Climate Change? What Climate Change?

The President pulled a climate change agreement with China out of his hat whilst summiteering. Cue the GOP noise machine: blah, blah, blah. Fuck it and fuck them. This is the first time the Chicom guvmint has acknowledged it needs to kick its coal addiction. (Did you notice the #tbh moment with the whole Chinese Communist acronym thing? I felt like Henry Luce or Tricky Dick for a second there.) It’s quite an accomplishment whatever Mitch (I am not a Scientist) McConnell and the incoming environment committee chaircreep and past malaka of the week, Jim Fucking Inhofe say. Fuck it and fuck them.

In addition to the overwhelming scientific evidence, I’m feeling as anecdotal as hell.  It’s fucking cold by our standards here in New Orleans. It’s drizzly, dark, and nasty as I write this. There’s a freeze warning tonight, so I broke down and turned on the heater. (Cue the local news stories about the citrus crop in Plaquemines Parish.) We rarely run the heater until *after* Turkey Day, but it’s Dr. A’s birthday and one shouldn’t freeze one’s ass off on one’s birthday, should one? One is apparently no longer the loneliest number.

I believe in climate change even though I am not a scientist. I am, however, married to one. I’ll give the good old Grateful Dead the last word:


Irony Calls In Sick

From Album 5

So, the same people who conjured up death panels are now full of well-rehearsed indignation over some careless remarks by Obamacare architect/designer Jonathan Gruber…remarks that really don’t matter anyway since the Supreme Court, in validating the law, essentially said much the same thing. Yes, the penalty for not complying with the individual mandate…is a tax. Duh.

But, at this point, the hissy fit is as ritualized as Kabuki or a tea ceremony…and if it doesn’t become part of “the conversation” (aka Cokie’s Law)…well…down the memory hole it goes, to be replaced by yet another outrage du jour, which number so many at this point I’ve lost count…

Rinse, repeat…hurl.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Double Indemnity


Dr. A and I finally saw David Fincher’s Gone Girl last weekend. It’s neo-noir at its finest, featuring a really wicked femme fatale, and a really weak, weasely man. They were characters straight out of James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice or Double Indemnity. It was as if Walter Neff and Phyllis Dietrichson got married and things went very, very badly.

Double Indemnity is one of those rare novels that is just as good on the big screen as it is on the printed page. It helped to have Billy Wilder directing the movie. Raymond Chandler also worked on the screenplay but it was Wilder ‘s lethal baby.

Here are two variations on the book cover:

6855813751_97e491f8b4_zdouble indemnity 14

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Album Art Wednesday: Out Of The Blue

ELO were not cool in 1977 when Out Of The Blue was released. Punk was cool, what ELO was HOT. Even though this was a double LP with an 18 minute prog opus, it was one of the biggest hits Jeff Lynne and company ever had.

The wikpedia entry on this LP has a swell discussion of the album art so I’ll just quote it and be done with it:

The large spaceship on the album’s cover (by now symbolic of the group) was designed by Kosh with art by Shusei Nagaoka. It was based on the logo Kosh designed for ELO’s previous album, A New World Record,[1] which connected with Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind fever. It also looks like a space station with a docking shuttle from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).[2] The number JTLA 823 L2 which is featured on the shuttle arriving at the space station is the original catalogue number for the album. The album also included an insert of a cardboard cutout of the space station as well as a fold-out poster of the band members. The space theme was carried onto the live stage in the form of a huge glowing flying saucer stage set, inside which the band performed.

Okey dokey, here’s the cover:


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Malaka Of The Week: Don Gagnard


Remember when Louisiana Republicans excoriated Mary Landrieu for making those mild remarks about Southern racism? They were shitting themselves with outrage. Hadn’t we elected a brown skinned Governor? Wasn’t that proof that racism was dead in the Gret Stet? It was not and more evidence comes from, of all places, a school board race in Lafayette. One of the candidates is a crotchety coach by the name of Don Gagnard who’s now in trouble for making like Princess Dumbass of the Northwoods, and posting bigoted shit on his Facebook feed. And that is why Don Gagnard is malaka of the week.

I learned about Coach Malaka from my friend Lamar White. I’m not in the habit of writing about school board races but this one is a doozy:

 District 1 Lafayette Parish School Board candidate “Coach Don” Gagnard has been pretty active on Facebook over the past several months, and he’s raised at least a few eyebrows with some of his comments.

A scroll down Gagnard’s Facebook page shows posts by the candidate, who is in a District 1 LPSB runoff election against Mary Morrison, where he writes about hating “faggots, bums, illegal aliens, Veterans mistreatment and most of all: OUR HITLER PRESIDENT …”

In his June 27 post to Facebook, Gagnard says that “others have to pay for the idiots because they are too lazy to do something for themselves except pass the blame on white people …”


He also calls for President Obama to “go away and bring your urangutan (sp) with you.”

Gagnard tells KATC that he did make those comments on Facebook, noting that “I always post what I think is right and in my heart.”

Asked if he hates faggots, bums and illegal aliens, Gagnard says yes.

Gagnard received 36.5 percent of the vote in the Nov. 4 election, prompting a runoff between Gagnard and Morrison, who received 44.5 percent of the vote.

He said in the phone interview that he was an educator and coach for 24 years and also is a past winner of a national coach of the year award.

The District 1 race has no incumbent candidate. School Board member Mark Allen Babineaux opted to run for district judge instead of re-election on the school board.

When asked about his post in which he self-identifies as a racist, Gagnard says that “coaches are not racists.”

“I’ve bailed black people out of jail and bought them trucks,” he said. “If you call me a racist, that’s going to flip back on you. But the faggot thing, yea, you can stick with that.”

I love how his example of helping out black folks involved bailing them out of jail. Them people always be in trouble, y’all. Massa Malaka just be helpin’

In addition to his blatant bigotry, Gagnard shouldn’t be elected to a school board anywhere since he cannot write a coherent sentence or spell orangutan. Of course, Sarah Palin is similarly afflicted and she’s done pretty well for herself. I guess. Unlike Palin, Coach Malaka had the good sense to take down his Facebook page so he’d stop shooting himself in the foot with his online rantings. I know that’s a low threshold of good sense, but Coach Malaka cleared the hurdle,

In the spirit of helpfulness for which I’m known, I’d like to suggest a new slogan for the campaign:

Coach Don Gagnard: A homophobe, not a racist.

I’ve met some very conservative people from that part of the state. They tend to think anyone who isn’t rabidly pro-oil is a Marxist. They wouldn’t know a real Commie if one came after them with an icepick. I had an epic argument in 2004 with someone who insisted that John Kerry was a Marxist. I pointed out that he married BIG MONEY but there was no arguing with this person. As far as he was concerned, Teresa Heinz Kerry was some sort of ketchup communist…

People like Coach Malaka show why Gret Stet black Goper Elbert Guillory’s effort to woo African-American voters is doomed to fail. As long as Republicans talk about President Obama as a Hitler, Stalin, Witch Doctor, Devil guy, they’re wasting their time. I know some black conservative types BUT they think the President is wrong on the issues, not Beelzebub. Black folks tend not to like bigoted white folks. Go figure.

The good news about Coach Don’s race is that he ran second so I’m hoping he’ll lose in the run-off.  If not, I may have to pay attention to Lafayette School Board meetings and I’d rather hit myself in the knee with a ball-peen hammer. I’m begging the good people of Lafayette to vote against this bozo so I’m not hobbled.

Here’s a screen capture of the now infamous Facebook comment, which sounds directed at Mary Landrieu. At least he didn’t call her a race traitor:


Social media can be a treacherous place, especially when you say stupid and inflammatory shit. And that is why Don Gagnard is malaka of the week.

Shorter Andrew Sullivan: Ladies Need To Stop Overreacting to Rape and Murder

It’s about ethics in journalism: 

A group called Women, Action, and the Media, which advocates for better representation of women, is testing a new reporting process for gender-based harassment. The group developed a tool for reporting harassment and will forward confirmed reports to Twitter. “If it checks out, we’ll escalate it to Twitter right away (24 hours max, hopefully much less than that) and work to get you a speedy resolution,” says the group, which abbreviates itself as WAM. “But please note: we’re not Twitter, and we can’t make decisions for them.”

I wondered what exactly this small non-profit believes in. You can check them out here or check their agenda from the statements in the video above. Their core objective is what they call “gender justice in media.” That means that they are interested in far more than curbing online harassment. They want gender quotas for all media businesses, equal representation for women in, say, video-games, gender parity in employment in journalism and in the stories themselves.


This nefarious group of women will CENSOR TWITTER:

I can find no reason to oppose a stronger effort by Twitter to prevent individual users from stalking or harassing others – but if merely saying nasty things about someone can be seen as harassment, then where on earth does this well-intentioned censorship end?

SLIPPERY SLOPES! First you bitches won’t let us give you a simple damn compliment:

@SonBateman @chloT94 I would rape the shit out of her

— Pumpkin Fucker (@ELNEIGHBORADOR) November 10, 2014
@ELNEIGHBORADOR @chloT94 I would fucking eat her remains

— 2ND (@SonBateman) November 10, 2014

And next it will be marrying box turtles! Madness! Anarchy!

Somehow, I suspect the culture wars online just got a little more frayed. Because Twitter has empowered leftist feminists to have a censorship field day.

Sigh. From the announcement Sullivan quotes in his own damn post:

The group developed a tool for reporting harassment and will forward confirmed reports to Twitter. “If it checks out, we’ll escalate it to Twitter right away (24 hours max, hopefully much less than that) and work to get you a speedy resolution,” says the group, which abbreviates itself as WAM. “But please note: we’re not Twitter, and we can’t make decisions for them.”

So they are forwarding things. To Twitter. On an advisory basis.

“We’re always trying to improve the way we handle abuse issues, and WAM is one of many organizations we work with around the world on best practices for user safety,” a company spokesman told The Verge.

Where will this terrible tyranny end?


Via Emma.

Depending On Others to Do Our Work

Kids don’t need to enjoy learning, or anything: 

CDI has just concluded its two-week residency at Randolph, where students met daily for 45 minutes with CDI instructors, incorporating live music, imagery, sign language, silent instruction, problem-solving skills, and ended the program with a public performance on Halloween.

But for an elementary school like Randolph, one in need of additional arts education, what comes next?

Half- and full-year programs are offered by CDI, where classes meet once a week for 45 minutes and perform publicly multiple times. Yet the struggle to properly fit a school’s budgetary and scheduling needs can be challenging for a variety of reasons, especially for the Englewood/Gresham Elementary Network.

“I would just love to see it continue,” Harper says. “If other schools have the arts, why don’t we have it? We need it. I think it’s all a matter of someone fighting for it. The money is there, you just need someone to fight for it.”

I liked school and disliked art class because I have zero inherent artistic talent, but I had friends for whom arts and music classes were the only reasons they got up and suffered through the other subjects they hated or did poorly in. If you give kids something they love to get them in the door, some part of their day that feels good and right, they’ll be less likely to fight you on the rest of it.

But I suppose in our new “fuck you, I’ve got mine” culture, that’s not important anymore.


‘Kings and kesars, keep your pay’

A.E. Housman.

The war is never over:

 Any current task which involves turning over earth, such as ploughing, road building, foundation building and so on, frequently still turns up a shell or grenade. There is a system in place in Belgium to deal with such potentially hazardous remains, whereby the “find” is reported, examined and collected for disposal. At certain times of the year when farmers are ploughing the fields it is not unusual to find small piles of shells at the side of a field placed ready for collection and disposal. In the regions of the old 1914-1918 battlefields where this happens it has become known as “The Iron Harvest”. Tractors can be fitted with armour plating underneath for the safety of the farmers.


Red Stick Creepfest

That’s my name for it, they called it the Republican Unity Rally. It was held in support of the Cassidybot Senate campaign and among the speakers were Bitter Vitter, Colonel Mayonnaise, Gov PBJ, and an outside agitator, Senator Aqua Buddha. Here are a few tweets featuring this rogue’s gallery of malakatude:

It’s a sign of how confident the Cassidybot camp is that they let the wildly unpopular PBJ share the stage with their dull candidate. I still have a scintilla of hope that Landrieu can pull it out but the DSCC has withdrawn its financial support. Mary is on her own. She’s going to go down fighting but the vast majority of national money will be flowing in the opposite direction.

We’re still suffering through a barrage of negative ads but the ratio has shifted in the Goper’s direction including this genuinely reprehensible one from the NRSC:

Wow, Mary and the President “took away our second amendment rights?” Who knew? And they “destroyed our health care system” by insuring more people? How fucking dare they. Bastards. I guess that’s why the President is a criminal and Senator Landrieu is his accomplice.

All sarcasm aside, this ad calls a United States Senator and the President of the United States criminals. I realize that the GOP has become a fact free zone, and its members are cuckoo for cocoa puffs on the subject of Barack Obama, but this is despicable even for them. The sad thing is that it’s working and Landrieu’s best argument for re-election, her clout as a committee chair, is gone with the fucking wind.

Lord knows that Mary Landrieu has her flaws, but she delivered big time for Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina and the Federal Flood. Additionally,  she’s NOT a wholly owned subsidiary of the Koch Brothers and, even worse, David Vitter:

Cassidy, in turn, continues his one-note chorus of “Obama, Obama, Obama” and appears poised to run another “virtual” campaign (a term coined, ironically, by uber-conservative Rush Limbaugh, who backed tea party fave Rob Maness in the Nov. 4 primary). Cassidy did agree to one debate — after early voting closes — but otherwise he remains unapproachable to media and regular folk.

Given the mood of the Louisiana electorate and the results on Nov. 4 (not to mention his less-than-inspiring debate performances), one can hardly blame Cassidy for running a virtual campaign. If the air game works, why risk a fumble on the ground?

There is one interesting side note to Cassidy’s virtual candidacy: In some ways it’s a lab experiment for his chief behind-the-scenes supporter and strategist, David Vitter. Vitter would love to be able to campaign for governor without actually having to encounter voters (and media) who might bring up his past moral failings.

Cassidy’s race for Senate presents Vitter with a risk-free opportunity to test the efficacy of an all-media statewide campaign. If it works for Cassidy this year, maybe it also will work for Vitter next year — particularly if he winds up in a runoff against a Democrat like, say, Mitch Landrieu, who earlier this year won re-election as New Orleans’ mayor with an endorsement from … Barack Obama. Recall that Vitter ran for re-election in 2010 by ignoring his actual opponent (U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon) and running instead against a virtual foe: Obama.

There you have it sports fans: Cassidybot is a lab rat for Diaper Dave. How’s that for a  depressing ending to this post? Thanks, Clancy.

Instead, I’ll give the Kinks the last word with this tune about surviving a botched suicide attempt, Life Goes On.

The T Word

I’ve tried to avoid election post-mortems. But I’m a political junkie so my efforts to bury the recent past were futile. The problem with most of them is that they haven’t focused on the big problem for Democrats: the T word. No, not teawads but TURNOUT.

The national turnout was 36.3%, which is beyond pitiful. It’s woeful and many other words ending in ful. It’s also becoming a chronic problem in off-year elections since Republicans tend to vote in every election. That means that Congress, state leges, and Governors are all more conservative than the general public. That’s the main reason for election results like 2010 and 2012.

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No “Obsession” today – just a simple statement

You know, I should be as happy as a clam today about the Republicans gaining control of both Houses.

I’m white and American due to a happy accident of birth, and white people are now free from oppression.

I’m not a woman, and won’t need an abortion ever, unlike the terrified-of-telling-her-parents 16-year-old who has as much business having a child as I do having an aircraft carrier.

I’m retired, so I don’t have to worry about the system being gamed for big business and against people who work for a living.

I have insurance, so I don’t have to worry about going into bankruptcy to pay for a hospital stay.

I have a nice 401K, and the stock market is booming.

I’m a man, so I also don’t have to worry about being paid less for my work, or treated like a second-class citizen and being told to go make someone a sammich.

I’m not gay, so I don’t have to worry about being told who I can love and marry, and who I can’t.

I’ve got it pretty good.

One would think I would be a Republican, if I was only in it for myself.
But I’m not.

I’m in it for all the non-white, female, working stiff, uninsurable, living paycheck-to-paycheck, LGBT, stabbed in the back by “Right To Work” people in this country.

And I don’t feel like I have to get mine by stepping on the backs of others to get it.


See you good people next Monday.


Reach for Higher Ground: The Newsroom Thread


I know, okay? I know how hip it is to hate the show, and I know how Will is a tool, and everything. But how long have we been waiting for somebody else to say it?

Spoilers within.

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Seeing Kerry Washington Basically Naked Will Scar Children for Life

You were watching Charlie Brown, and now you’re watching a beautiful woman: 

“Network programmers know the importance of audience flow when constructing their broadcast schedule, and in fact they build their schedules around audience retention rates,” he continued. “So they know full well the importance of program adjacency. The juxtaposition of a reliably classic family friendly children’s cartoon special like the ‘Great Pumpkin’ – a huge family draw every year for decades – with such a graphic bedroom scene is unjustifiable. We call on ABC to apologize for its actions and to promise not to do such a thing in the future.”

When I first heard about this I thought maybe the steamy sex scene was the one where the White House’s doofus-looking old chief of staff was graphically banging a young male prostitute he met in a bar. For serious, it is like watching Mitch McConnell blowing Magic Mike every week. So I could see where that’s hard to explain to one’s children:

“That’s Thatcher Grey, honey, and his chest hair is what happens when you sleep through the whole ‘metrosexual’ trend.”

But it was just Olivia Pope getting it on in consensual fashion with two hot guys? Meh. How hard is that to deal with? “That lady is pretty, isn’t she? That’s a grown-up show about politics. Yawn. *click* Who wants ice cream before bed?”


Personhood Laws Are Basically The Worst

Criminalizing miscarriage: 

The principle at the heart of contemporary efforts to end legal abortion is that fertilized eggs, embryos and fetuses are persons or at least have separate rights that must be protected by the state. In each of the cases we identified, this same rationale provided the justification for the deprivation of pregnant women’s physical liberty, as well as of the right to medical decision making, medical privacy, bodily integrity and, in one case, the woman’s right to life.

Many of the pregnant women subjected to this mistreatment are themselves profoundly opposed to abortion. Yet it was precisely the legal arguments for recriminalizing abortion that were used to strip them of their rights to dignity and liberty in the context of labor and delivery. These cases, individually and collectively, highlight what is so often missed when the focus is on attacking or defending abortion, namely that all pregnant women are at risk of losing a wide range of fundamental rights that are at the core of constitutional personhood in the United States.

There is something deeply screwed up about the fact that if anti-abortion extremists had their way, I would be childless. If a personhood law wouldn’t have closed my clinic, it would have thrown me in jail for the times my IVF didn’t work.

I don’t think it’s intentional, the pain these laws cause to women who want to have children, who are having children, who intend with every fiber of their beings to bear a child. I do think it’s profoundly callous, the disregard for actual women and their actual lives, in favor of the abstraction of an embryo and an uneducated, silly idea of how pregnancies generally progress.



Sunday Morning Video: Cream Farewell Concert


Cream were only together for 2 years, but were one of the most influential rock bands ever. Lead vocalist/bassist Jack Bruce died last month at the age of 71, so settle in and enjoy this 1968 rockumentary and toast his memory:

Cardinal Columns: Nationally Awesome





The kids of Cardinal Columns, who spent the last year fighting against censorship, bullying and generally poor administrative behavior, have just earned the National Scholastic Press Association’s highest honor, the Pacemaker. These things are ridiculously hard to win and represent the overall quality of the publication, not the fact they fought against censorship. In short, IN SPITE of the heavy hand that tried to crush them, they managed to be one of the best high school newspapers in the country.

If this doesn’t give you hope, I don’t know what will.

Rock on, folks. I’d buy you a drink if it wouldn’t land me in jail, so go celebrate in some other more age-appropriate way.


Weekend Question Thread

How far do you travel for the holidays?

Mr. A and I lucked out: Our families are just an hour or so up the road in Wisconsin. I often remind my parents, when they’re complaining about Chicago traffic, that I could have married that asshole from Pennsylvania that I was dating, who was so controlling there would be no WAY we’d be spending Christmas anywhere but at his house.


AHS Freak Show Thread: The U.S. Steel Of Murder


I’m not a cupcake fan but Pink Cupcakes can be cute, unless, that is, they’re baked and injected by Stanley the con man. Those cupcakes were meant to be lethal but things didn’t go as planned. It did, however, provide a swell title for the latest installment of American Horror Story: Freak Show.

I’m going to try something completely different with this recap. I’m going to channel Buzzfeed and give you a listicle of sorts. My goal is to be short and pithy and not write 1000 words this time. Let’s see how it goes after the break.

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