Archive for July, 2009

Corporations And Republicans Are Indeed Evil, Anti-American, And Anti-Democratic. Yup, They Are.
July 31, 2009

Check out this piece over at Talking Points Memo. It gives good insight into how the Republicans and their corporate friends are tearing the country down by corrupting the political and legal processes at the foundations of democracy.

Some good points made in the comments too.

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Obama, Gates, Crowley, and Leonard Pitts
July 30, 2009

Leonard Pitts, Pulitzer prize-winning columnist for the Miami Herald, has a good take on the racial dust-up in Cambridge.

Vince Wilfork, Patriot Whiner Of Champions
July 30, 2009

Vince Wilfork, a large and apparently talented nose tackle for the New England Patriots, allowed his agent to let out a loud whine about poor Vince’s salary.

His agent, Kennard McGuire, said yesterday he’s disappointed the situation has come to this.

“Although our dialogue has been ongoing, we just have not achieved the level of comfort for Vince,’’ McGuire said. “In a profession where production and durability equals reward, I’m terribly disappointed that we have not found common ground in what a player of Vince Wilfork’s value truly is.

“Our desire was, and is, a commitment to Vince that equals the one he has made to the organization. Today, we’re just not there. For a man who is as passionate to the game as Vince Wilfork is, I truly feel this is unjust.’’

Poor Vince made only two million two hundred thousand dollars last year. Apparently his comfort level is a lot higher than that.

Pity.

People are working two and three jobs or are lucky to have any job at all, people are losing their houses, their jobs, their lives, and this fat-ass fatheaded football player can’t manage to be ‘comfortable’ on two million dollars a year.

That’s pathetic enough, but what’s just as pathetic are the people who pay hundreds of dollars for a seat at professional sports arenas to watch these overpaid narcissists ‘earn’ their obscene paychecks.

Hell, football’s not even remotely honest. Wilfork and his cohort of thieves only play for about fifteen minutes during the three-hour course of an NFL game. But the fools in the stands put up with it. And since Wilfork plays only defense, he only plays an average of seven or so minutes a game.

Not bad, Vince. Entertain the fools for a little less than two hours over a sixteen-game season and collect two million dollars. Quite a scam you’ve got going there, you and your buddies.

Republican Insurance Executive Runs For Governor In Massachusetts: Offers The Same Old Republican Nonsense
July 30, 2009

Charles D. Baker, Jr., an insurance executive described by the Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts as “nothing more than an overcompensated insurance executive who placed profits over patients at the expense of hard-working families and employers in Massachusetts’’ is running for governor of Massachusetts as a Republican.

He’s already, on the first day, driven his campaign into the tried-and-true Republican swamp of old and useless bromides that got the country into its current financial mess.

Massachusetts, like most states, has been badly hurt financially by the shenanigans of Wall Street and by the policies of the national Republicans for the last few decades. Baker has no intention of putting things right.

“I’m a no-new-taxes candidate,’’ he said, adding later for the television cameras: “Yeah, read my lips: No new taxes.’’

The state just passed an increase in the sales tax, along with a truckload of cuts to a variety of programs, to help repair the damage. Charlie insists he’ll try to repeal it. Which is pretty much the same thing as saying he’ll cut funds for education, for police, for fire, for social programs, and so on.

Baker, apparently unaware that the state has slashed heavily already, offered this:

When asked what needs to be cut from the budget, Baker said that “everything should be on the table,’’ including scaling back the state’s landmark healthcare initiative.

Sounds a lot like the Republican apes in the Federal Senate and House who say no to every program that threatens the obscene profits of their corporate donors – you know, insurance companies, drug companies, oil companies.

But Charlie said he ‘would resign’ his position as chief executive of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, one of the big local insurance groups.

Naturally he’d put the state’s new health care program on the chopping block: it probably cost him some bonus money when it went into effect.

Of course Charlie criticized the current governor, Deval Patrick, for the state’s financial problems.

“I think he let the budget get away from him, and once the budget gets away from you, really bad things happen,’’ Baker said.

As if Massachusetts had no connection to the rest of the country’s money catastrophe. Oh, wait, Charlie doesn’t think there is a connection.

“I’m not going to participate in national discussions and national politics; I’m interested in what happens here in Massachusetts,’’ he said.

Ya can’t have one without the other, Charlie boy.

But Charlie’s trying to make a game of it. He cites his good points.

Baker said he supports abortion rights and same-sex marriage, adding: “My brother’s gay, and he’s married, and he lives in Massachusetts, so I’m for it. Is that straight enough?’’

Maybe Charlie ought to sit down with his brother and discuss the tone-deaf irony of that remark.

Charlie also supports the death penalty. That’s certainly in line with his past as a health insurance executive, considering that health insurance companies are in the business of killing people for profit by denying care.

Charlie’s come out of the gate as just another slash-and-burn Republican, crowing about screwing the middle class and the poor, refusing to pay for the stuff that lifts up the people and the state in order to line the pockets of his rich friends and his corporate donors.

And just as a general principle, no one, no one who works or worked in the executive branches of the insurance industry should qualify to run for public office. They should stick to what they know, and what they know is thievery.

Sorry, Charlie. We don’t need any more Republican con men in charge of anything.

The Lion Has An Out-Of-The-House Experience With Famed Author
July 24, 2009

Last night, in the dark and the rain, The Lion ventured from his castle (as in ‘a man’s home is his prison’) to a local bookstore, carrying with him books to a signing by noted author Thomas H. Cook. (It should be noted that Mr. Cook was not covered in either notes or writings. Nonetheless he is noted.)

Since it is rare for The Lion to leave his book-and-computer-ridden dungeon, much less do it on purpose to visit another human, The Lion thought it proper to make note of the event.

In any event, The Lion carried six hardcover first editions  written by Mr. Cook, books The Lion has accumulated over several years, hoping that the writer would be so kind as to sign all six. Mr. Cook was indeed kind.

He is in fact an engaging fellow, an accomplished writer and traveler who has done over twenty times what The Lion has only done twice – produce a novel. Mr. Cook has indeed mastered the art of applying butt to chair and keeping it there. The Lion, on the other hand, too often finds the chair full of pins, needles, potato chip and cracker crumbs, and simply generally uncomfortable. Still, two isn’t bad – one for practice, one for real but not good enough.

The Lion stumbled upon Mr. Cook’s early work while unemployed in Rhode Island. His novels set in Salt Lake City and Birmingham, and other early work, just blew The Lion away. And they are, of course, the books The Lion has not managed to obtain to add to his collection of hardcover volumes.

The Lion, assessing his experience from last night, powerfully recommends that if you can overcome your own agoraphobic tendencies, or if you feel you simply must dare venture outside, you could do much much worse than buy one of Mr. Cook’s books, or steal one from the library, or beat up any number of old ladies to get their copies.

And to Mr. Cook, The Lion says, “Damn, but I enjoyed meeting and talking with you, guy. Thanks.”

In fact The Lion is so energized by last night’s event that tonight he plans to hang out outside a downtown bar known to be frequented by little old ladies who meet there weekly to discuss thematic developments across the body of Mr. Cook’s work.

Liz Cheney vs. Meghan McCain…
July 22, 2009

Would that be a case of the blonde leading the blonde?

Solving The Uighur Problem
July 19, 2009

Much was made in the press recently, for all of about five minutes, of the oppression of ethnic Uighur Moslems in one of China’s provinces.

Apparently the Uighurs rose up and killed a bunch of Chinese who had immigrated to the province and pretty much taken it over, turning the Uighurs into second-class citizens in their own ancestral land. Or something approximating that scenario, depending on which side is handing out the press releases.

But the news machine has moved on and nobody is publicly giving a damn about the Uighurs. They need some good PR, they need an image that will attract attention and infusions of cash and whatever else they need to fight their battle.

The Lion suggests they take a page from a toy company and adopt as their slogan “Uighurs Wobble But They Don’t Fall Down’.

(The Lion can’t help it. It must be the drugs.)

Silencing The Bells of St. Phoenix
July 19, 2009

Aw, those poor Christians in Phoenix, Arizona. Once more they’re being persecuted and discriminated against by the bad, bad anti-religious left-wing commie evil antichristers.

All those poor Christians wanted to do in the quiet neighborhood in which they built their new church was ring their bells every half hour.

The complaints soon began, so church leaders cut back the tolling to once per hour. They put up Styrofoam to muffle the sound. But they didn’t see how they could stop tolling the bells. “We ring our bells as a part of our worship, just like singing, praying, and preaching the Word of God,’’ they wrote in a statement.

The city had to take them to court on criminal charges to get them to stop. Their ‘Bishop’ was convicted of disturbing the peace.  The Alliance Defense Fund, described as a ‘religious liberties legal group’ said this case was the first they knew of which used criminal law to shut up people who disturbed the peace.  Actually they said ‘to keep a church quiet’, conveniently ignoring the fact that those people were people disturbing the peace.

“It’s frankly a little bit astonishing,’’ said ADF attorney Gary S. McCaleb, contending the case violates the church’s First Amendment freedom to practice its religion. “It’s very clearly an expression and outworking of their faith.’’

But so was the Inquisition and the burning of witches, Gary. So were pogroms against Jews. So is the murderous nonsense of the little old farts in the Vatican. And the vicious blitherings of fundogelicals like Falwell and Robertson.

Very soon now America will no doubt hear from the foaming fundogelicals how this incident demonstrates how horribly Christians are treated, how seriously they are persecuted, how hateful and bigoted are their persecutors.

If the Christians need to feel like victims in order to validate their religion, then The Lion suggests that society, from the goodness of its heart, from its profound desire to support these poor disadvantaged souls, oblige them. Send in the lions. Lots of lions. Young, healthy, hungry lions. It’s the least we can do.

Mexico Corrupt To The Core? Say It Ain’t So, Jose!
July 19, 2009

The ongoing drug war in Mexico has revealed, horror of horrors, that Mexican government and police are corrupt beyond belief.

The offensive has exposed corruption so widespread that key institutions, from police forces to city halls, appear rotten to the core. And a battered society has grown increasingly worried about the effects of the massive military deployment on its democracy.

To solve the problem the Mexican government, the Federal government, declaring in essence that it is shocked, shocked by the level of corruption, has sent in its military to deal with the matter.

Odd how all that corruption seemed to have escaped the notice of the people who came up through all that corruption to become the Federal government.

And about that military? Those guys didn’t just spring up as fully formed noble and clean soldiers from the good earth. They came from the corrupt towns and villages. But they’re shocked, shocked at what they’ve found.

See Mexico. See drugs. See Mexico on drugs. See corruption. See. See. See. See the politicians wring their hands. See them slap their forehead with one hand. See them say, “We’re shocked, shocked.” See them hold out their other hand.

Russian Road Rumbles
July 19, 2009

Russian roads are in terrible shape, according to Megan K. Stack of the Los Angeles Times. And according to the truckers who truck along on the roads.

“Thirty-one years I’ve been driving, and the roads have gotten worse,’’ said Valery Gorbunov, a beefy trucker with a mouth full of gold teeth and a truck full of pears. “The way they do repairs, they just put a patch on top of another patch.’’

But where went all that oil money and all that other money from Russia’s political and economic resurgence? Where went all the plans to bring Russia into the twentieth century? (They are apparently a long way from getting close to the twenty-first century.)

Corruption is where. How you gonna move a pear if you can’t get there?

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