September 30, 2008

Palin Seeks Rapture Lane

By Papa Bonk

Vice Presidential Candidate Sara Palin has proposed the addition of ”Rapture Lanes” to America’s interstate highways.

“Its something we should be thinking about,” Palin told the New Jesus Times in an exclusive interview yesterday. “I mean I don’t mean everyplace,” she continued, “just those places where you know, they have a lot of traffic and there could be people driving along and getting raptured when we don’t expect…. I mean places like the beltway highway in Washington D.C. and you know, Los Angeles.” She noted that they have a lot of Christians in Los Angeles, and the potential for rapture is high there. “We would have a lane where just Christians could drive so if they got Raptured they would not… you know… mess up traffic.”

Many Christians believe that The Rapture will carry chosen persons whole to heaven in a simultaneous Second Coming of Jesus. There is some concern that persons raptured while driving could create a traffic hazard. “At the very least,” she added, “it’s a problem that FEMA should be thinking about.”

Filed Under: Speak Truth To Morons

It's Not A Gaffe, and It's No Surprise

By Brady Bonk

gaffe also gaff (gf)
n.
1. A clumsy social error; a faux pas: “The excursion had in his eyes been a monstrous gaffe, a breach of sensibility and good taste” Mary McCarthy.
2. A blatant mistake or misjudgment.

Words often become so misused and bent out of shape that they lose the originally intended meaning. “Irony” is one example of this. “Conservative” is another. The misfired word of the day is “gaffe.”

Here’s the reporting from Politico:

Of concern to McCain’s campaign, however, is a remaining and still-undisclosed clip from Palin’s interview with Couric last week that has the political world buzzing.

The Palin aide, after first noting how “infuriating” it was for CBS to purportedly leak word about the gaffe, revealed that it came in response to a question about Supreme Court decisions.

After noting Roe vs. Wade, Palin was apparently unable to discuss any major court cases.

That is not a “gaffe.” It is IGNORANCE. And it is not surprising. It simply verifies that Prudence Palin was a naked pandering to the most fundamentalist nooks and crannies of the Republigoat Party. Of course she is ignorant about the judicial branch. She and hers would prefer that it didn’t exist. They are openly at war with it and have no use for it whatsoever. So whats if she knows nothing of Plessy V. Ferguson or Brown V. BOE or Loving V. Virginia or Griswold V. Connecticut?

(Actually, I am a little shocked she’s not familiar with Griswold because if she knew what was in that decision, she would most likely desire it overturned immediately.)

Hell, half the Supreme Court doesn’t give a darn about previous court decisions neither. Why oughtta she?

September 29, 2008

Leftblogistan. Dot-Com.

By Brady Bonk

As a true Web nerd, I am by avocation and by vocation as well a collector of domain names. I could not begin to tell you how many I own. Let’s just say that I am utterly grateful for the existence of Go Daddy.

In September 2006, I had noticed that the “left” blogosphere had begun to be referred to informally as “leftblogistan.” I wondered if anyone had purchased the domain name. They had not. So, I did. Better me than some get-rich-quick a-hole or, worse yet, The Cato Institute, I figured.

I turned it into a listing of liberal blogs. I don’t know how useful it is. I use it. I list blogs I notice and headlines from said blogs via Delicious and there are a few other toys. I have tried and tried to include some sort of automatic syndication of headlines via RSS, but the tools just aren’t there yet to do it exactly the way I’d like it done. But. I have today added a very cool tool indeed, the Google Custom Search, which will search through the blogs I’ve listed. I do not have the full gamut of blogs listed yet, but work will continue. I hope folks will find it as a good resource when trying to track down that quote they saw the other day on Kos or whatever.

So, go visit if you like. www.leftblogistan.com. Or, you may also get to it from www.rightblogistan.com. Heh. [end shameless plug]

Filed Under: Leftblogistan

Duh-Bates

By Brady Bonk

The most succinct analysis of Friday’s debates that I heard came from a little AAR radio program called “Seven Days in America.” From my own and that panel’s observations, I have concluded that, even despite my own bias, the winner of the debate was, indeed, Barack Obama.

Simply put: Each candidate needed to achieve two aims in this debate. McWeirdsmile needed to stop the hemorrhaging, a point made by Arianna Huffington. Huffington declared that he had acheived that with his debate performance, though I think it’s too soon to tell. His bad story from last week, the bailout, is still at the top of the news queue here at the start of the week, and the week will wind down with the vice-presidential debate. It could still be a bad week for them even though McWeirdsmile didn’t forget his pants or fall backward while flipping a pancake. But he may have at least effectively applied a decent tourniquet. So, all right. Score one for John McWeirdsmile.

However, he was less effective at his second goal, which was to discredit his opponent as a rube. This was difficult to do, what with Obama standing right there and, well, accomplishing one of his two aims of the night, which was to, as it was put on “Seven Days,” “cross the presidential threshhold.” Obama appeared quite presidential Friday, and McCain was not successful in quenching that appearance. So, score one Obama.

Score two Obama for successfully impugning his opponent’s judgment, his second goal of the night. Obama successfully and forcefully argued that many positions McCain has supported have been simply downright wrong. From where I sit, Obama achieved two important aims Friday, while McCain, well, he might have achieved one. We’ll see.

Look for Palin to be full of zinger lines on Thursday. I think they’ll be setting her up to try to achieve a “there you go again,” because she’s not going to beat Joe Biden on the issues. I’d be surprised it the woman is capable of ordering a sandwich. But she is good at unfounded, malicious, and scummy attacks, so I betcha we’ll see quite a lot of that from her, and she’ll get away with it thanks to the “you can’t hit a girl” rule.

September 28, 2008

Media Sunday

By Brady Bonk

Meet The Press was good today. During the “senatorial debate” segment, Sen. Udall of Colorado said what needs said about “The Surge,” that post hoc is NOT ergo proctor hoc, goddammit. Were only that a certain presidential candidate with a funny name able to say the same rather than to feel pressured to call “The Surge” an incredible success on its own. At least he was able Friday to say that McWeirdsmile was wrong on a lot of crap. Catch today’s MTP if you can.

There are two articles from today’s The Washington Post that should not be missed.

If Roe Goes, Our State Will Be Worse Than You Think. Linda Hirshman provides a terrifying profile of a McCain administration, empowered at once to alter the Supremes so they can seek a case to use to overturn Roe V. Wade. She suggests that the political climate now mayt be more conducive than ’twas pre-Roe, not less, to extreme, harsh measures to criminalize the procedure, especially regarding how the practice is regulated across state lines. It is a white-knuckling profile of what may very well be right around the corner.

Hirshman’s piece provides further infrastructure to something I’ve discussed here quite a bit before. Once they strike Roe, folks, they’re just getting warmed up. Next on the list is yanking your right to access birth control. I’m sorry, it is true, it is the only logical and legal progression based on the extreme thinking upon which they base their opposition to abortion rights. They are working on it concurrently as we speak and won’t stop until your only birth control alternative is guesswork and a marked-up calendar.

Their Party Crashed. Ours May Too. by Robert S. McElvaine says quite clearly what is not being said enough regarding the ongoing economic crisis: Duh. We’ve done this before. Duh. Good stuff. Read up.

September 26, 2008

What Barack should say

By Papa Bonk

Barack should explain to the people that it is not his business to solve the financial crisis at this moment. Neither is it, by implication, John McCaine’s. Here is how Barack should frame it:

As a member of the Senate, and not a member of the Financial Services Committee, it is Obama’s job to know what is going on, offer whatever constructive assistance he can, stay out of the way, and vote when needed. He is doing that. Obama clearly knows what the proposals are. He has consulted with Chris Dodd, the man whose job it is to resolve the matter in the Senate, and Obama has offered him his advice.

Obama has stood on the sidelines, encouraged resolution of the problem in a way that addresses the real and legitimate concerns of the American people. He did not need to go to Washington to meet with the president, but did so as a courtesy. The results were what he predicted.

I can’t wait for the debate.

Filed Under: Speak Truth To Morons
September 25, 2008

The 'Homeownership Gap'

By Brady Bonk

On Oct. 15, 2002, That Moron George Busch gave a speech. It is a speech worth revisiting in these times.

As prologue, may I point out to The White House-dot-gov that “homeownership” is not a word. It’s no wonder these assholes have no respect for the law. Respect for language precedes such a thing. Assholes.

Anyway. Here is what That Moron George Busch said on Oct. 15, 2002.

More and more people own their homes in America today. Two-thirds of all Americans own their homes, yet we have a problem here in America because few than half of the Hispanics and half the African Americans own the home. That’s a homeownership gap. It’s a—it’s a gap that we’ve got to work together to close for the good of our country, for the sake of a more hopeful future. We’ve got to work to knock down the barriers that have created a homeownership gap.

I set an ambitious goal. It’s one that I believe we can achieve. It’s a clear goal, that by the end of this decade we’ll increase the number of minority homeowners by at least 5.5 million families. (Applause.)

I won’t argue that home ownership isn’t a good thing; though for the sake of diligence, I will mention that I am a renter. I also won’t argue with the idea on its face of offering minorities more opportunities to own. However. I will argue that, perhaps, a better way to allow more people to own would be to, oh, say, work to reverse the domestic exodous of this country’s manufacturing base, for example. As my man T. Hartmann says often, the best anti-poverty program is a JOB, beeyotch.

I would also consider it a general rule that any time a “conservative” politician talks about a “gap,” you should immediately drop to the ground and assume a fetal position, hugging your head. It means that, most certainly, there is horrifically bad policy on the way.

Now. One thing that makes this speech interesting is the blatant statement of ideology it contains. Bush says:

All of us here in America should believe, and I think we do, that we should be, as I mentioned, a nation of owners. Owning something is freedom, as far as I’m concerned.

You see, ownership = freedom. Has a sitting President ever before so boldly admitted that he is a fascist? Interesting.

And now, for a little implicit racism!

And ownership of a home helps bring stability to neighborhoods. You own your home in a neighborhood, you have more interest in how your neighborhood feels, looks, whether it’s safe or not. It brings pride to people, it’s a part of an asset-based to society. It helps people build up their own individual portfolio, provides an opportunity, if need be, for a mom or a dad to leave something to their child. It’s a part of—it’s of being a—it’s a part of—an important part of America.

See, minorities live in squalor! If only they all owned their own houses! If only!

Now, George, hit me with some good old-fashioned IRONY.

Homeownership is also an important part of our economic vitality. If—when we meet this project, this goal, according to our Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, we will have added an additional $256 billion to the economy by encouraging 5.5 million new home owners in America; the activity—the economic activity stimulated with the additional purchasers, the additional buyers, the additional demand will be upwards of $256 billion. And that’s important because it will help people find work.

How much was this bailout thingie again?

To open up the doors of homeownership there are some barriers, and I want to talk about four that need to be overcome. First, down payments. A lot of folks can’t make a down payment. They may be qualified. They may desire to buy a home, but they don’t have the money to make a down payment. I think if you were to talk to a lot of families that are desirous to have a home, they would tell you that the down payment is the hurdle that they can’t cross. And one way to address that is to have the federal government participate.

And so we’ve called upon Congress to set up what’s called the American Dream Down Payment Fund, which will provide financial grants to local governments to help first-time home buyers who qualify to make the down payment on their home. If a down payment is a problem, there’s a way we can address that. And when Congress funds the program, this should help 200,000 new families over the next five years become first-time home buyers.

Wasn’t part of the housing mess problem a vigorous loosening of down-payment requirements? What the hell is he talking about?

Now, here’s a very interesting passage.

And then there’s my friend Kirbyjon Caldwell. He not only provides counseling and job training, he actually decided to encourage a development of homes in the Houston area. People — low-income people are going to be able to more afford a home in Texas because of Kirbyjon’s vision and work. He’s answered the call of faith to help people help themselves and to help them realize dreams.

The other thing Kirbyjon told me, which I really appreciate, is you don’t have to have a lousy home for first-time home buyers. If you put your mind to it, the first-time home buyer, the low-income home buyer can have just as nice a house as anybody else.

Sure! Why buy a starter home and invest sweat equity when you can instead buy a mcmansion you can’t actually afford! GEORGE W. BUSH IS A FUCKING GENIUS!

But, wait. Here comes the money shot:

Freddie Mae—Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—I see the heads who are here; I want to thank you all for coming—(laughter)—have committed to provide more money for lenders. They’ve committed to help meet the shortage of capital available for minority home buyers.

Fannie Mae recently announced a $50 million program to develop 600 homes for the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. Franklin, I appreciate that commitment. They also announced $12.7 million investment in a condominium project in Harlem. It’s the beginnings of a series of initiatives to help meet the goal of 5.5 million families. Franklin told me at the meeting where we kicked this office [sic], he said, I promise you we will help, and he has, like many others in this room have done.

Freddie Mac recently began 25 initiatives around the country to dismantle barriers and create greater opportunities for homeownership. One of the programs is designed to help deserving families who have bad credit histories to qualify for homeownership loans. Freddie Mac is also working with the Department of Defense to promote construction and financing for housing for men and women in the military.

Talk about lipstick on a pig.

This 2002 speech serves as a loud reminder that the present economic mess is not some act of nature or some terrorist attack. It was done to us on purpose by the very assholes who are telling us today that they know how to fix it. It also shows, in my opinion, that, in America, the word “conservative” has lost all of its meaning. See Papa Bonk’s Garrison Keillor quote because Keillor wrote it much better than I ever could. These people are not “conservatives.” They are Bizarro-Utopian Anarchists.

Just for fun, lookie how That Moron George Busch ended his speech.

Again, I want to tell you, this is an initiative—as [HUD Secretary] Mel [Martinez] will tell you, it’s an initiative that we take very seriously. We’re going to stay on it until we’re—until we achieve the goal. And as we all achieve the goal, we can look back and say, America is a better place for our hard work, our efforts and our desires for our fellow Americans to realize the greatness of our country.

Or, you’ll look back as you’re running in terror as the financial horizon crumbles upon itself behind you. Whatever.

Outrage Worth Sharing

By Papa Bonk

Garrison Keillor had this to say in Salon:

Confident men took leave of common sense and bet on the idea of perpetual profit in the real estate market and crashed. But it wasn’t their money. It was your money they were messing with. And that’s why you need government regulators. Gimlet-eyed men with steel-rim glasses and crepe-soled shoes who check the numbers and have the power to say, “This is a scam and a hustle and either you cease and desist or you spend a few years in a minimum-security federal facility playing backgammon.”

The Republican Party used to specialize in gimlet-eyed, steel-rim, crepe-soled common sense and then it was taken over by crooked preachers who demand we trust them because they’re packing a Bible and God sent them on a mission to enact lower taxes, less government. Except when things crash, and then government has to pick up the pieces.

Some say the tab might come to a trillion dollars. Nobody knows. And Mr. McCain has not one moment of doubt or regret. He switches from First Deregulation Church to Our Lady of Strict Vigilance like you might go from decaf to latte. Where is the straight talk? Does the man have no conscience?

It wasn’t their money they were playing with. It was yours. Where were the cops?

What we are seeing is the stuff of a novel, the public corruption of an American war hero. It is painful. First, there was his exploitation of a symbolic woman, an eager zealot who is so far out of her depth that it isn’t funny anymore. Anyone with a heart has to hurt for how Mr. McCain has made a fool of her. Never mind the persistent cheesiness of his attack ads. And now this chasm of debt and loss and the gentleman pretends to be shocked. He was there. He turned out the lights. He sent the regulators home.”

Mr. McCain seems willing to say anything, do anything, to get to the White House so he can go to war with Iran. If he needs to recline naked in Macy’s window, he would do that, or eat live chickens, or claim to be a reformer. Obviously you can fool a lot of people for awhile and maybe he can stretch it out until mid-November. But the truth is marching on. A few true conservatives are leading a charge against the bailout. Good for them. But how about admitting that their cowboy economic philosophy was at fault here?

Filed Under: Speak Truth To Morons
September 24, 2008

The Cornered Rabid Elephant

By Brady Bonk

Here’s what I think, as I ponder the news of the last few days up until the very last few miliseconds, as I hear that John McWeirdsmile says he now does not want to debate on Friday due to the “economic” “crisis.”

I think you are witnessing a political aparatus with its back to the wall. And it’s going to fight like a hungry mama duck on on steroids standing on a hot plate with spurs in its feathers. Because the issue isn’t just that these people don’t want to surrender power. It’s not just that they want to appoint the next three Supremes. It’s not even just that they’re failed idealogues who still believe fervently anyway and want to keep trying.

It’s that, if they don’t win, they might not have time to shred everything before President Obama gets the keys to the file drawer. These assholes have a LOT that they don’t want you to know, and I think they’ll claw to keep power so they can continue and continue and continue dragging government into the opaque of earth until you simply can’t even see it anymore.

If you think you’re seeing some desperate gambits on the part of the Republigoats now, just wait. This “suspension” of McWeirdsmile’s campaign is just the start. It is a desperate gambit that Mr. Obama has today confirmed is sheer, utter bullshit.

September 18, 2008

Two Administrative Notes

By Brady Bonk

I have recovered the old comments. And, I have moved each post’s listed categories to the bottom of each post. I tend to categorize the hell out of posts, so I did not want them to overwhelm the post content at the top of the page.

Filed Under: KIAV