Monday, November 30, 2015

Willow Tree

From the ladies of Red Molly who are currently on hiatus.

The latest news from the frontline

The frontline in The Chimerical War on Christmas brought to you by the heroic Tom Tomorrow.

Our God of Platitudes

From Jesus & Mo

Wild Wind

Shannon Rose & The Thorns

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Pine Tree

Della Mae

Friday, November 27, 2015


Larkin Poe

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Kind You Can't Afford

Madeline Peyroux

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Gee, Baby Ain't I Good To You

Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tarnished Angel

Puss N Boots

Monday, November 23, 2015

They are performing again

But only on a limited basis. If you get a chance to see and hear The Trishas grab it. And if you are lucky they might do "Dusty Shoes"

Bravery redefined

And intrepid reporter Tom Tomorrow shows us how the disreputable side of American politics does it.

No real difference

From the pen of Steve Benson

Which came first?

The chicken factories or the chickenshit. If you listen to the people responsible for the spread of industrial chicken production on the Delmarva peninsula, you might well believe the chickenshit came first. Regardless of the timing, it is there now along with all the problems that follow it.
The air smells bad now, he said, and the environment feels soiled. The gruff electrician who built his house in rural Somerset County in 1983 remembers being able to trap muskrats whenever he wanted. Today, he said, they’re all gone — and last year he saw a rat in the area for the first time. The population of flies has exploded, Glasgow said. He can leave five flytraps out in his garage, and they’ll be full in two days or less.

The fouling of the Delmarva, Glasgow and other residents say, can be attributed to the rapid proliferation of chicken CAFOs — “concentrated animal feeding operations” — which critics refer to as factory farms. Tens of thousands of chickens live in close quarters in these enclosed poultry houses, which are usually run by national producers such as Tyson and Perdue.

Industry representatives say that there are around 4,600 poultry houses currently operating on the Delmarva. Residents and researchers are calling for a state moratorium on the construction of new houses as another 200 are on track to be opened by the end of 2015. These operations use industrial-sized fans to pull air out of chicken houses, raising concerns over whether locals are being exposed to airborne toxins, and about the kinds of waste that are being drained into the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

“They keep saying there’s no environmental impact,” Glasgow said in response to industry representatives who maintain that the chicken houses are more environmentally friendly than ever. “But there is.”

“We want to be good neighbors,” said Bill Satterfield, the executive director of Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc., a trade association that represents poultry producers on the peninsula. He added that people who live in agricultural areas need to understand what it means to live near farms.

Lisa Inzerillo of Princess Anne grew up around her grandparents’ farm in Sommerset County and lives on land that’s been in her family for more than four centuries. She knows that the Delmarva has always been poultry country. Her house, however, is also near a newly built chicken CAFO that she said her grandparents wouldn’t recognize.

“I’m not at all against poultry,” she said. “But this is industrial-sized farming. This does not belong in our neighborhood.”
And the real chicken shit?
The letter stated that in 2013 at least 215,349 tons of poultry waste — containing 5 million pounds of phosphorous, which fuels toxic algal blooms in high concentrations — was moved off chicken farms in the area. Much of it ended up on agricultural land in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
So it has gone from small scale farms to industrial size facilities and it is unlikely that any of the factory owners can pay to control pollution. (see John Oliver). As long as the chickens keep the facilities from being labeled industrial, the quality of life in a once beautiful area will be crucified on a cross of chickenshit.

Their right to devastate the landscape

For their personal fun and profit. Like those assholes who love to go ripping through any environment that is not their front lawn in their four wheelers, hobby miners are claiming a right by law to devastate stream beds throughout the west.
The General Mining Law of 1872 promised Americans who went west that whatever gold or other precious minerals they found would be theirs for the keeping — the main driver of the California Gold Rush that fueled the nation’s great westward expansion.

Almost 150 years later, gold miners in the west, who now prospect mostly as a hobby, are invoking the same law to sue states over moratoriums on the use of suction dredge mining equipment.

Driven by environmental concerns that these motorized vacuums disrupt salmon habitat and affect water quality, California banned the practice in 2009. Oregon will do the same starting Jan. 1, 2016.

Miners are suing both states, arguing that their moratoriums on suction dredges to sift through gravel for specks of gold violate the federal mining law.

“It alleges that the state lacks power to prohibit mining on federal lands,” said James Buchal, a Portland, Oregon, lawyer who represents a consortium of gold miners in the lawsuits.

Miners scored a victory in California earlier this year when lower courts ruled in their favor, sending the case to the state Supreme Court, which has agreed to hear it.

“Essentially, miners are asserting they have a constitutional right to mine anywhere they want, which is ridiculous,” said Nick Cady, legal director of Cascadia Wildlands, a non-profit conservation group based in Eugene, Oregon. “This hobby mining group of a few hundred people are decimating salmon habitat.”

Environmentalists also argue that dredging raises the level of mercury in the water — some of it naturally occurring and some left over from more than a century of mining.

“This is about protecting salmon habitat and water quality,” said Forrest English, director of Rogue Riverkeeper, an Oregon non-profit that works to restore and protect water quality. “There are other places to mine. You don’t need to mine for gold in the stream bed … This is about the state being able to protect resources the state depends on. It’s public water.”
I can easily imagine Scalito & Thomas & Kennedy hobbylobbying this handful of destructive people for some newly twisted legal reason. I hope President Sanders gets to replace one or more of them before they can.

Republicans Lies

And John Oliver explains how shitty those lies are.

These stores will abuse their workers on Thanksgiving

Sunday, November 22, 2015

20 years ago Iris DeMent understood

"Wasteland Of The Free" by Iris DeMent from her 1996 album The Way I Should rips into the same problems we have today.

A Study in Yellow

From the pen of Brian McFadden

click pic to big

Why go to all the trouble

Posing as a Syrian refugee is not the easiest nor the safest way to travel to another country id you are a DAESH thug intent on doing something bad. Aside from the terrible travel conditions, there is no certainty you will actually get to your destination. There are much easier and faster ways to get there.
Despite a barrage of Republican charges that President Barack Obama is endangering the homeland by welcoming 10,000 Syrian refugees into the United States, experts say that is hardly the easiest route for Islamic State terrorists to slip into the country.

Refugees seeking permanent resettlement must undergo extensive interviews and security checks, while waiting from 18 months to three years to learn their fate.

In contrast, during the decade ending on Dec. 31, 2014, the State Department granted temporary visas for 2 million visitors from 10 countries that have been breeding grounds for Islamic extremism, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Syria, a McClatchy analysis found. The wait for a visa is usually weeks or a few months.

The 39-nation Visa Waiver Program offers another option for the Islamic State. It permits people holding European passports – including all of the Islamic State-linked assailants who died in or were apprehended after last week’s mass slayings in Paris – to enter the United States for up to 90 days without a visa, so long as their names aren’t on a terrorism watch list. Reports to date indicate that counterterrorism authorities in France and Belgium had suspicions about only three of more than a dozen operatives.
Probably the fastest way is through Saudi Arabia where DAESH thugs can have their way smoothed by one of their rich sponsors and be on a 747 winging their way to Texas to buy the necessary weaponry before you can say 'Ted Cruz Blows Goats'. And they keep their feet dry all the way.

Island People don't want military bases

Okinawa has been fighting the relocation of the Marine airbase since it was first proposed despite heavy pressure from Toyyo and Washington for the move.
She’s spent more than half her life fighting a proposal to place new Marine air strips near the village where she grew up on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa. Her side has thwarted the plan year after year.

But the day when Marine planes land near her may be inching closer, with Tokyo and Washington insisting that the runways must be built. They’d expand a base on the front lines of a standoff where traditional U.S. allies are guarding against China’s growing military might in the South and East China seas.

The military urgency behind the plan, however, crashes against a perennial stalemate over what to do with the dense and unpopular concentration of Marine forces the American military has kept on Okinawa since World War II.

“We don’t need bases that generate wars. I want to start the peace from Okinawa,” Shimabukuro said.

Both countries want to close Futenma, but the only solution they’ve found to shut the base while retaining Marine combat power in the western Pacific centers on a plan to lay two runways in the coral-filled waters of Oura Bay.

That agreement sounds ideal in world capitals.

It would ease tension in the city around Futenma and allow the governments to build on land that’s already used by the Marines at an infantry base called Camp Schwab. That base sits next to Henoko village, which has a reputation as the most pro-military community on Okinawa.

But it’s a nonstarter on Okinawa, where daily protests outside Camp Schwab’s gates are reminders that local residents and international activists have been willing to put their bodies on the line to protect the bay from a construction that would partially fill it.

“We never give up,” said Ooshiro Satoru, an Okinawa labor union leader who joined a protest outside of Camp Schwab on its 383rd consecutive day last summer on the eve of a typhoon’s expected landfall.

Okinawa voters made their preferences clear last year when they elected a wild-card governor in Takeshi Onaga to upend the already long-delayed pact.
And out in the Pacific, residents of Guam are upset by plans to greatly expand the Marine presence on the islands of Guam, Tinian and Pagan.
This U.S. territory in the Western Pacific, long a way station for passing jets and submarines, is about to become a hub for a force of 4,800 Marines who’ll be charged with readying for war and disasters in East Asia.

The trouble is the Pentagon has not yet persuaded two nearby islands to accept a proposal that would give the Marines a space to train during their Pacific patrols. And some are suggesting, subtly, that it may be difficult to station so many military service members on Guam if they cannot train nearby.

On one island, Tinian, a Marine plan to practice ground maneuvers is setting off fears that the sounds of mortars and rocket blasts will quash a budding Chinese-backed tourism-casino industry. The companies behind the casinos have been hinting they’d pull out if the Marine proposal becomes a reality.

On the other, Pagan, a proposal to make a massive international military training zone on an island known for its namesake volcano is hitting a nerve among people who dream of returning to it three decades after an eruption forced their evacuation.

Both islands are governed by the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a separate U.S. territory that revealed its concerns when it hired an attorney known for fighting Pentagon plans in the Pacific.

“Having a place to fire cannons and practice obviously is essential, but this just isn’t the right place,” said Nick Yost, the San Francisco attorney hired by the commonwealth...

Japan, which hosts most of the troops who would be sent to Guam, is paying for more than a third of the estimated $8.7 billion cost of creating the new Marine facilities. Japan likely would participate in joint exercises if the training grounds are built, and Marines on Guam would be expected to respond to a disaster in Japan, 1,400 miles to the west.
A real problem for the military. When they aren't blowing up things for real, where can they get real practice in blowing things up.

Strange choices

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A bit of Old Appalachia

Sung by Diane Jones from her Museum Of Appalachia Recordings, a tune by the name of "Satan".

The Impossible We No Longer Do

From the pen of Tom Toles

In a world ruled by vicious men

It can be next to impossible to be a woman, even when you do what the bastards want. Azadeh Moaveni details the lives of three women who lived under DAESH before fleeing to Turkey.
Dua had only been working for two months with the Khansaa Brigade, the all-female morality police of the Islamic State, when her friends were brought to the station to be whipped.

The police had hauled in two women she had known since childhood, a mother and her teenage daughter, both distraught. Their abayas, flowing black robes, had been deemed too form-fitting.

When the mother saw Dua, she rushed over and begged her to intercede. The room felt stuffy as Dua weighed what to do.

“Their abayas really were very tight. I told her it was their own fault; they had come out wearing the wrong thing,” she said. “They were unhappy with that.”

Dua sat back down and watched as the other officers took the women into a back room to be whipped. When they removed their face-concealing niqabs, her friends were also found to be wearing makeup. It was 20 lashes for the abaya offense, five for the makeup, and another five for not being meek enough when detained.

Their cries began ringing out, and Dua stared hard at the ceiling, a lump building in her throat.

In the short time since she had joined the Khansaa Brigade in her hometown, Raqqa, in northern Syria, the morality force had grown more harsh. Mandatory abayas and niqabs were still new for many women in the weeks after the jihadists of the Islamic State had purged the city of competing militants and taken over. At first, the brigade was told to give the community a chance to adapt, and clothing offenses brought small fines.

After too many young women became repeat offenders, however, paying the fines without changing their behavior, the soft approach was out. Now it was whipping — and now it was her friends being punished.

The mother and daughter came to Dua’s parents’ house afterward, furious with her and venting their anger at the Islamic State.

“They said they hated it and wished it had never come to Raqqa,” Dua said. She pleaded with them, explaining that as a young and new member of the Khansaa Brigade, there was nothing she could have done.

But a lifelong friendship, with shared holiday gatherings and birthday parties, was suddenly broken. “After that day, they hated me, too,” she said. “They never came to our house again.”

Dua’s second cousin Aws also worked for the brigade. Not long after Dua’s friends were whipped, Aws saw fighters brutally lashing a man in Muhammad Square. The man, about 70, frail and with white hair, had been heard cursing God. As a crowd gathered, the fighters dragged him into the public square and whipped him after he fell to his knees.

“He cried the whole time,” Aws said. “It was lucky for him that he had cursed Allah, because Allah shows mercy. If he’d cursed the Prophet, they would have killed him.”
The three women in this article were fortunate to have escaped but now they are refugees until somewhere in the future one of the many groups fighting in Syria wins. And as we can see with DAESH the winner may not be someone you want to return to.

Working well, as planned

For years now the Republicans have been busy, with the help of their Fox News sous-chef Roger Ailes, stirring hatred and fear into the stew of American politics. In some of the middle America states the flavor of that stew is just what they want.
They worry that immigrants here illegally are gobbling up jobs and benefits. They fear that Islamic State terrorists could sneak across a porous border with Mexico and find their way into the United States. They complain that the U.S. is bowing to political correctness in response to racial tensions and the legalization of gay marriage.

Together, the newest worries lend a sharp new edge to anxiety over wages, jobs and debt.

“We’re going down the tubes and I don’t know if we can recover,” said James Burrack, 77, a farmer in northeastern Iowa who believes illegal immigration poses a major threat to the country’s economy and security. “Just give it all to the Muslims and we can be their subjects.”

Less than 10 weeks before Iowans kick off the presidential nomination with the first-in-the-nation caucuses, interviews with more than 50 Republican voters across the state paint a dark picture of deep discontent with the direction of the country.

This intense and focused anxiety helps explain why the establishment — media and political — has been wrong so often this year when it’s predicted that an inflammatory comment about Mexicans or Muslims would doom a candidate, or that the attacks in Paris would drive voters away from unconventional contenders.

The candidates are reflecting that mood, not leading it...

“We’re willing to pander to anyone as long as it’s not a Christian conservative,” said Mark Tompkins, 73, a U.S. Army veteran and Council Bluffs resident. “Let’s look out for the Muslims,” he added sarcastically. “Let’s cater to spoiled college kids at Columbia.”

Jennifer Fredericksen, 47, who runs a small business in eastern Iowa with her husband, complained about the university’s reaction to the campus protests, which included an email from the school’s police department that urged those who witnessed “incidents of hateful and/or hurtful speech or actions” to call police.

“How can you prevent 35,000 people from saying bad things?” she said of the university. “Is it going to get to the point where we all have to watch every word that we say for fear of offending someone and losing our jobs?”

Fredericksen blames President Barack Obama, accusing him of worsening race relations. “He’s incited it. He doesn’t bother getting on TV when any cops are killed, but in Ferguson before we knew the whole story, he rushed to judgment.”

Worries over national security are aggravating fears about immigration even as the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States has leveled off since the end of the Great Recession.

A Pew Research Center survey this month found more Mexican immigrants returning from the U.S. than migrating here, a finding it attributed to the sluggish U.S. economy and stricter border enforcement. In Iowa, the undocumented population is estimated at 40,000 or less —1.4 percent of the state’s total population.

“We need to close that border,” said Marlene Flanagan, 63, a retired legal assistant from Council Bluffs, who said she fears militants intent on harming the U.S. will be able to slip in through Mexico. “Why would we take any chances with our security?”

She supports Donald Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall. She is enthusiastic about his plans for a “deportation force” to round up some of the estimated 11 million immigrants in the country illegally and send them back to their countries. It’s the sort of thinking that most politicians won’t touch, she said.
These people have been scared shitless by the constant tsunami of lies coming from Fox and their Republican stooges. What chance does the occasional truth have when they have been hearing lies day after day?

Vote for a man who wants the world to end?

Bill Maher looks at the frightening beliefs of our politicians

I knew it!

Friday, November 20, 2015


Emily Barker

An old tradition

That seldom rises to this level of politics, a seat in the Mississippi legislature was decided by drawing straws under the watchful eye of the Governor and Secretary of State.
Sometimes American politics is about ideas, powered by Jeffersons and Adamses and Reagans. Sometimes it is about strategy, with races determined by the chess-match machinations of Axelrods and Roves.

But every once in a while, the fate of governments is determined by a considerably less eminent character, one usually found lurking in back-alley craps games and on the Vegas strip: Lady Luck.

In Mississippi on Friday, luck smiled on a Democratic state representative, Blaine Eaton II, who had been forced, by state law, to draw straws for his seat after his race for re-election ended in a tie. On Friday afternoon, in a short, strange ceremony here presided over by Gov. Phil Bryant and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, Mr. Eaton and his Republican challenger, Mark Tullos, each removed a box from a bag. Mr. Eaton opened his box to reveal a long green straw.

And with that, a mathematically improbable tie for the House District 79 seat — each candidate had received exactly 4,589 votes — had been broken, though not by the voters...

Resorting to a game of chance to break an electoral tie is common in many states, and coin tosses are often used to settle smaller local races. But in few instances had the pot as rich as this: If Mr. Tullos had won, his fellow Republicans would have gain a three-fifths supermajority in the State House of Representatives, the threshold required to pass revenue-related bills.

At stake, potentially, was hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue. The three-fifths requirement has allowed the Democratic minority to block Republican tax-cut proposals in the past on the grounds that Mississippi needs the revenue to finance schools and other services. Republicans, who also control the State Senate and governor’s mansion, say the cuts, including a proposal to phase out the state’s corporate franchise tax, will jump-start the economy and promote job growth.
Neither man is happy with the way the race was decided but if their respective parties couldn't fix it properly, given the stakes, then it was probably decided fairly.

Todays Science Lesson

What Betty Says

With all the talk this week about turning away people from the Middle East at the inn, only welcoming Guaranteed® True Christians™, and registering people of other faiths like sex offenders, I decided to re-release this video. I hope it will remind Real Americans® that while the tactics may vary, the ideology of many of our own hews closely to ISIS’s. If not peace, maybe understanding can be found in seeing the things their Caliphate and our “No Separation between Church and State” have in common. For starters? Neither of us listens to a word Jesus ever said! Through a mirror, darkly, indeed! 1 Corinthians 13:12

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Blind Faith in Too Many False Prophets

Keeps Americans from finding their way home to the ideals we embraced some 225 years ago. Ellen McIlwaine sings "Can't Find My Way Home"

Always go to the source

From the pen of Adam Zyglis

Has Diaper Dave pulled on his last adult Pampers?

Saturday will be the day of reckoning in the race for Governor of Louisiana. Aside from the question Why? any one would want to be governor of that sinkhole, it looks like the Republican candidate, Diaper Dave Vitter, has pissed off enough people to go from shoo-in to probable loser.
Republicans and Democrats say they see Mr. Edwards’s wide margin narrowing as the election approaches, as the inexorable pull of Louisiana’s Republican gravity kicks in.

But Mr. Vitter’s bare-knuckle style has already had its costs, which are readily apparent in the aftermath of his primary victory. The battle among Mr. Vitter and two other Republicans in the race — Scott Angelle, a public service commissioner, and Jay Dardenne, the lieutenant governor — grew nastier as the primary neared, with Mr. Vitter accusing his Republican opponents of recklessly squandering public money and the opponents calling Mr. Vitter a liar. After the vote, Mr. Dardenne endorsed Mr. Edwards; Mr. Angelle has stayed conspicuously silent.

Mr. Vitter’s supporters acknowledge the lingering harm of that primary. They talk up his endorsements from business and industry groups but say that support has been overshadowed by the bitter Republican infighting.

“The Republicans just beat the heck out of each other,” said State Representative Lance Harris, a Republican and Vitter supporter. “A lot of the negativism just turned voters off.”

But there are old acrimonies that run deeper, as evident from the split in Mr. Vitter’s support in Jefferson Parish, the suburban bastion of Republicanism just west of New Orleans. The parish is where Mr. Vitter entered politics as a young state legislator not shy about picking fights or leveling charges of ethical failings among his colleagues.

“He repeatedly refers to everybody in the Legislature as being corrupt,” said Daniel R. Martiny, a Jefferson Parish Republican and the majority leader in the State Senate.

Not only has this reputation endangered Mr. Vitter’s bid for governor, but it could also be a problem were he to lose and want to keep his seat in the United States Senate, where he has few close colleagues. With Senate Republicans holding a precarious four-seat majority and next year’s Senate races favoring Democrats, leading Republican strategists in Washington have quietly begun putting out word that they have little appetite to spend money rehabilitating Mr. Vitter’s image when another Republican candidate could hold the seat with little investment.
Politics may be a blood sport leading up to election day but the smart ones who lasted always knew how to mend fences afterwards.

Staring down the barrel of a gun

A gun of their own making
. The establishment Republican Party is facing a disaster in New Hampshire. While expecting Iowa to select a reactionary extremist in their caucus of pig manure fume befuddled voters, New Hampshire is supposed to select the moderate candidate who will eventually overcome the radical upstart. New Hampshire no longer looks like it will follow the script.
The weakness of mainstream candidates in New Hampshire poses a big challenge for the party’s beleaguered establishment. If a candidate acceptable to the party can’t win New Hampshire or Iowa, the G.O.P. will face a bleak choice: undertake the daunting and expensive task of mounting a come-from-behind effort, or grudgingly acquiesce to a candidate it really doesn’t want, like Ted Cruz, but who may be better than someone it can never accept, like Mr. Trump.

The extent of the weakness of the establishment in New Hampshire is a striking departure from recent contests. In the polling data that The Upshot has collected from the last three Republican primaries, no one other than Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and George W. Bush led even a single New Hampshire Republican poll in the year ahead of the contest. Not only did surging conservatives like Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich never lead, but they also didn’t usually come close. After all, this is a state where Jon Huntsman won 17 percent of the vote in 2012...

How is Mr. Trump doing so well? He’s drawing on many moderate and secular voters who haven’t supported the anti-establishment but usually religious candidates who have fared well in Iowa. The same pattern emerges in national polls, which often show Mr. Trump faring best among self-described moderates.

The strength of a populist candidate like Mr. Trump, who opposes free trade and immigration, isn’t without precedent in New Hampshire. In 1992, Pat Buchanan, another anti-trade and anti-immigration candidate, won 38 percent of the vote against the incumbent president, George H.W. Bush. Four years later, Mr. Buchanan actually won the state, narrowly beating the eventual nominee, Bob Dole.

But the G.O.P. establishment then was not in anywhere near the danger it is now. This year, the “outsider” candidates, like Mr. Trump, Mr. Cruz and Ben Carson, possess as much organizational, financial and personal strength as the establishment candidates, or maybe more. This year’s schedule affords the party few opportunities to make a comeback: The contests after Iowa and New Hampshire — the Nevada caucuses, South Carolina and the predominantly Southern states on Super Tuesday — are all relatively favorable to conservatives. This year’s establishment candidates have shown far less strength, by any measure, than Mr. Dole or George H.W. Bush, who had the resources, name recognition and party backing to survive early setbacks.

Mr. Trump is generally polling in the mid-20s in New Hampshire surveys. The large number of moderate, establishment-friendly candidates competing in New Hampshire might split the mainstream vote, preventing any one candidate from consolidating enough support to win.

Many of these candidates have little chance to win the nomination, and some, like Chris Christie and John Kasich, barely register in national polls. But over all, Mr. Christie, Mr. Kasich, Jeb Bush, Mr. Rubio and Carly Fiorina combine for nearly 40 percent of the vote in New Hampshire polls, compared with around 25 percent in national surveys. There’s no guarantee that these voters, if their favorite exited, would coalesce behind any one of the other candidates in that group, but surely the establishment would be in a better position if there were not so many viable candidates competing for support in New Hampshire. Right now, there’s no good reason for any of them to leave.
A win by a non-establishment candidate would be a blow to the party plans. And right now it looks like the GOP establishment will have to deal with their worst nightmare, a rich buffoon who will say anything to gull the rubes and has the money to get out his message.

Enough of this shit

Colbert wickedly says good bye to Jindal

And does the other clown car occupants no favors.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

When you have reached the end

Honeyhoney singing "Burned Me Out" from their album 3

Father knows best

From the pen of John Branch

Fuck the Constitution

When you are a Republican candidate in search of primary voters this year, this is the rallying cry for one and all. It first appeared in Donald Trumps various ravings about deporting Hispanic immigrants. It then spread to Ben Carson who truly seems to understand nothing about how this country works. And underlying it all was the alien concept of government by god spread by losers big and small. And now the one candidate who appeared sane has thrown off his mask to prove he is just as fiercely against the Constitution as all the rest.
During a speech Tuesday at the National Press Club, Ohio Governor and Republican presidential candidate John Kasich offered a litany of ideas meant to broaden the influence of the United States and combat the rise of the Islamic State. Among them was one that, on its face, seemed to contradict the 1st Amendment to the Constitution.

"We must be more forceful in the battle of ideas," Kasich said. "U.S. public diplomacy and international broadcasting have lost their focus on the case for Western values and ideals and effectively countering our opponents' propaganda and disinformation. I will consolidate them into a new agency that has a clear mandate to promote the core, Judeo-Christian Western values that we and our friends and allies share: the values of human rights, the values of democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of association." The areas he would target: the Middle East, China, Iran and Russia.

What jumps out is Kasich's description of this new government effort: A propaganda organization with a "mandate" to promote "Judeo-Christian" values.
One can try to put a friendly spin on this but, plain and simple, the Governor of Ohio wants to establish a state religion by the creation of a new department of government. And whose priesthood will staff this department? Whose god(s) will be the basis of what they enforce? Perhaps Presterdent John will reveal all as he nears his assumption of office. What is clear is that for the Republican Party, the Constitution begins and ends with the 2nd Amendment, all else is just notes of no value to modern day theologians.

Louisiana Lightweight has left the building

Launched all too long ago with hopelessly high hopes, the presidential run of Piyush "Bobby" Jindal is no more. It has ceased to be.
Once a rising star in the Republican party, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal has ended his campaign for the 2016 presidential nomination.

“It has been a great honor for me to run for president of the United States,” he said, announcing his decision during an interview on Fox news. “This is not my time. I’ve come here to announce that I’m suspending my campaign for the presidency.”

Jindal said that he had decided to withdraw, in part, “given this crazy unpredictable election season”.

Jindal’s campaign had focused heavily on the crucial early state of Iowa. The Louisiana governor essentially camped there in an attempt to appeal to the evangelical social conservatives who make a significant proportion of caucus-goers. Jindal had shown some success in doing so in recent weeks, climbing as high as 6% in one recent poll of the state. However, it proved not to be enough for his campaign.

He faced a variety of obstacles. Jindal was long hamstrung by weak national poll numbers, anemic fundraising as well as low approval ratings in his home state –where only a third of voters approved of his leadership. His poor performance in national polls meant that he was kept off the main stage in presidential debates and instead relegated to the undercard debate. Jindal’s campaign complained ferociously about this exclusion to the RNC.
The poor little 'blue parrot' of this years politics never could figure out if he needed to be sane or batshit crazy. And every time he tried to be batshit crazy he presented himself as more frightened than the barshit crazy voters. So now the former presidential candidate and soon to be ex-governor of Louisiana will try and cadge a sinecure with a right wing think tank. Sadly we haven't heard the last of him.

Cuban Dogs in the Manger

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

And only three teeth

Nikki Lane sings about "700,000 Rednecks" on the way to success.

A visual guide for Republican fearful.

From the pen of Jen Sorensen

The battle of the hanging trees

Trees as in those things you hang from your mirror to cover the stink of your old jalopy. The makers of the pine tree shaped deodorizer are suing the makers a the palm tree shaped deodorizer because of packaging.
Car-Freshner sells Little Trees in a cellophane package topped with a yellow card emblazoned with a green tree logo and the product name written in an upward-slanting direction. Its fragrance varieties include “Morning Fresh,” which is a pink tree; “New Car,” which is blue; and a vanilla tree with an American flag pattern on it.

Exotica also sells its tree-shaped fresheners in a cellophane package topped with a yellow card emblazoned with a green tree logo and the product name written in an upward-slanting direction. Its fragrance varieties also include “Morning Fresh,” which is a pink tree; “New Car,” which is blue; and, yes, a vanilla tree with an American flag pattern on it.

Therein lies the trademark-infringement case brought by Car-Freshner. It alleges that Exotica’s products are “likely to cause confusion, mistake or deception as to the source” of the product, and to “falsely mislead consumers into believing” that the products are “affiliated or connected with or are approved by” Car-Freshner.

For they are not. Not at all.

A lawyer for Car-Freshner, Jonathan Z. King, told the eight jurors in his opening statement: “Those similarities are no accident. They’re a matter of design.”

He also suggested that Exotica’s fresheners were inferior and that their presence weakened Car-Freshner’s brand.

A lawyer for Exotica, David Antonucci, told the jurors that while there might be resemblances, they were superficial, and that Car-Freshner had no proof that any consumers had been deceived.
Here is a comparison image, you see if you are confused. This is not the first time they have battled in court for their right to smell up your car.

Yellow should be the color of the Republican Party

It matches the stains on their underwear so well. Take their response to a faked Syrian passport found after the Paris attacks.Their fear was so palpable that one expects their yellow stains were outlined in brown. And now the reactionary extremist wing of the party wants to force Speaker Lyin' Ryan to defund any efforts to resettle refugees in America.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan called Tuesday for the suspension of a program to accept Syrian refugees into the United States, and two influential senators announced a renewed push for a formal authorization of military force against the Islamic State as Congress moved to respond to the terrorist attacks in Paris.

For two years, Congress has been conflicted about supporting military action in Syria, preferring to mostly let the Obama administration fashion a strategy on its own, while Republicans have accused the White House of failing to come up with a coherent approach.

The developments on Tuesday suggested that the attacks in Paris had shifted the calculations on Capitol Hill, with potentially greater support for authorizing military force against the Islamic State. But there was also a fast-rising backlash, particularly among Republicans, against allowing Syrian refugees into the United States.

Led by Mr. Ryan, the Republicans said there were grave reasons to fear that terrorists would be permitted to enter the country posing as refugees.

“Our nation has always been welcoming,” Mr. Ryan said at a news conference. “But we cannot allow terrorists to take advantage of our compassion. This is a moment where it is better to be safe than to be sorry. So we think the prudent, the responsible thing is to take a pause in this particular aspect of this refugee program in order to verify that terrorists are not trying to infiltrate the refugee population.”
Do they write their talking points on yellow pads? Why would DAESH terrists go to all the trouble of hiding among Syrian refugees. If they want to come to America they just need to drive down to Saudi Arabia where their supporters will get them a Saudi passport and a ticket to NY. Republican national security ideas have always involved rank cowardice on their part.

Who's Your Jesus?

Monday, November 16, 2015

A dollop of Brandi works wonders

Brandi Carlile and The Twins perform "The Things I Regret" from her album The Firewatchers Daughter

Too quick to think about

Tom Tomorrow gives us some of the latest 'hot takes' on the current state of the world, so we don't have to.

Depends on your definition of Free Trade

From the pen of Matt Wuerker

When you take the Dumbest King in Congress

And you join him together with the meanest slimeball in Texas, you have a mess that only a Teabagger could love. And that is what happened when Steve "Melon Thighs" King of Iowa threw his support to Cuban Heel Ted Cruz.
Representative Steve King of Iowa, a hard-right conservative in the state with the first nominating contest, threw his support behind Senator Ted Cruz for the Republican nomination on Monday, calling him the “answer to my prayers.’’

Mr. King, known nationally for polarizing comments about illegal immigrants, offered his endorsement at a moment when Mr. Cruz and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida are engaged in a high-profile fight over their past positions on immigration, a resonant issue among conservatives in Iowa.

Mr. Cruz, of Texas, has called Mr. Rubio’s support of a 2013 Senate reform bill as an effort to “jam this amnesty” down Americans’ throats. Mr. Rubio, who has backed off supporting a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country, has fired back that Mr. Cruz at the time supported legal status for the undocumented workers, which conservatives also consider amnesty.

Mr. King, who has introduced bills to revoke birthright citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants, said, “I hope this endorsement does add clarity to Ted Cruz’s position on immigration and any of his competitors blurring his position.’’

Under President Obama, Mr. King said, “We’ve watched as our already porous border was turned into a 2,000-mile-long neon sign that flashes for free health care, free education, free housing, free food and free Obamaphones.’’

Mr. King said Mr. Cruz was best suited to be the party’s nominee because he has proved he can raise lots of money; he will win some support from the establishment wing of the party; and, especially, because he will energize “constitutional Christian conservatives,’’ which he called the party’s largest group.
Probably the only thing more repugnant that the vast mountains and lagoons of manure in Iowa is Steve King. He and Ted should get along just fine. It is the people of Iowa and Texas and the rest of the country who suffer.

Eeek! Keep them away!

That would be the oh so brave response of various true Christian Republican governors to the influx of Syrian refugees into their states. Some did modulate their responses some to show they weren't working off the same script but the core FEAR! AND LOATHING! involved shown through.
In the wake of the Paris attacks, the governors of Alabama, Arkansas, Michigan, Massachusetts, Louisiana and Texas have all expressed doubts about accepting even the small number of Syrian refugees expected to come to the United States.

Gov. Robert Bentley of Alabama issued a statement Sunday saying his state will refuse to accept Syrian refugees.

“After full consideration of this weekend’s attacks of terror on innocent citizens in Paris, I will oppose any attempt to relocate Syrian refugees to Alabama through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. As your Governor, I will not stand complicit to a policy that places the citizens of Alabama in harm’s way,” Bentley wrote.

No Syrian refugees have been relocated to Alabama to date, the statement said...

n the letter, printed by Louisiana TV station KATC, Jindal wrote, “As Governor of Louisiana, I demand information about the Syrian refugees being placed in Louisiana in hopes that the night of horror in Paris is not duplicated here.”

A State Department representative confirmed to WWL-TV in Louisiana on Sunday that the state had received a total of 14 refugees.

On Monday morning, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson posted on his Twitter account: “As Governor I will oppose Syrian refugees being relocated to Arkansas.” His office confirmed the tweet.

A few hours later, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said he opposes allowing more Syrian refugees into the state in the aftermath of the attacks.

He said that the safety and security of the people of Massachusetts are his first priorities, and that he would have to know a lot more about the federal government's refugee vetting process before allowing them into the state. Baker said he has had no conversations with federal officials since the attacks.

Also Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas wrote to President Barack Obama saying that Texas “will not accept any refugees from Syria in the wake of the deadly terrorist attack in Paris … A Syrian ‘refugee’ appears to have been part of the Paris terror attack.”
Thanks to a simple planted passport, these piss pants cowards have surrendered to DAESH without a shot being fired. Other than the usual fusillades by their homies.

Sewers always spew filth

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Oz in Blighty

Emily Barker was born in Australia and went to England to seek her musical fame and fortune. "Nostalgia" performed with The Red Clay Halo

Mr. Manners

From the pen of Brian McFadden

click pic to big

Rafe and Ted's Traveling Snake Oil Show

A couple of Cuban cast-offs, wrapping themselves in the flag and madly humping their bibles are traveling about the land seeking the fervently faithful to delude and seduce down their path to Cruzian Christian Dominion.
With the crowd frothed into a frenzy of righteous choler against the erosion of religious freedom and American exceptionalism by craven liberal politicians and their media lackeys, Ted Cruz summoned a star name to round off the rally: his father.

Rafael Cruz’s week began badly, with an extensive New York Times report claiming he exaggerated stories about fighting for liberty in the Cuban resistance in the 1950s.

It ended with rapturous applause from an audience of conservative Christians during and after a brief speech-cum-sermon in which the 76-year-old urged his fellow pastors to see the US supreme court’s legalisation of same-sex marriage as an opportunity to inspire passive evangelicals into political action.

“Let me tell you, I am so encouraged because I think the decision of 26 June has acted as a catalyst to wake up the sleeping giant,” he said, pacing left and right along centre stage as he addressed about 2,500 people. “Yes, there are more of us than there are of them; the problem is that the ‘us’ have been asleep at the wheel.

“Prayer is only half the equation,” he said, citing a reference to “ambassadors for Christ” in 2 Corinthians. “That means we’re God’s representatives here on Earth, we’re God’s hands, we’re God’s feet, we’re God’s mouthpiece.”

The elder Cruz is also an energetic proponent of his son’s political ambitions, whether speaking at his side, as at Saturday’s Rally for Religious Liberty, or on his own, often to church groups in key states such as Iowa, scene of the first Republican presidential caucus in February.
One should never underestimate the power of the well deluded faithful. It was 185 years ago that a local grifter decided that religion was safer the Treasure Finding Scam for making money. And getting access to other men's wives. Since his seer stones, Uma and Thurman, revealed to him the golden plates, which no one else ever saw, as another so called Word of God, the Mormon Church has been on a roll. Who knows what Rafael los ojalatero and his Canadian spawn will achieve.

Well, it is Sunday.

Part of the solution or the problem

Yesterday the US dropped a bomb on the head of ISIL/ Libya. While it is easy to see the elimination of the leadership as a means to ending the threat of this gang, it should be noted that the means of doing so is part of what drives the anger of DAESH. Dropping bombs on another country no longer raises any eyebrows in the US, but it infuriates the sense of national sovereignty of those who are bombed.
Military leaders said Saturday that a U.S. bombing mission had killed the head of the Islamic State in Libya, in the first known American strike against the militant group outside Iraq or Syria.

The reported death of Wissam Najm Abd al Zubaydi, an Iraqi known by his nom de guerre as Abu Nabil, occurred Friday, one day after a separate U.S. air assault in Syria killed Mohammed Emwazi, the Islamic State executioner known as “Jihadi John.”

Abu Nabil is believed to have been the spokesman in a video released nine months ago in which as many as 21 handcuffed Egyptian Coptic Christians in orange jumpsuits were beheaded on a Libyan beach. “The sea you have hidden Sheikh Osama bin Laden’s body in, we swear to Allah, we will mix it with your blood,” the spokesman said before the beheadings.

The two killings of senior Islamic State combatants in as many days suggests that the United States is following through on recent vows by President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Ash Carter to accelerate the war against the jihadist organization, starting with the dispatch of several dozen Special Operations troops to Syria in late October...

The Pentagon did not say Saturday where in Libya Abu Nabil was killed. Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, told McClatchy that two F-15 fighter jets carried out the strike. Military officials had said Friday that Jihadi John was taken out by a U.S. drone.

“Nabil’s death will degrade ISIL’s ability to meet the group’s objectives in Libya, including recruiting new ISIL members, establishing bases in Libya and planning external attacks on the United States,” Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a statement.

Cook added that “this is the first U.S. strike against an ISIL leader in Libya, and it demonstrates we will go after ISIL leaders wherever they operate.”
There are no tears lost for the late Abu Nabil, but imagine for a moment what your feelings would be if another country were bombing the US with impunity in their hunt for George W Bush and his criminal gang members? For every 'Bad Guy' we bomb to the netherworld, how many replacements for him are we creating? And does anybody in the National Security establishment care or do they just see 'lifetime employment'?

After last night's debate

Saturday, November 14, 2015

A daughter of Tennessee

Erin Rae with The Meanwhiles writes and sings in the Folk/Americana vein. As in "Clean Slate" from their Soon Enough album.

Deportation StormTrumpers

From the pen of Mike Lukovich

It's a great time to be white

Bill Maher wonders why middle aged whites have the highest suicide rate.

I also approve of this message

Follow the money

Friday, November 13, 2015

If you can't say her name, just listen to the music.

Antje Duvekot "Merry Go Round"

Proper concern

From the pen of Jack Ohman

Live with public safety gun laws?

No sweat! The means to blast somebody to kingdom come, whether family, friend or stranger could be as near as a trip over the state line. More often it involves knowing someone with a connection to one of the various NRA controlled "wild west" states.
In California, some gun smugglers use FedEx. In Chicago, smugglers drive just across the state line into Indiana, buy a gun and drive back. In Orlando, Fla., smugglers have been known to fill a $500 car with guns and send it on a ship to crime rings in Puerto Rico.

In response to mass shootings in the last few years, more than 20 states, including some of the nation’s biggest, have passed new laws restricting how people can buy and carry guns. Yet the effect of those laws has been significantly diluted by a thriving underground market for firearms brought from states with few restrictions.

About 50,000 guns are found to be diverted to criminals across state lines every year, federal data shows, and many more are likely to cross state lines undetected.

In New York and New Jersey, which have some of the strictest laws in the country, more than two-thirds of guns tied to criminal activity were traced to out-of-state purchases in 2014. Many were brought in via the so-called Iron Pipeline, made up of Interstate 95 and its tributary highways, from Southern states with weaker gun laws, like Virginia, Georgia and Florida.

A handgun used in the killing of two Brooklyn officers last year was traced to a pawnshop just south of Atlanta. A revolver used in a fatal shooting of an officer in Queens in May was traced to a roadside pawnshop, also in Georgia, about 100 miles from Atlanta. And a handgun used to kill an officer in East Harlem last month was traced to South Carolina.

“We’re trying to deal with it, but we have a spigot that’s wide open down there and we don’t have a national or local ability to shut that spigot down at the moment,” said the New York City police commissioner, William J. Bratton, as he announced an indictment against gun traffickers last week.
Down South it is just another bidness transaction but the people saying that everyone should have a gun and gun laws should be enforced are the ones providing most of the guns used by criminals in states where public safety is a part of the community ethos. And all those law abiding good ol' boys don't want no laws hurting their bidness of supplying the crooks.

We blew up somebody

We thought it was Jihadi John, can't be sure but there were bodies. So once again the mighty US military brags about their "smart sledgehammers" as they swat at flies.
The U.S. is "reasonably certain" that an ISIL fighter known as "Jihadi John" was killed in an American airstrike in Syria, the Pentagon said Friday, although his death has yet to be confirmed.

Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren told reporters that it would take time to determine if the operation to kill British citizen Mohammed Emwazi had been successful. Emwazi, dubbed as "Jihadi John" in media, became infamous for appearing in ISIL propaganda videos that showed the murder of journalists and aid workers.

Warren said the strike was important because Emwazi was an "ISIL celebrity," and as such his death would be a "significant blow to their prestige."

His comments came after British Prime Minister David Cameron said it was not yet clear whether the ISIL fighter had been killed, but added that the decision to target the U.K citizen was “the right thing to do.”

"We cannot yet be certain if the strike was successful," Cameron said in a statement delivered outside his Downing Street office. "This was an act of self-defense,” he added.
Such are our current military goals. Probably would have got him for sure if that F-35 would just do what it is supposed to do.

Sarah remains adamant

Thursday, November 12, 2015

From Nashville by way of Philly & Boston

Liz Longley sings "Memphis" from her self titled first album.

A Rubio Republican

From the pen of Jack Ohman

R.I.P. Carol Ann Doda

You made headlines around the world for doing what thousands of women now do every day.

Ooops or Guess what we got?

The Russian media "accidentally" revealed a top secret weapons delivery system designed but not yet produced by the Russian military. I used quotation marks around accidentally because, as always, there is a question about whether or not it was an official accidental leak.
Russian officials said the revelation of the submarine, which has not yet been produced, was accidental. But it came to light in the Russian news media in a way that suggested that the Kremlin wanted the West to know.

Such a submarine design had been conceived decades ago, independent Russian military commentators said, but it had not been revealed until now. It would function as a long-range torpedo and would avoid missile defenses by traveling under the ocean’s surface.

News of the design was reported on state and NTV television on Monday as though merely in passing, during a meeting between President Vladimir V. Putin and military industry officials and generals. The broadcast began with a public portion.

At one point, the camera zoomed in on something one of the military officers was reading: a binder opened to a page showing the weapon design.

“Maritime Multifunctional System Status-6,” a headline said, in block Cyrillic letters, above an illustration showing the submarine and a text in easily decipherable large letters explaining the weapon’s effects.

The submarine would “defeat important economic objects of an enemy in coastal zones, bringing guaranteed and unacceptable losses on the country’s territory by forming a wide area of radioactive contamination incompatible with conducting military, economic or any other activities there for a long period of time,” it said.

On Wednesday, Mr. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, told Russian news agencies that the cameras had accidentally filmed a secret document.

“Indeed, some secret data fell into the field of view of these cameras,” Mr. Peskov was quoted as saying by the news agency Interfax. Because the document was a genuine secret, he said, the video was subsequently removed from the channels’ websites. “We hope such a thing will never be repeated,” he said.

Yet commentators on the Echo of Moscow radio station suggested Thursday that the television broadcast was hardly an accident, given the tight control over the state news media here. Rather, the commentators said, the broadcast was the latest instance of nuclear saber-rattling from Russia at a time of rising tensions with the West.

Instead of a formal announcement, in this interpretation, the revelation of the submarine was couched as accidental to amplify its intimidating effects — a military officer had been casually perusing the design on a piece of paper while in a meeting with Mr. Putin.
If nobody has been fired or shot yet, it was no accident.

Constant war keeps them flying

Because the need for good equipment when the shit hits the fan prevents the Pentagon from risking real pilots in any of their overpriced little boy toys in a war zone. As a result, the A-10 has been relocated to Turkey and the F-22 and F-35 are sitting home impressing the hell out of voters somewhere.
Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, then Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, said at another hearing that an A-10 had once rescued him in combat. He extolled it as “the ugliest, most beautiful aircraft on the planet” – but said its time has come.

The Pentagon wants to replace the A-10 with the F-35, the futuristic Joint Strike Fighter that has endured numerous production delays and is now projected to be fully deployed across the Air Force, Navy and Marines by 2019.

Mark Gunzinger, an analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington, said that even before the F-35 is widely available, U.S. military leaders have plenty of existing options to provide close air support.

“Low-flying aircraft like the A-10 are at risk from anti-aircraft artillery, MANPADS (portable air-defense systems) and other ground threats,” he said. “We have a large inventory of other capabilities which can do that mission, including rotary-wing aircraft, drones, bombers and fighters.”

For three years, the Pentagon has removed funding for maintaining the A-10 fleet from the National Defense Authorization Act; each year, Congress has put the money back.

President Barack Obama vetoed the most recent measure Oct. 22, in part over lawmakers’ attempt to protect the A-10. On Nov. 5, the House passed a modified version of the bill, with the A-10 funding intact, by a 370-58 margin, more than enough votes to override a second Obama veto, and the Senate approved it Tuesday, on a vote of 91-3, another unassailable margin. The White House said Obama would sign it.

Against this backdrop, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook told reporters last month that a dozen American A-10s would be replacing six or so F-16s at Incirlik. He called it part of “a regular rotation that was planned.”

But the disclosure raised questions about why the Pentagon had bypassed any one of a dozen or more other types of military aircraft for the key Turkish base, choosing instead a 30-year-old attack jet slated for retirement. The A-10s’ home is Moody Air Force Base in Georgia, but they were brought to Incirlik from an undisclosed location in the Middle East.

“The president proposed to retire the A-10 aircraft,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, a Texas Republican, told the Brookings Institution in Washington on the day of the Pentagon announcement. “Well, it turns out they are sending A-10s into the Middle East today and relying on them.”

Army Col. Steve Warren, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S. anti-Islamic State campaign, tried to downplay the move in a video briefing from Baghdad the next day.

“These A-10s are replacing some F-16s that were rotating out,” he said. “There is nothing special or magical about the actual platform. It’s the ability to conduct (air) strikes. A-10 is just another platform.”

But for Warthog supporters, the rotation was anything but routine, and the A-10 is not just another plane. While it was originally designed to destroy Soviet tanks rolling across the plains of Europe, the partisans say the jet is proving its mettle in the current campaign against the Islamic State.
F-16 & F-18s are capable in their way but they reflect a flyboy mentality that considers ground support beneath them. Problem down there? Just drop a big boom-boom on it and make everything go away. And the F-35. far from being a replacement is a jack of all trades and a master of none. And to add insult to injury, it is too expensive to risk in a combat situation where it can't stay far above it all.

The Arkansas Antichrist

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Some poetry today

Dulce Et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen: Read by Christopher Eccleston

Do you get it?

From the pen of Chan Lowe

The blessings of technology

Are being joined with the blessings of marijuana to create a more efficient and effective marketplace for buyers and sellers.
HelloMD is at the forefront of a new trend in Silicon Valley: the cannabis tech start-up. As marijuana laws are being loosened across the country, entrepreneurs and investors are creating new businesses to cash in on what they see as an emerging bonanza. Like start-ups in other industries, these firms are trying to use technology to bring speed and efficiency to what has long been a face-to-face, pen-and-paper market. In the process, they are also trying to alter mainstream perceptions of the marijuana industry, shedding the ganja and Rasta imagery to cultivate a wider audience.

“What we see is moms, dads, professionals, old people, everyone wanting access to cannabis,” said Mark Hadfield, the founder of HelloMD. “The old type of experience — go to a crummy dispensary, wait in line — was not going to appeal to the market that we were after, which is everyday Americans, a market that, by the way, is much larger than the old market of — I don’t want to call them stoners, but let’s say, ‘recreationally minded young people.’”

People in the marijuana industry have lately taken to saying that legal marijuana is the next Internet, an untrammeled new market opportunity that is just waiting for its own big brands, the Google and Facebook of pot. But many businesses are also finding that, in an environment of only partial legality, not everything in the marijuana business is smooth sailing.

Proponents for legalization expect a handful of states to vote on ballot measures to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in the 2016 election. The biggest prize is California, where a wealthy coalition of advocates, including Sean Parker, the co-founder of Napster and the former president of Facebook, is pushing for recreational legalization.

“California is the biggest domino,” said Justin Hartfield, the founder and chief executive of Weedmaps, a kind of Yelp for marijuana dispensaries, who is also backing the California initiative. “Once California goes legal, very shortly after we’ll have a majority of states where adult-use is legal.”
The next tech boom?

It's Unanimous

All of the Republican candidates agree. Working people should not be paid fairly, that cuts too deeply into The Great American Profit.
Fox’s Neil Cavuto, one of the night’s three moderators, led off the debate by turning to Donald Trump, positioned center stage as the leader in recent national polls, and asked if the billionaire businessman was supportive of those calling for a $15-an-hour minimum wage.

“I can't be, Neil,” said Trump, who, after mentioning his “tremendous” tax plan, added, “wages are too high.”

Cavuto confirmed with the candidate that he would not raise the minimum wage — “I would not do it,” said Trump — and the partisan audience burst into applause.

The moderator then turned his attention to Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon who has challenged Trump for the top spot in recent surveys. Referring to demonstrations nationwide earlier that day by those seeking a hike in the hourly wage, Cavuto asked, “Those protesters outside are looking for $15 and nothing less. Where are you?”

Carson said people needed to be “educated” on the minimum wage. “Every time we raise the minimum wage,” he continued, “the number of jobless people increases.”

“Actually,” noted a post-debate fact check by The Associated Press, “that usually doesn’t happen.”

“If you raise the minimum wage, you are going to make people more expensive than machines,” said Florida Sen. Marco Rubio when his turn came to address the subject. Rubio, who has been gaining ground in some recent opinion polls, called the minimum wage “in the 20th century” a “disaster.”
Keep them working 60-80 hrs a week and they won't have time to make any trouble for those who are stealing the fruits of their labor. Of that all the Republicans are in agreement.

The Great Divide

After all these weeks of seeking to stand out from the crowd, the one issue that seems to clearly separate Republican candidates is immigration. On the one hand there are those who like Donald Trump's concept of driving immigrants from our shores much like the Nazis drove Poles from western Poland in WW II. On the other hand there are those like Jeb! who think they should be removed in an orderly and humane manner with exceptions made for those with money.
The clash over how to deal with immigrants in the country illegally sparked the ugliest exchanges of Tuesday’s debate, as the two sides showed little taste for even a hint of compromise. They may show agreement on the basic outlines of other core conservative issues, notably tax policy, but the schism on immigration shows no signs of fading.

For Republicans, that means a prolonged brawl.

Those candidates marshaling voter anger are determined to clamp down on what they see as an uncontrollable flood of undocumented immigrants. Their followers are roughly the same voters who created and energized the tea party movement six years ago and cheer the small but vocal House of Representatives’ Freedom Caucus. They’re the hard-core conservatives who have had enough of compromise.

Their 2016 heroes, real estate mogul Donald Trump and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, continue to lead the Republican pack and show no signs of fading. Just behind is Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

Trump’s rise coincided with his talk about Mexicans and rapists and his insistence he can and must build a wall between the United States and Mexico. Tuesday, he reiterated his view that he’d send undocumented immigrants back where they came from. Cruz chimed in, “If Republicans join Democrats as the party of amnesty, we will lose.”

On the other Republican side are the politically practical conservatives. “Philosophy doesn’t work when you run something,” argued John Kasich, the governor of Ohio. The pragmatists appreciate Kasich and Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, who say Trump’s immigration ideas are nuts.

“It’s a silly argument,” Kasich told Trump of his deportation plan.
Kasich is wrong, Trump's plan is dangerously stupid. Dangerous for the Republican Party because it will drive out the last remnants of sanity from a party with precious little left. And stupid, well if you can't see that you have no business calling yourself human.


For some, the hard part of Never Forget.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Some musicians crank out albums like Duggar babies

Some just take their time like The Chapin Sisters who took 5 years to get their latest album together. "Autumn" is from that album Today's Not Yesterday.

Animals know when something is wrong

From the pen of Matt Diffee

Rafael Cruz, A Cuban Ben Carson?

Probably his responses will be more intelligent but it appears that the father of Cuban Shitheel Ted Cruz is Ben's equal in lying about his 'glorious' past. Now that Cuba is opening to the US, researchers are able to get a clearer picture of what really happened all those years ago and it seldom matches that as told by 'Pastor' Cruz.
The elder Mr. Cruz, 76, recalls a vivid moment at a watershed 1956 battle in Santiago de Cuba, when he was with a hero of the revolution, Frank País, just hours before he was killed in combat.

In fact, Mr. País was killed seven months later and in a different place and manner.

In interviews, Rafael Cruz’s former comrades and friends disputed his description of his role in the Cuban resistance. He was a teenager who wrote on walls and marched in the streets, they said — not a rebel leader running guns or blowing up buildings.

Leonor Arestuche, 79, a student leader in the ’50s whom the Castro government later hired to verify the supposed exploits of revolutionary veterans, said a term existed for people like Mr. Cruz — “ojalateros,” or wishful thinkers. “People wishing and praying that Batista would fall,” she said, “but not doing much to act on it.”...

All of the unrest in Santiago de Cuba led the Batista government to close the university there, and Mr. Cruz returned to Matanzas, on the north coast, where he says he began leading his old cell and running weapons. In Ted Cruz’s book, he graduated to saboteur, disrupting transportation and communications infrastructure throughout the province.

“Yes, I know him,” said Liborio Vera Andreu, 79, a schoolmate and leader in the youth brigades in Matanzas. But he said Mr. Cruz’s involvement had been limited to participating “in strikes and in protests.”

Asked on different occasions, Mr. Cruz was unable to name any specific acts of sabotage he carried out. He spoke of throwing Molotov cocktails, but could not name any targets.
It seems pretty clear that anyone who has conversations with god has a fecund imagination about everything in his life. And if that damned Obama hadn't opened up Cuba, no one would know.

Coming Soon To A Rail Bridge Near You?

You may have good reason to be concerned about the state of deterioration of highway and road bridges near you but you may not know that many rail bridges are approaching the same state of deterioration.
A survey of 250 oil train bridges across America found that almost half showed signs of considerable deterioration, including missing or crumbling concrete, partially washed-away footings, rotted pilings and badly corroded steel beams, according to a report to be released Tuesday.

Determining whether the problems found by three environmental groups pose a threat to public safety is almost impossible, however, because the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) rarely inspects the nation’s estimated 100,000 rail bridges, including some built more than 100 years ago. Instead the agency leaves that responsibility to the railroads, which don’t make their inspection records public.

“Because the federal government has shirked its responsibility to regulate the safety of oil trains and the bridges they cross, we are shining a light on the need for immediate, independent inspections of all rail bridges that carry explosive oil trains,” said Marc Yaggi, the executive director of the Waterkeeper Alliance, one of the groups that produced the report.

The Waterkeeper Alliance, which is dedicated to protecting watersheds around the world, was assisted in the report by two other groups also concerned about oil trains, Riverkeeper and ForestEthics.

The report, “Deadly Crossing: Neglected Bridges and Exploding Oil Trains,” cited Department of Transportation statistics showing that bridge failures caused 58 train accidents from 1982 to 2008.

“The magnitude of the threat of an oil train derailment caused by a failing bridge to the surrounding communities, waterways and drinking water means that, even if rare, an accident could be catastrophic,” the report said.
Since the federal government lets the railroads inspect their own bridges, you need to consider one question. Would Warren Buffett and other railroad owners spend the money to repair their bridges, slowing down their systems and reducing profits? Or would they just pay their insurance premiums and wait for a collapse to replace the old hardware. If you live near such a brige, the answer may be of some importance.

Public safety is a major concern for most people

And according to the latest McClatchy-Marist poll the majority of people fear guns in the hands of their fellow Americans far more than they fear "Terrorists".
Overall, 63 percent of registered votes say they’re more worried that they or someone they know will be a victim of gun violence, while 29 percent more fear that they or a friend will fall prey to a terrorist attack.

Democrats and independents lean heavily toward gun violence as the bigger threat, a sentiment reflected in the party’s push for stricter gun laws in the wake of mass shootings this year in Charleston, S.C., Rosenburg, Ore., and Lafayette, La.

Democrats fear guns over terrorism by 77-15 percent. Independents fear gun violence over terrorism by 64-28 percent.

Republicans edge toward terrorism as the bigger threat, but only narrowly, by 50-45 percent over a fear of gun violence.

African-American voters have the biggest concern about guns: 71 percent say they’re worried about being a victim of gun violence and only 13 percent are afraid of being caught in a terrorist attack.

“There are a lot of Republicans concerned about gun violence,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, which conducts the survey. “But Republicans are more concerned about issues of terrorism than about guns.”

Miringoff said the percentage of Republicans concerned about gun violence reflects rank-and-file Republicans more than the GOP’s tea party and conservative base, which the presidential candidates will need to win the nomination.

Tea party supporters skew more toward terrorism as the greater threat, by 57-37 percent. And given their activist voice in primaries, that helps explain the campaign.
The breakout is pretty much what you would expect. I guess there will never be a cure for the people more afraid of some bearded guy in Syria than they are of drunk Uncle Fred showing off his new shootin' iron. But we must remember they are a minority. Once again the numbers show a large majority in favor of public safety over paranoia.

GOP Primary Explained

Monday, November 09, 2015

Youy expect the lip-synch to be bad

But with Laura Cantrell singing "Emanuel" you don't really care which Italian movie they dubbed it over.

In your dreams

Based on the Republican candidates stated requests, Tom Tomorrow illustrates how their ideal debate would proceed, from beginning to end and more.

Ben Carson Unfiltered

From the pen of Jack Ohman

Picking the next leader

Throughout history dealing with the selection of a new leader has always been a serious problem in the absence of clearly defined rules. And even with rules the lure of power has caused many to reach for the gold ring anyway. The Taliban in Afghanistan are in the middle of such a problem.
Violent clashes between two rival Taliban groups in southern Afghanistan have resulted in the death of at least 50 fighters from both sides, a police chief told Al Jazeera.

On Sunday, Mirwais Noorzai said fighters led by the newly appointed leader Mullah Mohammad Rasool clashed with those loyal to Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor in Zabul province.

"Civilians have left the area due to heavy clashes between the two groups," he said.

"The fight took place in the Arghandab district of Zabul province. Most of the area is under the Taliban control. We've been asking for military assistance for very long now."

Anwar Ishaqzai, governor of southern Zabul province, said the Taliban splinter group - known as the High Council of Afghanistan Islamic Emirate - has joined up with fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) group.

"The Taliban faction under Mullah Rasool was backed by the ISIL and Uzbek fighters in the fight," he said.

"About 40 Taliban from Rasool's group and 10 from Mansoor's have been killed in the fight."

However, Abdul Manan Niazi, spokesperson for the breakaway faction, denied the ISIL association.

"We will never join them. Their ideologies are different; they come from a different background and a different history," he told Al Jazeera.

"These are all false accusations. We can never ask for their support to fight our enemies or to re-establish Islamic rule."
The denial of ISIL is interesting but then the Taliban in Afghanistan has been Afghan-centric all along. And as this shows, they will fight anybody.

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