Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Devil's Dozen and End of the Line

That was a nice stiletto-in-the-back move California Senator Diane Feinstein and 17 other Democrats pulled on the American people yesterday by helping the Republicans vote George W. Bush's FISA bill into law. I'm picking on Feinstein, of course, because she's one of my Senators.

To read this entire post, go to, which henceforth will be the only blog published by this proprietor. Omnem Movere Lapidem is now closed, but will remain as an archive.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Game Over

I know it's not a good idea to count your boobies before they're hatched, but it looks to me like Hillary is down for the count, and will probably fold after she loses the primaries in Ohio and Texas.

She's been lending herself money, so as much of a fighter as she is, and as tough as she and Bill are together, they just can't afford to bankroll this thing to the bitter end.

This morning's New York Times pretty much tells the whole story in both present and future tenses, and says in part: Mrs. Clinton held a buck-up-the-troops conference call on Monday with donors, superdelegates and other supporters; several said afterward that she had sounded tired and a little down, but determined about Ohio and Texas.

They also said that they had not been especially soothed, and that they believed she might be on a losing streak that could jeopardize her competitiveness in those states.

“She has to win both Ohio and Texas comfortably, or she’s out,” said one superdelegate who has endorsed Mrs. Clinton, and who spoke on condition of anonymity to share a candid assessment. “The campaign is starting to come to terms with that.” Campaign advisers, also speaking privately in order to speak plainly, confirmed this view.

Several Clinton superdelegates, whose votes could help decide the nomination, said Monday that they were wavering in the face of Mr. Obama’s momentum after victories in Washington State, Nebraska, Louisiana and Maine last weekend.

It would help the Democrats if this war was settled by the time the convention starts. And of course, I'll support Obama, in spite of the fact that I find the mass intoxication surrounding his candidacy ominous and foreboding.

We have too many crises landing on our heads to be celebrating anything. For starters, we're in a war that has made us all murderers and bandits, and the rest of the world knows that and despises us for it. And now we're experiencing the economic meltdown that's an inevitable consequence of this administration's tax giveaways and its refusal to discharge any of its regulatory responsibilites.

But who am I to throw cold water on the ecstasies of Obamamania?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Different Day -- SOS

Look around today and you'll see the same old stuff (putting it delicately). People are passionately and, in some cases, almost evangelically embracing candidate A or candidate B, even to the point of taking opposition to their favorites as personal insults. Such people appear to believe that the cure for our rotted, stinking dinosaur of a political system can come from inside the system.

They must be hypnotized by the eerie glow of the indoctrination machine we all have in our living rooms. That's all I can think of.

Stop listening to a head in a box, even if it's Oprah Winfrey's head, and learn one of the essential, unavoidable lessons of world history: corrupt institutions don't reform themselves. They have to be forced open from the outside.

That's why the revolution is inevitable.

In 1510, Martin Luther went to Rome and got a noseful of the stench of the 16th-century Catholic Church, up too close and way too personal. He saw people like himself giving enormous amounts of money to priests in an attempt to buy God's grace, as if it could be bought and sold.

He didn't intend to start a revolution, and he didn't pick up gunpowder or a sword. Instead he simply nailed some words to a church door, and that's all it took to start the inevitable housecleaning.

Barack Obama is collecting a lot of small contributions from private citizens -- more than any other candidate -- but he is also taking beaucoup money from the same pharmaceuticals company lobbyists as Hillary Clinton, and from the same defense contractor lobbyists as McCain. (So did Edwards, for that matter.) Even more ominously, he and his handlers are making strenuous efforts to hide that fact. See this interesting item in the Washington Post.

You take money from those bastards and they own you. That's why nothing good can come out of this American political system, and why it has to be demolished if we're ever to restore any measure of democracy, equality, and peace to this society.

The past couple days I've been reading that Obama is now hanging out with Colin Powell. For moral guidance, I presume.

Yeah, I'll vote Democratic in November, but it won't be the most important thing I do that day.

You know, some of us remember being seduced by a pretty face and a charming line of talk back in 1960. Kennedy. Remember him? He's the guy who almost blew up the world.

A rotten tree can't bear good fruit, and by their rotten fruit, you know them.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Is Obama Totally Phony or Just Naive?

I really can't figure out if this guy believes his own b.s. or whether he's sold his soul to the devil, which is to say, Halliburton and Lockheed.

It's only February, and I'm already sick of hearing Obama's inspid and quite frankly insulting calls for bipartisanship -- insulting to anybody who knows the score. Does he think he's actually going to sit down with people like Grover Norquist and Duncan Hunter and come to some kind of mutual understanding?

He either doesn't know or doesn't care what kind of people have been running this country for the last seven years. When a strongarm robber sticks a pistol in your face and growls, "Gimme your money," do you say, "Wait, let's talk about this -- maybe we can come to some kind of an understanding..."?

It's true that the revolutionary, Gandhi, actually sat down with Winston Churchill on a couple of occasions, but he didn't do it so they could reconcile their differences. He did it in order to tell Churchill how it was going to be, and to set his intoxicated, fat, pink, English ass straight. Martin Luther King, our own revolutionary, was willing to sit down with his enemies, too -- after he'd won the battle and could dictate terms.

Please, folks, don't make the mistake of thinking that the creeps who stole YOUR money and sent YOUR kids off to fight THEIR war are reasonable people, and that if we just talk to them they'll see the merits of our position. They'll only interpret these wimpy chirps for reconciliation as a sign of weakness.

But they will understand if we tell them that what they've done is now a law enforcement matter.

No wonder Bill Clinton called the Obama campaign "the biggest fairy tale" he's ever seen. Bill's not my favorite person, but he's smarter than your average morally conflicted fork-tongued politician. And that's just one of the reasons I'd prefer to vote for his wife, the senator, this fall.

Everybody around here seems to be sick of contention and hostility. But you know, I'm just getting started, and therefore have nothing but admiration for Jonathan Schwarz at "A Tiny Revolution," who has this "Yes, We Can!" horse crap down cold.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Pimping Chelsea

Last night MSNBC's David Shuster, subbing for Tucker Carlson, said of Chelsea Clinton, "Doesn't it seem like Chelsea's sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?"

Whyzzat Dave? Because she's been shown on the TV making campaign calls for her mom?

Denials don't do much good in an age of videotape, so instead of trying to deny saying it, Shuster today tried to defend himself by claiming that he'd also said we should "all be proud" of Chelsea, and that everybody "loved her." But he's lying because he never uttered such slovos as them.

At least he didn't call her a nappy-headed hoe.

In spite of that, today he was suspended from his job for I'm not sure how long. MSNBC is not right wing hate radio lite and with pictures, eh.

You know, guys like this are not like Rush Limbaugh. People like Shuster try to hide who they really are, unlike old Rushbo who just lets it all hang out for the world to see and marvel at. But even with oily little slicks like Shuster, the truth will eventually out. It has to. It's impossible to hide forever under those bright lights.

Fascist Rage

Yesterday I had a confrontation with a neighbor, one of those elevated-heartbeat situations that nearly escalates into violence suddenly and unexpectedly. I've dealt with some violent fools in my life, having taught high school a number of years, but I don't think I've ever had to confront another sociopath who behaved so badly as this baboso, and with so little justification.

The guy really had nothing -- but nothing -- to be angry about, but then I'm sure he doesn't need any provocation. He is, as it turns out, one of Rush Limbaugh's little storm troopers, and what I got yesterday is only what you or I should expect.

Suspicions confirmed.

I used to try to convince myself that cheerleading on the sidelines of an imperial war while little kids are getting clusterbombed was "just political," and didn't make fascists "bad" people. But that's not true. These are dreadful, broken people, with murder in their mouths and banditry on their minds, as incapable of empathy as they are of honesty.

"The problem," as Atrios (Duncan Black) said some time ago, "is not that people are calling them assholes. The problem is, they're assholes."

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super Duper

This is a super week. The Super Bowl was on Sunday, then we got a day off, and now it's Super Tuesday.

Those two things have more in common than you might think. Both are very big TV shows, with sponsors and their own theme music.

It's also Mardi Gras.

It's also the day when they (the stock market people) realized we're going to get a Supersized(TM) recession. The Institute for Supply Management's service sector report came out, and it looks very bleak. The Super Recession of 2008 is also a TV show, but unlike the other two supes is a great deal more besides. It has the distressing characteristic of being real.

This particular ISM survey is a time-honored, respected, and reliable economic indicator.

"But how bad is it?" asks the New York Times's Paul Krugman. "The latest report has an employment diffusion index of 43.9 (50 means no change, anything less than 50 means job contraction)." He also supplies the historial graph, and it's not a pretty picture.

This is going to be very rough. There will be a lot of people out of work, and trying to squeeze by on little or no money. For how long? Nobody knows.

This is the last of the bouquet of poisoned blossoms the Neocon movement, beginning with Ronald Reagan, has cultivated for us over nearly 30 years in the toxic soil of its noxious garden.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Goodbye Britney

The right time for Britney Spears jokes, if there ever was such, is gone now, with the announcement that she'll be in the hospital another two weeks. Doctors and a person the AP describes as a "medical officer" decided she's not ready to leave.

We may never see her again. A Los Angeles judge has put the 26-year-old under the care of her father, naming him Britney's conservator. Both the judge and hospital personnel have drawn the justifiable conclusion that Britney Spears needs somebody to take care of her. Not long ago she was seen sitting alone on a sidewalk in Los Angeles, holding her miniature dog and crying.

This is no joke. There is a lot in this story that's the kind of stuff Greek Tragedy is made of -- the Olympian myth of a demi-goddess, like Icarus who flew too close to the sun, or King Midas who became the prisoner of his own good fortune.

An extraordinarily steep ascent to dangerous heights of fame and fortune at a tender age has worked its mischief. And a wise man once said, "At first a fool's mischief tastes sweet -- sweet as honey. But in time it turns bitter, and how bitterly he suffers."

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Wedgie Season

John McCain looks like and has the personality of Captain Underpants. That's just one of his problems.

Keep a keen eye out for wedgies. PDF wedgies are the worst.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Cat Boxing

This morning I had forwarded to me an email message from Nancy Keenan, President of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL).

She reminds people that John McCain has voted to limit or rescind abortion rights 125 out of 130 times while in the Senate, that Mitt Romney once vetoed Massachusetts legislation making provisions for emergency contraception (his veto was overridden), and that Mike Huckabee has said he believes Roe v. Wade should be overturned.

On the other hand, Keenan advises us that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are pro choice, or not to put too fine a point on it, will work to protect abortion rights.

For those reasons, I plan to vote for the Democratic candidate this fall, no matter who it is.

I realize that nobody has spent more time on this site bad-mouthing the Democrats than I have. I still think we need a better Democratic Party, and that not just the Democrats, but the entire political system, has failed us miserably because it has failed to articulate a foreign policy that acknowledges reality (I.e., that acknowledges that the U.S. does NOT own the world and everything in it), or an economic policy that makes sense.

However, in consideration of the difference between the parties regarding certain domestic issues such as abortion rights, I will never vote Republican and will always vote Democratic.

I still reserve the right to be a pain in the ass among Democrats.

Quit Iraq Now.