Wednesday, August 20, 2014

And they just get crazier


A look to the future of the Republican Party bodes ill for the current Speaker, John Boehner. More and more he can expect people who supported him to be replaced by stark raving lunatics, furiously embracing the anarchy of the Teabaggers.
Grothman, the expected winner in a tight Republican primary for the right to succeed 73-year-old Representative Thomas Petri in Wisconsin, is one of more than a dozen vocal conservatives gunning to replace more moderate or pragmatic retiring House Republicans in November's midterm elections.

Their arrival could mean even more headaches for Boehner, who has struggled in recent years to keep his fractious caucus together on critical battles over tax and spending bills, and most recently on legislation to secure border funding.

A further shift to the right in the House, continuing a trend that began with the Tea Party's surge in 2010, could signal another round of high-stakes political showdowns early in the new year and ultimately threaten Boehner's leadership.

One of the first votes the new House conservatives will face in March will be on raising the federal debt limit -- a topic that already has produced two grinding partisan battles that rattled financial markets and threatened U.S. credit ratings.

With Republicans now holding 234 House seats, it takes only 17 Republican "no" votes to sink legislation without Democratic support, giving the growing conservative bloc immense clout in legislative negotiations.

"It's going to be very difficult, if not impossible, for the next speaker to get to 218 without Democratic votes," said James Thurber, a political scientist at American University, referring to the majority needed to pass legislation in the House.

But turning to Democrats more often to pass critical budget, transportation or immigration bills next year is a path toward potential mutiny by conservatives, Thurber said.

"There's just nobody in the middle anymore and nobody that's willing to cross parties to vote because of this polarization," Thurber said.

Boehner could face a challenge to his speaker position when House members choose their leadership after the November elections. Boehner said this summer that he was "all in" to seek another term as speaker, apparently quashing speculation that he has grown weary of the job.
The Republican power structure chose to ride the Teabagger tiger. Now they can neither control it, nor get off its back without being destroyed by it.WASTF!

If they do well in November


The Teabaggers may have to expand their headquarters.




Combining two favorite pastimes


Many people in this country enjoy riding motorcycles. Probably just as many enjoy bacon. And some enterprising people at the Hormel Corp. have found a way to meld the two in a mutually advantageous union.
Hormel Foods Corporation, a company that has been making bacon for over 100 years, has now made the world’s first motorcycle fueled by bacon grease.

The Austin-based company has created a new marketing campaign in time for the International Bacon Film Festival in San Diego, California, which takes place August 29.

A team of 12 traveled with rider Eric Pierson, a Minneapolis actor. They filmed the journey for the film, “Driven By Bacon,” which will be shown at the film festival this year.Hormel and marketing firm BBDO Minneapolis sponsored a motorcycle that runs on organic biodiesel made of refined bacon grease, which traveled from Austin to California this month.

The “Driven By Bacon” team worked with Bio-Blend Fuels in Manitowoc, Wisconsin to refine bacon grease into 100 percent biodiesel, an environmentally-safer alternative to conventional diesel fuel.

Bio-Blend turned about 275 gallons of bacon grease into 250 gallons of B100 bacon biodiesel for the project.

Sadly, in January 2014 Bio-Blend Fuels, a small boutique biodiesel plant, permanently shut down all fuel production, citing uncertainty over the U.S. governments Renewable Fuel Standard requirements for 2014.

“Changes in industry regulations have made it increasingly more difficult for a small plant to compete with large scale commercial plants,” said owners Dan and Tracy Kaderabek.

But the bacon biodiesel they made for the “Driven By Bacon” campaign is nearly carbon-neutral, contributing almost no emissions to global warming.

And the exhaust emission smells like bacon!
During WWII civilians were encouraged to save their bacon grease for the glycerin in it that could be used for manufacturing explosives. Will we see a ressurrection of that call to power our local biker clubs?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

She has a new album out today


But this tune is from Catherine MacLellen's previous 2011 album, Silhouette. She sings "True Love".


Barney has no limits on his bullets these days


From the pen of Nick Anderson



This should make Steve King happy


About those kids that we returned to Honduras because of our great concern for their welfare. Well, the LA Times followed some of them down there to see how well they were thriving in their home environment. According to a local morgue operator, some of them aren't thriving at all.
After a second unsuccessful attempt to enter the U.S. last fall, he now spends most of his days cooped up at home, dreaming of returning yet again.

"Everywhere here is dangerous," he said. "There is no security. They kill people all the time."

"It's a sin to be young in Honduras."

Like thousands of other undocumented Honduran children deported after having journeyed unaccompanied to the U.S., Sosa faces perilous conditions in the violent neighborhood from which he sought to escape.

"There are many youngsters who only three days after they've been deported are killed, shot by a firearm," said Hector Hernandez, who runs the morgue in San Pedro Sula. "They return just to die."

At least five, perhaps as many as 10, of the 42 children slain here since February had been recently deported from the U.S., Hernandez said.

Immigrant aid groups and human rights organizers say the Honduran government is ill-equipped to assist children at high risk after they have been returned.

San Pedro Sula had 187 killings per 100,000 inhabitants in 2013, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Honduras' overall homicide rate was 90 per 100,000 in 2012, the highest in the world, much of it fueled by gang and drug-trafficking violence.

Unaccompanied children from Honduras "come from extremely violent regions where they probably perceive the risk of traveling alone to the U.S. preferable to staying at home," the report said.

In one case, a teenage boy was shot to death hours after arriving in San Pedro Sula on a deportation flight, according to the boy's cousin, who refused to identify himself or the boy to The Times for fear of reprisal from neighborhood gangs.

To do so, he said, "I would be killing my entire family."

He said his cousin had left for Los Angeles after his family received several threats from the Barrio 18 gang. His mother and sister moved to a different neighborhood while the boy headed for the U.S. They simply abandoned their house in Chamelecon, one of the city's roughest areas.

Some neighborhoods feel like tropical ghost towns because scores of residents have fled the violence fomented by two of the country's most notorious gangs, Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18.
Two things are obvious to me. One is that if kids are willing to travel hundreds of dangerous miles to get away from their own 'hood it has to be bad. And two, Steve "The Dumbest Fucking" King "In Congress" must be creaming his jeans at the success of his solution.

The Demise of Officer Friendly


Drawn in carefully neutral tones by Tom Tomorrow.

R.I.P. Don Pardo


The announcer of a lifetime.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Both Sides Now


Mary Fahl sings an eloquent cover of the Joni Mitchell classic.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Who writes a harpsichord into a swing tune?


Artie Shaw, that's who. And the tune is "Special Delivery Stomp"



And every time I hear it I think of the barroom band in Star Wars.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Time for some bagrock


The Red Hot Chili Pipers cover "Smoke On The Water & Thunderstruck"


Friday, August 15, 2014

Cover Dylan with some Leftover Cuties


"Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" from the Departures EP.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Not many folksingers have a festival named after them


Sadly it is a posthumous honor but well deserved when singers like Emmylou and Nanci sing your songs. Kate Wolf singing "Across The Great Divide"


Just like that famous ad for potato chips


The one that says you can't eat just one. Seems that same compulsion applies to bombing missions in Iraq.
President Obama on Thursday claimed victory in the effort to rescue Yazidi refugees from a mountaintop in Iraq, but said that airstrikes in that country would continue in order to protect Americans and offer assistance to other Iraqis threatened by Sunni militants.

Speaking to reporters during his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, Mr. Obama declared the siege of Mount Sinjar over, crediting American drops of food and airstrikes.

“I could not be prouder of the men and women of our military who carried out this humanitarian mission almost flawlessly,” the president said.

Mr. Obama did not address the quickly shifting assessments of the situation on the mountain. For more than a week, American officials had described a grim situation involving thousands of refugees who would not be easily moved to safety.

That changed suddenly on Wednesday afternoon, when a small team of American special forces personnel landed on the mountain and found that many of the refugees had already left.

Mr. Obama acknowledged that initial determinations by the United States government had been that “many thousands” of Iraqi Yazidis were on the mountaintop. But he said that Wednesday’s assessment had found that “thousands of people had been evacuating safely each and every night.”

Still, he said the situation remained “dire” for many Iraqis who are threatened by Sunni militants in the northern part of the country, and he said American airstrikes would continue indefinitely.
Who knew that airstrikes were so tasty we couldn't resist having more.

Jeb Bush Threatens Entire Country


Says he may yet decide to run for the Presidency. In light of the results of two previous Bush boys in the White House, this is a serious threat to the stability of the nation.
Looking fit, relaxed and in prime condition for a possible presidential run, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Wednesday he has not yet decided what he will do.

"I'm not going to make a decision until later this year," Bush said.

He ranks among the top tier of frequently discussed potential Republican candidates.

Bush, 61, was in Punta Gorda for a commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the day that Hurricane Charley devastated the town. But he could not escape the inevitable questions about his political future.

When told people were wondering about his plans, Bush attempted to deflect the question with humor.

"They are, are they?" Bush responded.

At one point, Bush said he will be deliberate in making his decision.

Laughing off the abundance of advice he is receiving regarding that stance, Bush said, "I don't even read my Twitter feed."
The only real question is whether the Teabaggers have made old Jebber irrelevant in national politics.

Forty five years on, what has changed?


I was watching one of the episodes of Laugh-In currently available on YouTube last night. The comedy was alternately dated and funny as hell. But one joke has managed to stay relevant through all these years. In the Party section of the show, Chelsea Brown, a black comedienne, had a joke about growing up. When she was a kid, they played a game in her neighborhood. It was called "What Do You Want To Be If You Grow Up". In light of recent events, I wonder if black kids still play that game?


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