chose progressive or socialist governments.

Perhaps the Israelis would like to distract the poobahs in the United States from the virulent talk of the current Israeli leadership.

…Netanyahu said, addressing the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran. "My job is first and foremost to ensure the future of the state of Israel … the leadership’s job is to eliminate the danger. Who will eliminate it? It is us or no one."

And:

…Netanyahu said "United Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. Jerusalem was always ours and will always be ours. It will never again be partitioned and divided."

Actually, no. For quite a long time it belonged to Muslims. And to Christian crusaders. But never mind that.

And it’s worth noting that the Israeli Parliament is considering two bills that fly in the face of Israel’s claim to be a free, democratic country.

One would make continued citizenship for Israeli Arab citizens “contingent on an oath of loyalty to Israel as a ‘Jewish, Zionist and democratic state,’ party spokesman Tal Nahum said.”

Shades of ‘Sieg Heil, Dolphie’.

The other goes hand-in-glove with the existence of Gaza as the world’s largest concentration camp.

The party’s announcement came a day after it introduced a bill that would outlaw Arab demonstrations mourning their defeat and exile in the war that surrounded Israel’s establishment in 1948. The bill received preliminary approval from a ministerial forum but still needs to pass repeated readings in parliament before becoming law.

The bill threatens three years in prison to anyone who participates in public protests or commemorations.

That’s like letting the thieves and murderers go free while imprisoning the victims for complaining about the injustice.

But that’s Israel, the country with which the United States has a ‘special relationship’. That’s like having a special relationship with cancer in your gut.

Legislating Against Stupidity
May 23, 2009

The Lion often wonders how legislators get picked for the job. The answer may have come in a story in today’s Globe about the Massachusetts Legislature tacking on a budget amendment prohibiting texting while driving:

Similar legislation passed overwhelmingly last year in the House, but key senators argued that they did not want to "legislate against stupidity." Recent events, however, have swayed them.

"A lot of us who opposed this in the past realize that there’s a new generation of drivers who think it’s OK to text while they’re driving," said Senator Steven Baddour, a Methuen Democrat who is chairman of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation and was one of the leading opponents of previous proposals. "This generation clearly doesn’t get it. It’s not the same as talking on a cellphone. You can’t text safely while driving."

Somehow these geniuses conflate ‘legislating against stupidity’ with legislating against a practice that gets innocent people killed by idiots who text while driving. (And by the way, Senator, talking on a cellphone while driving isn’t safe either.)

Of course these buffoons just couldn’t accept the plainly intelligent argument that if you’re texting you’re not watching the road and you are far more likely to cause an accident and get someone killed. Nope, they had to wait for a couple of train crashes and a bus crash.

So the truth is out. In order to win a seat in a state legislature you have to be the stupidest person in the contest. And then if you’re outstandingly stupid the people of your state will send you to Congress, particularly if you’re a Republican like Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma or Representative Joe Barton of Texas or the ever clever Georgia Representative Paul Broun who wants… well, here’s what he wants:

“The National Year of the Bible Resolution reminds us that our great nation was founded upon Biblical principles and that religious freedom is guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. I encourage Speaker Nancy Pelosi to bring this resolution to the floor so President Barack Obama has the opportunity to designate an appropriate year as ‘The National Year of the Bible,’” said Paul Broun.

The NYOBR is Broun’s pet resolution.

Umm, Paul, baby, the nation wasn’t founded on Biblical principles, and it wasn’t founded as a Christian nation. And what the hell, how about having a year of the Koran, and the Rig Veda, and the Torah, and some American Indian mumbo-jumbo? The Americans who believe that stuff are Americans. How about a year of Humanist Principles for the millions of atheists and agnostics and freethinkers and humanists? And yes, us evil humanists and atheists are Americans too.

Not a chance, of course. The Paul Brouns of the world are profoundly offended that beliefs other than their own narrow little fairy tales exist.

The Lion heard an interview with this guy yesterday, and yes, he is even stupider than his Bible Year resolution makes him out to be. That’s not to say that Republicans have a monopoly on stupidity, but they’re doing their best these days to lock up the franchise.

One thing is certain. Legislators on any level will never legislate against stupidity. They’d put themselves out of their jobs, and miss out on all the perks and corruption they’ve come to love so well.

Steele Shows Mettle, Declares GOP A Shallow Shell
May 20, 2009

Michael Steele, head of the Republican National Committee, spoke at an RNC luncheon yesterday about his plans to regalvanize the party.

The Republican Party leader, who has struggled in his early months in power, declared an end on Tuesday to the party’s search for answers to its problems and took aim at President Barack Obama.

"The honeymoon is over," said Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele. "We are going to challenge those policies that we believe are wrong, and we are going to do so without apology and without a second thought."

The Lion notes that the Republicans seldom, if ever, resort to a second thought, preferring to go with their first knee-jerk response. The current Republican party’s first thought has consistently been ‘No!’ to everything Obama and the Democrats propose.

If anything, Steele has shown that the Republicans are not only incapable of rational thought, but that they absolutely revel in ignorance, irrationality, and negativity.

As for regalvanizing the party, well, perhaps they have been shocked into their current foolishness by their losses, or perhaps Steele means to coat them in a rigid zinc shell. Either way works for The Lion.

The Lion’s Globe Hypocrisy. Not The Real Deal.
May 20, 2009

The Lion thanks the thousands of you who wrote in to complain about The Lion’s hypocrisy about no longer buying the Boston Globe because of the recent fifty percent price increase.

These astute fans have noted that The Lion continues to quote the Globe here at Grumpy Lion.

How can that be, they ask?

Well, perhaps The Lion is going to the library to read the paper. Or perhaps he is scrounging the newspaper from trash bins in the dark of night. Or perhaps he is reading it online.

Well, no, none of the above.

The Lion is a creature of habit, one who seeks continuing comforts as he slips into decrepitude. The daily newspaper, the actual objective, inky, papery, crinkly newspaper is one of those comforts.

And The Lion is not, as some would have it, stupid.

Seeking compromise in an uncompromising world, The Lion signed on for a half-price subscription to the noble Globe. So now The Lion can Globalize to his heart’s content for four months before having to make the decision again whether to continue his comforting habit.

Thank you one and all for your thoughts.

(Okay, The Lion made all that up, pretty much. Nobody said anything. Probably thought it though, didn’t you, Philly? But The Lion did get the half-price subscription and does like his comforts.)

The Military’s Gay Idiocy
May 20, 2009

A story by Bryan Bender in today’s Globe demonstrates the nuttiness of the politics of having gays in the military.

In recent weeks, White House officials have declared that the president still intends to follow through on his campaign promise, but will not intervene on current cases while the policy remains in place. At the same time, other administration officials have suggested a go-slow approach to ensure gays can be fully integrated with as little disruption as possible.

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates recently likened overturning the ban to integrating blacks into the military, a process that took five years. The cautious view was also expressed by Army General David Petraeus, who oversees the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, when he told a questioner at Kansas State University last month that "I’m not sure we want to add something else to our plate right now."

The “go-slow” approach on fully integrating gays into the military? The Lion hates to be the one to break the news to the poobahs and harumphers, but gays are already integrated into the military. Thousands of them, apparently. They do their jobs every day and do them as well as the non-gay soldiers.

‘Going slow’ assumes there aren’t any gays in the military but that they’re knocking on the door. They’re there, now, and the so-called ban on gays serving in the military is a joke, a tale told by idiots, signifying nothing about reality.

The only things the ‘ban’ on gays does is 1) provides a way out for anyone fed up with the military and its senseless operations over the last eight years, and 2) prevents gays with much-needed skills and abilities (like Arabic speakers and translators) from serving.

Secretary Gates and General Petraeus identify with and encourage this nonsense.

Gates talks about taking five years to integrate blacks into the military as if the country hadn’t changed in sixty years, and as if the gays weren’t already everywhere in the military.

As for Petraeus, same thing. He’s not adding anything to the plate he’s filled up with the senselessness of America’s entire Middle East and Asian operations. The damned fool probably has gays on his staff. What’s to add? He’s out there proving his manhood by killing as many Afghans, Iraqis, and now Pakistanis, as well as American soldiers, as he can. “Look, I have a career and a penis. I’m a hero. Ain’t got no gays here. I’m a man. Don’t you touch my battle ribbons, sonny.”

Too late, guys. You’re surrounded.

Tidbits
May 15, 2009

From today’s Globe:

Headline: Waits to see Hub doctors grow longer. Busiest practices have no openings for a year.

What was that right-wing complaint commercial the other day about long waits for healthcare in Britain and Canada?

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Scummy Republican lead paragraph:

WASHINGTON – The former head of the nation’s pension insurance agency, who last year pushed through a high-risk strategy that shifted the insurance fund heavily into stocks just before the market crash, committed a "clear violation" of agency rules by contacting Wall Street firms that were bidding to oversee the new policy, while also seeking the help of one firm in gaining employment, according to a government report.

The fellow, one Charles E. F. Millard, was told ‘multiple times’ not to contact the Wall Street bidders. But he did it multiple times, and nobody stopped him. That must be the ‘free market’ Republicans keep talking about. You’re free to screw anyone anytime if it benefits you.

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Democrats avoid the obvious…

WASHINGTON – House Democrats are crafting a plan that would require all Americans to carry health insurance and would help families making less than $88,000 pay the premiums.

Guys, if you’re going to pay for the insurance, why not just cut out the insurance and pay for the healthcare? You’d save a bundle by not paying those insurance executives for their penthouses and primo cars and pricey hookers and fancy mansions, and the salaries of all those drones toiling away in the bowels of fancy buildings finding new ways to deny people coverage.

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Israeli Prime Minister An Anti-Semite

Benji Netanyahu, speaking of Pope Jonny Rats after their meeting:

He said Benedict said "he condemns all such things, anti-Semitism, hate," adding: "I think we found in him an attentive ear."

One might note that the Palestinians are Semites, and that old Benji would like nothing better than for them to disappear off the face of the earth so that Israel can finish stealing the rest of their land.

As for Pope Rats’ ‘attentive ear’ The Lion notes that Jonny Rats has demonstrated conclusively it is made of low-grade tin.

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Just an idle thought… When sportswriters have to get real jobs, we’ll know the country is on its way to becoming sane and rational.

Get Yer Swine Flu Now, Stay Alive Later! Yowsah!
May 15, 2009

The Lion doesn’t remember where he read this, but since he reads only honest, legitimate publications, the fact is authoritative. (Harumph!)

A scientist or group thereof noted that the current pandemicky swine flu, though mild and not much of a threat currently, is apparently quite adaptable and easily mutates.

The article noted that we need to consider what happens when it gets into Asia, which it has already done, and starts playing footsie (that’s a technical term – don’t worry about it) with avian H5N1 flu, which is supremely deadly and may offer the earth salvation from human overpopulation.

This fall and winter a mutated swinebird flu could come roaring out of Asia sweeping humans aside like a scythe.

The Lion speculates that anyone who gets the current swine flu might possibly be protected against the swinebird superflu. Perhaps it might be best for the panicky to rush to the supermarket, feel up some Mexican fruits and vegetables and stick one’s fingers in one’s nose and eyes.

Just an idle thought…