Monthly Archives: September 2014

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Wall Of Death


It’s time for another excursion into the world of the sideshow. It may not be fictional but it’s pulpy as hell . I’ve long been fascinated with carnies, sideshows, and the odd array of rides and acts they put on. The wall of death is one of the weirder sideshow phenomena. Here’s a brief description of the WOD via ye olde Wikipedia:

The Wall of Death, motordrome, silodrome or Well of Death (aka “Maut ka Kuaa“, India) is a carnival sideshow featuring a silo- or barrel-shaped wooden cylinder, ranging from 20 to 36 feet (6.1 to 11.0 m) in diameter, inside of which motorcyclists, or the drivers of miniature automobiles, travel along the vertical wall and perform stunts, held in place by centripetal force.

I’ve never owned a motorcycle but I understand the attraction, especially of vintage Harleys and Indians. I’m too clumsy to be a biker but I can enjoy this poster, which is a slightly more sinister variation on the one at the top of the post:

wall of death-1

I can also enjoy Richard Thompson’s great song Wall of Death wherein RT invites us along for a death defying ride and asks the eternal question: “I may be strong but what’s the good of ringing a bell?” Beats the hell outta me, but I love the song and this video featuring images of the literal WOD:

Malaka Of The Week: Jonathan Hoenig

I originally planed to “honor” Roger Goodell this week but I’m burnt out writing about that po-faced bastard. He’s guilty of egregious and persistent malakatude but I decided to write about somebody else this week. Jonathan Hoenig is a Fox News regular and founder of the Capitalist Pig hedge fund, which is almost bad enough to qualify for the crown of thorns in and of itself. But he said something really ignorant on teevee and that is why he’s malaka of the week:

“We should have been profiling on September 12, 2001. The last war this country won, we put Japanese Americans in internment camps; we dropped nuclear bombs on residential city centers. So, yes, profiling would be at least a good start.”

Really? First of all, the US at least temporarily won the first Gulf War by driving the Iraqis out of Kuwait, but that’s neither here nor there. His implication that we *won* the war by interning Japanese-American is ahistorical, batshit crazy talk. Not only was internment wrong, it didn’t aid the war effort whatsoever. It helped some Pacific Coast farmers steal land from their fellow citizens but it had squat to do with winning. I guess this hedge fund malaka doesn’t know who was President when a formal apology by the US guvmint was issued over internment. That’s right, the patron saint of modern conservatism, Ronald Reagan. Of course, many of his most ardent acolytes are shaky on the details of what President Reagan actually did. I suspect he’d forgive them: he wasn’t much of a detail man himself.

I have a longtime interest in this subject. Growing up in the Bay Area, I knew lots of people who had been interned. I was a kid who liked talking to older people and had a lively interest in history, which grew out of my love of old movies. My father was also honorary Japanese;  having parlayed a  facility with a language that he learned on Uncle Sam’s dime during the war into something he used in business.

I also wrote a paper on the subject that I was quite proud of for a college Poli Sci class. It taught me that even liberal lions such as Hugo Black and Bill Douglas could get it wrong whereas some ostensibly “conservative” Justices such as Stanley Roberts and Robert Jackson got it right. It was always a misnomer in Jackson’s case, he was more of a judicial restraint New Dealer like his colleague, the hot dog man, Felix Frankfurter.

In any event, I hate when people tailor history to suit their contemporary views. Hoenig is not only a capitalist pig, he’s full of shit when it comes to using internment to support his repressive, racist, and downright stupid position.

Malaka Hoenig is also one of my least favorite species of hypocrite: a so-called Randian libertarian. His idea of freedom, apparently, involves profiling, internment camps, and nuking people. It’s a form of objectivism that I find objectionable.

If I had a dollar for every time some right winger on Fox News said something historically inaccurate, I still wouldn’t be as rich, greedy or arrogant as Jonathan Hoenig and that is one of many reasons that he’s malaka of the week.

Finally, if you’re interested in the internment issue and it how it played out in the courts, Justice At War by Peter Irons is a classic.

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Evolution

At the risk of confusing Bobby Jindal, I believe in Evolution or at least the Hollies LP by that name. In 1967, every rock band did 2 things; they paid a visit to the psychedeli and/or released a concept album. Evolution was the Hollies turn at bat, and both the music and the cover are pretty darn good or as the kids said back then groovy, baby.

Here’s what little I was able to find out about the cover:

The cover shown [on Wikipedia] is the US/Canadian cover, which used the same Karl Ferris photograph but differed from the UK cover by dispensing with The Fool’s overall cover design. Instead, the US Canadian cover put The Hollies’ name on the cover in more conventional psychedelic-influenced lettering, placed the album title on the cover in a normal font, and then overlaid a paisley-patterned image to be more consistent with US visions of psychedelia.

Apparently, I was drawn to the original cover. I’ve never thought of myself as an originalist. I hope Scalia doesn’t get any ideas. I have, however, been called a fool, but never The Fool who were the design collective who, uh, designed the LP package. Here’s the cover:


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I look forward to seeing the raises his reporters all get

This is because of me and the Internet, right? 

Peter Liguori, CEO of Tribune Media Co., made $8.7 million last year,according to a filing Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

His compensation included a $1.5 million salary, a $1.8 million bonus, $4.2 million in stock and $1.2 million in option awards.

The filing said: “Through Mr. Liguori’s stewardship, we have achieved strong performance results, even while navigating the aftermath of bankruptcy emergence. Mr. Liguori’s contributions in 2013 included strategic input and oversight of all activities associated with: consummation of the acquisition of Local TV; the startup of Tribune Studios, Tribune Digital Ventures and Tribune Real Estate Holdings; preparation for the acquisition of Gracenote; and preparation for the Publishing spinoff.”

This asshole, who looks like the love child of Rahm Emanuel and Jim Caviezel, has presided over the gutting of a once-great newspaper, for which he has received $1.8 million as a “bonus.” Bonus for fucking what?

And look at these other goddamn clowns:

• Eddy W. Hartenstein, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Times (now chairman of Tribune Publishing): $2,603,792
• Lawrence Wert, president of broadcast media: $2,314,889
• Chandler Bigelow, executive vice president and chief business strategies and operations officer: $2,041,453
• Edward P. Lazarus, EVP, general counsel and corporate secretary: $1,694,899
• Steven Berns, EVP and CFO: $1,462,288
• Melanie Hughes, EVP of human resources: $851,554

Compensation to board members included:

• Bruce A. Karsh: $478,056
• Craig A. Jacobson: $473,056
• Kenneth Liang: $468,056
• Ross Levinsohn: $463,056
• Peter E. Murphy: $454,000

How many reporters could that money have sent to Syria, to Gaza, to Iraq? How many investigations could that have funded? How many more copies of the paper could have been printed and delivered while these guys were jerking themselves off in a conference room once a month and blaming Craigslist for their problems and telling reporters they should just suck it up and work for the love of the game?

It is IRRESPONSIBLE IN THE EXTREME to keep talking about new/social media, to keep squawking DIGITAL PARADIGM like some kind of brain damaged parrot, to talk about the demise of the print newspaper (and journalism along with it) as if it’s some kind of inevitability, when these numbers exist and people aren’t even slightly ashamed.

It is deranged. It’s also easy, as it only pisses off potential customers, and not a bunch of jackasses in suits.


Today In Responsible Gun Ownership

Another moron with a gun did something stupid. Because 2nd Amendment:

Emily Martinez recalls hearing a gunshot after her dog Clifford jumped a fence during her daughter’s party, The Denver Post reported. The family poured into the street and found a stranger, apparently walking his own dog, standing over the family pet, still brandishing a gun.

According to neighbors and guests at the party, the man who shot the dog was shouting that he was within his rights.

“I have a concealed weapon license,” they recall him saying.

The animal was shot twice in the neck, and died after the family rushed him to a veterinarian.

Martinez also told the Post that the man pointed the gun at several people as they gathered around the fallen animal. In response, Martinez’s husband ran inside to get his own gun, but by the time he returned to the scene the shooter was gone.

Martinez’s husband said the man had taken walks by their house for several months and had previously complained about the dog’s barking.

Having the right to do something and actually doing it are different things. I also don’t recall the existence of a right to shoot your neighbor’s barking dog in the constitution. I’m sure the NRA will find one.

Oh, the humanity.


Quote Of The Day: Edwin Edwards Edition

I rarely watch CNN any more. With the exception of Jake Tapper, I can’t stand their anchors, hosts or whatever. Do I really want my breaking news delivered by Wolf Blitzer, the worst contestant in Jeopardy history? Hell no, I don’t want to make Brad Rutter or Ken Jennings cry.

Anyway, Charlie Pierce informs us that CNN did a pretty good report about my former Governor’s candidacy for Congress. More importantly, Edwin did what he does best and fired off an instant classic one-liner:

“I may be old and rancid butter, but I’m on your side of the bread.”

I don’t share Charlie’s enthusiasm for a December run-off in both Edwin and Mary Landrieu’s races. Not only is the Democrat unlikely to win, but the likes of Chuck Todd and the Politico pukes will flock to the Gret Stet. I have no desire to hear gumbo and voodoo cliches from the beltway punditocracy.

Sorry, Charlie, I know it would be a great Christmas present for you, but I live here and I’d rather focus on the Saints and the Tigers than have a run-off. Of course, after the way LSU played the other night maybe I should reconsider…

‘for the most part that stopped the plagiarism’

Except it didn’t: 

Mainstream media ignored blogs, occasionally stole from, then adopted the format wholesale.

Today, the blog format — short, pithy posts focused on a single subject, published irregularly — has been widely adopted by the mainstream media. The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and The Washington Post all make extensive use of blogs — many of which are excellent.

But it was not always that way. In the early days, mainstream journalists were comfortable “borrowing” freely from blogs without attribution — not so much as a quote or a link to the original piece.

An effective response was needed to embarrass journalists to end their plagiarism: Read-it-here-first was just the trick. Publish both pieces, the original dated blog, and the pilfered piece. If that didn’t work, a stern e-mail to the editor and publisher usually worked. For the most part, that stopped the plagiarism — but for a while it was a problem.

It was also a problem when the Associated Press was suing bloggers for linking to (and thus driving traffic toward) its car-thief-chop-shop stories, themselves mostly copied from better local news sources. And in my experience larger newspapers were never shy about taking a story and “re-reporting” it after a smaller paper beat them to it, sometimes calling all the same sources.

Their arrogance really knew no bounds. True story #1: I once had a reporter at a larger paper in my market call me up and ask me for contact information for a source I’d quoted. When I got done laughing I said no, and she was unbelievably outraged, like how dare I not be honored by her attention to my little scoop.

True story #2: A friend blogging under the auspices of a newspaper dared to write something that contradicted the reporting of a prominent local critic. Said critic (who was wrong) flipped the living hell out and went all HOW DARE YOU DON’T YOU KNOW WHO I AM, necessitating the intervention of higher-ups who basically concluded that the blogger was overstepping because she’d offended this gasbag.

They were defensive and pissy until the ad revenue started drying up, and while I can’t bring myself to cheer for their demise I can say it’s entirely self-inflicted. The New York Times could have bought every city blog for a song ten years ago, if they hadn’t turned up their noses at the content. Blog triumphalism can be tiring, and you all know how much I love my print and think it’s just fine, but God, I have zero patience for people who could have embraced the Internet and now want some kind of absolution and for it all to be okay now.

(By the way, found via Romenesko.)


Boardwalk Empire Thread: Say It Ain’t So, Joe


I must admit to finding the 7 year jump from season-4 to season-5 somewhat disconcerting. That’s a lot of plot water under the bridge. My understanding is that HBO and the producers of Boardwalk Empire agreed to wrap it up after 5 seasons. So it goes. It has made for a bit of extra exposition but what’s a little exposure among friends. It was obviously best to end a series about bootleggers with the repeal of the dread Volstead Act. That’s where we find ourselves. Cheers, bottoms up.

What Jesus Said focuses primarily on some of the core, original characters, which is always a good thing. I did, however, miss Al Capone’s demonic laugh and the weird glint in the artist formerly known as Agent Van Weirdo’s eyes. My  random, discursive and sporadically amusing comments will commence after the break.

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Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Aw, shoot (vol II) edition

Good morning, campers!

It looks like the Freeperati have a new thing-that-is-bad to hang on us libtards:

UPDATE: One Trooper Killed In Shooting At State Police Barracks
WNEP ^ | 9/13/14 | Amanda Kelley

Posted on 9‎/‎13‎/‎2014‎ ‎2‎:‎55‎:‎14‎ ‎AM by Tamzee

BLOOMING GROVE TOWNSHIP — One Pennsylvania State Police trooper is dead and another is injured following a shooting at a barracks in Pike County.

State police have confirmed there was a shooting late Friday night at the Blooming Grove barracks.

Authorities confirm on trooper is dead and another was wounded.

Their names have not been released.

It happened along Route 402 in Blooming Grove Township.

Investigators said it happened Friday night as the two troopers were changing shifts. They were shot outside the barracks by a shooter or shooters.

Troopers say no one is in custody and a massive manhunt is under way, with police from Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey involved in the search.


Several area roads and highway closed as they are hunting for shooter or shooters, helicopters searching area….
1 posted on 9‎/‎13‎/‎2014‎ ‎2‎:‎55‎:‎15‎ ‎AM by Tamzee
Who – WHO – would do such a thing??
First reply:
To: Tamzee

Another lib… calling it

2 posted on 9‎/‎13‎/‎2014‎ ‎3‎:‎06‎:‎01‎ ‎AM by Viennacon (ILLEGALS ARE VIRAL WEAPONS!!)

Viennacon calls it at 3:06AM – good work, men!
What led you to this conclusion?
To: JennysCool

Remember, the Obamas, Al Sharpton, and Holder have been baying for the blood of cops since Ferguson. Michelle and all the others demands cops die as payback for Brown and the key witnesses in his case, also known as ‘Thug #1’ and ‘Thug #2’

6 posted on 9‎/‎13‎/‎2014‎ ‎3‎:‎22‎:‎55‎ ‎AM by Viennacon (ILLEGALS ARE VIRAL WEAPONS!!)

Any other theories?
To: Viennacon
“Remember, the Obamas, Al Sharpton, and Holder have been baying for the blood of cops since Ferguson. Michelle and all the others demands cops die as payback for Brown and the key witnesses in his case, also known as ‘Thug #1’ and ‘Thug #2’”Yup.And….It looks like they’re trying to get a White guy fired because Ray Rice slugged his GF/wife.
12 posted on 9‎/‎13‎/‎2014‎ ‎4‎:‎18‎:‎08‎ ‎AM by blam (Jeff Sessions For President)
To: caww
There was an apparent ambush shooting tonight outside of Blooming Grove Pennsylvania State Police barracks during a shift changeI wonder if there is a Muzzie involved?
14 posted on 9‎/‎13‎/‎2014‎ ‎4‎:‎54‎:‎29‎ ‎AM by Mark17 (If I have a son, I am going to name him Bill, George, Sue, anything but Barack Hussein Obama)
Would it be irresponsible to speculate?
To: Hulka

Not so strange when cops shoot up unrelated vehicles or act like schutstaffel.
See: hunt for Chris Corner, and any instance where a cop shoots a dog lately.
So you can’t claim the distrust isn’t earned.

58 posted on 9‎/‎13‎/‎2014‎ ‎11‎:‎50‎:‎56‎ ‎AM by Darksheare (Try my coffee! First one’s free….. Even robots will kill for it!)

And by “distrust”, he means “Shoot you dead with a sniper rifle”.
To: RandallFlagg
Cowards prefer soft (disarmed) targets.While I mostly agree with this sentiment, I think too, that you do an injustice when such things are discounted. Look at the Fort Hood shooter. He opened up on an army post. Granted, he probably knew that there would be no guns near his victims, yet he also didn’t know how close the security detail was and who would respond to his attack or how fast they would be. Remember that the muzzies have been slaughtering both infidels and their armies since the 600’s AD. The Crusades, all seven of them, didn’t turn out too well for the Crusaders. Even though much of that can be tacked onto the Crusaders themselves, the mooselimb armies cannot be discounted.
113 posted on 9‎/‎15‎/‎2014‎ ‎11‎:‎01‎:‎31‎ ‎AM by ExSoldier (Stand up and be counted… OR LINE UP AND BE NUMBERED…)
So we’re definitely going with the “mooselimb”, then?
And then:
To: conservative98

Suspect named. Eric Frein


142 posted on 9‎/‎16‎/‎2014‎ ‎1‎:‎50‎:‎41‎ ‎PM by VermiciousKnid (Sic narro nos totus!)

Fortunately, the Freeperati are able to express their horror at one of their own having done such a horrible thing:
To: VermiciousKnid

White guy, survivalist, probably an anarchist/extreme libertarian or a white separatist. A liberal fantasy coming true.

143 posted on 9‎/‎16‎/‎2014‎ ‎2‎:‎07‎:‎07‎ ‎PM by Wallace T.

No, son – your fantasy – our nightmare – coming true.
More after the sight-in.

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Sunday Morning Video: Crowded House Live In 2007


The Crowdies rock the Masonic Hall Grand Lodge in New York on this episode of Live From The Artists Den:


Salmond Smoked: Watching The Noslide



Front page collage/montage via NBC News on Twitter.

I love watching election results. Following British politics is one of my nerdier hobbies. I love it when the two collide as they did last night during the Scottish Independence referendum or #indyref as the kooky kids on Twitter hashtagged it.

I had a grand old time last watching the BBC on CSPAN whilst tweeting up a storm. During past UK general elections, CSPAN has dicked us around a bit by offering tardy or incomplete coverage, which didn’t happen last night. That was obviously more irksome in the pre-internet days but I’d still rather sit on the sofa with Oscar nearby than watch a wobbly stream on the computer screen. Della is apolitical unless it involves the vital issue of feeding Della Street. Dr. A tends to boycott election coverage, especially when it’s all talking heads as it was during the early hours last evening. She’s much wiser than me. I’m just a wisecracker who lives on a wiseacre…

A few words about the post title. I made that Alex Salmond joke so often on Twitter that people threatened to lox me up and schmear me with cream cheese if I didn’t relent. The term noslide came from my friend Jeffrey. I’m not sure if he birthed it, but I thought I’d give him credit. I’d rather steal jokes from friends than strangers. More pandering to the pun community after the break.

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Big Chief Principal on the warpath; demands all students in his teepee use “redskin” to describe his tribe


Meet Rob McGee. No, he’s the other one…


Over my time in covering student newspapers and the battles they face when dealing with administrators, one thing has become abundantly clear: The more wrong the argument, the more vigorously the administrators enforce it.

This week in Pennsylvania, the adviser to the Neshaminy High School’s student newspaper was suspended for two days. In addition, the student newspaper was docked $1,200 from its printing budget, an obscene amount of money for anyone, let alone a student paper where money is tight to begin with.

The reason? Adviser Tara Huber refused to force her students to print the word “Redskin” in the newspaper.

The Playwickian editors determined last year that the school’s mascot was racist and that that it would not publish the name “Redskin” in the paper at all. When referring to teams, it would use a generic term like “team” or “players” or something like that. When the word emerged in a quote or some other case in which the word could not be changed, the staff agreed to use the Associate Press standard for derogatory terms by using dashes after the first letter (R——).

Principal Rob McGee told Huber she had to override the students’ decision and publish the word as it appeared in a letter to the editor or not publish the paper at all. When she refused, she got an unceremonious 48-hour vacation and a reprimand in her file. In addition, the paper’s editor in chief, Gillian McGoldrick, was suspended from the paper until the end of September.

I’ve trod this ground before when it came to the Fond du Lac situation, where the principal and superintendent demanded prior review for the publication in hopes of cutting stories that were “negative.” The concept of prior review is chilling to free press and it limits actual discourse on key issues that impact students. The idea of an administrator overstepping and demanding censorship is an ugly, stupid thing that should never be allowed.

However, this situation is far, far worse than anything that happened in Fond du Lac for a number of reasons. First, in Fond du Lac, it was a situation that limited expression in certain ways. It prohibited certain content and it held up publication in spots, but the paper came out and the remaining pieces were never withheld. The Neshaminy case is one where the principal is taking an “all or nothing” approach: either print the word or you don’t print the paper. In addition, he’s essentially FINING the paper for attempting to operate a free press.

Second, and more importantly, this goes well beyond the issue of censorship as it relates to student media. In most cases, the argument comes down to the Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier decision, which allows administrators to prohibit content that would disrupt the general workings of the school. The court ruled that the First Amendment isn’t absolute when it came to high school students and that principals and other administrators could step in so they can keep the school running. This has led to all sorts of misapplication of this law with the underlying premise of “I don’t like it so you can’t read it.”

However, in this case, the Student Press Law Center doesn’t go that route in its rebuke of the administration of the school. Instead, it cites a Virginia v. Barnette, a 1943 case that explains that “no government official can compel a student to speak or adopt words with which she disagrees.” In this case, that’s exactly what McGee has done. Use the word “Redskin” or your paper is history.

Stop for just a moment and think about what that means. Let it really soak into the corners of your mind. It’s no longer a case of “I don’t like it so you can’t see it.” Now, it’s “I want it so you damned well better do it.”

What happens when this guy decides that the school mascot should be more even more prevalent in the paper, with references to teams being “scalped” or meetings as “powwows?”

What happens when he wants the boys to be called “braves” and girls to be called “squaws?”

Think beyond those instances and let’s really go for broke…

What happens when this guy decides that LGBTQ students should be referred to as “the queers?”

What happens when this guy decides that black students should be called “negroes?”

It’s easy enough to say, “Come on, Doc. Stop this slippery slope bullshit.” But here’s the thing and there’s really no way of getting around it: The way this is playing out, the principal has unfettered rights to dictate the word choices of others in the school. The bedrock principles of our country are exactly anathema to that idea.

I don’t expect Rob McGee to agree with me on this, nor do I expect anyone on the school board out there to come to grips with this concept any time soon.

After all, it’s hard to see how bad the rules are when you are the people making them.

Friday Ferretblogging


Good morning!


Friday Catblogging: Water Boxer

I recently transferred a raft of pictures from our Katrina-exile era Mac laptop to our current PC desktop. Here’s one of those ne’er lost but somewhat forgotten snapshots. Instead of shadow boxing, Della is water boxing:




Columbia College Chicago journalism professor Curtis Lawrence brought his class of aspiring reporters to listen to Rauner’s announcement about something or other and get some practice covering a political press conference, according to the Sun Times’ Natasha Korecki.

Rauner’s seasoned political team decided not to let the students into the event.

“Working media” only, they said before giving the boot to 12 up and comers.

Working. Yeah. Lemme tell you something, I worked harder as a student reporter on my laziest day than I ever did on my hardest day as a pro, in no small part because everybody around me was more interested in jerking off about their credentials and how much bigger their resumé was than in getting out of the goddamned way.

Let this serve as another reminder that Republicans only love reporters and the concept of press freedom when they can use them to score points.

God, this shit is so unnecessary. What is the harm in letting the kids in? What is the big fucking deal? Rauner, who here in Illinois is trying the Mitt Romney strategy of embracing his caricature as a rich, out-of-touch garden weasel, has nothing to lose at this point by having some students sit in. This is just being mean to be mean.

That didn’t work out so well for Mitt.


Pulp Fiction Thursday: Adam and Evil

It’s sleaze time here at First Draft. You Betty your ass:


Hear Ye, Hear Ye…Benghazi!

From Album 5

So, the grand, august Select Committee on Benghazi, chaired by Trey Gowdy — who both looks like a Trey AND someone who can’t resist the occasional costuming as a Confederate General from South Carolina because there were “men of honor on BOTH sides” — began…

Charles Pierce seemed surprised at the lack of fireworks…for now…though Dave Weigel suggested this track might be just the way to score points against Hillary Clinton.

But that demonstrates the whole nature of this clown show. I’m not naïve to the point of thinking Congressional Hearings are anything but political theater, but they tend to least premise themselves on something other than bloody shirt waving to a rabid base…and while Gowdy tried to play it cold and sober in the opening session, Weigel immediately emphasized the political ramifications.

Just me, but I side with Pierce on this one: the only real question is when-not-if-the mud starts flying. The nits and crazys addicted to Faux, Rush, et al, need their fix…

And the hearings themselves deserve no more than third billing at the amusement park.

Toothless Hicks and Where to Find Them

It’s so, so, so easy: 

And that’s the greatest motherfucking cosmic joke here: “there is little evidence that the expansion of health coverage will help Kentucky Democrats in this fall’s midterm elections” because obviously Kentuckians are ungrateful fucks who you just want to let loose on and say, “Go fuck yourself. We’re taking the diabetes treatment and the lung disease medicine and heading somewhere more hospitable.”

But here’s the thing. This video was going around, and yeah, okay, toothless hicks.

You know what I see in here?


In the year 2014.

In America.

Which is not a thing that should be happening.

It is too goddamn easy to say fuck you, we’re taking our Magic Muslim Negro Health Care and leaving you alone with your one tooth and your pile of weird stuff and your … dogs, or whatever those are. On your floor in your … hut.

It is too easy to say fine, you don’t want a black president and everything else the 21st century has to offer? WE’LL JUST TAKE IT BACK THEN.

But we didn’t give people health insurance so that they’d vote Democratic. We gave them health insurance so they’d have health insurance. We gave them health insurance so maybe they would be able to keep some of their teeth. Or their lungs. Or their livers or their hearts.

It is hard enough, keeping your body together, when you are rich and have it easy.

It is not easy when you have it hard.

But the Rude Pundit can’t help but think that Democrats have no one to blame but themselves here. For months, they bought into the Republican lies that the ACA was going to be a huge failure and didn’t defend it when it needed defending the most. So even though Gov. Steven Beshear was a huge advocate, many Democrats allowed the narrative to be set by Fox “news” and by the goddamned cowards in our own party.

Which is true, but I’m not sure it would have mattered. Look at the story Rude’s talking about:

Kentucky is arguably one of the health law’s biggest early successes, with about 10 percent of the population getting coverage through the state’s online insurance marketplace — albeit mostly through Medicaid, not private plans — and none of the technology failures that plagued other enrollment websites. The uninsured rate here has fallen to 11.9 percent from 20.4 percent, according to a recent Gallup poll that found only Arkansas had experienced a steeper decline.

But there is little evidence that the expansion of health coverage will help Kentucky Democrats in this fall’s midterm elections.

At a certain point as a human being I have to say WHO GIVES A FUCK? From a sociological standpoint, this is interesting, but it’s also … beside the point?This is the kind of thinking that makes me want to glug Charlie’s anti-freeze, this “but how will it play in the midterms” Politico-spin on everything.

I would love it if suddenly everyone who benefitted from Obamacare turned into a bleeding heart liberal. I would love it if they started demanding single-payer, too, and stopped hating anybody who liked to hold hands with members of the same sex, and stopped talking about God like He was their cosmic concierge, and embraced science and media literacy. I would love all of that.

But that’s a bonus. That’s not the prize. The prize is keeping them alive.


Album Cover Art Wednesday: Teaser and the Firecat


The man with three names-Stephen Dimitri Georgiou, Cat Stevens, and Yusuf Islam-is back in the news, and in a good way. He’s planning his first US tour since 1976.  That’s why I thought the time was right to feature one of his album covers. Besides, I read about it on Mother Mary’s Facebook page and I fear her wrath. Not really, she’s one of Oscar’s favorite people, so what can I do?

The toughest thing about using Teaser and the Firecat in this feature is the variety of backdrops on the original LP. I saw at least 4 color schemes online and decided to go with the highest quality scan, which is this one. If it’s not the original, sue me.

Cat Stevens drew the covers for many of his LPs, and this is the one that speaks to me the most. It was based on drawings for a children’s book of the same name published in 1977. He was essentially a talented folk artist and that’s okay by me. He’s my countryman, after all. There are scans of the LP’s back cover and interior gatefold  after the break.

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