Friday, January 30, 2009

Boehner: Lighten Up Already

There is great speculation that GOP house minority leader, John Boehner is getting progressively darker and darker because he spends so much time on his hidden Capitol office tanning bed. But others opine that his conservative rhetoric is getting so burned out he has become a walking, nay-saying human rotisserie.

Boehner is like a talking toy that repeats the same thing over and over when you pull its string. His string became more available for regular pulling after he campaigned to clean things up after the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal hastened Tom DeLay's departure. In spite of Boehner's own links to Abramoff, he became House Majority Leader in 2006. And he has used his higher profile position to oppose anything not ultraconservative ever since. Some typical examples:
  • Voted NO on regulating the subprime mortgage industry. (Nov 2007)
  • Voted YES on restricting bankruptcy rules. (Jan 2004)
  • Voted NO on tax incentives for energy production and conservation. (May 2008)
  • Voted YES on passage of the Bush Administration national energy policy. (Jun 2004)
  • Rated 0% by the Campaign for America's Future, indicating opposition to energy independence. (Dec 2006)
  • Voted NO on assisting workers who lose jobs due to globalization. (Oct 2007)
  • Voted NO on protecting whistleblowers from employer recrimination. (Mar 2007)
  • Voted YES on limited prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients. (Nov 2003)
And these examples are just a quick skim off the top of Boehner's "to hell with the average working American" vision for our nation. Now that he and his conservative cohorts have been forced to pull back from the private trough from which they have gorged themselves for the past eight years, Boehner still doesn't get it.

His strident opposition to "spending taxpayer dollars for a trillion dollar bailout" suggests he has no knowledge of the crippling recession and subsequent damage Japan suffered in the 1990's. Their conservative leaders opposed vigorous, massive and immediate governmental action after their spectacular market crash. Japan learned too late that conservative tight-fisted refusal to act aggressively and immediately with massive governmental cash infusions would lead to a grinding recession so severe that it would take more than a decade to recover.

Boehner represents a dwindling base of conservative Republicans now mostly concentrated in a block of Southern States. The Republican National Committee now clearly seeks to change and expand that base after an historic election of their own. The new RNC has just elected their first ever African American chairman. Michael Steele, after six grueling ballots, beat out top white contenders, including Katon Dawson, who even quit his whites-only country club membership for a shot at the position.

The RNC's first black chairman was elected though he was not even a RNC committee member, which almost never happens. The mood for change was so strong that Tennessee Republican Party Chairman, Chip Saltsman, the boob who mailed out the "Barack the Magic Negro" music CD's to fellow Republicans for Christmas, didn't even make the ballot.

Maybe Chairman Steele will have John Boehner in for a private sit-down real soon and a chat about his vision for the Republican party, which already seems more to the far right than Boehner's. Maybe Boehner will unplug his tanning bed and no longer think he has to be the darkest-skinned Republican mouthpiece. Chairman Steele is already at it, loudly and negatively, and he doesn't need a tanning bed.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bush Cheney: Candid Goodbye Portrait

The photo above is an ultra zoom in on an amazing "zoomable" panoramic shot of Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony. I was able to do an extreme zoom which captures the dour duo of Bush and Cheney, seated just behind President Obama, going through the motions of applauding during his speech. Before zooming in real close, it first looked like Bush had something in his hands, but it is the tall neck of his water carafe on the little table next to him, and his left thumb sticking up that combine to make it look like he is holding something.

Mr. Cheney displays an almost dazed and indifferent mood, made even darker with his Don Vito Corelone fedora. His wheelchair completes this sad picture of final defeat as he mechanically claps his hands. Hurting like hell after damaging his lower back "lifting boxes" surely only added to his lack of cheer in the freezing weather.

A low resolution copy of the original panoramic shot from which this close-up was extracted is below. The little Red Arrow shows where I zoomed for the shot above. More information at:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Global Warming: A George Will Harrumph

Noted conservative columnist, George Will, is under increasing criticism for clearly attempting to mislead his readers regarding global warming. Faithful followers know about his conservative timbre and trademark tendency toward sesquipedalian prose. With his PhD from Princeton and his M.A. from Oxford, Will instinctively scatters long, generally unfamiliar words like journalistic territorial scent marks on the page.

My first exposure to his denial that global warming is real was his column in the January 26th, 2009 edition of Newsweek. It started with a final verbal lashing of George W. Bush for his incompetence and failed leadership. It then artfully winds its way through his assessments of the name, “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” to the failures of hurricane Katrina disaster assistance, the failed Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers, and then, in a seeming involuntary, uncontrollable Tourette Syndrome burst of keyboard tapping, this paragraph is awkwardly forced into the column:

“Within the lifetimes of most Americans now living, today's media-manufactured alarm about man-made global warming might be an embarrassing memory. The nation will then be better off because Bush—during whose administration the embarrassing planet warmed not at all—refused to be stampeded toward costly "solutions" to a supposed crisis that might be chimerical, and that, if real, could be adapted for considerably less cost than will be sunk in efforts at prevention.”

Wait, did I just read that? Will says there is no man made global warming, and that it is all going to be OK? All the scientific warming measurements for 2008 are inconsequential?

Will chooses his words carefully. He qualifies his claims with “man-made,” “supposed crisis” and “if real,” all coded references that position him way to the right. But then he suggests the supposed crisis “might be chimerical.” (You may imagine your own mythical fire-belching she-goat animal made from mismatched body parts.) This mythic characterization allows him to leave a door open for possibly, maybe, kinda, some sort of climate change. The derailing of his column’s train of thought from reviewing Bush’s two-term presidency to suddenly, jarringly pitching his denial of global warming is puzzling and troubling.

Will’s eagerness to throw in other clearly false items in his columns is equally troubling. In a Washington Post column in June, 2008, Will wrote that "Drilling is underway 60 miles (97 km) off Florida. The drilling is being done by China, in cooperation with Cuba, which is drilling closer to South Florida than U.S. companies are."

Dick Cheney, and GOP House leader, John Boehner both cited the same wild claim to the press, desperately wanting to believe the right wing fiction. All three were forced to offer retractions after Democrats and energy experts pointed out the gross error. But the egg had already dried on their faces by then.

A little more poking around shows that George F. Will is, in fact, a darling of man-made global warming denier web sites like who declare they are, “dedicated to debunking, reviewing, and responding to the shrill cries of the media and the global warming zealots who have embraced anthropogenic global warming (AGW) as an eco-religion and not as a scientific endeavor for answers.” One wonders if perhaps Will wrote that paragraph for their web site, because folks usually just say ‘manmade’ instead of anthropogenic.

The nuttiest swerve in his train of thought was in a December 29th, 2007 column, when Will sputters forth with, “Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize that should have gone to nine-time Grammy winner Sheryl Crow, who proposed saving the planet by limiting—to one—"how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting."

And from that strange, tasteless toilet paper comparison, Mr. Will sweepingly minimizes concerns of the world’s top atmospheric and environmental scientists with observations like, “The warming that is reasonably projected might be problematic, although not devastating, for the much-fretted-about polar bears, but it will be beneficial for other species. The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment anticipates increasing species richness.”

George’s father, Frederick L. Will, was a professor of philosophy, and specialized in epistemology, at the University of Illinois. Ironically, Will certainly must know that epistemology is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion. Today Will sadly seems to be unable or unwilling to make that distinction in his writing.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

User Upgrade Notice

Operating System Upgrade Notice:

We, the United States of America, your top quality supplier of the ideals of liberty and democracy, would like to apologize for our 2001-2008 interruption in service. The technical fault that led to this eight-year service outage has been located, and the software responsible was replaced November 4, 2008 with Ver. OBDEM-2009.

Early tests of the newly installed OS indicates that we are now returning to correct operation, and have become fully functional as of January 20. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the outage. We look forward to resuming full service to all Americans with regular upgrades in the next four years. We thank you for your patience and understanding.



Sunday, January 4, 2009

Cheney: Faces Nation, Won't Face Truth

Appearing on CBS's "Face the Nation," this morning, Vice-President, Dick Cheney, with as straight a face as he is capable of displaying, declared, "I think we're very close to achieving what it is we set out to do five years ago when we first went into Iraq." Then, after essentially declaring "Mission Accomplished," Cheney turned and winked smugly at his invisible sidekick, Harvey Haliburton.

At the very moment Cheney was continuing his mad fairy tale, breaking news headlines included: "U.S.-installed Iraqi ex-PM says Bush "utter failure," and "40 Shia pilgrims killed by a female suicide bomber at shrine in Baghdad."

His delusional ramble was nothing new to veteran TV journalist, Bob Schieffer, host of "Face the Nation," who has interviewed Cheney dozens of times. "How do you think we got it so wrong?" Schieffer asked. "I mean, we thought he had weapons of mass destruction and he didn't; we thought we would be greeted with open arms and we weren't. What happened?" Not missing a beat for reflection, Cheney replied, "Well, I don't look at it as we got it so wrong, Bob." "We got a big part of it wrong," Schieffer continued. "There weren't any weapons of mass destruction." "Correct." Cheney replied, "The original intelligence was wrong, no question about it. But there were parts of it that were right. It wasn't 100 percent wrong."

It looks like Cheney will ride off into some Wyoming sunset, actually believing his own cherry-picked version of the actual facts which are on the record. New York Times columnist and respected author, Frank Rich, in his book, "The Greatest Story Ever Sold" offers a detailed, 80 page time line of the whole evolution of the Iraq invasion. It starts with the September 15, 2001 Camp David meeting where Deputy Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz, speaking to his boss, Donald Rumsfeld, advocates attacking Iraq, noting the scarcity of "good targets in Afghanistan." The whole intricately detailed and documented time line is available online in PDF format at and someone should read it to Cheney nightly for the rest of his unnatural life. The truth is not going to go away.

Cheney wrapped up his version of "Through the Iraqi Looking Glass," double-speaking his way through torture, detention, Guantanamo, wiretapping without warrant, and the administration's basic trampling of the Constitution. Meanwhile, the international press was quoting former interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, basically selected and approved by Mr. Cheney, as saying "His insistence on names like 'democracy' and 'open elections', without giving attention to political stability, was a big mistake. It cast shadows on Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Egypt and I believe this will be remembered in history as President Bush's policy."

History will remember both Bush and his mad mentor, Cheney, perhaps in the context of the observation of William Shakespeare, "The very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream."

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Coulterman: Spandex Annie Eats Her Mates?

Trapped in her spandex supersuit, Annie Coulterman is conflicted at the very least. Preparing to make the rounds of talk shows and 4-H County Fairs to promote her new book on sinister organic poison, she had reportedly been unable to unfasten the Velcro and zippers on her around-the-home superbitch lounge wear. The fasteners are all on the far right of her supersuit and she reportedly shredded her housekeeper and stuffed a pillow with her when she was unable to loosen them for her.

Ms. Coulterman has never married and her housekeeper reportedly was kept employed mainly to sweep up the dried husks of dessicated paramours who mysteriously died after their first date with the self-promoting madwoman. Rumors reportedly still abound in the entomology department of her undergraduate alma mater, Cornell University, about supposed sightings of a large red hourglass pattern on her abdomen.

Some individuals of the male species have spent time alone with her with no reported ill effects, including a federal judge who reportedly named Coulterman to a list of the "Top 100 public intellectuals" back in 2001. And Annie Coulterman is public. But she poses no threat to private intellectuals. This female megalomaniac even proudly lists the only five "REPORTERS WHO ARE ALLOWED TO INTERVIEW ANNIE AGAIN" on a web site. But if they are actual reporters, no one I know has ever heard of them or the media for whom they supposedly report.

With the majority throng of liberals who have swept Barack Obama into office, and with the congressional liberal vote clout about to give Orrin Hatch an infarction, Annie would be better advised to go ahead and wear her superwoman suit for her interviews. That way folks might at least notice her on the book tour. Because the airwaves and newspapers are brimming over with news of the new liberal tsunami about to sweep over the remains of the GOP ravaged nation. Sorry Annie. Shout louder and ratchet up your nasal whine if you want to sell your book, but it looks like you will have to do it from atop a soapbox on street corners.

In fact, after NBC canceled your Today Show appearance, and Harry Smith noted in his interview with you on The Early Show that you are "sophomoric" and "goofy," you might just cut the tour short and minimize your losses. You will be up against Leno in prime time and Saturday Night Live could un-spin your web leaving you to rant neath' your cape. By the way, I would suggest you have the publicity photo wearing the supersuit touched up a little . . . your ossified ovaries look like, well you know, those things you eat last after one of your first dates.

Also see Books / Ann Coulter's 'Guilty': Offensive as Charged by Greg Lewis / Media Matters / The Rag Blog / Jan. 4, 2009

And Guilty: Coulter's latest book filled with falsehoods / Media Matters / Jan. 4, 2009