Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Silly Season

While we slog through the Dog Days of Great Depression II  (2008 -  ) we can at least count on nonstop entertainment  The '30s had Shirley Temple and Laurel and Hardy and Charlie Chaplin. We have Michele and Sarah and Mitt and Rick and 'Rack.

First of all, we should all breathe a sigh of relief that Michele Bachmann is not running to replace Judge Judy.  As she somewhat tetchily revealed to hard-hitting interviewer David Gregory on Meet the Press Sunday, she is not in the business of judging the gays. She will not necessarily ban gays from her cabinet, as long as they agree with her (anti-gay) views She is running for president, not Judge, David! She reminded him she has raised five uterine children, 23 foster children, was a tax attorney, and has been happily married for 33 years, and that submission means the same thing as respect in her household. And that she is not judgmental. So good. She is absolutely qualified to say she is running for president.

Poor Tim Pawlenty dropped out before he even got started.  So no President Pawlenty.  T-Paw won't morph into P-Paw.  On the other hand, we might just get a P-Rick, as in Rick "Concealed Weapon" Perry, a.k.a. Governor Goodhair of the Banana Republic of Texas. He's been caught joking about secession again, saying we can leave any time we want to. So I guess if he wins, the USA can just secede from itself. Sounds good to me. 

 And let's not forget President Obama.  He is embarking on a three-day bus tour through the Heartland, as I am sure you already know.  I kind of thought it was going to be a jobs tour, and that he'd be announcing plans for .... jobs or something.  But it's really more like an Empathy Tour, which I guess is as close to Emp-loyment as we are going to see from him.  But don't ever call it a campaign tour.  Those million dollar buses he's riding in battleground states are not campaign buses.  They are Secret Service buses, and will be used for all manner of future presidents and VIPs and such.  I don't want to make a big deal out of the $2.2 million cost to the taxpayers of these luxury tanks, because Fox News and Rush are already doing that. But suffice it to say, the ObamaCares Bus does not look like this: 

But more like this:

With a luxuriously appointed interior like this:

Complaining about government waste is a waste of breath anyway.  Remember when Vice President Joe Biden announced that new Department of Government Waste, Fraud and Abuse, to cut such frippery as those thousands of disgusting 99-cent cute animal websites?  The endangered Desert Tortoise was actually also on the Endangered Website List.  A double death knell if there ever was one.

That was in June. You will be pleased to know that the Desert Tortoise gov page is still up and running in all its glory.  Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, home heating assistance will all be thrown under the austerity bus.  But the Tortoise is still here. He is protected by his hard shell of resistance.  And he still pees copiously on any cruel human hand that dares mess with him.  Maybe we should all take a tip from the turtle.


4Runner said...

I think Joe Biden misnamed his Department of Waste, Fraud and Abuse. It should've been called the Department of Waste & Fraud in A Bus.

William said...


I'm so lucky I put my mug of morning coffee down seconds before reading your hilarious new sobriquets for Rick Perry.

By the way, if Barack is looking to unwind on the bus between stops with a nice feel-good flick, he should try this one:


Anonymous said...

Hey Gang,

I've heard a lot of commentators and friends singing the praises of Ron Paul recently. What are your thoughts? Would you vote for him over Obama if it came to that? Although some of his positions on domestic issues seem extreme, his willingness to end the wars and take the fed out of our global money supply make sense. Plus, the MSM is ignoring him so that must be a good sign as well.


Anonymous said...


For starters, Ron Paul thinks Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are unconstitutional.


Anonymous said...

I am a Conservative and I wouldn't vote for him. He is in my opinion a wing nut.


Anne Lavoie said...

I heard the tricked-out bus looks like more a mobile police morgue, or maybe one of those they use at riots?

@Greg - I was wondering recently who the media wants to shut out and shut up, thinking I should give that person a closer look. Looks like that would be Ron Paul right now.

We do have to keep an open mind now that Obama has made it clear what he is all about. As Valerie says, the choice is corporatists or anti-corporatists/ProPeople. Do we actually have anyone who is anti-corporate though?

While I strongly agree with some of Paul's policies, such as closing military bases and ending wars, which the corporatists would obviously hate, there are his other positions that would solidly benefit the corporatist empire.

So which policy would any of the candidates fight for fiercely and fearlessly? Which will he/she actually have more power to implement?

The Commander in Chief role is a powerful one, and the person who has that title and who really wants to end wars may very well get their way, along with either one term or possibly even assassination. However, I believe there is NO greater and more important effort and risk than that to save our country and end our military and corporate empire.

Maybe it will take an older person who is not looking to secure a lucrative future in their 30 or so years post-Presidency, or not even expecting many more years of life. It will only happen if the People demand it by choosing a candidate whose most important goal is simply the end of Empire. At least Ron Paul, unlike Ralph Nader, has been allowed onstage at national debates.

Congressman Paul will first have to fight and win over the powerful corporate empire that controls our elections and runs our country. If he finds that daunting, he should consider the task of dismantling the Empire. Good luck to him.

Woe is U.S.

Neil Gillespie said...

I’d like to see a Bernie Sanders-Ron Paul ticket. Both Sanders and Paul want to end our worldwide military empire, and that is a first step in getting our finances in order. And the majority of the American people support dismantling our worldwide military empire. It doesn’t matter if Ron Paul thinks Social Security and Medicare are unconstitutional. He already said that those programs should continue for current beneficiaries. Moreover, while Social Security is solvent, Medicare is not sustainable. A national health care system is needed. Obamacare is a disaster. This month the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals found Obamacare unconstitutional. Ron Paul is a doctor who delivered thousands of babies, he knows more about healthcare than most politicians or voters. I respect his profession and accomplishments outside politics.

As an independent, I sometimes find Democrats as intransigent as Republicans. Democrats look for perfection, the perfect candidate. And we ended up with Obama, a disaster.

Here are two links, one to Sanders promotion socialized medicine, and Paul with Bernanke during a U.S. House Financial Services Committee Meeting. There is not one Democrat that I know who will speak this way in public. Certainly not Obama, the double-talking lawyer. Sanders and Paul are not as polished as Obama, but they have far more integrity.

Bernie Sanders on socialized healthcare, http://youtu.be/RSM8t_cLZgk

Ron Paul and Bernanke, http://youtu.be/2NJnL10vZ1Y

Both videos can be seen on my website too by clicking my name.

Anonymous said...

For one, I like Ron Paul. He gives Establishment Conservatives the collywobbles... What's not to like about that?

John in Lafayette said...

Ron Paul - like most doctrinaire Libertarians - has some wonderfully liberal points of view, but some ridiculously anti-government points of view as well.

On the plus side, he's opposed to things like the Patriot Act and other ways the government acts to invade our privacy and destroy our fourth amendment rights. He's also opposed to the government's prosecution of absurd wars. He's opposed to Iraq and Afghanistan because they long ago stopped being about the national defense (in the case of Iraq, it never was about national defense, and Paul opposed it from the beginning).

Ron Paul is also opposed to the absurd war on drugs.

On the down side, however, Paul believes Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are unconstitutional (as Ned has already noted). He would eliminate a number of cabinet departments, including energy and education .

Paul would get the government out of the business of regulating business, but that, apparently, doesn't make him distinctive. Obama hasn't done anything to rein in the excesses of business, either.

Anonymous said...

Have to disagree, Neil. Ron Paul is a doctor; he may or may not know about medicine. It's obvious he knows jackshit about healthcare.

Valerie Long Tweedie said...

I think people are really frustrated by the lack of choice. There is basically a two headed Corporate Party (one head being the Corporate Democrats and the other being the Republicans - who as far as I can see are ALL Corporatists). The small Anti-Corporate political group, trying to watch out for the Middle Class and the completely underrepresented working poor in this country, is marginalised and receives no attention from the MSM.

I can see why it would be tempting to vote Libertarian (and I even flirted with this idea for about a minute) because of the immense cost of the wars to our economy which both the Bush and Obama Administrations have opened the floodgates to - but in the end, the Libertarians are Corporatists too and someone like Ron Paul will gut the safety net – which every First World Country has (last time I checked we wanted to remain a First World Country don't we?) – in favour of letting the Corporations run completely wild.

I really don't understand why a politician with a record for supporting pro-Middle Class, Anti-Corporate Legislation doesn't throw his or her hat into the ring. I would think there would be a lot of support for that person, especially in the Democratic Primary - if a politician wants to play it safe and not hang his/her shingle out as a Third Party candidate. The Internet is still a pretty good place to establish a grass roots campaign and to get information out to the masses.

Rose in Michigan pointed out, on RealityChex, that the many progressive groups out there don’t seem to have any cohesion. I would agree – but believe if we had a candidate to rally around that most of these groups would come together. Groups like the National Progressive Alliance are readying their membership in preparation for an “all hands on deck” if and when a Progressive challenger enters the race.

People like me don’t want to vote for either Obama or a Republican for President. I often think that Ralph Nader was a man before his time. When he ran against Gore and Bush he always said there was no difference between the two parties. Now, I think most of us would agree. If ever there was a time for a Ralph Nader – a man or woman willing to speak truth to power – to jump into the fray, it is now.

Denis Neville said...

Speaking of buses…a blast from the past…

“You're either on the bus or off the bus." Ken Kesey to the Merry Pranksters.

"I make out a schoolbus...glowing orange, green, magenta, lavender, chlorine blue, every fluorescent pastel imaginable in thousands of designs, both large and small, like a cross between Fernand Liger and Dr. Strange, roaring together and vibrating off each other as if somebody had given Hieronymous Bosch fifty buckets of day-glo paint and a 1939 International Harvester schoolbus and told him to go to it." - Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

"The Pranksters were now out among them, and it was exhilarating - look at the mothers staring! - and there was going to be holy terror in the land. But there would also be people who would look up out of their work-a-daddy lives in some town, some old guy, somebody's stenographer, and see this bus and register...delight, or just pure open-invitation wonder. Either way, the Intrepid Travelers figured, there was hope for these people. They weren't totally turned off...the citizens were suitably startled, outraged, delighted, nonplused, and would wheel around and start or else try to keep their cool by sidling glances like they weren't going to be impressed by any weird shit - and a few smiled in a frank way as if to say, I am with you - if only I could be with you!" - Tom Wolfe

That bus was a much merrier bus than Obama’s totally oblivious Bus Force One.

However, ordinary American people, just us “folks,” won’t ride very far in Obama’s bus. Thursday Obama begins his ten day vacation on Martha’s Vineyard with his real friends (not us “folks”) - the wealthy, liberal elites.

4Runner said...

Let's hear it for female candidates, and I'm not talking Michelle-shocked Bachmann. As a longtime feminist, what I'm seeing suggested here as alternative candidates is a couple of males. Where the heck are all the good female progressives? Karen, are you available?

Denis Neville said...

Anne Lavoie asks an important question, who does the media want to shut out and shut up? And she is right, it is Ron Paul.

Glenn Greenwald today writes that media coverage has “an even more pernicious effects than mere distraction. They are also vital in bolstering orthodoxies and narrowing the range of permitted views. Few episodes demonstrate how that works better than the current disappearing of Ron Paul, all but an ‘unperson’ in Orwellian terms…“as Jon Stewart and Politico's Roger Simon have both pointed out -- the media have decided to steadfastly pretend he does not exist.”


“There are many reasons why the media is eager to disappear Ron Paul despite his being a viable candidate by every objective metric…what makes the media most eager to disappear Paul is that he destroys the easy, conventional narrative - for slothful media figures and for Democratic loyalists alike…Ron Paul is far and away the most anti-war, anti-Surveillance-State, anti-crony-capitalism, and anti-drug-war presidential candidate in either party.”

“How can the conventional narrative of extremist/nationalistic/corporatist/ racist/ warmongering GOP v. the progressive/peaceful/ anti-corporate/poor-and-minority-defending Democratic Party be reconciled with the fact that a candidate with those positions just virtually tied for first place among GOP base voters in Iowa? Not easily, and Paul is thus disappeared from existence.”

“However much progressives find Paul's anti-choice views to be disqualifying (even if the same standard is not applied to Good Democrats Harry Reid or Bob Casey), and even as much as Paul's domestic policies are anathema to liberals (the way numerous positions of Barack Obama ostensibly are: war escalation, due-process-free assassinations, entitlement cuts, and whistleblower wars anyone?), shouldn't progressives be eager to have included in the discourse many of the views Paul uniquely advocates? After all, these are critical, not ancillary, positions, such as: genuine opposition to imperialism and wars; warnings about the excesses of the Surveillance State, executive power encroachments, and civil liberties assaults; and attacks on the one policy that is most responsible for the unjustifiable imprisonment of huge numbers of minorities and poor and the destruction of their families and communities: Drug Prohibition and the accompanying War to enforce it.”

“The steadfast ignoring of Ron Paul -- and the truly bizarre un-personhood of Gary Johnson -- has ensured that, yet again, those views will be excluded and the blurring of partisan lines among ordinary citizens on crucial issues will be papered over. That's precisely the opposite effect that a healthy democratic election would produce.”

Let’s not forget that the media’s role to distract us so that Obama “can wield power with substantially reduced media attention for more than 1/3 of his term. Thus, he can wage a blatantly illegal war in Libya for months on end, work to keep U.S. troops in Iraq past his repeatedly touted deadline, scheme to cut Social Security and Medicare as wealth inequality explodes and thereby please the oligarchical base funding his campaign, use black sites in Somalia to interrogate Terrorist suspects, all while his Party's Chairwoman works literally to destroy Internet privacy -- all with virtually no attention paid.”

Hannah Arendt wrote, “Before they seize power and establish a world according to their doctrines, totalitarian movements conjure up a lying world of consistency which is more adequate to the needs of the human mind than reality itself….The force possessed by totalitarian propaganda - before the movements have the power to drop iron curtains to prevent anyone’s disturbing, by the slightest reality, the gruesome quiet of an entirely imaginary world - lies in its ability to shut the masses off from the real world.” - Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

Valerie said...

OK - After reading Denis' last comment I am more interested and open to Ron Paul than I was this morning. And I agree the fact that the MSM is ignoring him makes him worth a second look. My biggest concern is his hands off agenda would allow the corporations to become even more powerful domestically. Not, admittedly, that it has worked well in the last three administrations but I have always seen good government as the only power strong enough to keep hyper powered corporate greed in line.

Anonymous said...

His foreign policy may suit most here, but how do you balance that with his domestic policies? Besides the problem with Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and any aspect of healthcare, the man is totally against government regulation - especially financial regulation. He does not want any restrictions on religious involvement in the public sphere and would do away with the Department of Energy, Education, Health and Human Services - most anything that is not specifically allowed and mentioned in the Constitution.

Doesn't sound like a guy to the Left to me...


Valerie said...


He isn't to the Left - The fact that Lefties like me are considering Paul shows how deperate we have become since Obama has sold us down the river. At least Ron Paul represents SOME of our interests, while Obama has proven he doesn't represent ANY.

I'm not saying I will vote for the guy - but right now he looks better to me than Obama or the Republicans.

Neil Gillespie said...

This bus tour is symbolic of Obama’s ongoing failures; taking an arguably good idea and wrecking it. Rather than using a million-dollar Prevost luxury coach, why not a real bus that was a rolling jobs office, with a window for selling war bonds - since we are at war...maybe even a MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) military truck?

@ Anne Lavoie

"The Commander in Chief role is a powerful one, and the person who has that title and who really wants to end wars may very well get their way, along with either one term or possibly even assassination..."

Is Assassination the reward for those who advocate meaningful change?

J.F.K. Assassinated November 22, 1963

M.L.K. Assassinated April 4, 1968

R.F.K. Assassinated June 6, 1968

There haven’t been many charismatic or effective Real Democratic leaders since the late 1960’s, or am I missing something? (Ted Kennedy was haunted by Chappaquiddick; the Clintons and Obama presided over the decline of the New Deal and the Middle Class)

Does it matter who is elected? Or are we just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic? The VIPs have reserved space on their luxury lifeboats. The rest of us? Seems like it’s everyone for themselves.

Anonymous said...

We have got to be the dumbest country on the planet. I can see it already. This blowhard from Texas gets the nomination and defeats Obama for the presidency. We may even be lucky enough to get Palin as VP. George Carlin was right:

"The owners of this country know the truth: It's called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it."

It's pretty sad watching the greatest democracy this world has ever know slipping into darkness like the Titanic. Obama wasted a once in a generation oppurtunity to right the ship. Now complete corporate dominance by the plutocracy is all but certain. We can't depend on these leaders to do the right thing.

It's time to take the power back.


Anne Lavoie said...

Here's a Silly Season doozy.

Maureen Dowd quotes Obama telling about his negotiating with his wife Michelle:

“Everybody cannot get 100 percent of what they want. Now, for those of you who are married, there is an analogy here. I basically let Michelle have 90 percent of what she wants. But, at a certain point, I have to draw the line and say, ‘Give me my little 10 percent.’ ”

His message seems to be that we should be as agreeable to our piddly 10% as he is with his. He 'LETS' her win 90% and HE gives himself 10%. Sounds like the same deal he routinely settles on for us.

Evidently, his 10% is expected as reward for so civilly giving up 90%. It explains a lot. It also sounds more than lazy to me because he is not even fighting for even an EQUAL share and has no shame failing to do so. No wonder everyone feels so let down.

He considers almost anything more than zero a win for his ego, if for no one else, as long as he sees himself as winning. If Michelle divorced him and asked for 90% of their wealth, I bet he would be singing a different tune. Well, we want a divorce! And we want more than the 10% he is 'negotiating' for us.

This time he can't blame the Republicans or anyone else for coming across as a complete nincompoop. That's what happens when he isn't reading from his TelePrompter.

Would the Democratic bigwigs PLEASE bring out the hook and pull him off the stage now! Put up another candidate. This guy is a loser, by his own admission.

Valerie said...

Gotta disagree with you on one point, Neil - Jimmy Carter was a great Democratic president. It always saddens me when Liberals, who should know better, dismiss him or buy into the idea that he wasn't a great leader. Like FDR, he didn't flinch from the hatred of the oligarchy but did what he believed was in the long term best interest of America. Would that we would be so lucky to have someone like Carter as president of our country now.

The Black Swan said...

Another depressing take on Ron Paul, that I got from RealityChex:


Basically says: We don't need to mention Ron Paul since he never performed well in the past, because no one in the MSM ever mentioned him. Cool logic. If we never have and never will talk about a candidate then we can pretend they don't matter to anyone but their 'diehard' supporters.

I just love democracy! Only the best candidates the media are willing to mention!

Ron Paul may not be the man for the job, but he has a voice that deserves and needs to be heard.

Neil Gillespie said...


Jimmy Carter is a good elder statesman but his record as president, not so much. I’ve seen recent comparisons between Carter and Obama as weak and ineffectual leaders. Carter’s handling of the Iran hostage crisis led to losing his 1980 re-election bid to Ronald Reagan. (Carter was the first president since 1932 to lose a reelection bid). Maybe Carter should have declined a second term and let Ted Kennedy run unopposed in the primary. Maybe Kennedy could have beat Reagan.

Ironically Carter boycotted the 1980 Olympics over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. (and Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize while continuing our Afghan war). Carter started the bailout mentality with Chrysler. Many derided his decision to give back the Panama Canal. After he left office Carter was duped in the BCCI scandal, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (also known as the bank of crooks and criminals).

The Camp David Accords and SALT II nuclear arms treaty with the Soviets were high points of his presidency. I’ll give Carter credit for his humanitarian work, Habitat for Humanity, and his condemnation of Guantanamo and our torture policy. And Carter deserves credit for advocating on behalf of the Palestinians in direct opposition to Israel and AIPAC. But most of this was after he left office.

America is largely an anti-intellectual population. That’s the appeal of Reagan, George Bush, Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, etc. This does not preclude smart leaders, but they have to project a
nonchalant self-confidence, not a serious and introspective temperament. F.D.R., the Kennedys and Bill Clinton had that kind self-confidence. Carter and Obama come across as pointy-headed intellectuals to a lot of Americans who prefer a confident feel-good leader.

Valerie Long Tweedie said...


I am disappointed that someone like you, who usually thinks for himself and does his research, would buy into the unfair and biased image that has been promoted and defined by Carter's enemies. There is so much superficiality around Carter's MSM image and it doesn't take much to look below the surface to find the truth.

I am going to write a longer piece on Jimmy Carter that I will submit to Karen. But I don't have the time to do it now.

Suffice to say, Carter was willing to take on the MIC and the hawks in Congress and the oil companies - hardly the sign of a weak man - and was focussed on the long term best interests of our country, trying to make us independent of our addiction to fossil fuels and move the U.S. away from foreign policy decisions that caused us to get into bed with evil petro-dictators. After years of war in the Middle East and understanding the human and financial costs to our country, I think most of us should appreciate that Carter didn't allow himself to be provoked into war.

At the time of Carter’s presidency, America had already taken on an attitude of entitlement. “We are America and we deserve only the very best and should never have to be inconvenienced or to do without.” Carter spoke to the country as if we were a country of reasonable adults not spoiled brats that wanted what we wanted now and to hell with the consequences. Unfortunately, the Republicans and Reagan played to our superficial grandiose view of ourselves as a nation and appealed to our selfishness.

I encourage you to listen to the wisdom of Carter's speech to the nation April 18, 1977 for starters. Would that we would have a president to speak such courageous words today. Our world and our country would be a far better place today if we had followed Jimmy Carter's leadership. http://millercenter.org/president/carter


Neil Gillespie said...


My image of President Carter comes from memory as well as history and current opinion. Remember the 444 days of the Iranian Hostage Crisis played out on teevee? The failed rescue attempt and helicopter crash? Carter may have had more than his share of bad luck, but isn’t that one of Obama’s excuses now? At least Obama sent two helicopters to get Osama bin Laden.

For the sake of discourse, lets say Carter was a great president. He was trounced by Ronald Regean of all people. In my view that was a significant turning point downward for American in terms of creating the false Republican myth on taxes, deficits, free trade, etc., ad nauseam.

Look forward to your long piece on Jimmy Carter. Thanks for the link to the Miller Center. You know, personally I did quite well during both the Carter and Regean years, when I was young. Maybe today’s horrible political climate has more to do with an aging population than anything else.