Monthly Archives: September 2010

First Draft Fundraising: Almost to Claire-in-Hat Territory

Boy, I’m nowhere near as effective at raising funds as my pets are. Thank you to everybody who’s contributed to our First Draft’s annual fund drive so far.If you haven’t yet kicked in, hit the tip jar! We’re now very, very close to achievingSnowboard Hat Claire Friday. As it will be known henceforth.

I don’t know how SHE is gonna feel about this, but I’m extremely grateful for your suppport.

A.

Playing in the Miliband

I’ve been derelict in my “duty” as First Draft’s amateur British politics pundit. (Jeez, I always seem to be a member of the amateur left instead of a professional. Bummer, man.) There’s actually been a lot of political news out of the UK. The Tory/Lib Dem coalition government is hacking and hewing at the budget, which has led to much uhappiness among left wing Lib Dems. Hmm, sounds vaguely familiar. The beneficiary of Deputy PM Nick Clegg’s summer of discontent has been the Labour Party.

Labour just concluded a fascinating leadership contest. It was between brothers David and Ed Miliband and the kid brother, Ed, won. David Miliband’s role in voting for the Iraq War as well as his defense thereof as Foreign Secretary gave Ed his opening and he squeaked by in Labour’soddball electoral college set-up. Ed was more or less everyone’s second choice but had a lock on the unions, which resulted in his victory. The Tories smell an opportunity to bash Ed Miliband as a union tool but as the pain from austerity measures spreads, that will be less and less effective.

Now that I’ve “buried” David Miliband, it’s time to praise him. He’s decidedNOT to continue in the shadow cabinet so that his brother won’t be burdened with the sort of vicious infighting caused by the Blair-Brown rivalry. That was a relief to all concerned since David came out of the Blairite faction and Ed was a protege of Gordon Brown’s. To his credit, Brown stayed out of the race whereas Tony Blair and his Iago, Peter Mandelson implicitly sided with Miliband the elder. The good news for those of us sympathetic to Labour’s cause is that Miliband the younger was one of the few Brownites not despised by the Blair faction. Hence, it will be easier for him to unite his party and move forward. Some time in opposition is exactly what Labour needed after the tumult of the Blair-Brown era.

The other reason I’m glad that a Miliband has become Labour’s leader should be obvious to my readers. It’s an amazingly punworthy name. While I preferred that Ed become leader, it was strictly win-win for me on that score.

‘A Condom Jar’

Because nothing says romance like “hey baby, I have a jar full of condoms.”

Seriously, coupled with the pimp-ho thing and the Mary Landrieu thing, is there any reason to think this guy ISN’T some kind ofcrazy sex pervert? Give the opportunity to ratfuck, he goes straight for the women every time, I dunno, because he thinks one of us Vagina-Americans couldn’t take him in a fight? Or does he just know that most of us are not wingnuts and that’s the place his rage comes from?

I do not get the objective here, mostly because … okay, so he tapes a reporter being on a sex boat, and that proves … that the reporter likes kinky sex as imagined by a 12-year-old who’s been huffing paint for three days straight? I personally don’t find a jar of condoms and fuzzy handcuffs hot, but if some reporter does, so what? If she finds a pimply-faced squirrel nut rubber person who looks like he doesn’t even shave yet Teh Secksay and wants to stay on his creep dildo boat, erm, more power to her. I guess. I mean, people are into all kinds of sick shit, why not James O’Keefe?

The whole thing looks like something that would land you on Dateline, but then again, we’re all talking about James O’Keefe, and maybe that was the point after all.

A.

“Narcissists”

FromAlbum3

Matt Taibbi on the tea baggers:

Scanning the thousands of hopped-up faces in the crowd, I am immediately struck by two things. One is that there isn’t a single black person here. The other is the truly awesome quantity of medical hardware: Seemingly every third person in the place is sucking oxygen from a tank or propping their giant atrophied glutes on motorized wheelchair-scooters. As Palin launches into her Ronald Reagan impression — “Government’s not the solution! Government’s the problem!” — the person sitting next to me leans over and explains.

“The scooters are because of Medicare,” he whispers helpfully. “They have these commercials down here: ‘You won’t even have to pay for your scooter! Medicare will pay!’ Practically everyone in Kentucky has one.” A hall full of elderly white people in Medicare-paid scooters, railing against government spending and imagining themselves revolutionaries as they cheer on the vice-presidential puppet hand-picked by the GOP establishment. If there exists a better snapshot of everything the Tea Party represents, I can’t imagine it.

First Draft Fundraising Day Four: Fine, Fine, Pet Prostitution

Okay, I said I wouldn’t make the ferrets trick, but you know what? You’ve never seen Claire in the snowboarding hat.Remember the snowboarding hat? If we hit our goal by tomorrow afternoon, you get Claire in the snowboarding hat. Isn’t that worthsmacking the donate button?

In all seriousness, thank you very much to everyone who’s contributed so far, and to those of you who’ve linked to the drive. And if you haven’t yet, considersupporting what we do.Your investment in the blog means a lot to us.

A.

Cousin Dupree

It’s time for some more pledge week programming. I don’t know if PBS or NPR has ever tried raising money by throwing a bit of Becker and Fagen out there but we here at First Draft are made of sterner stuff. Or is that sillier stuff? Probably the latter.

Anyway, if you think this tune is more awesome than Jude, please throw some spare change into the tip jar.

More Evidence That Derpity Derp Derp


Om mani padme durr.

Greetings, everyone. First, I begin with a story. Is it a story of awesomeness? Naturally.

I work for the state, in the unemployment program. So, as I’ve noted, these days I’m busier than a three-legged cat trying to cover up a turd on a frozen pond. That aside, the unemployment law in Wisconsin is some complicated shit. There are entire categories of employment that, should you get laid off, aren’t covered by the unemployment system; that is, if you work as, say, a caddy on a golf course, and you find yourself out of that job through no fault of your own, you don’t get shit from the state. One of these exclusions–Section 108.02(15)(h)1, for those of you who care–states that anyone “In the employ of a church or convention or association of churches” is excluded from receiving unemployment benefits based on that work.

Well, recently, at a training session (not conducted by me) on this law, someone asked why that was the case. My answer, jokingly, was “Because it’s not really work.”

And everyone laughed.

Because it was a joke.

Well, almost everyone. One woman got all out of sorts and said “My husband is a minister,” to which I replied “I’m sorry to hear that.” She got even pissier and clammed up. At lunch, she came up to me, still pissy, and said “I’m still mad about what you said.”

Me: “I thought you people were supposed to turn the other cheek.”

Her: “I’m used to dealing with people like you–the ignorance-“

Me: “Slow down. Don’t confuse mockery and contempt with ignorance.”

And that was the end of that.

Why do I bring this up? Good question. As you’ve no doubt seen, a recentPew poll has been making the rounds. And there’s been a lot of triumphal bleating from many non-religious types, who I’d normally agree with, that atheists/agnostics know a lot more about religion than the religious types do. PZ Myers, for example, whose work I really dig, gives us the following ridiculous post title: “Want to know about religion? Go to your local atheist, not your priest.” Which, and keep in mind I am a big fan of his blog, is just stupid. They weren’t polling priests, they were polling the general populace. But I digress.

Yes, atheists and agnosticsdid score higher than any other group. But keep in mind that, though Pew had an absolutely gigantic sample size–3412 people (as you’d expect when they’re trying to get good data on so many sub-groups). Even though they got pretty large sub-groups, the margins of error go up as the groups get smaller. For example, the MoE for atheists/agnostics is a whopping8.5%. So, you know, the parameters for atheists/agnostics in the general population could vary quite a bit from the statistics gathered this sample. The results of the poll arehere (warning–big-ass PDF). Sadly, there are no cross-tabs. At any rate, you can’t really claim that this poll robustly demonstrates that atheists/agnostics (who had to be lumped together ’cause there weren’t enough straight atheists to make even wild inferences from) are vastly superior to theists in knowledge of religious bullshit.

But let’s leave that aside for a moment. Consider this: That poll (smaller PDF of whole thing, without results, here) is preposterously fucking easy, and it’s almost all multiple fucking choice. And people still fucked it up. And when I say “people,” I mean “everyfuckingbody who took this goddamn thing.” If this were a test, the highest grade (again, the 212 atheists/agnostics) would be at the head of the class with 65% correct. Now, depending on where you went to school, that’s a D or an F. Big fuckin’ bragging rights there, chief. Just two fucking percent of all respondents got 29 or more of the questions correct–that’s 90.6%. Overall, it’s just a piss-poor showing. I mean, 34% of the people who call themselves Christian couldn’t name the first fucking book of the Bible. The first one! Nobody was asking what number 34 is (it’s Nahum if you’re a Christian). And a full 55% of Christians polled couldn’t name the four Gospels. (Jews, not too suprisingly, bombed the shit out of that question–but they beat the hell out of all other groups when asked about Martin Luther starting the Reformation–go figure.)

We’re a nation full of fucking morons, folks. And that’s why, when that woman got in my face about ignorance, I didn’t mention this poll. Yeah, as an atheist, I’m probably statistically more likely to know slightly more about religion and religious shit than someone who’s actually religious. But, as noted, a D-/F doesn’t give you much of an edge in my book. Sure, I personally know quite a bit about religion, but I can’t claim status in a group that has superior knowledge for all of the above reasons.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to perform some unspeakable dark rites. By which I mean drink a pint of stout. Peace, bitches.

WWTFUS: I’ll paint you mornings of gold

SATX, represent!

Girl in a Coma is about ready to release their third full length album, Adventures in Coverland, October 19. Not enough room here to explain how much I love this band. Go see them live, you’ll fall in love, too. The video below started as a fan video by none other thanRobert Rodriguez, who ended up using GIAC’sYo Oigo in his new movie, Machete.

(btw, in keeping with the ongoing Buffalo Springfield meme, For What It’s Worth is one of the covers onAdventures in Coverland.)

Family Fight

I seem to be in the minority in thinking that the debate raging between the White House and the Democratic base is a good thing as long as it doesn’t last too long. There are justifiable frustrations on both sides but I think the Obama administration has done a *horrible* job of selling its policies. For example, its health care reform bill is a decent first step towards a goal that most Democrats share: health care as a right, not a privilege. Neither Social Security nor Medicare emerged as the full blown programs we know today. Incremental progress is a good thing but the White House should have admitted that the program needs to be improved and made it clear that they plan to do so in the future.

The main problem we face is that Democratic Presidents have developed a nasty habit over the years of bashing their own supporters. It started during the Johnson years as the Roosevelt coalition collapsed and both Carter and Clinton effectively ran against the liberal wing of the party. Barack Obama did not do so in 2008 but his minions; especially Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod have done their share of base bashing since entering the West Wing. Knock it off, guys, you’ve said your piece; so get over it and move on or as the Veep might say, “Buck up.” Or as Rahm himself might say: “Buck the fuck up.” He should, however, look in the mirror while saying this. One more thing about Rahm. I’m glad he’ll be out as Chief of Staff BUT the idea of leaving this close to an election is tantamount to deserting the President he serves. As we say in the South, “tacky, tacky, tacky.” Fuck you, Rahm. If you leave before the election, I hope you get your ass kicked in Chicago. Fucking yuppie scum.

I think that the Dems have made a mistake in declining to make this a national campaign. That’s what the other guys are doing and it has led to some seriously crazy and extreme people running under the GOP banner. The inside the beltway conventional wisdom is that nationalizing the campaign will doom the Democrats. That’s horseshit. And the CW has led to the insane (inane too) spectacle of the House and the Senate leaderships not making the Republicans vote *against* a middle class tax cut that’s tied to the elimination of the Bush fat cat tax cuts. It’s a winning populist issue and Speaker Pelosi is at least *trying* to get that message through to her troops. The Senate majority has chosen, as always, to duck and cower. Make the fuckers vote and if they threaten to fillibuster, let them. It won’t last long: it’s an election year. This is not only sound policy, it’s good hardball politics.

Okay, now that I’ve chastised the White House and Congressional leadership, I’d like to remind my fellow progressives that the lunatic fringe has taken over the opposing party. Crazy is the in thing among Republicans and these people must be kept out of power on the Hill. It’s not too late either: most people do not mainline politics and do not focus on elections until a month out. Let’s keep those fucking wingnuts in the minority where they belong: I don’t want to wake up some morning and hear about a birther investigation. If you live in a marginal district, please get out and vote, even if you have to hold your nose whilst at the polls. It’s my plan.

I dislike the Democratic nominee in the Louisiana-2 race, Cedric Richmond. He’s a dumbed down but handsomer version of Dollar Bill Jefferson. And like Dollar Bill, his ethics are questionable. His GOP opponent, the Accidental Congressman, Joseph Cao is a well-meaning man who sometimes votes with the Democrats because he represents a majority African American district. This choice is an argument for nationalizing the race: there are many goo-goo NOLA Democrats who may vote locally and if they do so it will be for Mr. Cao. The only issue that matters to me in this race is this; who do the candidates plan to vote for as Speaker, John Boehner or Nancy Pelosi? I speak as an admirer of the Speaker but also as someone who shudders at the thought of Speaker Boner. We all know who will get boned, and where, if that happens: the American people will take it up the ass. So, I plan to affix a clothespin to my nose and vote for Richmond because he will vote for Pelosi and Cao for Boehner. It could come down to a single seat and this is a pickup. A single seat. It’s that simple for me.

Back to the family fight. I think it’s healthy for everyone to vent their frustrations. A lot of this stuff has been bottled up for months and it’s best to let it out. It’s also time to move on and remember who we’re dealing with. Letting the teabaggers gain control of the House is like giving an arsonist a guided tour of one’s own home. Do we really want the likes of the primordially stupid Michelle Bachmann to have any influence on policy? I’m just as disgusted with the spinelessness of many Democrats as many of you but the alternative is so much worse. If you need to hold your nose whilst voting for a Democrat just remember this: clothespins are cheap.

Cross-posted at Adrastos.

You Stay Classy, Ron Johnson

Dick:

“I believe it is a valid question to ask whether the employer of a perpetrator should also be severely damaged, or possibly destroyed, in our legitimate desire for justice.”

Well, let’s see, asshole. If that employer knowingly covered up the perpetrator’s abuse, and in some cases facilitated it by giving the dirtbag new environments in which to troll for victims, and ignored warning after warning after warning as in many cases Holy Mother Church did, then the answer to your valid question is HELL YES.

Any other dumbass questions?

A.

First Draft Fundraising Day Three

Thank you to everyone who’s donated so far, and to everyone who’s linked. If you haven’t yet contributed, consider supporting what we do here. We only bug you for ourselves once a year. The rest of the time it’s all crack vans and pet pictures and cock jokes, and you know that’s worth throwing some dough in the kitty, right?

A.

Mad Men Thread: Unlucky Strike

Episode-10-roger-lee

The evolution of Mad Men this season has been, well, striking. In the past, it was criticized as all sizzle and no steak but this season has been plot driven to say the least. It’s as if Matthew Weiner and his people put the pedal to the metal this year or, to use another sports analogy, they’ve gone from running a half court offense to running the fast break whenever possible. They’ve really, uh, struck a chord with me.

A few random observations:

Roger’s decline accelerated in episode-10. He’s lost the Lucky Strike account and had to beg the ungrateful malaka Lee Garner Jr. to give him some time before the announcement becomes public. Roger keeps this dreadful news to himself. SCDP needs to pull a rabbit out of its hat or they could be doomed. This development could lead to the return of Sal but what will be left?

Roger and Joan’s alleyway quickie produced undesired but predictable results: our Joan is preggers. Roger goes into full weasel mode; even suggesting that Joan try to convince Dr. Dickhead that he’s the father. Dude, he may be a crappy one, but he’s a physician. There’s been an interesting discussion at theSlate TV Club as to whether or not Joan went through with the abortion. The set-up is ambiguous so it could go either way. But I think she’s too sensible to go through with it UNLESS she wants to breakup with Dr. Dipshit. What do y’all think?

Just when I thought Don had bottomed out, the security check brought his past back with a vengeance. Jon Hamm physically collapsed under the weight of Don’s baggage and he continued to be one of the pukingest characters in teevee history. Don is obliged to confide in Pete and thank Betty for lying for him. What was Betty’s motive? I think it was a reflexive hunker down and circle the wagons moment for her. I also suspect she doesn’t want the ladies in Ossining buzzing about her ex. If I had a higher opinion of Betty, I’d speculate that she was trying to preserve Henry’s future as a handler for the men who will never be President: Rockefeller and Lindsay. I’m reasonably confident that that wasn’t it. Betty is all about Betty.

Pete now has Don by short hairs and I expect that he’ll tug them from time to time. Unfortunately for SCDP, combined with the loss of Lucky Strike, eating the defense account could kill off the firm. I wonder if they would have tried finessing it if they had known i.e. letting someone else in creative take the lead. Think of Peggy as Rosie the riveter, y’all. I did, however, enjoy the irony of Pete complaining to Trudy about having to keep other people’s secrets. He’s got a big one of his own…

My jaw dropped when Don told Faye the Dick Whitman in Korea story. Her reaction was compassionate but impractical: with the Vietnam War ramping up there’s no way the Pentagon lets Don/Dick slide. I’m unsure as to whether this admission will lead Don to back away from Faye or if he’ll actually enter into an adult relationship. His track record argues the former but the show is rarely *that* predictable. Any thoughts?

The most shocking moment of the episode came when Lane’s very British father hit him upside the head with his cane. Robert is a very British bully. I can imagine him grinding some poor Sherpa’s hand under his heel until he says “uncle, sir.” Those of us who wondered if Sally had been abused by Grandpa Gene saw abuse in action. Lane’s new girl friend may think he’s “dashing” but he’s about to dash off to London just when SCDP could most use his skills. I eagerly await the Lucky Strike shit hitting the fan. It should be interesting indeed.

Finally, I can’t sign off without mentioning Sally’s scream when Don tells her he has Beatles tickets for her. It even brought a grin to sourpuss Betty’s icy visage. I was relieved when Harry delivered the tickets. I was worried that he’d jet off to “the coast” to add more teevee star pictures to his office: Buddy Ebsen as Jed Clampett simply is not enough for a starfucker like Harry…

Colbert and What We’re Debating

GAWD:

WASHINGTON – There are congressional hearings and there are comedy shows, and the twain rarely meet.

So when a House panel on immigration combined them on purpose last week with testimony from Stephen Colbert (kohl-BEHR’) and his “truthy” alter ego, debate broke out on the proper roles of the many celebrities — from Angelina Jolie to Bono to Elmo — who advocate in Washington.

Debate broke out. All on its own. In no way influenced by a desire to bitch about a TV comedian rather than talk about the issues he was raising in his testimony.

I hate this, because I can see so clearly how easily the story could have gone the other way, away from the celebrity-filled Twitter ramblings and toward how Colbert’s presence shone a light on the plight of workers most people only think about when they’re demonizing them on semi-literate teawad signs. Take this story apart, see where it could have been done differently, and you start to see how and why it wasn’t.

Die already, AP. Go sue some bloggers.

A.

Clock runs out on Ageless Wonder

Nfl_a_blanda_412

Retired football deity, George Blanda died yesterday at the age of 83. Blanda was a QB/Placekicker who played in the NFL and AFL for 26, count ’em, 26 years.In 1970 at the age of 43 Blanda went on a legendary tear as a relief QB for the Oakland Raiders:

George Blanda has just been elected King of the World!” Those were the words of radio announcer Bill King after another great comeback orchestrated by the Raiders’ legendary quarterback/kicker in 1970. Having come off the bench to first throw a game-tying touchdown pass and then kick the game-winning field goal, Mr. Blanda continued an amazing stretch of five games that etched his name onto a short list of theNFL‘s all-time clutch performers.

The John Madden coached Raiders teams were back in the news even before George’s passing. There’s a new book by Peter Richmond about that group of reprobates and renegades.It’s called, appropriately enough, Badasses.

I grew up in the Bay Area and my Dad was more of a 49ers fan but, except for a few years in the early ’70’s, they were neither exciting nor very good in the pre-Bill Walsh days. I was a proto or neophyte hippie and the OTT exploits of the renegade Raiders enthralled me. My father broke down and took me to some Raider games and I remember the blue collar frenzy of the fans as opposed to the polite buttondown 49er faithful.

I recall seeing George Blanda limp on to the field in relief of starter Daryle Lamonica and work his magic. My father may have preferred the Niners but, like everyone else in the US and A, was captivated by a 40-something guy playing like a kid with gray hair. Blanda was no longer a phenom but he became a pop culture phenomenon. I always called him the Ageless Wonder hence the post title. I guess I was channelingGrantland Rice or something…

I lost interest in the Raiders when John Madden quit and they traded Kenny Stabler and gravitated back to the 49ers, which became more fun with the arrival of Bill Walsh and Joe Montana. I remained a 49er fan until Steve Young retired, which led to much teasing and mockery after I arrived in NOLA. The Saints were then #2 in my pro football heart but once Young retired, I was off the hook.

Anyway, adieu George. You may have been named Blanda but you were never bland:


Nothing but the finest quality pledge week programming

This made me wet myself (metaphorically, that is) when I saw it for the first time. It should inspire you todonate to our little blog. Hey, it’s better to have one’s pocket picked than, uh, just watch below and focus on the woman in the background.

Okay, so I’m easily amused. While I’m at it, I couldn’t resist posting this clip of former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown performing a similar excavation during question time when he was still Tony Blair’s second banana:

You’ll never see programming like this on PBS, soplease hit the tip jar and I’ll STFU and get back to my Mad Men post.

Rahmbamarama

Okay, boyfriend spent entirely too much time up the ass of Obama’s supporters and not nearly enough time up the ass of Republicans, is my thought, but hey, come back here and be our mayor. It’ll be great. You can’t possibly screw it up any more than our spoiled boy king already has, the goddamn George W. Bush of Democratic city politics. Come on back here now that Daley has fixed up the parts of Chicago that Wisconsin and Michigan visit, and maybe we’ll have an Olympics. Ugh.

I was reading Politico this morning against the advice of my better angels and Mike Allen’s Morning Win or whatever the fuck that thing is called was full of stories about what’s on Obama’s iPod and what Obama thinks about Fox and what Ed Gillespie thinks about Obama, and then there wasthis:

Despite criticism that he’s too insular – and too reluctant to venture beyond his comfort zone — Obama feels little pressure to move outside the relatively small group of advisers and ex-campaign staffers who currently surround him in replacing Emanuel, aides say.

Nor is Obama expected to pick a permanent chief of staff until after the November midterms, when the full extent of Democratic losses and GOP gains is fully known.

The full extent. Of what’s already been determined. Meaning it’s over, and fuck it, let’s all go back to bed.

A.

First Draft Fundraising Day Two

The beatings will continue until morale improves.

New posts begin below this one. If you enjoy what you read here, considerhitting the tip jar to support our work. You don’t want the ferrets tricking for hosting fees:

Resize

A.

Pledge Week, First Draft Style

It’s that time of the year, folks. I’ll let ourpublisher, the crazy ferret lady, speak for us soclick here. She knows better than to let Jude or me near the money so it won’t go for a bar tab or ruby slippers for Oscar to slip his head into…

For my part, I thought I’d replicate PBS pledge drive programming. WYES in NOLA either runs endlessly nostalgic documentaries about local stuff that’s long gone OR has cheesy pop music programming. I chose the latter course by posting an early Bee Gees tune. But it’s a good one from the days when they sounded quite Beatlesque or like a proto-Tears For Fear. This is a real corker of a tune with a Macca-like opening that morphs into a Lennonesque piano pounder.

Another reason to love Zucchini

I love all forms of squash but have never used one as a weapon:

A Montana woman fended off a bear trying to
muscle its way into her home Thursday by pelting the animal with a
large piece of zucchini from her garden.

p>The woman suffered minor scratches and one of her dogs was wounded after tussling with the 200-pound bear.

The
attack happened just after midnight when the woman let her three dogs
into the backyard for their nighttime ritual before she headed to bed,
Missoula County Sheriff’s Lt. Rich Maricelli said. Authorities believe
the black bear was just 25 yards away, eating apples from a tree.

Two
of the dogs sensed the bear, began barking and ran away, Maricelli
said. The third dog, a 12-year-old collie that wasn’t very mobile,
remained close to the woman as she stood in the doorway of the home
near Frenchtown in western Montana.

Before she knew what was happening, the bear was on top of the dog and batting the collie back and forth, Maricelli said.

“She
kicked the bear with her left leg as hard as she could, and she said
she felt like she caught it pretty solidly under the chin,” Maricelli
said.

But as she kicked, the bruin swiped at her leg with its paw and ripped her jeans.

The
bear then turned its full attention to the woman in the doorway. She
retreated into the house and tried to close the door, but the bear
stuck its head and part of a shoulder through the doorway.

The
woman held onto the door with her right hand. With her left, she
reached behind and grabbed a 14-inch zucchini that she had picked from
her garden earlier and was sitting on the kitchen counter, Maricelli
said.

She threw the vegetable. It bopped the bruin on the top of its head and the animal fled, Maricelli said.

Dennis Byrne: Republicans Suck, and That’s Democrats’ Fault

No, really:

Somebody wants/needs something (they’re both the same), give it to him. Americans, goobers that they’re taken for, are supposed to buy into this idea if they want to be among the select — the smart elites hunkered down inWashington, D.C., Manhattan and other learned enclaves.

Are we seriously still on the decadent enclaves on the coast? Seriously? It’s been 10 years, we’re still on this? I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, I mean, parts of this country we’re still on the Civil War and before anybody accuses me of South-bashing I’m talking about a neighborhood I could hit with a rock from here. But … how long is this going to go on? I’m asking so that I can take a nice long nap. I got up at 5 this morning. I’d rather come back when the meeting’s actually getting started.

Also, “learned enclaves?” I went to state school in the Midwest and was a flaming liberal long before I got there, so kiss my hick ass, you blowhole. New York ain’t the only place folks go to college.

Instead of focusing on the reality of what’s happening across America, they divert themselves by trying to rip apart the tea party. Let them. What’s happening is bigger than the tea party or anyone who is putting it to use for his own ends. The tea party is but one manifestation of a larger phenomenon, and I don’t have a name for it.

Perhaps it’s a belief that even if the party in power claims to have a voter mandate, it still should not and cannot govern outside the boundaries of common sense. (It’s a lessonRepublicans should heed if they win big in November.) Americans have seen their own lives diminished, even crippled. But while they’ve suffered or lost jobs, they’ve witnessed government bureaucracy and jobs grow. While they can’t get a home, car or business loan, government — federal, state and local — borrows unfathomable amounts that can’t be covered in 100 years. While they see their own retirement prospects dry up, they witness public “servants” reaping pensions of bank-robbery proportions.

Don’t bother continuing to read the column for any evidence, whatsoever, of this increase in government bureaucracy. I’m not saying you couldn’t find some if YOU went out and looked, but clearly Byrne didn’t. This is what happens when you freebase after reading Dennis MIller’s later work.

Or his early work, come to think of it.

I am about done with comfortably situated loudmouths like this talking smack about the few people in America who’ve managed to hang on to the pension that used to be considered the due of hardworking men and women. Teachers, bus drivers, janitorial staff, all these people get ridiculed for still belonging to unions that have some power and are willing to fight to keep it. We say, “I don’t get a pension, so why should you have one?” instead of, “You get a pension, so why don’t I have one?” A pension used to be a middle-class reward for having destroyed your knees on a dock, your eardrums and hands on a factory line, your health in the classroom teaching the feral dingos spawned by your neighbors. It used to be an expectation.

Now it’s an unconscionable intrusion on Byrne’s right to be rich, and it’s bumming him out.

Democrats have coined what they believe is a nifty campaign slogan to describe the opposition: “the party of no.”

No ideas, no platform, no positive affirmations, no help for the tired, poor and huddled masses. No agenda for what they would do when they take over Congress (if they should be so lucky). Witless rabble, far outside the mainstream, who have no solutions, only “no-we-can’ts.”

And every time Democrats take that attitude, the company of angry Americans grows larger.

So what Democrats ought to do is … stop pointing out that Republicans suck? I don’t understand the course of action being recommended here. They ought to pay attention to the fact that people are pissed about stuff? Erm, okay. But if they’re supposed to be paying attention to how Democrats don’t respect anger over raising taxes that haven’t gone up and expanding government that hasn’t expanded and the growth of a deficit that isn’t going to bother them one bit in a million years, I gotta say, I think discussing whither the Tea Party is a much more productive use of their waking hours.

By which I mean about as productive as screwing a porcupine senseless. Which would be a step and a half over how most Democrats today spend their time.

A.