Friday, August 28, 2009

Another Foul Gust Of Wind

The mighty David Neiwert monitors The Glenn Beck Program so you don't have to watch all of it just to catch the important parts. If, like me, you've been letting others keep an eye on the Hate so you can keep your sanity mostly intact for other uses, then you might want to check in here to see what you've been missing.
Obama's 'SS': Glenn Beck sees scary black people

Ah, but here's the one thing: If you've been watching Beck this week on his program, he's been imploring his audience to record it -- write it all down, even -- because it's the Most Important Stuff They'll Ever Watch on the Teevee.

That's because, if you watch what he's been doing so far, what seems to be emerging is that he is basically building a case justifying his declaration that Obama is a racist who hates white people.

This became crystal-clear midway through his Fox News program Thursday night, during a segment featuring ex-Democrat Patrick Caddell and the ever-vivacious Michelle Malkin to heartily agree with whatever craziness came burbling out of his mouth.

They were all gathered to talk about the "army" of "thugs" that President Obama is planning to gather under the combined umbrellas of ACORN, SEIU, Color of Change and whatever other insidious "radicals" Beck believes he's uncovered.

And what does this "army" of "thugs" look like?

Why, they're all black people, of course.
Oh, and Sara Robinson is out with the third part of her most recent series on the prospects of American fascism.

Try to stay upbeat people. We haven't lost yet.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ted Kennedy Is Dead

Readers interested to see whether I will be able to spit the kind of acid I did recently when Robert Novak's end-of-unlife was announced will probably be disappointed to find that the only truly damning thing I can bring myself to say about Ted Kennedy at this time is that he was a long-time, openly unrepentant U.S. Senator.

I trust others on the web and elsewhere will deliver the shellacking of Ted Kennedy's memory that you might have been hoping to see here. I don't have it in me. He died without achieving his life's dedication, the reformation of America's health insurance system, and we are all the poorer for it.

Okay, Stephen Hemsley, the CEO of UnitedHealth Group, isn't poorer for it, but we're not counting him.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


We can add New Jersey to the list of states I want to see launched into the sun [Update: or, at least, I would have if I had seen this article when it was first published almost 40 years ago...]:
Inestimable Privilege. In an extraordinary decision, Judge Camarata denied the Burkes' right to the child because of their lack of belief in a Supreme Being. Despite the Burkes' "high moral and ethical standards," he said, the New Jersey state constitution declares that "no person shall be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshiping Almighty God in a manner agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience." Despite Eleanor Katherine's tender years, he continued, "the child should have the freedom to worship as she sees fit, and not be influenced by prospective parents who do not believe in a Supreme Being."
The "good news" here is that the judge was only allowed to rule in this case because the child was adopted.
If they fail in their appeal, Eleanor Katherine may have to leave the only family she has ever known and await adoption by another couple whose religious convictions satisfy the State of New Jersey.
I don't know how much more of this shit I can take before I completely snap.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Northern Redneckistan

I have family in Weed, California— which is a town not far from Mt. Shasta— and I travel there by automobile from San Francisco several times per year. This story about a health care town hall meeting near Redding is not a surprise to me, but some of you might not be aware of just how deeply damaged the northern California central valley can be.
House Rep from northern California says public health option a ‘threat to democracy’

US House Representative Wally Herger, of California’s 2nd congressional district, expressed “enthusiastic approval” of a town-hall attendee who described himself as a “proud right-wing terrorist,” newspapers in northern California report.
According to the Redding Record Searchlight, an incident broke out at a town hall at Simpson University in Redding on Tuesday when Herger signaled encouragement to a 67-year-old town hall attendee, Bert Stead, who called himself a “proud right-wing terrorist.”

“Amen, God bless you,” Herger reportedly replied to the comment. “There is a great American.”
Calling yourself a 'proud right-wing terrorist' because you're opposed to the Democratic health insurance reform package languishing in the House of Representatives... that makes you a great American.
That was enough for 50-year-old Marisa Hewitt, who called the largely anti-health reform crowd “a bunch of racist haters” and started “using the f-bomb” after the controversial comments.

That did not sit well with crowd. One individual grabbed Hewitt by the arm and ejected her from the hall with the words “you’re outta here.”
Using the word 'fuck' on the other hand, that is grounds for claiming self-defence in the commission of an assault.

The Mt. Shasta Area News [web cooperative] has more from the meeting:
The majority of citizens came to the microphone to denounce the health care plan as “socialist” and “a government takeover,” but a few, including several from Siskiyou County, spoke in favor of Obama’s plan.

Mount Shastan Craig Vivas asked Herger if “health care is a right?” and if not, “Who should be denied?”

“Forty seven million people are without health care insurance in America,” Vivas said.
Herger responded by saying “everyone should have access to health care” without declaring it a “right.”

“You call it a right. I call it something else,” Herger said.

Vivas said in an interview that Herger “believes in the unfettered free market as the solution to all social problems. That is a fallacy he shares with many other Americans.”

A Redding obstetrician echoed Vivas’ right to health care question saying, “We need to debate the issue.”

“If we decide it is a right, however, we have to have fiscal solvency,” he said.

Mount Shasta physical therapist Neil Posson said the United States is “the only democracy in the world that does not have universal health care.”

“We have average life expectancy compared to other countries and spend huge amounts of money,” Posson said.

Although opposed to the Obama plan, several speakers said that family members had been forced into bankruptcy because of medical bills “and that was with insurance.”

“There are many things we can do,” Herger responded without going into specifics.

Speakers brought up subjects far afield of heath care that included illegal immigration and the carbon cap and trade bill recently passed by Congress. Herger called the cap and trade law “environmental extremism.”

“Health care is not the only threat to our democracy,” Herger said.

Herger noted that the last election resulted in the Democrats having a majority in both houses of Congress.

“They can vote in anything they want,” Herger said. “The only thing standing between you and them voting in anything they want is you.”
In case, you're not from around here and you don't know, the Mt. Shasta area is full of generally normal and sensible people living in rural mountain communities. They are far removed from the crazy you find in Redding and parts south. Seriously, if you want to find the highest concentration of right-wing crazy in California, the town you want to visit is not in Southern California. It's Red Bluff. I'd feel safe betting the better part of a paycheck that's where most of these yabos originated.

Look, this is why it's important for everyone you know who supports reform to stop calling it "health care reform." That guy at the meeting who asked if health care is a right walked right into the trap that awaits everyone who fails to take this message to heart. Go back and read that dialogue and ask yourself if it would have gone differently if the guy had asked if the Congressman believed that everyone should have a right to health insurance, and if not, then who should be denied insurance?

I am sick unto death of my fellow liberals not getting their heads around this. Nobody in America likes the health insurance companies, except their executive officers and their boards of directors. Nobody. Start policing your language, liberals... we're demanding health insurance reform. Remember the magic word: INSURANCE.

Learn it. Use it. Live it.

(Hat tip to Raw Story.)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hoisted From The Internet Memory Hole

Now that the shambling undead horror that was Robert Novak has finally been deanimated, it's time to reprint, in whole, the words of The Mighty Billmon so that we might remember him properly.
Network of the Living Dead
July 18, 2005

CNN executives announced today that they will not bury the badly decomposed corpse of columnist and on-air personality Robert Novak, despite complaints from producers that the stench of his putrifying flesh is making it difficult to book guests for the network's talk shows.

"We realize some viewers may be unsettled by the sight of a rotting pile of maggot-infested tissue on their living room TV screens," explained CNN/US president Jonathan Klein. "But Novak has a contract, and we feel that as long as we can squeeze a little more free publicity out of his legal and ethical problems, we have no choice but to keep him on the air."

Klein refused to comment on a recent outbreak of typhus at CNN studios in Washington that left five of Novak's makeup artists dead and 23 hospitalized, citing pending litigation. He also declined comment on the alleged involvement of Novak's personal chef in an interstate grave-robbing conspiracy.

"Those charges are under investigation by the police, and it would be inappropriate for me to comment at this time," Klein said. "But I can assure you that anyone convicted of a crime and sentenced to a lengthy term in a federal prison will be fired from this network -- just as soon as the appeals process has been completed."

Industry insiders say that CNN, which badly lags rival Fox News in the ratings wars, is desperately seeking a long-term replacement for Novak, but so far hasn't found a reanimated corpse willing to accept the job.

"Most zombie journalists have higher standards than that," explained one network source, speaking on quadruple super duper secret sauce background. "And the others are either in jail or have already been signed by Fox."

The source, who I am now at liberty to reveal is Wolf Blitzer, disclosed that Fox talk show host Bill O'Reilly rejected a CNN offer after lengthy negotiations. "His Fox contract includes an all-the-production-assistants-you-can-eat clause," Blitzer said. "Klein wanted to top it, but the highest corporate would go was an unlimited supply of dead Iraqis. And O'Reilly said they give him gas."

One industry insider speculated that CNN would use advanced refrigeration technology to try to keep Novak's corpse from completely falling apart while it waits for Larry King to pass over into the undead state. Others disagreed, however.

"They've been waiting a long time for that to happen," one informed source said. "But I think King has already made his own deal with the network down under -- and I don't mean the Australia Broadcasting Corporation."
Followed by:
Death Takes A Holiday
August 05, 2005

Reversing their earlier decision to keep the unburied corpse of Novak on the air, CNN executives have announced that the zombie propagandist's decaying flesh will be "temporarily" entombed in a lead-lined refrigerated crypt at the Hanford Nuclear Energy Reservation in Washington State.

Network executives acted Thursday after Novak's body staggered to its feet in the middle of a joint interview with the mummified remains of James Carville, and vomited a noxious heap of its own decomposed organs directly into the lap of CNN host Ed Henry. The reanimated corpse then lurched off the set, leaving a trail of wriggling maggots and liquified fecal matter behind it.

"It was just the usual stuff," said one CNN producer present in the studio at the time. "Henry's had all his shots, and the steam hoses were ready. But when the suits found out that Novak said 'bullshit' on camera, they totally lost it. The promotional contract specifically required him to call it 'high-grade organic fertilizer from a naturally abundant bovine source.' The ad department was furious."

Other sources, however, said the decision to put Novak on ice was actually made several weeks ago, after several of the living members of his staff were mysteriously stricken by radiation sickness. Technicians reportedly traced the source of the contamination to Novak's lower intestines -- or rather, what's left of them.

"He's been having trouble getting his hands, well, his stubs, on fresh corpses lately," said one CNN insider. "So we've been feeding him some old ones shipped in from the Ukraine. How the heck were we supposed to know they were Chernobyl victims?"

But CNN/US president Jonathan Klein angrily denied that story, saying Novak has had no trouble at all obtaining young, healthy corpses to devour, thanks to his close relationship with the Pentagon and the recent rise in U.S. casualties in Iraq.

"Mr. Novak has been amply nourished by the brave young soldiers who have died defending his freedom -- and ours -- to tell lies to the American people," Klein said. "That was absolutely not a factor in this decision."

The use of a lead-lined sarcophagous, Klein added, was requested by Novak for unspecified "religious reasons."

"Let's just say that Bob has some serious debts to pay in the underworld -- and I don't mean the Mafia," explained one lawyer who's been officially briefed on the case. "Once he's cooped up in that crypt he's going to have a hard time covering the vig. Personally, I don't think even two feet of solid lead is going to stop the devil, but I can't blame Novak for trying. If you know Bob, you know he needs all the protection from the hereafter that he can get."

CNN executives insist the interment of Novak's rotting remains will only be a temporary "working vacation" for the undead pseudo-journalist, who will continue to write his syndicated column and deal with his mounting legal troubles -- despite the subzero temperatures inside his tomb.

Some experts are dubious, however. "If you saw the video from Thursday, you can tell the brain is just about gone," said one experienced pathologist. "I'm fairly sure there was gray matter in that stuff his corpse was puking up. You can see it all over that big book on the table next to Henry. I doubt at this point that Novak could do much more than type out a few random, incoherent letter sequences."

But Novak's editors at the Chicago Sun Times say they hardly expect to see that kind of improvement in the columnist's work, given his condition. "As long as he can still manage to slander and slime one or two innocent people a week, that's good enough for us," said one.

Novak's legal problems, however, may not be so easy solved, sources speculated. "You fucking got that right," said the lawyer who has been briefed. "Satan is the least of his worries now. If Bob thinks Pat Fitzgerald's gonna cut him some slack just because he's finally dead and in his grave, I think he's got a surprise coming."
Pretty strong stuff, but consider what Novak said just last year:
Q: Let's talk about the Valerie Plame affair, which caused you so much grief. If you had it to do over again, would you reveal who she was?

A: If you read my book, you find a certain ambivalence there. Journalistically, I thought it was an important story because it explained why the CIA would send Joe Wilson -- a former Clinton White House aide with no track record in intelligence and no experience in Niger -- on a fact-finding mission to Africa. From a personal point of view, I said in the book I probably should have ignored what I'd been told about Mrs. Wilson.

Now I'm much less ambivalent. I'd go full speed ahead because of the hateful and beastly way in which my left-wing critics in the press and Congress tried to make a political affair out of it and tried to ruin me. My response now is this: The hell with you. They didn't ruin me. I have my faith, my family, and a good life. A lot of people love me -- or like me. So they failed. I would do the same thing over again because I don't think I hurt Valerie Plame whatsoever.
Words fail to express my happiness at receiving the news of Novak's final spark going dark. My only disappointment is that he didn't suffer enough before he finally went out.

Update: on second thought, words don't entirely fail me here. Let me see if I get this right, Bob... if you had it all to do over again, you'd jump with both feet on Valerie Plame's covert identity, destroy her network of agents, generally fuck up for years to come a significant part of U.S. nuclear non-proliferation efforts, particularly with regard to Iran and South Asia, and you would do this with relish and enthusiasm because... some bloggers and reporters [and one comedian who pretends to be a reporter] made fun of you? You thin-skinned ghoul, I'm glad you're done.

Monday, August 17, 2009


I'm at my wit's end.

First, they removed the end-of-life counseling provisions from the health insurance reform bill because it was important to forget that they were all in support of them until they reliably informed that our White Christian grandmothers would be eaten by space aliens at Area 51 by President Obama's death panels.

Then, they shut down the email alias because it was even more important to forget that the White House isn't allowed to delete emails they receive unless they might have originated from nutcases who think toting handguns and rifles to public assemblies in the vicinity of the President of the United States is the optimal form of political protest.

Now, they're talking about removing the public option from the health insurance reform bill because it's extremely important to pass a bill that contains individual mandates to buy private health insurance from effective monopolies that have every incentive in the world to resist cuts to their operating overhead. How this is not expected to be a political disaster of epic proportions for anyone caught voting for it is a complete mystery to me.

Let me get this straight. My fellow bloggers here and me are going to now be subject to criminal penalties if we don't pay our health insurance premiums to private companies whose sole function is to make profit by denying coverage for medical care to as many sick and injured people as possible?

This is supposed to be REFORM!?