Monthly Archives: March 2015

Let’s Be Counselors

Let’s get this out of the way: I know people who have been helped immeasurably by AA and its offshoots, so I’m not trying to start a fight by posting an article about how the science behind AA is nonexistent.

I am saying that JESUS WHAT THE FUCK: 

There is no mandatory national certification exam for addiction counselors. The 2012 Columbia University report on addiction medicine found that only six states required alcohol- and substance-abuse counselors to have at least a bachelor’s degree and that only one state, Vermont, required a master’s degree. Fourteen states had no license requirements whatsoever—not even a GED or an introductory training course was necessary—and yet counselors are often called on by the judicial system and medical boards to give expert opinions on their clients’ prospects for recovery.

Mark Willenbring, the St. Paul psychiatrist, winced when I mentioned this. “What’s wrong,” he asked me rhetorically, “with people with no qualifications or talents—other than being recovering alcoholics—being licensed as professionals with decision-making authority over whether you are imprisoned or lose your medical license?

“The history—and current state—is really, really dismal,” Willenbring said.

That’s kind of terrifying.

I am biased in favor of the learnings, I will admit. I want to know where somebody went to school if they’re giving me medical advice. I look up my doctors and my family’s doctors online and pester my parents about the quality of the care they get, because I know from bitter experience how hard it is to get decent care even from people with sterling credentials. I am a doctor snob. I am picky about these things.

With mental health care, it is a goddamn crapshoot ALREADY, and that’s with the credentials. So throw in counselors who have no education whatsoever, and this seems like a prime opportunity for scammers to get away with shit. Or for well-intentioned people with no training to make mistakes in a field where it seems mistakes could be very dangerous.

A.

Reporters Taking Down Reporters

This is sad. Predictable, but sad. 

 We are part of a coalition of organizations that meets regularly with the Chicago Police Department’s Internal Affairs Unit and individuals from its general counsel’s office. We worked with both over the course of more than a year to have this general order changed so that arrestees could access counsel at the facility.

I guess when the Chicago Police Department issued a statement even skeptical lawyers “found laughable” they didn’t check with their Internal Affairs Division or General Counsel’s Office.

That’s how I know the Guardian story is true. But local reporters who weren’t interested in this story when the hiding of suspects at Homan Square was at its height should find out for themselves. And by find out, I mean actually report the story before concluding that it’s simply not possible that they blew it.

This seems to be a recent thing, too. Reporters are competitive, jealous babies and to save face or make themselves feel better will totally go to their editors all WE WEREN’T SCOOPED THAT ISN’T EVEN A STORY WHATEVER MAN. But the idea that a story isn’t worth covering because the reporter who broke it is a douchebag or the outlet he works for is somehow beneath them, that’s something new. 

 First the problem was that it couldn’t be happening or our local reporters – who had been told it was happening and passed on the story – would know. Now it’s that everyone knows it’s happening, but it’s not happening at Homan but all over the city. So it’s happening everywhere except where the Guardian reported! Therefore, not a story.

Except the corroborating evidence shows it is happening at Homan. And the Guardian did report in its original story – there have been four or five, none of which local reporters seem to have read – that it was also happening all over the city. The problem is particularly egregious, though, at Homan because it’s off-the-books. That’s the point.

I’ve had reporters jump all over stories I’ve broken and it’s gratifying because it means more’s going to get done. No matter how good you are or how far ahead you are, 50 people working something means 50 times the effort going into finding out lies and bullshit and exposing them. Which in a good cause like, say, telling people about a secret torture program by US cops, is a good thing.

To go all local-loyalty power-humping is just depressing and in the Internet age it doesn’t discourage or diminish the original story. It just makes you look like a petty bitch. Then again, this is the town where a newspaper endorsed the candidate who tried to get its reporter fired, so I guess loyalty within the trade is a lot to ask.

A.

NYT Now Sourcing Stuff from ‘Some Dude Who Said His Cousin Saw This Thing,’ Basically

Yes, Taylor Marsh is still a thing, and in this instance happens to be right: THIS SOME MAJOR BULLSHIT.

Complete with a luscious click bait headline that includes not only Benghazi, but “Clinton emails,” too. It’s a “rare glimpse” of Hillary Clinton’s “concerns,” which the New York Times regurgitates from “sources” described as “senior government officials,” who gave them all the juicy dish on Hillary’s Benghazi emails, which the Times never saw.

But they did show that Mrs. Clinton’s top aides at times corresponded with her about State Department matters from their personal email accounts, raising questions about her recent assertions that she made it her practice to email aides at their government addresses so the messages would be preserved, in compliance with federal record-keeping regulations.

Oooh…

But they did show

Except that the New York Times never saw the emails on which they’re basing their entire story.

God, another round of Clinton Derangement Syndrome. I don’t know if I can deal.

A.

You Learn Something New Every Day

The name Jindal is synonymous with bullshit here in Louisiana but until today I had no idea that Jindal Plast is a popular brand of terlet in India. So, both Jindals are linked to shit, only one is useful. I learned this from my friend Paul who took the picture below when he traveled to India:

Jindal Terlet

If only Gret Stet voters could just flush PBJ down the Jindal Plast terlet. Since he’s running at a whopping 1% in national GOP polls, it looks as if Iowa Gopers will give him a political swirly, and end his delusions of grandeur. I wish it would have happened before that fast talking four flusher destroyed public education and health care in Louisiana.

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The Fog Of History: Zombie Crawfish Edition

They weren’t really zombies but I’m trying to get your attention. There’s a lot of  competition online these days, so what’s a little sensationalism among friends? I’m trying to conjure up the spirit of Weegee to take pictures for us, but the, uh, Ouija board isn’t working very well…

My Twitter friend and fellow horrid punster James Karst survived the Picayune purge and, among other things, writes a weekly column/feature for it called Our Times. He rummages about in the newspaper’s morgue and writes about his  discoveries every Sunday. He often focuses on the odder side of New Orleans and few things are stranger than this week’s piece, Crawfish in coffins, the curse of the Locust Grove cemeteries.

An extended quote is forthcoming after the break.

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Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Beck-ola edition

Beck-ola

Good morning, gentle people – Glenn Beck has been a Free Republic staple since forever, and there’s a constant and amusing feud between Freepers who think he’s a visionary. and Freepers who think he’s certifiable.

Let’s delve into this and have a look, whaddya say?

We’ll start with a little – Beck and forth!

Glenn Beck: ‘I’m out of the Republican Party — I am not a Republican’
Yahoo News ^ | 3/18/2015 | Dylan Stableford

Posted on ‎3‎/‎18‎/‎2015‎ ‎6‎:‎30‎:‎09‎ ‎PM by stevie_d_64

Glenn Beck says he is no longer a member of the Republican Party.

“I’ve made my decision — I’m out,” Beck said on his radio show Wednesday, according to Mediaite.com. “I’m out of the Republican Party. I am not a Republican; I will not give a dime to the Republican Party. I’m out.”

The former Fox News host and founder of the Blaze supported the GOP during the last election cycle but has become disillusioned with the party in recent years over what he believes was its failure to stand up to the Obama administration — specifically, the Affordable Care Act and immigration reform.

“Four years ago I was with them,” Beck said. “Four years ago I said, ‘Work from the inside, let’s change it, let’s get new guys in there.’”

But those efforts have proved futile, he said.

1 posted on 3‎/‎18‎/‎2015‎ ‎6‎:‎30‎:‎09‎ ‎PM by stevie_d_64

Hmm – maybe the Beck fans have all been banned? I had to scroll down 60 posts before I found this:

To: Georgia Girl 2

Beck was way ahead of his time regarding the internal Marxist/socialist threats to America, esp. the Obama crowd.

He did more with his blackboards to expose the interlocking Soros/Communist Party USA/Democratic Socialists of America subversion than any other conservative on TV or radio.

BeckBlackboard

He did his homework and put into illustrations the “Who” and “What” of this Marxist subversive network that reached directly into the White House (Anita Dunn, Vann Jones, David Axelrod, Quentin Young, Bill Ayers, etc).

BeckBlackboard2

Let’s give him credit for doing this when no one else was interested in it or was doing much about it.

As for his wanderings, that’s a personal issue of his. Agreed with his stances or not, he’s still a good person who has awakened our nation to its’ internal threats, a sort of Cable TV “Paul Revere”.

Friends of mine had access to him, and he listened and learned. We ought him our thanks for sounding the warning calls in the early days of the Obama subversion when no one else was (with specific knowledge and organization).

61 posted on 3‎/‎18‎/‎2015‎ ‎7‎:‎08‎:‎14‎ ‎PM by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper (madmax)

Some of the Freeperati give Glenn grudging respect for being late to the party:

To: stevie_d_64

Good for him. The scales fall from another persons eyes.

8 posted on 3‎/‎18‎/‎2015‎ ‎6‎:‎34‎:‎07‎ ‎PM by RKBA Democrat (There is only one party, the uniparty, and corruption is its credo.)

To: stevie_d_64

HOORAY Glenn!

44 posted on 3‎/‎18‎/‎2015‎ ‎6‎:‎55‎:‎32‎ ‎PM by PGalt

But most of the comments are along this line:
To: stevie_d_64

I’ve never given a dime to the Republican Party, so…

I’ve also never been a fan of Glenn Beck.

3 posted on ‎3‎/‎18‎/‎2015‎ ‎6‎:‎31‎:‎55‎ ‎PM by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)

To: trisham

Same here. Guy has gone nuts, personally.

6 posted on 3‎/‎18‎/‎2015‎ ‎6‎:‎33‎:‎16‎ ‎PM by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)

To: stevie_d_64

I don’t much care what Glenn does. Whatever it is, it will be self serving and pointless.

19 posted on 3‎/‎18‎/‎2015‎ ‎6‎:‎39‎:‎32‎ ‎PM by pallis

To: Essie

He can talk with an voice more sincere than Bill Clinton’s while telling you something only for his own betterment.

(while sobbing) “Pleeease people. I know these things. You will be out in the streets if you don’t listen to me…Buy Goldline”

26 posted on 3‎/‎18‎/‎2015‎ ‎6‎:‎43‎:‎42‎ ‎PM by MNDude

Heh.
To: Secret Agent Man

I can’t understand how Beck succeeds or makes any money.

He is as crazy as an outhouse rat.

Apparently Obama doesn’t have all the crazies on his team.

39 posted on 3‎/‎18‎/‎2015‎ ‎6‎:‎51‎:‎40‎ ‎PM by Iron Munro

Now bear in mind that the above is coming from someone who would vote for Ted Cruz or Sarah Palin in a heartbeat…
To: lonestar

Time for Liberty Party—Glen beck can be the first to Join or do the Reform Party! If others join we can do something. The RINOs have shot themselves one too many times. Let them have their Jeb Bush—the Liberty Party can nominate Sarah Palin!

125 posted on 3‎/‎18‎/‎2015‎ ‎10‎:‎13‎:‎58‎ ‎PM by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll Onward! Ride to the sound of the guns!)

Didn’t I just say that?
Of course, there is one more person too crazy even for Free Republic:
Comment #135 Removed by Moderator
To: PieterCasparzen

Wow. My post, in which I cited Alex Jones’s claims about the Bushes, has been deleted.

I was citing what SOMEONE ELSE has said, and got deleted.

144 posted on 3‎/‎19‎/‎2015‎ ‎3‎:‎04‎:‎36‎ ‎AM by Arthur McGowan

To: PieterCasparzen

I don’t know whether it is what I quoted about the Bushes, or the mere mention of Alex Jones. Is Jones a non-person on FR?

145 posted on 3‎/‎19‎/‎2015‎ ‎3‎:‎08‎:‎51‎ ‎AM by Arthur McGowan

I believe the term you’re looking for is “unperson”.
To: Arthur McGowan

“Alex Jones is forever banned from FR. He’s a dipweed 9/11 conspiracy nutcase. These freaks make good money just making shit up for the gullible. Not surprised liberaltarians fall for any anti-American crap that comes down the line.

Those who don’t like my position on this are welcome to post elsewhere.”

47 posted on 4/9/2014 2:40:54 PM by Jim Robinson

159 posted on ‎3‎/‎19‎/‎2015‎ ‎10‎:‎09‎:‎18‎ ‎AM by BuckeyeTexan (There are those that break and bend. I’m the other kind. ~Steve Earle)

WinningSheen
More Beck-O-Rama drama after the Goldline commercial…

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Politico’s Jalopy Goes .185

Their story about the Secret Service agents getting hammered and crashing their car into the White House was complete bullshit, but you won’t hear that from them: 

On Tuesday, a source who watched surveillance video of the incident told The Huffington Post that the agents’ car was moving at only 1 to 2 mph and appeared to deliberately nudge a traffic barrel in order to pass through the White House complex. Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy confirmed the source’s account Thursday, telling lawmakers there was “no crash” evident in the video. At this point, there is also no evidence the agents were drunk.

Ambinder wrote Friday that Politico Magazine stands by his original piece “and doesn’t think an apology is necessary — but I think I was wrong.”

In an email to HuffPost, Ambinder referred questions about why the follow-up didn’t run in Politico Magazine to that publication’s editors.

Politico Magazine editor Garrett Graff told HuffPost he could not discuss conversations with individual writers. In an email, Graff pointed out that Ambinder’s original story for Politico now includes a clarification noting that subsequent accounts described the incident as being “milder” than originally reported.

Oh, a clarification! Let’s see what it was:

Further reporting has questioned whether this March 4 incident was as serious as various news organizations originally reported as well as what role alcohol may have played in the incident.

Further reporting has questioned. All on its own. Various news organizations reported — hey, lots of people said it was a fiery explosion fueled by Buttershots! How could we have known?

But we don’t even know if alcohol had anything to do with the argument at the scene. We don’t know if the agents, being off-duty, created friction by appearing on-scene during a tense moment. We don’t know whether the agents tried to pull rank, asserting their right to bypass the temporary barricades because of their role. We don’t know if the agents were even drunk, a point that Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), an agency critic, made to CNN Tuesday.

It would, however, have been irresponsible not to have speculated LIKE HELL.

A.

Our Quadrennial Shock at the State of the Republican Party (and the Selfishness of Nostalgia)

Every four years, it surprises our Serious Commentariat how completely batshit crazy nuts the Republican Party is. 

Immigration reform is dead to Republicans; it alone may sink Jeb Bush, by most measures their strongest presidential contender. Unless a CEO gave Obama money, the party has nothing to say about corporate abuse of any kind. Super PACs have swallowed up the party. As for inclusiveness and social intelligence, you can make a strong case that the 2016 GOP field is even worse than the last one.

Early 2016 GOP campaign events are like cattle calls for great herds of ignorant opportunists, ranging from the now pathetic Sarah Palin, to the ever more odious Donald Trump, to the apparently bright but seemingly demented Ben Carson, a doctor who spent last week walking back his professional medical opinion that homosexuality must be a choice because people in prison choose to be gay.  Carson calls Obamacare “the worst thing to happen to the nation since slavery” and recycles a fabricated quote from Lenin to connect it to communism.

Every four years, the guardians of our national discourse take a look at the Republican candidates and say how, how can they be like this? Every four years, our media marvel, absolutely flabbergasted, at the idiots who purport to represent the American Right. Every four years, they put on their Serious People hats and survey the smoking, cratered field of play, shaking their heads in paternalistic despair and clicking their tongues in judgment.

In 2016, people are shocked. But in 2008, the GOP put up Sarah Palin as vice president, hailed her as their new standard-bearer, and then watched everything go straight to shit. In 2000, the GOP’s third highest primary vote-getter was Constitution Party whackjob Alan Keyes, who would go on to self-immolate in a Senate race against a state politician named Barack Obama.

(Their winner that year was no Clarence Darrow either.)

And in 2012, the Royal Media We asked Ourselves louder than ever, whither this mob of unwashed nutballs? 

Into this newly chaotic Republican landscape strode Mitt Romney. There could be no doubt that it was his turn, and yet his journey to the nomination was interrupted by one against-the-odds challenger after another — Cain, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul; always Ron Paul. It was easy to dismiss the 2012 primaries as a meaningless circus, but the onslaught did much more than tarnish the overall Republican brand. It also forced Romney to spend money he could have used against Obama and defend his right flank with embarrassing pandering that shadowed him through the general election. It was while trying to block a surge from Gingrich, for instance, that Romney told a debate audience that he was for the “self-deportation” of undocumented immigrants.

At the 2012 convention in Tampa, a group of longtime party hands, including Romney’s lawyer, Ben Ginsberg, gathered to discuss how to prevent a repeat of what had become known inside and outside the party as the “clown show.”

How many times do we have to see that clown show before we stop being so appalled by red noses, fuzzy wigs and giant, comical shoes?

I mean it, how many times? At what point do we notice that the circus isn’t pulling up stakes? The Big Top has a boardroom now, and a fitness center, and the trapeze artists have joined the homeowner’s association. At what point do we just call the clown show Thursday, and stop being so goddamned surprised by it?

Because it’s gross, this every-four-years longing for the Republican Party of Yore. It’s gross because this was always the Republican Party, these racists and doomsayers and religious fanatics, and to yearn for a time when nobody talked about that is to yearn for the closet and the noose again. I’m not saying it’s better now, that they say what they mean. I’m saying, they say what they have always meant.

Ronald Reagan couldn’t make it through a Republican primary today, we lament, and what we are really saying is, “Ronald Reagan hid his racism and bigotry well.” That is disgusting. The Republican Party has always been this venal, this broken, this dysfunctional. To yearn for a time when it was otherwise is just to yearn for a time when we didn’t know.

When it wasn’t obvious. When our eyes were closed.

It’s gross because, like almost everything in our modern political commentary, it’s borne of laziness and fear. Because, hear me out: If there are Two Serious Parties made up of Serious Men and Women Who Just Sensibly and Reasonably Disagree, then they will Talk Things Out and Come to a Compromise, and everything will be fine.

The Royal Media We don’t have to worry our heads. We can sleep sound. We can keep going to our cocktail parties, keep writing our columns, and keep talking to one another on TV.

If, however, one party has absolutely lost the plot, and is not able to be responsible for anything, and cannot hold the other party accountable, and cannot offer a sane or sensible alternative to whatever the other party is proposing, then our political system does not function and must be torn down and rebuilt.

We don’t want to do that. It’s too big. It’s too hard. It’s almost like what other countries, that aren’t already perfect, have to do all the time. It’s almost like what human beings have to do all the time. It’s too much.

So we keep pretending that this present state of affairs is temporary and shocking. We keep looking to a past that doesn’t exist, and wishing it back again, because it lets us off the hook.

A.

Sunday Morning Video: Hunter S Thompson Meets Ralph Steadman

Today’s SMV is a 1978 BBC documentary wherein Ralph Steadman visits his old colleague Hunter S Thompson in Aspen. It’s titled Fear And Loathing In Gonzovision at the beginning and Fear And Loathing On The Road To Hollywood With Dr. Hunter S. Thompson And Ralph Steadman at the end.

Odds & Sods: Friday Follies Edition

the-who odds--sods

There are always follies on Fridays; most other days as well. At the risk of sounding like Keith Olbermann, we begin with:

From Debrisville To Durstville: Robert Durst has been making headlines in New Orleans since his arrest. He faces gun and weed charges locally. I’m glad the DA’s office is charging him since the case against him in the murder of Susan Berman is the *opposite* of a slam dunk. Hopefully, it won’t be an air ball.

More Friday hilarity after the break; at least I hope it’s funny. I dread turning into Jack Webb as Joe Friday at times like this. Why? I’ll never know. Continue reading

Why we fail molestation victims

The eyes in the mug shot were what broke me.

I don’t know what it is about them, but I can’t get rid of them. I can’t even see the rest of his face, even though I had seen it hundreds of times before.

The eyes, somehow different than I remember. Somehow less something or more something.

When I saw them, I finally figured out why it was so hard for all those people overall those years who supported the Catholic church and other societal institutions refused to believe the crimes the children revealed.

On Wednesday, my wife sent me a picture message, with a tag line of “Does this name sound familiar to you?” The photo was of a newspaper brief that noted an emeritus professor from a school at which I once worked had been arrested on suspicion of child molestation.

I read the name. I read it again, because, after all, unless you’re a presidential assassin, very rarely are you referred to by your full first, middle and last name at any point in life.

My first thought was, honestly, “I thought he had died.” The man was old when I knew him and that was nearly 8 years ago.

My second thought was, “This can’t be the same guy.” After all, people share names all the time. I remember once being on the phone with a jail supervisor asking about a guy who had been arrested and they needed to know if the guy’s middle initial was “E.” or “F.” because they had two guys in the system who matched the name I gave them.

I did a quick Internet search and found the larger article.

It was the man I knew, now in his late 70s.

There was the mug shot.

There were those eyes.

I felt like a power hitter had just slammed a wooden bat into my chest, with the barrel pressing right under my left breast. My throat felt like someone had clamped a strong hand onto my larynx and squeezed. I instinctively covered my mouth with my hands as my eyes widened and locked on the screen.

The article was like those I had written dozens of times before. Perfect inverted pyramid, quotes from a police report, a “nothing to hide” statement from the accused.

The accusations weren’t any more lurid than any others I had seen before or any other stories I had written on the crime beat. I often tell students that I’ve seen stuff that would make a Billy goat puke, so this wasn’t a case of virgin eyes casting upon a dark deed. In fact, as I write this, a police report about a man who bludgeoned a prostitute, cut her open from pubis to neck to watch her organs work and then had sex with the semi-living body sits next to me in a file drawer.

I’m not given to vomit easily.

Still, the minute I read this story, which was like every other story I have ever read that turned out to be 100 percent accurate, I found myself fighting the instincts I have chastised in others.

“This can’t be real.”

“There has to be something else going on here.”

“What’s the underlying story?”

I voiced none of those thoughts because I knew better. And yet, it still came back to that underlying sense of shock and disbelief.

The man was a professor who became one of the ten most identifiable faces in his field, despite working in a place that wasn’t known as a “name place.” He was a distinguished lecturer. He was a beloved scholar and teacher.

Beyond that, he was a quiet, thoughtful man who was nice to everyone in the department, something that wasn’t always true of everyone there. He could have thrown his weight around or pushed to widen the fractures between his discipline and others, but he didn’t.

He was always nice to me and seemed to be that grandfatherly figure who would pull a quarter from behind a grandson’s ear. When my wife invited my entire department to a surprise birthday party for me, only three faculty members showed up: My two best friends and this guy. He bought me a Loony Tunes coffee mug, and I have no damned idea why I remember that fact 10 years later. He lived three blocks from us.

Stop, I tell myself.

These things are all true, but they don’t negate the accusation. I can pile the sandbags of character as high as I want, but the wave of reality will still get through.

It is quite likely that on top of all of these other great and mighty things, this man molested a child over a period of years. And maybe this is just the tip of that iceberg, if what A used to tell me about people who molest children is accurate.

Still, I now understand why it’s so hard for members of the public to accept that someone they know committed a dark and depraved act. It’s why rape, incest, molestation and other similar crimes are massively under-reported and why the public anger is often so swift and horrible, re-victimizing the victims.

Even knowing all I know about the crime, the people who commit it, the stigma cast upon victims and the societal backlash, I couldn’t stop those thoughts myself.

I wasn’t angry that I didn’t see this coming or worried that he had been near my child or something like that. I wasn’t fearful or ready to demand answers from him. I just felt myself physically lock up and felt my mind flail about.

Maybe my emotions were simply instinct and that the only saving grace I could allow myself was that I at least understood enough to know what was happening in my head before I said or did something stupid.

I don’t think that’s enough, but that’s all I have and I doubt I will ever have any more.

Friday Ferretblogging: Best Buds Edition

Claire has been very affectionate with Bucky since he got sick. He still isn’t moving around too well, so back he goes to the vet today to see if he needs his meds adjusted or upped. In the meantime Little Hissyfit has been curled up with him at night, keeping him warm:

20150317_070747

A.

Friday Guest Catblogging: The Big Three

Last Saturday was the Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day parade. For many years, Dr. A and I have been going to an open house at our close friends Greg and Christy’s joint. We had a blast.

This picture of their three cats wasn’t taken that day (they were hiding) but I thought I’d post it as a sort of thanks for the hospitality. Christy snapped the picture and the cats are from left to right: Gonzo, Hana, and Harold:

The Big Three

NH Douchebags Use Kids to Not Score Points

HA HA HA THIS IS SO FUNNY: 

In the spirit of learning by doing, students drafted a bill to learn the process of how a bill becomes law. They proposed House Bill 373, an act establishing the Red Tail Hawk as the New Hampshire State Raptor. Even though it passed through the Environment and Agriculture committee with a majority vote, some representatives were far from receptive.

Rep. Warren Groen, a Republican from Rochester said, “It grasps them with its talons then uses its razor sharp beak to basically tear it apart limb by limb, and I guess the shame about making this a state bird is it would serve as a much better mascot for Planned Parenthood.”

Groen apparently has a bug up his ass about Planned Parenthood, which “cuts children into small pieces.”

The older I get, and the more I pay attention to politics, the more I realize just how deeply fucking stupid a lot of these people are. I mean this guy is just as dumb as a bucket of fish heads.

Rep. Groen voted for requiring the Congress of the United States of America to reaffirm its adherence to the Constitution of the United States regarding international agreements and treaties. This resolution was one of the first pieces of legislation the current House Leadership spent time working on.

Rep. Groen voted for further consideration of a bill that would mandate all able-bodied NH residents 18 years of age or older to participate in a NH state militia (without compensation).

Rep. Groen voted for forbidding parents of minor children from seeking divorce for irreconcilable differences. (HB587, Roll Call #37, 1/11/2012)

Rep. Groen voted for challenging the Federal government’s powers under the Commerce Clause. (HB324, Roll Call #39, 1/11/2012)

Rep. Groen voted for affirming States’ powers based on the Constitution for the United States and the Constitution of New Hampshire.

You know, a bucket of fish heads could be used for cat food. I apologize to the cats and their food.

A.

Malaka Of The Week: John Fleming

866359-6-20120206140506-gop-rep-fooled-by-onion-s-abortionplex-story

John Fleming is a Congressman from North Louisiana. He’s another dipshit right wing Doctor. I’m pleased to report that he’s an Ole Miss doc, not an LSU one. He’s said a lot of stupid shit over the years but something came out of his pie hole the other day that took the proverbial cake. And that is why John Fleming is malaka of the week.

Louisiana Gopers only make TPM when they say something ludicrous. Here’s how good ole Doc Fleming (I refuse to call him Doctor John for obvious reasons) made news:

“Make no mistake about it: this is a part of a grand plan for the Democrat Party to make this nation into a single-party state,” Fleming said while discussing Obama’s executive action on immigration on the Virginia-based radio program “The John Fredericks Show.”

Fleming warned that the action on immigration, combined with lax voter registration rules, would lead to massive numbers of undocumented immigrants casting votes for Democrats.

Undocumented immigrants are “very, very consistent Democrat voters” who “come from cultures that look to government for solutions,” he said.

“That Democrat Party knows this, and they know that if they can’t win elections using American citizens, this is a good way to go around that.”

Fleming added that Democrats had already turned California into a single-party state, “and you see the devastating impact it’s having there.”

I don’t where to begin. Let’s start with one of his lesser malakatudes, the thing about California. It’s a sign that he gets all his national news from Fox. California elected the most qualified person in the state Governor in 2010 and he turned its economy around. Additionally, Jerry Brown is a legendary cheapskate who’s not even all that liberal on fiscal issues. The Gret Stet’s current Governor is a pandering idiot who’s run state government into the ground and his likely successor is David Vitter. California is on the comeback trail whereas Louisiana is on the skids. Thanks, PBJ.

Does Doc Malaka even know what a “single-party state” is? He makes it sound as if President Obama is out to revive the Soviet Union or, even worse, turn the US & A into Cuba. If that’s the plan it only works in alternate years. Remember the 2010 and 2014 off-year elections, Doc? Y’all won. Me, I wouldn’t mind seeing a few more vintage ’50’s cars on the streets. I love me some chrome and tail fins…

It’s also beyond preposterous for a Southern Republican to issue warnings about a “single-party state.” It used to be a solidly Democratic South and then all the Dixiecrats became Republicans. Louisiana held out against the red tide for quite some time but succumbed in the wake of Katrina and the Federal Flood. The Gret Stet GOP wave accelerated after the election of the first black President although people like good ole Doc Malaka assure us that it has nothing to do with race. I guess that’s why Louisiana voted for Thurmond in 1948 and Wallace in 1968…

It gets worse. Fleming wants to succeed Bitter Vitter in the Senate. To further those frightening ambitions, he’s endorsed Vitter for Governor and is hoping to be appointed by Diaper Dave as his successor. Vitter already controls Double Bill Cassidy and given the fact that Fleming is as dumb as dirt, he’ll be Vitty’s man as well. That’s a lot of power for one politician to hold. Doc Malaka ought to be more careful who he calls a dictator considering that with his help Diaper Dave could be the Juan Peron of Louisiana. I refuse to make the Kingfish comparison because Huey would want to kick Vitter, Cassidy, and Fleming up the ass for their egregious malakatude. One of them, however, isn’t stupid but I’m not talking about Doc Malaka. And that is why John Fleming is malaka of the week.

My reverie about vintage American cars gave me an earworm so I’ll give John Hiatt the last word:

DEBRISVILLE RATS: A MODEST PROPOSAL

It’s time for another trip to the Adrastos Wayback Machine. Yesterday, I was putting some golden (moldy?) oldies online and I got First Draft confused with the archival site since both are on Word Press. In short, this sucker wound up posted here on the 2006 date listed below. I even got a compliment from Monkeyfister on Twitter so I had to re-post this re-post:

It was probably his first time seeing it but I’ll accept the praise. Thanks. Okay, let’s turn the dial on the Wayback Machine to 2006 when I routinely called New Orleans Debrisville:

Wed, 20 Sep 2006 16:06:17

The lead story on WWL’s Six O’Clock news last night was about a rat infestation at the Iberville Housing Project. The folks who have moved back in are positive it’s because there are so many empty units with full fridges and pantries. HANO asserts that all the fridges are empty and squeaky clean. Yeah right. Rodent removers have allegedly been hired but may not show up for weeks.

Anyway the story was chock-full-o-images of scurrying rats in need of exterminating. It occurred to me that there’s gotta be a way to whack the rats and raise some money to boot. Then a lightbulb appeared above my head, which made me feel like Bugs Bunny. The idea was inspired by seeing Sean Penn in town this weekend. In Woody Allen’s Sweet and Lowdown, Penn played a nut job virtuoso jazz guitarist whose idea of a good time was to visit the dump in whatever burg he was playing and shoot rats.  Sean keeps telling everyone how eager he is to help New Orleans, so why not have a Celebrity Rat Shooting event at the Iberville Project. People could pledge X amount per rat whacked. It’s a natural. Penn’s All The King’s Men co-star James Gandolfini has extensive experience killing rats on The Sopranos, after all. I’m not sure that I can visualize “one of our finest actors” shooting rats in da bricks, but people would pay money to see Jude Law try.

Just imagine the thrill of watching celebrities kill rodents to raise money. It’s a winner, I tell ya. Brian Williams and Anderson Cooper will be back here faster than you can say ratatouille or Dr. Raoult Ratard. Btw Dr. Ratard is the state epidemiologist. I am not making that name up. I’ve been wating for months to have an excuse to slap his name into a post. My life is complete.

I realize that this is not an entirely original idea: Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee’s deputies went nutria hunting a few years ago, BUT they didn’t use it as a fund raising device. Anyone have any suggestions as to who would be a good celebrity rat shooter? Maybe Bob Geldof of Boomtown Rats and Live Aid fame would cross the pond to take pot shots at the Iberville rats. I hesitate to suggest Vice President Duce: he’d probably shoot an innocent bystander. But the possibilities are as endless as this post.

Expo 67 Um, Make That Explo 2015

From Album 5

Well, it should make for quite the fireworks display:

MINDEN, La. — Just before midnight on Oct. 15, 2012, Sheriff Gary Sexton of Webster Parish was driving home from the airport when the sky lit up like midday. He flipped on his walkie-talkie to hear everyone asking: What on earth were those big booms?

As the sheriff would soon learn, two massive explosions had taken place at Camp Minden, a 15,000-acre site owned by the state in the pine woods just south of here, where private companies engage in military-related work. When the authorities began examining the blast site, they found something startling: thousands of tons of M6 propellant, used in the firing of artillery rounds, stuffed into plastic bags and piled into sagging cardboard boxes, many of them out in open fields.

Though the initial explosions were so big that smoke from them showed up on National Weather Service radar, no one was injured and damage was minimal. But more than two years later, figuring out how to dispose of 18 million pounds of unstable and dangerous material — who would do it and whether it could be done in a way that did not compound the danger — remains the talk of the parish.

The material belonged to Explo Systems, a private contractor. The 18 million pounds includes some explosives like TNT, but nearly all of it is M6 propellant, which can spontaneously ignite, a risk that increases significantly over time. Officials with the Environmental Protection Agency say it is the largest such stockpile in the country.

And…of course, Explo has gone Implo, declaring bankruptcy two years ago after several company officers were indicted on charges related to the 2012, um, “event.” So now the Gret Stet of Loosiana (which is stuck holding the bag–make that bags…hundreds of them…all ticking time bombs…or “big booms,” if you prefer) and the EPA have decided the solution for disposing of 9000 tons of hazardous, toxic, and volatile material is…burn it out in the open. Because after all, what could go wrong?

More here — video link.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Big Four

Agatha Christie was the queen of cozy mysteries but she wasn’t above the odd pulpy cover to boost sales. Here are two cover variations on one of her best Hercule Poirot novels:

Big Four-1Big Four-2

Exit Poll Flashback

I’ve been following the Israeli election very closely, hoping that the electorate would wake up, smell the coffee, and vote Likud out. It didn’t happen obviously; in part because a personally unpopular Prime Minister waved the bloody shirt of racism. He barely bothered to dog whistle, making a direct appeal to people’s worst instincts. It worked depressingly well. It usually does, alas.

In the run up to the election, pundits assured us that the Israeli exit polls were accurate; certainly more so than the ones in the US & A. Josh Marshall had to walk that belief back earlier today. I get where it was coming from: Israelis vote for a party list of candidates, not for a specific MK. Perhaps that’s why past exit polls were passably accurate. 2015 didn’t quite turn out that way, so it conjured up images of our 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections.

Who among us can forget the way the networks played handball with the Florida results in 2000? Ping pong or boomerangs might be a better analogy but the exit polls got it wrong and the election wound up being decided by the Supremes.

In 2004, the exit polls leaked like a sieve and showed John Kerry as the victor. I avidly consumed them and was absolutely convinced that Big John had won. Holy letdown, Batman. I have never, ever placed any faith in exit polls since then. If the Israeli exit polls had been right, the two major blocs would be deadlocked and there would have been an outside chance of a non-Bibi led government. Instead, the world has to put up with that goniff’s mishigas.

Back to 2004, while sifting through my archives I stumbled on this 2007 post called The Night I Kinda Sorta Met The Canal Street Madam:

How’s that for a teaser? And no I did not frequent her bordello. Get your minds out of the gutter folks. And that means you blondie.

T’was the night before the 2004 Presidential Election. Dr. A and I joined a group of friends,  Romans and countrymen at the corner of Napoleon and Magazine to wave Kerry-Edwards signs and encourage people to vote out the dolt. We all know how that turned out.

At one point I was on the neutral ground across the street from Miss Mae’s bar. There was a tall brunette who a tabloid writer would call statuesque. I suspect that Ashley or Ray would call her something else. Anyway I chatted with her for a few minutes about how horrible Bush was and I predicted that Kerry would win. We all know how that turned out too.
 
A few minutes later someone (I can’t recall who but it might have been Bob, Cookie Tom,  Julie or Jen) said to me: “Did you realize who you were talking to?”

“Nope. But she looked kinda familiar.”

“It was the Canal Street Madam.”

Since, I have the 2004 campaign on my mind, I’ll give Bruce Springsteen and John Fogerty the last word:

 

Paragraph Of The Day: Hadley Freeman Edition

I have a confession to make. I’m having a hard time taking the whole Reg Dwight versus Dolce and Gabbana story very seriously. Admittedly, what they said was *horrendous* but the whole idea of boycotting a luxury designer brand is ludicrous. I seem to have been boycotting it prior to their channeling Silvio Berlusconi and being homophobic homosexuals. My boycott is strictly price driven but it enables me to be in solidarity with Elton John. Woot.

The Guardian’s Hadley Freeman finds this dispute between the super rich to be as funny as I do. I couldn’t pick between the last 2 graphs so here are both of them:

Anyway, Dolce and Gabbana’s views on parenting would have remained unknown to the greater public had not good ol’ Elton John barrelled on in and denounced the duo on Instagram. And at this point, things promptly went kray-kray. Elton has every right to be a bit cross about the duo’s views, not least because he has two children with his husband, David Furnish, and his response was relatively measured (for Elton). Gabbana, however, is having none of it – and after denouncing Elton as “a fascist” (you’d think an Italian would be clearer on the correct definition), he has spent the past 36 hours making angry collages on Instagram, which is molto tragico. After Elton called for a boycott of Dolce & Gabbana, Stefano is now calling for a boycott of Elton for, um, something, and he has, hilariously, adopted the Charlie Hebdo hashtag for himself: “Je suis D&G”. He has also since issued the typical non-apology apology press release, saying: “We talked about our way of seeing reality, but it was never our intention to judge other people’s choices.” Translation: “We see children of gay couples as abominations, no judgement! Buy our stuff!”

But I think we are forgetting the real victim of this battle: Madonna. Now, Madonna is no friend of Elton (he once called her “a fucking fairground stripper”), but she is a friend of the gay folk. She is also, however, a friend of Dolce & Gabbana. And now she is facing the Sophie’s Choice scenario of having to choose between her gay fans and fashion. Truly, I think we have just witnessed the 21st century’s version of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand – and all alliances are in doubt here. As Dolce & Gabbana would say: “mamma mia!”

The whole piece is hilarious as is much of Mr. Freeman’s output. Every time I see the name Gabbana, I crave a banana but I shan’t be boycotting them or Elton John for that matter: