Author Archives: southernbeale2014

Same Stuff, Different Package

Everything I need to know about Marco Rubio’s rebuttal to tonight’s State of the Union address was broadcast this afternoon when he voted “No” on the Violence Against Women Act.

As Steve Benen pointed out:

As for the final vote on VAWA, all 22 votes against the proposal were Republican men. Indeed, it’s worth noting that there are only 45 Senate Republicans total, so just about half of the GOP caucus opposed reauthorizing a bipartisan bill intended to help combat domestic violence.These Republicans — including Sen. Marco Rubio and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — knew VAWA would pass the Senate anyway, but wanted to be on record against the law.

Got that? They knew it would pass anyway, but wanted to be on record for being assholes. Markos Moulitsas hit the nail on the head with this observation:

And there you have it, folks. What we have is the same old stuff, wrapped in a youthful package and slapped with a Cuban label. But it’s the same crap sandwich all over again. The same anti-woman, anti-worker, anti-science, anti-reality stuff the GOP embraces but which the country made clear it rejects.

Last week I linked to this hilarious column over at RedState in which demoralized Tea Partiers strategize an amazing comeback. They seem to have reached the “acceptance” stage of their grief over November’s electoral ass-whuppin’, conceding the Tea Party brand is “effectively destroyed.” Their plan to return to prominence is best summed up in this pull quote:

BrilliantIdea

Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Good luck with that, fellas.

Tonight President Obama will offer a bold vision for the country, and while not everyone will agree with it, I’m going to predict there will be lots of big ideas expressed with sweeping rhetoric articulating how the president views America. And I’m going to bet we won’t hear any bold, alternative ideas from Rubio — at all. Instead, I suspect we’ll hear moaning and groaning about the deficit and the budget (which posted a $3 billion surplus in January for the first time in five years), the size of government, taxes, etc. We’re going to hear about “burdensome regulation,” plus a dose of fearmongering about our enemies in the world, like North Korea and Iran.

It’s going to be a slightly less crazy crap sandwich from what we’ll hear from Rand Paul — Rubio’s crap sandwich will have maybe one or two fewer loony condiments (I’m on a food kick today, people. Sorry.)

And by the way, can someone explain to me why the Republicans get two rebuttals? If Democrats had tried that under Bush there’d have been no end to the whining about Dems hogging the mic and being in disarray because they can’t be on the same page and all that. But give me a break, is Rand Paul’s opinion going to be that much different from Rubio’s? Even the Republicans I know think it’s stupid.

(Also, speaking of stupid, can we stop pretending anyone gives a shit about Ted fucking off-his-rocker Nugent? Can I tell you how little I care if he’s at the SOTU? The only reason he was invited was to piss off liberals. Why on earth are we giving these people the satisfaction? Move the hell on, already.)

Rubio is the GOPs Great Caramel Hope and if he doesn’t pull a Bobby Jindal and trip over his teeth the press will probably hand him the 2016 GOP nomination right there. But so what. The party still doesn’t have any new ideas and that’s what counts.

Hippie Punching

I know this is childish of me, and probably beneath the standards of this estimable establishment, but in case you haven’t heard, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez has died. And while unlike my fellow liberals I was never one to fawn over Chavez, actually knowing some Venezuelans who suffered under his regime, I find the right-wing’s opportunistic hippie-punching a little too much to bear:

HorriblePeople

Seriously? That’s the best you can do? Take a pot shot at Sean Penn and Oliver Stone? Conservatives never cease to amaze me in their pettiness.

Dirty Deeds

Tucker Carlson’s Internet Kavalcade of Krayzeee seems poised to take over Breitbart’s Propaganda & Donut Den for this year’s Crimes Against Journalism Award. But really, there are so many nominees this year, how can one choose?

The conservative media’s latest liberal-smearing scoop that ended up being an exploding cigar was the Daily Caller’s career-killing revelation — with video! — that Sen. Robert Menendez had sex with prostitutes in the Dominican Republic. Sadly for Tucker Carlson, it all appears to be a big, fat lie:

An escort who appeared on a video claiming Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) paid her for sex has told Dominican Republic police that she was instead paid to make up the claims in a tape recording and has never met or seen the senator before, according to court documents and two people briefed on her claim.

The woman identified a lawyer who approached her and a friend to make the videotape, according to affidavits obtained by the Post. That man has in turn identified another lawyer who gave him a script for the tape and paid him to find women to fabricate the claims, the affidavits say.

The escort was one of two women who taped videos that seems to support a tipster’s allegations that Menendez had patronized prostitutes while vacationing in the Dominican Republic.

This is some serious ratfucking here, like, criminal ratfucking. Slander and libel-lawsuit-generating ratfucking. Now who would do such a thing? Why Bob Menendez? Is it the Latino surname? Is this some kind of New Jersey politics thing? WTF? Who are the anonymous “Republican operatives” ABC names? As they say, more shall be revealed.

I must say, conservatives appear to have that touch of merde these days; all of their attempts to smear figures on the left seem to be backfiring worse than a 1970s gas guzzler.

There was the Tennessee Republican Party’s attempt to smear Memphis-area Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen over his Tweets to his daughter, followed by the infamous Chuck Hagel “Friends Of Hamas” smear, and Bob Woodward’s “the White House threatened me” lie.

What a difference a few failed hot scoops make. The right-wing is notorious for fabricating scandals (let’s not forget Breitbart’s Shirley Sherrod/ACORN/Muslim NPR crap). Seems like not too long ago the mainstream media would have jumped all over stuff like Menendez’s prostie-gate. At least this time when the WaPo was finally pulled into covering the story they didn’t parrot the conservative talking point but did their own investigative work.

Looks like some lessons have been learned.

There Are No Do-Overs In Supreme Court Decisions

Jayzus effin’ whatever, lady. I guess we should be glad she at least sees the error of her ways but for crying out loud, this makes me want to fucking throw something:

Now she tells us. More than 12 years after the fact, retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said it was probably a mistake for the Supreme Court to hear Bush v. Gore and anoint George W. Bush as president of the United States.

“It took the case and decided it at a time when it was still a big election issue,” Justice O’Connor told the Chicago Tribune editorial board on Friday. “Maybe the court should have said, ‘We’re not going to take it, goodbye.'”

She continued: “Obviously the court did reach a decision and thought it had to reach a decision. It turned out the election authorities in Florida hadn’t done a real good job there and kind of messed it up. And probably the Supreme Court added to the problem at the end of the day.”

The result, she allowed, “stirred up the public” and “gave the court a less than perfect reputation.”

There are no words. None. That decision opened the floodgates on a tsunami of damage which denigrated not just our nation, not just the world, but human decency. As the Times notes, the fact that O’Connor can say those words as if she were a disinterested party, not a key player, shows a level of disassociation that is shocking.

Like a lot of liberals I’ve indulged in my share of “if only” fantasies. If only Al Gore had been president, the Iraq War would not have happened. Of this, I’m sure. Without that, we would not have had Abu Ghraib and torture, and the river of money flooding out of the Treasury to the grifters and pirates who fed at the war trough. We’d probably have cap-and-trade legislation and the Social Security surplus wouldn’t have been raided. Indeed, we might have had Gore’s “lock box,” and we sure as hell wouldn’t have had tax cuts for the rich.

But who the hell knows. If SCOTUS hadn’t taken Bush v Gore, Bush might have been president anyway. Who really knows what would have happened? It’s useless to indulge in these exercises, I know this. If the Bush presidency hadn’t been such a colossal fuck-up, would the Democrats have won so big in 2006? Would we have a President Obama now? Who knows. Things happen because they do, you can’t change the past, you just have to adjust to what comes your way and respond accordingly.

But damn I’m getting sick of this “wish I hadn’t done that” shit.

[UPDATE]:

Let me add this comment, which I posted over at my place, to clarify why this stuff makes me so angry: It’s not just that she changed her mind. It’s that we liberals were beaten over the head by conservatives to GET OVER IT and SHUT UP and SURRENDER GORE-OTHY and OH THAT AGAIN and on and on, for fucking years. And I feel like the left was vindicated long, long ago. Everyone pretty much agrees that the Bush Presidency was the worst of times. So no, I don’t want to hear “maybe we ought’n’t to have done that” now.

I want my fucking apology. If you can’t say, “I’m sorry, we fucked up” at this point, then keep your damn yap shut.

What’s that old country song? Oh yeah:



Tagged

Blind Fox News Squirrel Finds Nut

God, can we please stop treating Fox News’ Megyn Kelly like she’s some kind of goddamned hero or something?

So this is where we are? A female Fox News anchor calls her misogynist colleagues’ views about gender roles a bunch of sexist bullshit — which they are — and we’re supposed to cheer for her? Give me a fucking break.

Megyn Kelly is your typical Fox News hack. Like every other conservative out there, she only manages to find her spine (and voice) when something personally affects her. Jon Stewart called her out on this BS the last time she pulled her “I am woman, hear me roar” schtick; that was waaay back in 2011 when she lashed out at radio host Mike Gallagher for calling maternity leave a racket. Yes, good for her. But I also remember Megyn Kelly pilingon during the whole Sandra Fluke flap. I guess Kelly doesn’t need to worry about her brith control co-pay.

What initially pissed me off about the video of Kelly taking on Erick Erickson and Lou Dobbs was the way she prefaced her statements with, “I’m not a feminist but …” God I hate that dodge. You’re a woman in broadcast news and you’re not a feminist? Well why the hell not? What the hell is wrong with being a feminist, anyway? Anyone who prefaces a statement with “I’m not a feminist but …” is telling me they’ve bought into the whole right-wing framing of the word: “feminazi,” “man-hater,” “ugly shoes,” and the rest of the ugly baggage they’ve tried to saddle feminists with.

Also: if you’re calling bullshit on your male colleagues’ sexist remarks? Then yeah, you’re a feminist. So stop pretending you’re not.

But you know what, I was wrong. Megyn Kelly is no feminist. She’s just another self-centered conservative narcissist who only speaks up when she feels personally insulted. She’s no hero to women. She had no problem following Fox News’ marching orders during Republicans’ pre-election War On Women. And a part of me wonders if this whole Erick Erickson-Lou Dobbs-Megyn Kelly thing wasn’t staged and scripted from the get-go in the first place.

So stop telling me Megyn Kelly is some kind of “feminist wonderwoman.” She’s not. She’ll be back attacking women for the Republican Party as soon as her handlers give her the word.

The Way We Were

London_anti-war_protest_banners

I never watch “Morning Joe” but Mr. Beale does and I happened to be in the bedroom long enough this morning to catch a truly horrible “both sides did it,” context-free, Iraq War dodge. It featured clips of prominent Democrats (John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Carl Levin) calling Saddam Hussein a “brutal, murderous dictator” who needed to be disarmed, followed by clips of those same individuals criticizing Bush’s war later. As if that proved something. As if that meant anything.

As if saying Saddam was a dangerous asshole also meant you wanted to invade his country and kill his people. As if Bush-Cheney-Rummy didn’t completely botch things in Iraq and weren’t deserving of the criticism.

Holy propaganda, MSNBC! This was the worst journalistic malfeasance since cable news started flogging fear porn at us 24-7 and made the invasion of Iraq a foregone conclusion. It’s the kind of thing that was straight out of Karl Rove’s Little Shop of Republican Talking Points; yet another reminder of why MSNBC is not the “liberal” network/Fox News counter detractors claim it to be.

When it was over — and it lasted all of three minutes, to be honest — the vapid nitwit Mika Brzezinski nodded her empty head and intoned, “good to remember.”

No, not good! If it’s good then why is my blood pressure rising?

Notably absent from this little traipse down revisionist-history lane was any mention of now-President Obama, who was against the war from the beginning (though he wasn’t in the Senate at the time of the Iraq War resolution.) Nor was there any mention — save writing us off as a mere 29% of American surveyed — of all the rest of us who were against the war from the beginning.

The entire point of the piece was so blatantly obvious: sure it was Bush’s war but everyone else is to blame, too! The whole country wanted this! C’mon you know you did!

Little surprise the media would like to marginalize the anti-war movement which they virtually ignored in the first place. That would be very convenient for them, but it’s a lie and we all know it. Did you attend one of the February 15, 2003worldwide anti-war marches, or any of the hundreds of anti-war protests that followed? I did. If you were in the media did you cover them? Did you write about the protestors who were rounded up, en masse, by police? Did you give the four counter-protestors attending as much airtime as you gave the hundreds of protestors? For that matter, did you devote as many column inches/air time/bandwidth to covering the anti-war movement as you did the Tea Party? Now, don’t lie. You know you didn’t.

The war is what got me involved and paying attention, it’s the reason I started blogging. It’s what woke a lot of us up. I was astonished at the news media’s unabashed war boosterism then, and I’m astonished at its utter lack of accountability now. The media lost all credibility with me in 2002 and it ain’t coming back. I lost my faith in you folks. When I criticize the media, which I do a lot, this is why. You will never, ever, ever be trusted again.

It was only 10 years ago. I remember the way we were. Do you?

I remember talk of smoking guns and mushroom clouds, repeated on the nightly news with no questioning or verification, just pointlessly scaring the crap out of people. I remember anyone who dared speak out against war being subjected to vicious verbal attacks. We were labeled terrorist appeasers and anti-American by the jingoistic flag-wavers who took over the microphone and shouted the rest of us down.

Prominent anti-war individuals had their patriotism questioned and their careers ruined. I remember radio stations sponsoring CD crushing parties after Natalie Maines said she was against the war and ashamed George W. Bush was from Texas.

I remember Republicans renaming French fries at the Congressional cafeteria “freedom fries.”

I remember people pouring bottles of French wine down the gutters. I remember Lawrence Lindsey getting fired for daring to estimate the cost of the Iraq War at $200 billion. Donald Rumsfeld said that was “baloney,” and Lindsey got the axe. If only.

Hey, CNN: I remember this:

NAVRATILOVA: Well, obviously, I’m not saying this is a communist system, but I think we’re having — after 9/11, there’s a big centralization of power. President Bush is having more and more power. John Ashcroft is having more and more power. Americans are losing their personal rights left and right. I mean, the ACLU is up in arms about all of the stuff that’s going on right now. . . .

CHUNG: Can I be honest with you? I can tell you that when I read this, I have to tell you that I thought it was un-American, unpatriotic. I wanted to say, go back to Czechoslovakia. You know, if you don’t like it here, this a country that gave you so much, gave you the freedom to do what you want.

NAVRATILOVA: And I’m giving it back. This is why I speak out. When I see something that I don’t like, I’m going to speak out because you can do that here. And again, I feel there are too many things happening that are taking our rights away.

CHUNG: But you know what? I think it is, OK, if you believe that, you know, t hen go ahead and think that at home. But why do you have to spill it out? You know, why do you have to talk about it as a celebrity so that people will write it down and talk about what you said?

NAVRATILOVA: I think athletes have a duty to speak out when there is something that’s not right, when they feel that perhaps social issues are not being paid attention to. As a woman, as a lesbian, as a woman athlete, there is a whole bunch of barriers that I’ve had to jump over, and we shouldn’t have to be jumping over them any more.

CHUNG: Got you. But sometimes, when you hear celebrities saying something, do you ever say to yourself, I don’t care what so and so thinks, you know. Yes, go ahead and say whatever you want to say. But you’re not a politician. You’re not in a position of government power or whatever.

NAVRATILOVA: No. And I just might do that. I may run for office one of these days and really do make a difference. But…

CHUNG: Are you kidding me?

NAVRATILOVA: No, I’m not. One of these days, hopefully. But when you say go back to Czech Republic, why are you sending me back there? I live here. I love this country. I’ve lived here 27 years. I’ve paid taxes here for 27 years. Do I not have a right to speak out? Why is that unpatriotic?

CHUNG:Well, you know the old line, love it or leave it.
Love it or leave it!

Yeah, I remember this. We were fed a steady diet of “love it or leave it” from the news media 24/7 in the run-up to the Iraq War.

The media lost all credibility when it clapped and cheered for war. Now, 10 years later, it’s determined to dodge any accountability. Morning Joe’s “well, everyone was for the war!” proves it. Joe and Mika: the media’s job was not to report on what Americans wanted to hear. It was to report on the truth. You failed us. And we won’t forget.

Yes, it’s true: Democrats did vote for the invasion. But only after the White House, Republican-led Congress, and their media lapdogs created a climate so toxic that opposition was a career-ender. Just ask Joseph Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame.

Do I wish Hillary Clinton and John Kerry hadn’t voted for the war resolution? You’re damn right. And I think that’s a big reason Obama won the 2008 nomination. I wish every Democrat had had the spine of Russ Feingold, Edward Kennedy, Barbara Boxer and the rest. They didn’t, though, and I understand why.

Back in 2004 the New York Times was forced to examine its own role in the Iraq War propaganda campaign, especially Queen Of All Iraq Judith Miller. In May they wrote,

We consider the story of Iraq’s weapons, and of the pattern of misinformation, to be unfinished business. And we fully intend to continue aggressive reporting aimed at setting the record straight.

And that was the last we heard of that.

The Ryan Plan, Now With Electrolytes

Paul Ryan released his new budget which, from all I’ve read thus far, is remarkably similar to the one Americans resoundly rejected last year as being mathematically impossible and morally depraved.

The “new” plan includes VoucherCare, screws people under age 54 out of Medicare (as a 51-year-old, let me repeat:FUCK YOU, PAUL RYAN), cuts taxes on the wealthiest and corporations, increases defense spending by $500 billion over the next 10 years, and magically cuts the deficit by such amazing feats as repealing Obamacare.
In other words, this isn’t anything close to a serious attempt to deal with “fiscal issues.” So remember, kiddos: when Beale tells you nobody gives a fuck about the budget deficit, this is what I mean.

Says Ryan:

“The election didn’t go our way, believe me I know what that feels like,” Ryan said Tuesday at a press conference to unveil his proposal. “Does that mean we surrender our principles?

Yep, that’s right. The Republican Party will make its last stand on budget ideas already rejected by voters, because even though they’re based on completely fantastical “principles,” by God it’s their principles. And when reality trumps conservative principles, it’s always the reality which must be wrong.

Yesterday Son of Breitbart and the dude with the *sirens* told everyone that Nobel Prize winning economist and anti-austerity crusader Paul Krugman had declared bankruptcy. Har har, what a fail, see what happens when liberals try to do economics! Except, of course, he didn’t, it was all a hoax which is precisely what happens when right-wingers try to do journalism. I bring it up because it seems to me that conservatives haven’t learned one lesson from the last election. The whole “information bubble” problem still seems in full force, and they seem to be sticking by their unpopular “shred the social safety net” thing.

With Republicans permanently divorced from reality, now would be a good time for Democrats (as usual, gawd I’m so sick of this shit) to be the grown-ups on the budget issue. Is the budget deficit really a “crisis”? Not according to un-bankrupt Krugman, who has talked about this a-plenty (here’s a good column for starters). It would be really nice if he weren’t the lone voice crying in the wilderness.

I mean, really. If Republicans can put forward a fairy tale budget which is the plutocrats’ wet dream — tax cuts! Increase defense spending! Kill Obamacare! Privatize Medicare! — then I say it’s long past time Democrats found their spine and called bullshit on the whole pretense.

Reality Calling

Yesterday I went to my Wingnut Dentist to get a crown. I don’t know why I haven’t switched dentists; this guy is so conservative, he actually has dead-tree editions of Newsmax in his waiting room. (Did you even know there IS a dead tree edition of Newsmax? I should leave a copy of Mother Jones in there just to fuck with him.)

But I really don’t want to find a new dentist, I’ve been going there for over 20 years, and I’ve got pretty healthy teeth, so 90% of the time it’s just pop in for 15 minutes twice a year for a cleaning and that’s it. But the wingnut shit is starting to bug me.

Actually, I really didn’t realize what raging wingnuts they were until rather recently. Once, a couple years into the Iraq war, one of the hygienists told me she was still convinced that Saddam had WMDs. She said one of her clients was in the National Guard and told her that they have WMDs now that are as big as an iPod. I’m no expert but I was pretty sure she was confusing WMDs with IEDs. Regardless, the idea that the U.S. could be threatened from Baghdad by something the size of an iPod defied credibility. But what do I know, even if that were true, wouldn’t said iPod need to be filled with enriched uranium and other shit that’s closely monitored by the international community?

Again, what do I know. But hey, no uranium enriched iPods have been found, so there’s that. Score one for the hippie.

I switched hygienists, but wouldn’t you know, I go in there for my biannual cleaning a couple years later and the new hygienist has switched the TV from the usual video of horrific dental implants to Fox News. I told her no way was I going to be subjected to having my gums poked while watching Fox News. I made her change the channel. “Oh,” she says, “I don’t watch it for the politics, just the news.”

Le Sigh.

And so this brings us to yesterday, where my dentist and his assistant are talking about how warm the weather is, like this is fabulous, and how we’ll be “in the clear” weather-wise in a month or two, all the while I’m screaming in my head (because I’ve got a mouthful of putty and can’t say a word) “don’t you remember the damaging hail storm of last March and the tornados of the year before that and the floods of three years ago? In the clear?! Give me fucking break!We’re never ever ever ever going to be in the clear!” I mean, here it is February and our daffodils and forsythia are already blooming. But yes, remind me again about how climate change is a liberal hoax so Al Gore can make money off his clean energy fund.

On Monday it was 60 degrees; today the high will be in the 40s and it’s getting down into the 20s tonight. You don’t get these wild temperature swings without a lot of strong winds, and indeed, yesterday saw a lot of limbs down in the neighborhood. But again: keep telling yourself that the crazy weather patterns are “cyclical” and completely unrelated to the billions and billions of tons of carbon we pump into the atmosphere every year.Even though they’re not.

I just don’t get the conservative mentality. They’re all agreeing how warm the weather has been for the past few years, they can see the daffodils blooming in February, we rarely get snow and when we do it’s gone in two hours, but they still think climate change isn’t real?

So, should I change dentists?

Capitalism Has Failed

Here’s how you know capitalism has failed: when they start creating products for which there is no demand, then spend tons of money on advertising and marketing campaigns in the hopes of creating a demand. I call it the New Coke Syndrome. Nobody had a problem with old Coke but nooooo, some MBA type decided they needed to switch things around because market share and synergy and value-added-thinking-outside-the-box and blahbeddy blah. Voila! You have a product nobody wants.

I’m not sure when this phenomenon started — probably when people decided getting an MBA was more worthwhile than being a doctor or teacher — but we’ve been stuck with it for a few decades now and frankly I’m pretty damn sick of it.

So here we have today’s latest entry in the “shit-I-don’t-want” sweepstakes: ladies and gentlemen (but really, let’s be honest here, the stupid shit is always marketed to ladies), I bring you the Land o’Lakes Sauté Express® Sauté Starter!

This product launched in October, but I saw my first ad for it this morning. Let’s read the product launch press release, shall we:

Land O’Lakes is helping moms solve the 4 p.m. daily dinner dilemma with Sauté ExpressTM Sauté Starter, a new, all-in-one, seasoned butter and olive oil sauté starter that cooks and flavors chicken, fish or pork in one easy step. Found in the dairy aisle, each of the six 1-ounce squares in a package of Sauté ExpressTM Sauté Starter combines the fresh flavors of butter, olive oil, herbs and spices. By simply tossing the pre-measured, butter-based square into a heated, non-stick sauté pan, moms can cook a wholesome, flavorful and sizzling meal in 30 minutes or less – no prep time required.

By the way, why do we need to use a non-stick pan if we’re putting butter in it? But I digress.From their website:

How do I use Sauté Express® Sauté Starter?

Simply melt one Sauté Express® square in a non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Add any protein, such as chicken, fish or pork. Sauté until meat is thoroughly cooked.

Oh. So in other words, it’s butter. With some spice and other stuff mixed in. Stuff I probably already have in my spice rack next to the stove.

Umm … ‘scuse me, Mr. MBA CEO Guy, but was there something wrong with the stick of Land O’Lakes butter in my fridge?

You know, it’s not that hard to take a pat of butter, pull some dried Italian seasoning out of the spice rack and sprinkle it in there, maybe crush a clove of garlic and let it all melt. I mean, that takes all of, I dunno, two seconds perhaps? Add some olive oil to that and it takes all of 2.2 seconds. This is the daily dinner dilemma for moms? That I don’t have 2 seconds to melt some fucking butter and throw a pinch of oregano in there too?

Are you people fucking kidding me?

This shit makes me nuts. I realize it’s not up there with, say, not reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, but the failure of our capitalist overlords to fully understand us ordinary peons and instead look for new ways to give us diabetes and hypertension really cuts my salmon. This is not a better mousetrap. This is some other thing that they’re trying to con you into thinking is a mousetrap. It’s a mousetrap-like device. And by the way, do you need a mousetrap? Yes! But you have a cat? No, you really, really, really need a mousetrap! C’mon, you know you do! Ditch the cat, and BUY THE FUCKING MOUSETRAP!

Let’s be real here. This product only exists to justify some agribusiness major’s corporate gig. This would be the person who spends waaaay too much fucking time reading Advertising Age. From their press release:

“Cooking with Sauté ExpressTM Sauté Starter is a multisensory experience – from the bubbling and sizzling sights and sounds in the pan and the irresistible aroma of the herbs, spices and butter, to the light, savory flavor and texture of your finished meal,” said Becky Wahlund, test kitchen director at Land O’Lakes. “The entire family will be eager to sit down for dinner – and likely will ask for seconds – making Sauté Express™ Sauté Starter a win-win solution for moms.”

You know what else does that? Butter.

Also, apparently this product is just for moms. If you’re a dad, or a single person, this product is not for you. Continue melting butter and adding your own spices as you’ve always done. Or fuckit, pop a Lean Cuisine in the microwave, we don’t give a shit.

Let me add, if you take some butter and spices and maybe crush a piece of garlic or squirt a lemon wedge in there, you will have something that is infinitely better than this product, because I looked at the ingredients and the Sauté Express® Sauté Starter is loaded with sodium, saturated fat, corn starch and other crap that you don’t need or want. The Garlic & Herb flavor has over 25 ingredients, including yeast extract, salt, sugar, sesame oil, canola oil and citric acid. It also has 280 mg of sodium, 80 calories, and 7 g of fat. That’s per serving.

Even the simplest flavor, Savory Butter & Olive Oil, contains corn starch, sugar, soy lecithin, citric acid, and a whopping 270 mg of sodium and 7 grams of fat. Again, that’s per serving.

This is what I hate about Big Food. You guys, I’m not eating this crap. No one should eat this crap. It’s not even necessary to eat this crap! This product does not make anyone’s life easier, not the “busy mom” or anyone else’s. You people already sell butter. You want to help moms solve the 4 pm daily dinner dilemma? Try figuring out a way to get your damn butter into my fridge without it costing me $4 a pound. We can handle the rest, really we can.

Happy Blue Year

It’s mourning in America, peeps! Last night we went over the so-called “fiscal cliff,” actually more like a bungee jump because apparently the House is going to vote on the Senate’s bill this morning and (hopefully) pull us back. Oh, goodie.

I’m sitting here enjoying my first cup of coffee of the day and haven’t yet read up on all the details, but it sounds like it’s what they were talking about yesterday: raising taxes on incomes over $400,000 for single filers, $450,000 for families. On hearing the news that $400,000 is now “middle class,” Mr. Beale enthusiastically quipped, “Great! I can’t wait to be upper middle class.” Dude.

Nobody likes this deal but everyone on my TeeVee is telling me that is a sign of “bipartisanship” and good negotiating. Um, bullshit. I’m trying to remember the last time I haggled over the price of something, say a car, and both parties walked away pissed off and angry and called it a win. That would be never. The essence of a good compromise is that all the negotiating parties have something to be happy about. People do not walk away from a successful negotiation pissed off.

Sigh.

Yesterday during the media circus over this deal I saw Democratic Rep. Steve Israel of New York tell us,

I’ve always believed that $250,000 may make you rich in some parts of the country, but not in places like New York. A higher threshold, I think, is a good compromise.

… to which I say, Fuck you. Don’t live in New York, then. I mean, seriously? This is the Democratic position? Since when do we craft national tax policy to cater to the most privileged extreme? (Don’t answer that.)

I know Rep. Israel was just speaking out on behalf of his constituents, but that attitude really pisses me off. There are very few places in this country where the cost of living is so high that $250,000 is not enough to get by, where people will really suffer if their marginal tax rate goes up a few percent. In fact, please show me the New Yorker who will really, really be hurt by a tax increase at the $250,000+ level. And I mean seriously hurt, not just whining, but will not be able to make it. Where is the person who will have to put off sending their kids to college or put off the knee operation another year or take a second or third job to make up that extra $2,000 or so in taxes? Yes, Rep. Israel, find me that person. Good luck.

It pisses me off that there are Democrats who don’t understand the razor’s edge on which so many people live these days. Meanwhile, we have the Republicans for whom this is all one giant game. Let’s look no further than my own Senator Bob Corker, offering this astonishing butthurt after Obama’s remarks yesterday:

“I know the president has fun heckling Congress. I think he lost probably numbers of votes with what he did.”

Guess what, the Senate bill passed 89-8, so that would be a big, fat wrong-o, buckaroo. And oh, did some Republicans get their widdew fee-fees hurt? Awww! Let’s make the entire country pay higher taxes because some pampered millionaires in Congress don’t like getting scolded by the black POTUS. Grow the fuck up.

I realize this is all theater, it’s all pandering to the cameras, which is just further proof of our massive institutional failure. Our government simply no longer functions. At this point I’m just throwing up my hands. I honestly don’t know what to do. I despair, people, I really do. The solution, if there is one, lies elsewhere. Somewhere along the way, some forces came into play to cause this institutional failure. We need to find those forces and, like a skilled surgeon, excise them. Remove the tumor, be it the media, lobbyists, corporate personhood, whatever.

Last night Mr. Beale and I saw the excellent documentary Chasing Ice. It’s about climate change, and it’s gorgeous, scary and frustrating. It reminded me that we’ve got some really big issues facing us, globally-speaking. So grow up, already. We all need to stop being such big fat babies about everything because there are some massive problems coming down the pike that make tax cuts for millionaires look so petty. We can’t have our government run by a bunch of thumb-suckers — of either party. The zombie apocalypse is upon us, people, and we simply don’t have that luxury. We can’t afford posturing and butthurt and ego-stroking.

I didn’t intend to be such a downer today. Sorry. And maybe there’s a silver lining here. Since we obviously can’t get our own house in order, my advice to the world is: better solve the big stuff without us. Clearly other nations are more rational and intelligent about things like climate change and world hunger and the like; they don’t have the crackpot “end times” yokels dragging their policy machinery back two centuries. The past few years have shown that America does not want to be the grown-up in the room. So please, carry on without us.

CNN: End Of An Error

Hey gang, CNN might be getting palatable again! I say “might” because you never know what fuckery the bean counters have in mind, but it’s hard not to see the exit of Erick Erickson, Mary Matalin, and James Carville as a good sign.

I gave up on CNN a long, long time ago. Shit like this would piss me off to no end.

I’d check back with them on occasion, but they always seemed to be working hard at fashioning themselves as a Fox News Lite, down to the revolving door that saw CNN anchors and hosts leave for Fox: Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, Bill Hemmer (by the way, I’m sure y’all will be shocked to learn that Erickson is landing at Fox).

So numerous were CNN’s sins against journalism that I have two pages of blog posts devoted to them. My absolute favorite, if you’ll excuse the blogwhore, was this moment in 2002 when then-CNN anchor Connie Chung berated tennis star (and U.S. citizen) Martina Navratilova for opposing the Iraq invasion. Do give it a look, it’s a shocking display of pro-war propaganda and journalistic malfeasance.

I don’t know what Jeff Zucker has planned for CNN. Will we get more up-to-the-minute breaking news bulletins of “Balloon Boy” stories? Or will CNN be the place for grown-up conversation? Time will tell.

North Dakota’s Anti-Woman Dystopian Horror Show

Yo, North Dakota. You’ve got a problem. Abig one.

You’re a state full of bohunk, testosterone-fueled oil workers desperate for some female companionship. And your state legislature is treating women like slaves. Like objects. So, how’s that working for you, North Dakota? Let’s discuss.

First of all, t wo bills banning abortion await the Governor of North Dakota’s signature today [UPDATE:they were signed into law by the governor today]. One bans abortion for all fetal abnormalities…

… such as anencephaly in which parts of the brain and skull don’t form, or Tay-Sachs disease, a degenerative condition that paralyzes babies and typically prevents them from reaching their third birthday …

Oh, “torture the mother” legislation! Awesome.

Can you imagine being in this situation? Of learning you’re pregnant, maybe you’re really excited about it, maybe you and your husband are picking out the crib, and then you get the devastating news that there’s something horribly, terribly wrong? That the fetus has a neural tube defect that guarantees it will die within hours of its birth — if it comes to term in the first place? And the state is forcing you to live with this horror for nine months and go through childbirth and all? Because this is the government’s business? Not your family’s private business?

I would not want to be a woman in North Dakota facing that situation. What a heart-breaker.
By the way, this isn’t some hypothetical. The Centers for Disease Control estimates anencephaly affects one out of every 4,859 births a year in the U.S.

The other bill facing the governor’s desk bans abortion after six weeks, which is well before many women even know they’re pregnant in the first place. So I guess that means all women who don’t want to be mothers need to make an abortion appointment at Planned Parenthood every single time they have sex because, you never know!

Alternately, women in North Dakota could just not have sex. How’d that work for you guys? Apparently not too well: North Dakota is in the midst of an oil boom, which has brought thousands of job-hungry men to do manly things like toting that barge and lifting that bale, and the guys are verrrry lonely:

At work, at housing camps and in bars and restaurants, men have been left to mingle with their own. High heels and skirts are as rare around here as veggie burgers. Some men liken the environment to the military or prison.

“It’s bad, dude,” said Jon Kenworthy, 22, who moved to Williston from Indiana in early December. “I was talking to my buddy here. I told him I was going to import from Indiana because there’s nothing here.”

This would be cute if it weren’t so dangerous. Women literally cannot leave the house without being harassed, hounded, and threatened. I’d say if anyone wants to know what it’s like for women under the Taliban, take a little trip to North Dakota:

Many said they felt unsafe. Several said they could not even shop at the local Walmart without men following them through the store. Girls’ night out usually becomes an exercise in fending off obnoxious, overzealous suitors who often flaunt their newfound wealth.

“So many people look at you like you’re a piece of meat,” said Megan Dye, 28, a nearly lifelong Williston resident. “It’s disgusting. It’s gross.”

Prosecutors and the police note an increase in crimes against women, including domestic and sexual assaults.

[…]

Some men have forced themselves on women. Jessica Brightbill, a single 24-year-old who moved here from Grand Rapids, Mich., a year and a half ago, said she was walking to work at 3:30 in the afternoon when a car with two men suddenly pulled up behind her. One hopped out and grabbed her by her arms and began dragging her. She let her body go limp so she would be harder to drag. Eventually, a man in a truck pulled up and began yelling at the men and she got away, she said. The episode left her rattled.

Going out alone is now out of the question, and the friend she moved here with no longer has much time to spend with her because she has since found a boyfriend and had a baby. Ms. Brightbill said she has difficulty finding other young single women with the freedom to hang out. And, she said, finding good men does not come easy.

“It’s just people trying to have sex,” she said.

Is anyone surprised? I’m not. This is utterly, completely predictable, actually. You have a state where the residents treat women like meat, like objects, and — shocker! — you have state legislation that does likewise. If you don’t think these two things aren’t connected then you aren’t paying attention to how the world works.

Look, it is completely, utterly predictable that the legislative dehumanization of women in North Dakota matches the actual dehumanization women there experience on a daily basis. One would think that when women are highly prized and rare, men would go out of their way to make them feel welcome. But that’s not how it works. That’s never been how it works. Back in the cave-man days it was a bonk on the head and drag her by the hair into the bushes. Sorta like Steubenville without the roofie.

Some things never change, amiright ladies?

I’d tell women to stay out of North Dakota but of course that isn’t an option for everyone. And I’m really scared for women there. This is not a good situation. This stuff only changes when women demand it.

Make some damn noise, ladies. You’re going to have to. Because a trip to Walmart shouldn’t be seen as an invitation for harassment. Demand that you be treated with respect: legislatively and every other way, too. That’s the only way anything changes.

Fuck The NRA

Okay, I spent an hour composing a nice thoughtful post with a much more polite title and fucking TypePad ate it and it’s nowhere to be found, so that’s an hour of my day gone and I’m now inclined to be crabby and brief. Here goes:

1 – TypePad sucks.

2- Fuck the NRA. Let’s just stop pretending they’re anything other than a political lobbying arm of the Republican Party operating on behalf of gun manufacturers. Whatever they started out as, they are no longer that. They do not represent gun owners or sportsmen. They are not a grassroots organization.Their leadership is almost entirely Republican Party political figures and gun manufacturers, with a few militia extremists thrown in for extra nutty flavor. If you have paid dues to the NRA you are the chump paying for Larry “wide stance” Craig, Ken Blackwell, Grover Norquist, Oliver North and John Bolton to swill Scotch and play a few rounds at some fancy golf resort. I do not think there is any equivalent in the Democratic Party.

3- Fox News executives evidently instructed their producers to not discuss gun control on the network. I highly doubt this was an independent decision. We have a “Guns Industrial Complex” operating in this country and it’s time we expose this fraud for what it is. The last thing the GOP and gun manufacturers want is a discussion of gun violence and gun control, and while they’ve been enormously successful in shutting down debate in the past, it’s not working this time. I imagine GOP leaders, Roger Ailes and the top gun guys are regrouping on messaging as I write this. Expect to see Fox News come out full-bore on the “more guns could have stopped this” front. Also, who’s gonna be the first nutter to blame Obama for this tragedy — you know, so he could take everyone’s guns —just as they always knew he would?! My money’s on Jim “Dim” Hoft.

4- I swear to God if another liberal clutches their pearls and wonders “where’s the outrage” for all the dead children in the Middle East I’m gonna kick a puppy (not really. I couldn’t do that.) Yes, it’s horrible that we care more about our kids than those in other nations. It’s horrible that we’ve killed thousands and thousands of innocents with our warmongering. I get that. But fuckitall, what war hasn’t killed innocents? What war isn’t awful? Isn’t that the fucking point?

We care about what happened in Connecticut because these are our kids. And we failed them. Let’s deal with our failure as Americans to protect our children from violence in their own classrooms before we start attempting to deal with humanity’s collective failure to end war for all time. If we can’t turn our swords into plowshares at home we sure as hell won’t be doing it anywhere else.

5- Nashville is set to host the NRA’s 2015 annual convention.There is a petition asking Mayor Karl Dean to stop it. Success if doubtful, but I pass the link on anyway.

6- Consider asking your local police deparment to schedule a “gun amnesty day.” These are days when illegal/unwanted guns and ammo can be dropped off anonymously at local police precincts. Most communities have them. The guns are usually destroyed, though I’m told some PD’s resell them, so maybe check into that too. It’s important to get guns off the streets.

7- Did I mention TypePad sucks? It really does.

Arthur Laffer Must Be Crying

Seems like just last spring faux economist Arthur Laffer was telling Tennessee’s House-Senate Fiscal Review Committee that Fred Smith was going to pack up his Memphis-based Federal Express in a gigantic purple and white box and head for someplace without an inheritance tax:

“I spent about two hours with Fred Smith three days ago up in Memphis, and he said he’s gettin’ out of this state if it doesn’t happen.And now we don’t want to lose FedEx. Fred Smith’s a couple of classes behind me at Yale and he’s a good friend.”

Ah, the memories. Smith told Laffer to shut his yap, he wasn’t leaving Tennessee because of taxes or for any other reason — indeed, he said he’s not going anywhere. Laffer just made it all up.

And I daresay Laffer and Smith are no longer BFF’s, Yale ties notwithstanding, after this:

In a CNN interview, Smith described the idea that raising the rates on the top 2 percent of income earners would kill jobs as “mythology.”

Smith goes on to say that the majority of jobs created in the U.S. come from capital investment in equipment and software, not small business.

I had no idea Smith was such a Socialist/Commie/hippie. Smith isn’t the only member of the corporate class telling the Tea Party wackos to hit the road: CEOs from AT&T, Northrop Grumman, Goldman Sachs and more have handed the GOP a steaming cup of STFU. As Joe Conason observes:

Remarkably, the Tea Party Republicans have now alienated their party’s most important constituency — the upper echelon of the business community. It is a profound irony that the issue raising friction between these politicians and their erstwhile backers is a fanatical partisan determination to defend the tax benefits enjoyed by those same wealthy executives.

I’m just curious, who’s left in the Tea Party besides the local tricorn hat suplier, Victoria Jackson, Ted Nugent and some wackos following Michele Bachmann around?

It’s Never Time For The Blame Game

My Twitter feed is all over this New York Times op-ed, in which journalist Kurt Eichenwald reveals the numerous warnings of an Al Qaeda attack in the months leading up to 9/11. Not just the infamous Aug. 6 PDB, “Bin Laden Determined To Strike In U.S.,” but CIA reports from May 1, June 22, June 29, July 9, and July 24. And then there were the FBI reports of Al Qaeda-connected terrorists training to fly (but not land) airplanes at U.S. flight schools. And on, and on. All ignored. Why?

Eichenwald writes:

[…] An intelligence official and a member of the Bush administration both told me in interviews that the neoconservative leaders who had recently assumed power at the Pentagon were warning the White House that the C.I.A. had been fooled; according to this theory, Bin Laden was merely pretending to be planning an attack to distract the administration from Saddam Hussein, whom the neoconservatives saw as a greater threat.Intelligence officials, these sources said, protested that the idea of Bin Laden, an Islamic fundamentalist, conspiring with Mr. Hussein, an Iraqi secularist, was ridiculous, but the neoconservatives’ suspicions were nevertheless carrying the day.

Oh, right. Saddam Hussein. The guy the Neocons had been gunning for since forever. Wow, what a spectacular fail that was, right? But no, we never got to play the “blame game,” not really. We never really learned any lessons about the many ways our politics and our corporate interests meddle in our national security. We’re still taking our shoes off at the airport and dumping our water bottles at the TSA check point, though: a clear sign that this is a country completely out of ideas.

Do you remember Sept. 10, 2001? I do. I remember all the talk on the news was about Bush’s hard-on for “Star Wars,” and all of us were laughing because, wasn’t that a Reagan thing? Some missile defense shield thingie to protect us from Soviet nukes? Bush’s constant harping on the need for this bazillion dollar program just made me wonder what fucking decade he was living in, like we were back in the ’80s but without the shoulder pads and bad hair. And then some dudes armed with box cutters attacked the country and killed nearly 3,000 people. Oh, woopsies. Don’t hear much about “Star Wars” anymore, do you?

And so it goes. Ari Fleischer has taken to twitter to denounce Eichenwald as a “truther” — this word is viewed among conservatives as their version of “birther,” though these folks never really distance themselves from the birthers, do they? I mean, I’m trying to remember how many “truthers” ran for the Democratic nomination in 2004 and 2008. Oh, right. Zero.

But yes, that’s a neat trick: paint someone revealing the Bush Administration’s dangerous incompetence as a “truther.” Nice try. They really don’t want us looking under that rock, do they?

I’m no “truther.” I don’t believe the Twin Towers fell due to a planned demolition, that the Jews who worked there were told to stay home that day, and all of the other conspiracy BS coming from that crowd of wackjobs. But the Bush Administration being dangerously incomepetent? Hell, yeah. We saw that incompetence carried out over and over and over again throught the horrible Oughts: Saddam’s failure to have WMD, the failure to properly plan and carry out the Iraq War, the failed Hurricane Katrina response and a thousand smaller failures, too. The Bush Administration was nothing if not the most incompetent collection of idiots and nincompoops handed the reins of power in this country’s history.

Here’s a scary thought: a big majority of these flaming idiots are advising Mitt Romney. God help us if he wins in November because we’ll see the same Neocons in charge of our security and foreign policy who failed us 11 years ago. Romney has called Russia this country’s biggest threat, which gave President Obama his “Cold War mind warp” zinger in his convention speech. But it’s true. Repubicans seem stuck in 1952, in more ways than one. It’s like they need that Commie threat, they don’t know how to survive without it. It’s their version of heroin.

This kind of thinking is dangerous. This is where it leads:

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Crazy People Cannot Be Bought

Dear, sweet Democrats. When will you ever learn?

The conventional wisdom over the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid, which SCOTUS ruled could not be compulsory, was always: no worries! Look how generous the Feds are being with the states! No state, even the reddest of the red states, would turn this deal down! Or, as Matthew Yglesias put it,

[..] Congress’ approach was essentially to make Red America an offer it couldn’t refuse—expansion could be done on very generous terms with the federal government picking up over 90 percent of the tab, but failure to expand would come with a hefty financial penalty in terms of lost matching Medicaid grants.

We heard this tripe repeated by all of the wise ones in our media, and even I knew it was bullshit. Sure enough, Red America is saying no. Texas, Florida, South Carolina, Louisiana, Wisconsin — and who wants to bet that wingnutty governors in Oklahoma, Michigan and other places won’t also follow suit?

Who is shocked at this development? Anyone? Bueller? Please. I could have told you this would happen.

Democrats, listen to me when I tell you: crazy people cannot be bought. Were you not paying attention during the Republican debates when the crowd yelled “let him die!” at Wolf Blitzer’s hypothetical uninsured young person who suddenly needs care? When Blitzer asked who should pay, did you not hear Ron Paul reply “the churches,” to the cheers and hollers of the crowd? These are not people who think caring for the poor is their responsibility. Let someone else deal with it! Churches or … hey, just maybe they’ll die and then we won’t have to worry about it anymore. Freedom!

Democrats, listen to me when I tell you: the Republican Party is rife with assholes, sadists and masochists. It’s true! Have you not seen fleets of Hummers traveling the interstates of Red America, despite $3-plus gas prices? Why do they do this? Because sending a “fuck you” to Al Gore and the rest of the effete liberal tree huggers is more important than the $100 it costs to make it to Walmart. That’s money well spent to this crowd.

Democrats: these are people who have been voting against their own economic interests since forever. You thought you could bribe these people with generous federal money? Chumps. They don’t care about money and they sure as hell don’t care about the poor. They call them mooches and leeches, and blithely tell the unemployed to just “get a job” during the Second Great Depression, as if jobs grow on trees. This crop of Republican governors would set fire to a homeless person on national television if they thought they could score a political point and take that uppity Obama down a peg.

Democrats, listen to me when I tell you: you are not dealing with rational people. Please stop acting as if you are. We need you to show up and get on message here. Dangling little bipartisan baubles is not working.

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It’s Always Good News For Republicans

Pardon my kvetch but Jesus, the media’s hand-wringing over the demise of the Republican Party is starting to annoy the shit out of me. Yes, it was amusing the first four days, but enough already. I’m really tired of every single news channel and cable program trotting out this or that Republican to discuss what’s wrong with their party, why they lost, how they can make a comeback, what they need to do, etc.

You know what? I sure don’t remember Democrats dominating every news program when they lost the 2010 midterms, or when they lost in 2004. I really don’t. Do you? I think what we saw then was the same group of Republicans paraded out to discuss how wonderful they are and that’s why they won.

Christ.

I mean, seriously, CBS This Morning? Now you’ve got Mike Huckabee on to talk about how the GOP needs to reach out to minorities? Like I give a shit at this point? This is news? How about we have a Democrat on there to talk about how wonderful they are. No? Why not? Oh, I forgot, it’s always good news for Republicans.

Look, we’ve been hearing about Republicans being the party of old white men since forever. This is not news. Seems like last time the GOP decided they needed to reach out to minorities what that really meant was tokenism — putting Michael Steele in charge of the RNC and combing the land for every conservative African American to appear on the TeeVee box spouting the glories of the free market and the dangers of the deficit.

This does not work. This is image over substance. Hearing that Voter ID is necessary to prevent imaginary voter fraud does not go down better when it comes from Ron Christie’s mouth. The Republicans don’t get it, the problem is their ideas, not the color of the skin of those spouting them. And the media doesn’t get it if they think we’re all so fascinated with the Republican Party that we want to hear about how it can be nursed back to health. There’s a reason these people lost the election. We are tired of them and they got shown the door. So, enough.

Forward, people. The election is over. Let’s get back to work fixing this country.

Goodbye

Hey, not all of the elites were swilling champagne for Romney last weekend.Some have given up on the country entirely:

July 9 (Reuters) – Denise Rich, the wealthy socialite and former wife of pardoned billionaire trader Marc Rich, has given up her U.S. citizenship – and, with it, much of her U.S. tax bill.

Rich, 68, a Grammy-nominated songwriter and glossy figure in Democratic and European royalty circles, renounced her American passport in November, according to her lawyer.

Her maiden name, Denise Eisenberg, appeared in the Federal Register on April 30 in a quarterly list of Americans who renounced their U.S. citizenship and permanent residents who handed in their green cards.

By dumping her U.S. passport, Rich likely will save tens of millions of dollars or more in U.S. taxes over the long haul, tax lawyers say.

Yes, this is the ex-wife of Marc Rich, the fugitive financier who was pardoned by President Clinton on his last day in office. Republicans accused Clinton of trading the pardon for Denise Rich’s generous Democratic Party contributions (she took the fifth). This was a pre-Citizens United world, y’all. These days such prid quo pro is just the cost of doing business, amiright Koch Industries?

So Denise Rich is pulling an Eduardo Saverin — apparently she has Austrian citizenship through her late father — and you know what? I have no problem with this. None.

Go. Buh-bye. See how the Austrian embassy helps you out if, God forbid, you wrap yourself around a tree heli skiing Chile’s Maipo Valley. Or your yacht gets comandeered by Somali pirates while you’re traveling through the Seychelle Islands. Or some other disaster befalls you doing whatever it is you rich people do with your vast amounts of wealth. Don’t come crying to us.

Oh hell, we’d probably intervene anyway just because that’s what we do. Look, we all know the rich are different; they inhabit a rarefied world that we can’t even imagine. No use fighting it! Hey: labor has been globalized, capital has been globalized, why not our rich people? So go, Denise. Take some of your rich friends with you. Take all of them. Pack up a couple of Lear jets with all of your fabulous friends and self-deport yourselves to wherever the grass is greener and the streets are cleaner.

I mean seriously, who is shocked to learn these people care so little about America that they’d rather hand in their passports than give back a teensy bit of wealth to the country who made it possible for them to get so rich to begin with? Anyone in the room surprised? Not me.

We’ll manage without you. Trust me on this one. The country will be perfectly fine without all the whiners and complainers filling the airwaves with their butt-hurt about not being sufficiently appreciated by the hoi polloi.

Don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.

A Debate For Idiots

Okay kids are we ready for the second debate tonight? I know we’re all supposed to be super-excited about it because of the town hall format and the fact that the questions will be asked entirely by that chupacabra of politics, the undecided voter. Or, as the rest of America calls them: those idiots who still haven’t made up their mind three weeks before the election.

If there is anyone in network news reading this post I would just like to tell you folks that the absolute last people we want to hear from right now are undecided voters. These are people for whom “paper or plastic?” must constitute a dilemma of existential proportions. Pretty much 90% of Americans made up their minds one way or the other a year ago. Of those who didn’t the question was not, Romney or Obama, but rather, Romney or Ron Paul? Romney or Gary Johnson? Obama or Jill Stein?

Here’s what I don’t get: you folks in the media keep telling us that we live in an era of partisan, divided politics, the most partisan era in recent memory, blah blah. And yet every four years you trot out this fantasy of the undecided voter. It’s really bizarre.

Why don’t we chuck the charade and hear from decided voters for a change? People who have been paying attention to their version of the news, be it Breitbart.com, Fox and WingNut Daily or Democracy Now!, Truthout and Alternet? What are you guys afraid of? Let’s hear some Breitbarters ask Obama about his birth certificate or some lefties ask Romney about Sensata? (No, I’m not making a false equivalency between the two issues here. It does seem to me that the left’s issues with Romney are far more reality-based and substantive than the right’s issues with Obama.)

For that matter, let’s have some on the left ask Obama why, exactly, he believes the economy didn’t recover faster. Let’s hear someone on the right ask Romney about his RomneyCare plan and shifting, er I mean evolving position on abortion. I would like to hear the answers to these questions.

I mean, come on, already. Maybe I’m wrong but it just seems like we’d get a far more substantive debate if we took questions from the people who’ve been paying attention versus the people who can’t figure out how to tie their shoelaces in the morning.

Please Just Go Galt & Leave Us The Fuck Alone

I know it’s been said before like a thousand times but the overwhelming butthurt coming from our multimillionaire class has gotten way old. I’m tired of it, I really am. I would like you people to take a steaming cup of STFU and please, go Galt or go to your island in the Caribbean or the south of France or whatever better place you think exists for people like you and just leave the rest of us alone. We’ll clean up your mess, just like we always do. We’re used to it by now.

Today we learn that timeshare kingpin David Siegel, whose crashing empire was chronicled in the documentary “Queen of Versailles,”has sent a letter to his “valued employees” in which he tells them they will all be fired if President Obama gets reelected. Because of taxes and stuff. And fairness. And class war. And on and on.

So, y’know, no pressure or anything, just something to keep in mind as you head into the voting booth in a few weeks.

He writes:

Just think about this – most of you arrive at work in the morning and leave that afternoon and the rest of your time is yours to do as you please. But not me- there is no “off” button for me.When you leave the office, you are done and you have a weekend all to yourself. I unfortunately do not have that freedom. I eat, live, and breathe this company every minute of the day, every day of the week. There is no rest. There is no weekend. There is no happy hour. I know many of you work hard and do a great job, but I’m the one who has to sign every check, pay every expense, and make sure that this company continues to succeed. Unfortunately, what most people see is the nice house and the lavish lifestyle. What the press certainly does not want you to see, is the true story of the hard work and sacrifices I’ve made.

Now, the economy is falling apart and people like me who made all the right decisions and invested in themselves are being forced to bail out all the people who didn’t.

Now the economy is falling apart?Now? Where were you in October 2008, buddy? Remember who was president then? Your good buddy George W. Bush, the man whom you claim to have single-handedly re-elected in 2004 through “probably illegal” means (and I’m quoting you from Queen Of Versailles here). You support people who treat the global economy like their personal gambling casino and when it all falls apart you want to blame us? Don’t think so, buddy. You created this mess, now you’ve got to live with it, just like the rest of the hoi polloi. You think you’re special? You’re not.

He closes with this:

You see, I can no longer support a system that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, so will your opportunities.If that happens, you can find me in the Caribbean sitting on the beach, under a palm tree, retired, and with no employees to worry about.

Yes, please go. Go now. Don’t wait until November. You are a bloated leech on the hard work of the middle class, the real engine of our economy, and the very people whom you deride as living a worry-free existence thanks to your sacrifice. This country would be better off without you. Ta-ta. Buh-bye.

I suppose I should be a little more gracious to these poor dears. I should find that last shred of Christian charity that still lurks somewhere deep in my soul. But right now I’m so over this shit, I can’t even be bothered to muster the energy to look for it.