Monthly Archives: July 2015

In Domestic Violence, the Pictures Pack the Most Powerful Punch

Posting this for Doc, who’s having some kind of technological disagreement with the WordPress hamsters at the moment.

I can’t recall any other time in my life where I wanted to take a 24-year-old, heavily tattooed porn star into my arms and hug her tightly, telling her, “I’m so, so sorry for you. I wish there was something I could do to make it all go away.”

This month’s “Real Sports” on HBO features a segment on Christy Mack, an adult-film actress who dated Mixed Martial Arts fighter War Machine up until an assault almost killed her. (Side note: “Real Sports” needs to understand that no matter how good a piece is, it’s not an “exclusive” or a time where someone is “telling her story for the first time” if you got scooped on the topic by more than three months.)

Police reports indicate that Mack was asleep when War Machine (his legal name) used an old key he had to her home and found her in bed with a friend. After beating the man bloody, he turned on Mack, who suffered 18 broken bones, a lacerated liver and broken teeth. The only thing that made her face recognizable in the crime-scene photos was a small tattoo of a heart near her left eye.

War Machine’s trial begins next month and Mack is front and center, making sure that the victim has a face for the jury, even if it’s a face she doesn’t fully recognize as her own. The incredible piece by Jane McManus for ESPNw outlines how Mack’s facial muscles don’t work as well, her eyes are less expressive and her teeth are a work in progress. 

“Real Sports’” substantive addition to this discussion was a full examination of how Mack’s story, while horrific, is merely an exemplar of domestic violence in MMA. The reporting done for the story reveals that MMA fighters have nearly double the domestic violence incidents of the general population. (For a comparison, NFL players are lower than the gen pop.)

Truth be told, I’ve never understood the appeal of MMA. Sure, many other sports involve violence and the idea of imposing your will upon another individual. Football, though, includes safety gear and a set of plays that demonstrate value beyond the violence “in the trenches.” Boxing, which I also don’t fully embrace, has brutality, yet it also has some semblance of mercy. Once the fighter is down, the fighter is down. Wrestling, albeit violent and bordering on the insane, has its “scripted” elements to it as well.

MMA is as close to gladiatorial Rome as we have. Two people in a cage, attempting to destroy one another. Bones are broken, joints are torn and blood is flowing freely. When a fighter hits the canvas, the other jumps on top of the wounded opponent and flurries away until no resistance remains.

All while people cheer.

The kind of will, anger and physical training associated with this sport tends to draw people for whom rage is a resting pulse. Sure, the Ronda Rouseys of the world bring class, technique and a certain elegance to the sport, but there are a lot more War Machines out there than Rouseys.

Watching the “Real Sports” interview with “Mayhem” Miller had me worrying for the safety of the reporter and recalling a few encounters with angry drunks at local watering holes.

Some of these guys are like brain-damaged, steroid-riddled, violently trained Joe Pesci characters: Ready to explode at any minute.

The fact that many of these men turn violent in their personal relationships should not come as a surprise. That tornado of rage can’t flip on and off like a light switch.

This is not a call to ban MMA. It’s not even a condemnation of the sport. Guys who beat on women wouldn’t be less likely to beat on women if they were bus boys or gardeners. The same is true for people who watch the sport, although research has indicated that observation can lead to replication. Watching this kind of thing as people root for more blood and more crippling injuries can’t be a good thing.

Still, if what we watched on TV were a complete and direct predictor of what we would become later in life, I would be either dropping 500-pound anvils on a roadrunner or transforming from a professor into a dune-buggy and fighting the Decepticons.

Instead, this is call to find more ways to put the power of visuals to work in telling these stories. Words like “domestic violence” and “sexual assault” are bad, but they are soft compared to what these people actually experience. Watch this clip in which Mack explains how War Machine planned to “take back” what he saw as his.

Also, this is a call for less episodic coverage of these events and for more “long form” coverage. In most cases, people get the basics: Man assaults woman (I’m generalizing to a gender here, but I acknowledge other gender pairings do exist in this realm), Woman files charges (or doesn’t), Man goes to trial (or doesn’t), Man gets convicted (or doesn’t) and the incident is over.

Now who wants to see a story about a bear in a swimming pool?

Instead, Mack shows photo after photo of how she had to heal. It wasn’t a “beat to a pulp on Friday, doing a photo spread for “Hustler” on Monday” transformation. Watch this clip of a dental expert explaining how he had to rebuild her mouth over nearly half of a year.

Take away the visuals, take away the time elapse and take away the painstaking description and you have basically the impact of a before and after weight-loss ad. Sure, it’s something, but it doesn’t capture nearly enough to make this as real as it should be.

This is too real, especially for people like Mack who have lived the horror and will likely never recover.

Friday Catblogging: Rugcats

We recently bought a small rug and placed it by the front door. It is now the property of Oscar and Della Street:



Aqua Buddha’s Faltering Campaign Needs More Aqua Buddies

Aqua Buddha by Bluewater Productions

Aqua Buddha by Bluewater Productions.

Remember when the MSM was madly in love with Senator Aqua Buddha? He was the great white brogressive hope who would woo crossover voters and have a chance to be the first weirdly licensed physician to be President. Things haven’t worked out very well for Crazy Uncle Liberty’s baby boy.

Like every other GOP Oval One wannabe, Aqua Buddha has been overshadowed by the tycoon typhoon that is Donald Trump. How can one possibly compete with a man out to be the first Insult Comedian President? Trump talks loudly and carries a big shtick.  Perhaps that’s why Rand has countered with some physical comedy involving the tax code:

He claims to have “new ideas” for the tax code but he’s merely recycled the old Laffer/Kemp/Forbes notion of a flat tax. It is as exciting as it is original. Yawn.

Politico *used* to be in love with Aqua Buddha. Those days are long gone:

Easily the biggest problem confronting Paul is his fundraising — or lack thereof. Paul has taken in just $13 million, a fraction of what all of his major rivals for the Republican nomination have raised and far less than Paul hoped.

Those close to Paul say there’s a simple reason for his lack of success: He’s simply not willing to do the stroking and courting that powerful donors expect. He’s downright allergic, they say, to the idea of forging relationships with the goal of pumping people for dough. And while he’s had no shortage of opportunities to mix and mingle with some of the Republican Party’s wealthiest figures, Paul has expressed frustration that donors want so much face time.

Poor baby, he doesn’t want to mingle with the mean old plutocrats who would most benefit from his regurgitated flat tax proposal. One would think that he’d focus on wooing one fat cat to finance his campaign, even Ted Cruz has his own personal billionaire. I hate it but it’s the way it works in the post-Citizens United world. Rand seems to lack the proverbial fire in the belly or desire to do what it takes to win an election. Holy campaign cliches, Batman.

That brings me to the post title. My friend Robert wondered the other day why the Paulites had not created a category for top-tier donors. The Bushies had their pioneers, after all. His suggestion: Aqua Buddies. I like it. Small contributors could be called Aqua Babies. I think we’re on to something big, y’all.

In the end, it looks as if what Sen. Aqua Buddha really needs is a Sugaree daddy:

H/T:  Monkeyfister for turning me on to that killer version of Sugaree from the Dead’s glorious year of 1977.

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Oh Please Oh Please Oh Please

From Album 5

Sure, be careful what you wish for, but, wow, a Trump/Palin, um, alliance, merger, commingling (ugh), whatever you want to call it (The Art of the Going Rogue Deal…Also, too…?), like two neutron stars spiraling in on each other, creating, to steal/paraphrase a line from Malcolm Tucker, something so dense light would bend around it.

They deserve each other, and the GOP deserves the both of them. You’d never see a … classier … yeah, classier … train wreck.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Pulp Librarian Files

I’ve been following @PulpLibrarian on Twitter for quite some time. His tweets are always illuminating and informative. So, I’d like to try something completely different and post 3 of his pulpilicious tweets. This batch features Fantastic Adventures magazine covers from the early 1950’s. Here we go:

Speaking of fantastic:

Tweet Of The Day: Governor Deadeyes Does Philly Edition

TPM has a hilarious piece about Scott Walker’s recent campaign stop in Philadelphia.

In Philadelphia, you don’t mess with people’s cheesesteaks.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) learned that the hard way on Tuesday while visiting two of the city’s popular cheesesteak spots, where he cut in line, left behind his trash, and ordered the famous Philly sandwich — with American cheese and without onions, according to

Apparently, Governor Deadeyes thinks he has the right to cut in line because wrecking Wisconsin makes him an important man.  I’m only sorry that Charlie Pierce is on vacay this week so he can’t write another Watching Scotty Blow piece about this schmuck.

The much ballyhooed tweet of the day comes from WaPo reporter Jenna Johnson who was watching Scotty blow:

I hope they booed him too. It’s a safe assumption, it being Philly. Anyone remember this?

Don’t Gopers know that Philadelphia is a Democratic town? The could look it up: President Obama got  85% of the vote there in 2012. Oy, such malakatude.

Malaka Of The Week: Michael Cohen

I know you’ve all heard the story about Donald Trump, one of his ex-wives and the rape allegations made in a 1993 book. His ex has denied it, and I’ll let others deal with that aspect of the story. What I am interested in is the thuggish response of Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen. Strike the word lawyer, he comes off as more of a gangster’s mouthpiece than an attorney. (Cohen reminds me of Gotti’s lawyer Bruce Cutler, only with better hair.) And that is why Michael Cohen is malaka of the week.

Cohen is not only as arrogant and obnoxious as his client, he’s as ignorant. He claimed that marital rape is NOT illegal. He’s wrong about that. It has been against the law in New York state since 1984. Before I get to Cohen’s thuggish and boorish threats against two reporters, he issued a non-apology apology Tuesday but I think he’s only sorry for getting caught:

““As an attorney, husband and father there are many injustices that offend me but nothing more than charges of rape or racism. They hit me at my core. Rarely am I surprised by the press, but the gall of this particular reporter to make such a reprehensible and false allegation against Mr. Trump truly stunned me. In my moment of shock and anger, I made an inarticulate comment – which I do not believe — and which I apologize for entirely.”

Inarticulate is a good word to describe this tirade in apology drag. I’m uncertain as to what exactly Counselor Malaka is apologizing for. The rape mistake? Or is it over the mob lawyer style threats made against the reporters? Beats the hell outta me. He should apologize for both. Here are the malakatudinous threats in question:

“I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we’re in the courthouse,” Cohen threatened writers Tim Mak and Brandy Zadrozny, if they reported on the 1993 book “Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump,” by Harry Hurt III. “And I will take you for every penny you still don’t have. And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know. So I’m warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me?”

“You write a story that has Mr. Trump’s name in it, with the word ‘rape,’ and I’m going to mess your life up…for as long as you’re on this frickin’ planet…you’re going to have judgments against you, so much money, you’ll never know how to get out from underneath it.”

It’s a pity that Mr. Cohen wasn’t old enough to have worked for CREEP in 1972. He sounds like John Mitchell’s kind of guy. These threats reek of malakatude and everything about the legal profession that I despise. Cohen also lost his cool: competent counsel does not yell and scream threats, they get all icy and shit. The best way to stick a shystery shiv in is with a smile on your face.

If  Cohen’s non-apology apology is supposed to apply to his blustery threat against the reporters, I don’t buy it. He meant what he said when he said it. It’s the Trumpian style: talk big, yell, scream, bully, and call people LOSERS. The accumulation of malakatude will eventually catch up with Trump. I realize that’s an unfashionable view right now but the MSM depends on hive-mind thinking and I’m a lone wolf even if I rarely howl at the full moon:

Back to the Nixonian analogy. It’s an apt one since  Nixon tattoo wearing veteran GOP ratfucker and conspiracy theorist Roger Stone is in the Trump camp as a “strategist.”Stone is more of a saboteur than anything else. His presence as a Trump adviser is indicative of the kind of asshole that Trump is. Right now, he’s a popular asshole but a few more outbursts from malakas such as Michael Cohen and the Trump campaign will be sleeping with the fishes.

This seems like as good a place as any to tell a story about a lawyer I worked for as a young legal assistant. Let’s call him Phil. He was very intelligent and very angry. His face was always red and his eyes full of scorn for his inferiors, which seemed to be everyone who wasn’t a partner or well-heeled client. He was a very impatient man with an annoying habit of asking “Are we speaking the same language?” when hearing something that displeased him. One day I’d had enough. He said “Are we speaking the same language?” one time too often so I replied, “I’m speaking English. I don’t know what language you’re speaking.”

Phil threw me out of his office but didn’t fire me. The ways of the malaka can be mysterious and most high-powered lawyers are malakas, especially those with malakas as clients. And that is why Michael Cohen is malaka of the week.

Apology, my ass. I wonder what language he’s speaking…

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Album Cover Art Wednesday: Rags To Rufus

The reason I selected this album cover is a peculiar one even for me. It came to me in a dream. Right before waking up yesterday morning, the image of the Rags To Rufus cover slid into my mind to the tune of the album’s big hit, Tell Me Something Good. I’m uncertain if it was fated but I don’t believe in interrogating my subconscious. I leave that sucker alone.

The fact that my subconscious chose this cover is an indication that it’s as fond of puns as I am. As was Rufus, their next album was entitled Rufusized. A great title but a pedestrian cover, alas.

In the end, what’s not to love about a band that featured the sublime Chaka Khan? She has one of the best names in musical history, y’all. And what’s not to love about a cover that places the band in a pocket?

Rags To Rufus

Here they are Rufusizing Stevie Wonder’s Tell Me Something Good on Soul Train:

How Are They Any Different Than Donald Trump?

If there is one question I’d like asked of any other Republican candidate besides Donald Trump, on any debate stage that may or may not come to exist during this neverending circus, it is this:

How are you different?

I don’t mean in demeanor. Lots of you are nicer than Donald Trump. Lots of you use fewer ALL CAPS or exclamation points in your Tweets. Lots of you say things about accepting those that are different from you, loving the sinner, replacing Obamacare, having compassion. Lots of you speak with a softer voice.

I mean in position.

Do you believe America should build a wall around itself, and blame recent immigrants for its crime and drug problems?

Do you believe the only solution with regard to other countries — Japan and China in particular — is to “beat them?”

Do you believe Obamacare is “amazingly destructive” and will result in “disaster” for the country?

Do you believe waste and fraud in government programs comes primarily from poor people who benefit from those programs?

Do you believe the greatest problem in American education is the demon known as Common Core?

Do you believe there are “degrees” of rape, and that marital rape is basically a fiction?

Do you believe all of those things?

Because when I hear Republicans bemoaning Trump’s candidacy, when I hear all this disingenuous longing for the good old days of The Real Serious GOP, what I really hear is this:

I long for the good old days when we could be bigots, without being so LOUD about it.

I long for the good old days — when we could claim Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond as our own, run the war on drugs, and ignore the AIDS crisis — because back then Republicans were intelligent, thoughtful people.

I long for the good old days, when stupidity at least could be cloaked by a degree from an elite university instead of stuffed under a bad hairpiece.

When I hear Republicans talking about how Donald Trump is making them look bad, all I can think is that that happens, often, when you forget to keep using your Company Voice and start slamming back tequila shots.

I would love for someone to ask one of the so-called serious candidates, one of the real candidates, one of those who merely believes teachers’ unions are the root of all evil and black people don’t really have rights in the face of police authority, exactly how Donald Trump is any different from them.

Aside from the toupee, anyway.


It’s About the Stories

Ezra, being very smart in noticing something: 

But my guess is that within three years, it will be normal for news organizations of even modest scale to be publishing to some combination of their own websites, a separate mobile app, Facebook Instant Articles, Apple News, Snapchat, RSS, Facebook Video, Twitter Video, YouTube, Flipboard, and at least one or two major players yet to be named. The biggest publishers will be publishing to all of these simultaneously.

Which, if it’s about the kinds of stories you tell, is going to be good for those newsrooms that know what they’re about. If you speak with a distinct voice that voice will find an audience. If you’re one of a thousand voices droning the conventional wisdom over the same speakers that announce the weather and the lottery numbers, nobody will hear you. If you’re part of the press pack all covering the same speech, well, certainly it would be fair of the reading public to wonder why they need 500 of you at Donald Trump’s campaign events, instead of one of you with 499 e-mail addresses.

Whenever I hear newsies whining that nobody wants to pay them to be mediocre anymore, all I can think is that they need to find ways to be better, to say something nobody else is saying, to cover something nobody else is covering. That’s harder than doing what you’ve always done and it sucks that you can’t keep doing things the way you’ve always done them, but that’s not the concern of your readers.

I hear far too much chatter these days about what is good for journalists and journalism, and not enough about what is good for the audience. Who’s thinking about them?

Where I diverge from Ezra’s analysis is here:

My biggest frustration with the new media — including, on some days, Vox — is how much we’re like the old media. Most outlets — even the digitally native ones — still publish pieces that could, with few exceptions, be printed out, stapled together, and dropped on someone’s doorstep. So long as that’s happening, it’s a pretty safe bet we’re not fully realizing the potential of this new technology.

Print is still vital where print is still vital. Giving up on it in knee-jerk fashion is just as short-sighted as being hostile to the Internet in knee-jerk fashion. If this is about getting the stories to the people who need them most, then the form that reaches the people who need the stories is the form that will work. In some places, in some cases, that’s still print and that’s okay.

What we have to STOP doing is elevating one thing over another, and start doing all of it. That’s hard and it’s more work and bosses are insisting it be done with less money and fewer people, and that’s not sustainable. You can’t just bet on one thing. You have to bet on your stories, and get them out in as many ways as possible.


Odds & Sods: I Don’t Like Mondays

Pedro and Marichal_MSJ

Pedro Martinez & Juan Marichal. Photo by Milo Stewart, Jr/National Baseball Hall Of Fame

You’re probably wondering why I posted the Pedro-Juan picture from yesterday’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony. I decided to throw y’all a curveball and take this feature back to its roots and post one on a non-Saturday. In short, I’m messing with my readers. That’s why I thought I’d post a picture of the best pitcher in San Francisco Giants history with his fellow Dominican Hall of Famer. Of course, both Pedro and Juan had eleventy million pitches that they threw from a variety of angles. The first time I saw Pedro pitch for the dread Dodgers, I called him Juanito. Enough besibol nostagia…

The *other* reason I’m writing an omnibus post of a Monday is that I have a couple of subjects I want to write about in one fell swoop. I really ought to get on with it.

I chose I Don’t Like Mondays as the post title/theme song because Bob Geldof wrote it about a 1979 shooting spree that killed 2 and wounded 9:

Fear and Loathing in Lafayette: Governor PBJ has called this a senseless shooting and urged us all to pray. As you saw earlier, some of the Freepers consider this leadership. It is, of course, the abdication of leadership. It makes me wanna strip PBJ of his bigass belt buckle and cowboy boots:


The Lafayette Police persist in calling this a senseless crime when, as my friend Dakinikat pointed out at Sky Dancing, it is a particularly brutal outbreak of misogyny:

So, I’m not letting this mass shooting in Lafayette go for awhile.  Several things stand out to me.  First, the killer was a rabid misogynist who went on Talk Radio shows screaming about the Biblical roles of women. It shouldn’t be lost on any one that he chose an Amy Schumer movie which was going to have a larger than normal number of women in attendance and that a solid majority of his victims–including the dead ones—were women.

Since Houser had an anti-semitic streak as wide as David Duke, plus the fact that Ms. Schumer is half-Jewish and related to Senate Democratic Whip Chuck Schumer, that’s apt to be another part of this toxic brew of madness and hatred. Hence the Hunter Thompson inspired sub-header.

It’s easier for a small city police force to slot Houser into the deranged loner category and move on. I hope they don’t and do their best to get to the bottom of this appalling crime. Another reason I’m hoping for some answers  is that I have several mutual friends with Jillian Johnson who was one of the two women murdered by Houser. Here’s a clip of her band the Figs performing a spirited version of Psycho Killer:

Ironic doesn’t even begin to cover it. R.I.P.

More Monday musings after the break.

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Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – gun goons edition

Hoo boy. Here we fucking go again.

I’m actually getting into Adrastos’s territory here, but –  you must not live in Lousiana!

Two Killed, Eight Injured in Louisiana Theater Shooting ^ | July 23, 2015 | M. Alex Johnson and Erin Calabrese

Posted on ‎7‎/‎23‎/‎2015‎ ‎8‎:‎55‎:‎18‎ ‎PM by rdl6989

Two people were killed and at least six others were injured in a shooting Thursday night at a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, authorities told NBC News.

1 posted on 7‎/‎23‎/‎2015‎ ‎8‎:‎55‎:‎18‎ ‎PM by rdl6989

You know – sooner or later, even the Freeperati are going to start grudgingly admitting that there is a problem here.

To: rdl6989

Another copycat. Thanks “media”!

2 posted on 7‎/‎23‎/‎2015‎ ‎8‎:‎56‎:‎15‎ ‎PM by FlingWingFlyer (Remember! It’s not a hate crime if the victim is white.)

Of course – how stupid of me! The issue is “the media”, not nutcases with handguns!
To: Rodamala

What is going on here? There are FAR too many of these happening and FAR too often. Just a few years ago this was almost unheard of.

5 posted on 7‎/‎23‎/‎2015‎ ‎8‎:‎58‎:‎07‎ ‎PM by rdl6989

To: Rodamala

Gov. Bobby Jindal said he was on his way to Lafayette and asked for prayers for the victims.

Now theres a LEADER!

God Bless Him and the families friends and associates of the dead and wounded!

8 posted on ‎7‎/‎23‎/‎2015‎ ‎8‎:‎58‎:‎48‎ ‎PM by MeshugeMikey (“Never, Never, Never, Give Up,” Winston Churchill ><>)

Wait for it….
To: MeshugeMikey

“Now theres a LEADER!”

You must not live in Louisiana.

12 posted on 7‎/‎23‎/‎2015‎ ‎9‎:‎00‎:‎27‎ ‎PM by odawg

Seriously, though – apart from the media, who’s responsible for these deaths?
To: rdl6989

Its either black gangs, an ADD/autistic drug white boy on antidepressants, or a moslem.

Lay your bets,,,

22 posted on 7‎/‎23‎/‎2015‎ ‎9‎:‎05‎:‎47‎ ‎PM by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office)

OK – I’ll bet my pink slip against yours.
To: rdl6989
City Marshal Brian Pope has confirmed for The Daily Advertiser that six people were injured in a shooting Thursday night at the Grand Theatre.
The shooter then turned the gun on himself, Pope said, and is dead.
Katie Domingue of Carencro was at the 7 p.m. showing of “Train Wreck” with her fiance’, Joshua Doggett. About 20 minutes into the movie, Domingue said, she heard a loud noise.

“We heard a loud pop we thought was a firecracker,” she said.She saw “an older white man” standing up and shooting down, not in her direction.

Enjoy your drive to Dallas,  DesertRhino. I’ll have a notary standing by. Just park it in front.

Hey – waitaminnit – what’s a fucking RINO doing on Free Republic?

“He wasn’t saying anything. I didn’t hear anybody screaming either,” Domingue said.

She heard about six shots, then she and Doggett ran to the nearest exit, leaving behind her shoes and purse.

15 posted on ‎7‎/‎23‎/‎2015‎ ‎9‎:‎02‎:‎40‎ ‎PM by Gasshog (DemoKKKrats: Leaders of the Free Stuff World)

Of course, I can always rely on re_nortex to bring the crazy…

To: rdl6989

What is going on here?

Simple. Rampant liberalism is the cause.

Of course it is.  Liberals are famous for shooting up movie theaters. We live for that shit.

There are FAR too many of these happening and FAR too often. Just a few years ago this was almost unheard of.

The axis of evil in the White Mosque has set up an environment for leftists to engage in these killing sprees. Aside from the shooter, hussein, holder and jarrett are equally guilty. As long as the regime remains in place, it’s vital for Patriots to be well armed.

20 posted on 7‎/‎23‎/‎2015‎ ‎9‎:‎05‎:‎34‎ ‎PM by re_nortex (DP – that’s what I like about Texas)

So – to recap:

It’s not you, (or the mouth breathers like you who populate Free Republic) who are to blame for stirring up the crazies by screaming “Treason”, Big Goverment”, and “Tree Of Liberty” , but Hussein, Holder, and Jarett (kinda sounds like a law firm, doesn’t it?).

Makes perfect sense.

You DO know that projection is one of the hallmarks of sociopathy do you not?

More, including armed patriots guarding our military recruitment centers and after the media jump.

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The Testing is the Point: Scott Walker & Welfare Recipients

The point isn’t to find drug users, silly: 

The results are thin: According to USA Today, more than 87,000 welfare recipients went through Arizona’s program in the three years after it began. The total number of drug cheats caught was exactly one – a single positive result, which saved the state precisely $560.

Checking in again in March, the Arizona Sonora News Service cited state Department of Economic Security figures which found that over the course of more than five years, “42 people have been asked to take a follow-up drug test and 19 actually took the test, 16 of whom passed. The other 23 were stripped of their benefits for failing to take the drug test.”

The point is to make poor people feel like shit, so that slightly less poor or almost-middle-class people can feel like somebody is beneath them. The point is to make rich people feel like the barbarians will be kept from their gates. The point is to kick people when they’re down, because if you’re doing that, you don’t have time to wonder why you’re not kind of the world already.

Making this about results is ridiculous. The result desired is the feeling of superiority voters have when bullying others. You could find ZERO drug users among welfare recipients and people would still vote to do it, every time.


I Want the Person Making My Coffee to be Well Paid

The guy who runs Dunkin’ Donuts seems to think coffee is not important: 

Travis said he supports governments making “reasonable increases” to the minimum wage, but a hike to $15 per hour represents a 71% increase over the current state minimum.

“It’s going to affect small businesses and franchises,” Travis said in an interview with CNN’s Poppy Harlow. He said it would prevent his multi-billion dollar company from hiring new people.

“I don’t want to sound threatening about that,” he added, saying it probably wouldn’t force Dunkin’ to lay off workers.

Coffee is actually one of the first words Kick learned. When she gets up, sometimes at 5:30 a.m. but never later than 7 a.m., the first thing we do is go into the kitchen and get our respective beverages. She gets a sippy cup full of milk, and I get a travel mug full of coffee. Without at least two of those, I’m not capable of doing much in the mornings, and she knows it. Now, whenever she sees me with something to drink in my hand, she points and says “Coffee?”

Kid gets me. She really gets me.

The point is, coffee is special enough to me that my 18-month-old knows about our relationship, and I don’t want the guy making my coffee to be making poverty wages.

I want the guy who is responsible for my (sometimes thrice) daily caffeine to be paid MASSIVELY. I want that guy lugging bags of solid gold ducats home with him every night. I want him to make more than I do, because what he does is more important than what I do. He makes the COFFEE. At most, I schedule the meetings for which people need coffee to show up.

I do not get the impulse to poorly pay people who feed you. I do not get the way people dick their nannies and babysitters around. I don’t understand cheating the people who clean houses and office buildings or saying that the people who bake bread don’t deserve the hard-earned cash of the American Taxpayer. For fuck’s sake, do you want the earth to cave in beneath you? Sometimes the only thing holding the world UP is a large latte with sugar, and the person who takes the garbage out is critical to the functioning of society.

You want those people on the cheap? We’d be better off paying Mr. Donuts up there in Doge Coin and making sure his baristas are kept in foot rubs.


Sunday Morning Video: Edward VIII The Traitor King

Since King Edward VIII was notoriously pro-Nazi, I wasn’t exactly shocked when I saw this video of the British royals:

Having said that, the current Queen and her kid sister, Margaret, were just imitating their elders so I can’t blame them. I went looking for a documentary about their twitty wingnut Uncle and learned that he was even worse than I previously thought and I had a mighty low opinion of the late Duke of Windsor. The documentary aired on the BBC’s Channel Four in 1995:

Saturday Odds & Sods: Tombstone Shadow


Henry Fonda as Wyatt Earp.

It’s been a tough week in the Gret Stet of Louisiana. The July heat has metastasized into even more gun violence than usual here in New Orleans, and more spectacularly in Lafayette. The notion of a movie theatre shooting is unnerving for someone like me who has spent vast chunks of my life in the dark watching flickering images on the big screen.  We’ve learned that the shooter is not just another demented loner but a Confederate flag flying wingnut. Nice.

Another sad fact is that it is easier to get a gun in Louisiana than it is to vote. Any attempt to limit our egregiously stupid open carry law is doomed to fail no matter who is elected Governor in the fall. Anyone surprised? I thought not.

Speaking of Governors, PBJ was in the state for the first time in a month and skedaddled to Lafayette to take part in a “looking concerned” photo-op and press conference. He had nothing of substance to offer. Bob Mann said it best when he wrote that all Jindal had to offer were “hugs and shrugs.” In other PBJ news, his staff were able to convince gullible reporters at Politico and the Advocate that an INTERNAL POLL showing PBJ at 8% in Iowa is a surge. 8 fucking percent? Give me a break.

How was that for a cheery opening note for this week’s Saturday post? Don’t worry, the usual contingent of jokes and puns will be forthcoming. On to this week’s theme song, John Fogerty’s Tombstone Shadow. There *is* a connection between it and the iconic image of Henry Fonda in John Ford’s My Darling Clementine but we’ll get to that after the break. But first let’s rock with the original CCR studio version followed by a 2005 live version from John and his crack band. I opted out of the Creedence Clearwater Revisited rendition because it has all the vices of the original (the same mediocre rhythm section) and none of its virtues.

We’ll get oddsier and sodsier after the break if such a thing is possible.

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Friday Ferretblogging: Tuckered Out Edition


Claire is exhausted. She was a show ferret this morning for a group of kids for my local humane society, who are doing this kickass summer camp thing where they learn about how to take care of animals and all about shelters and stuff. After a week of cats and dogs they get a primer on other animals from specific rescue groups, and I volunteered to be Ferret Rep, which I am now petitioning Obama to make an actual cabinet position.


Friday Catblogging: Trunk, Not Trump

Della Street is getting aggravated by all the attention being paid to a certain loudmouth rich guy. She thinks that *she* should be the center of attention. Her response was to stage a lie-in:


I’m Della Street, dammit.