Archive for October 3, 2011
This is happening to me right now:
Roughly three hours ago I clicked on Comcast Channel 183, one of the channels that’s included in my $80.00+ monthly bill.
I got this message:
ONE MOMENT PLEASE
This Channel Should be Available Shortly
REF Code 50900
I’m still getting that message.
Earlier today I turned to I-forgot-which-channel and there was no sound. I had to turn the TV/cable off and back on again before the sound came on.
Bottom line? They’re Comcast and I’m not. I’m one of their serfs. They have lobbyists. I don’t.
God I hate Comcast.
Obama — It’s time to get serious. Really, really serious. Because if you don’t, for the first time in my life, I might not cast a vote for president next year. Here’s why:
I no longer trust my own government to be the provider of a civilized society. No government is perfect or without corruptions. But in 2007, I thought I lived in a remarkably well-governed nation that had gone off-kilter under a small and mean administration. In 2011, I view my government as the sharp edge of an entrenched kleptocracy, engaged in ever more expansive schemes of surveillance and arrogating powers of ever less restrained brutality. At a visceral level, I dislike President Obama more than I have disliked any politician in my lifetime, not because he is objectively worse than most of the others — he is not — but because he disproved my hypothesis that we are a country with basically good institutions brought low by poor quality leadership.
Whenever I hear the President speak and am impressed by the quality of his intellect, by his instinct towards diplomacy and finding common ground and rising above petty struggles, I despair more deeply. Not just because a leader of high quality failed to restore passably clean and beneficient government. It is worse than that. The kleptocracy has harnassed this man’s most admirable qualities and made them a powerful weapon for its own ends. He has rebranded as “moderate”, “adult”, “reasonable”, practices such as unaccountable assassination lists and Orwellian nonhostilities. He has demostrated that the way grown-ups get things done in Washington is by continually paying off thieves in suits. Perhaps it is unfair to blame Barack Obama for all this. Maybe he has done the very best a person could do under our present institutions. But then it is not unfair to detest the institutions, to wish to see them clipped, contained, or starved.
I swear, if I ever use the acronym GOP again, send me a hate mail.
Why? Because winger idiots have no freakin’ idea what their party’s initials stand for.
Yep. They’re that stupid.
Fully a third of them think GOP (that would be Grand Old Party) means, Government of the People:
I bet the “Government Of the People” people are dumb enough to believe that the official name of the Democratic Party is the DemocRAT Party too.
If we had an actual two-party system, the Democrats would run with this.
But. We don’t.
They’re all owned.
Hey, thank God Global Warming’s a myth huh?
UK plants are flowering for a second time this year because of the unseasonably warm weather.
With temperatures soaring, plants such as foxglove and cowslip, which usually flower in the spring, are in full bloom six to eight months early.
Cold nights experienced across the UK in August are thought to have led to the early onset of autumn colours.
This warmer spell now has plants acting like it is spring.
Gardeners at the Kew’s Wakehurst Place gardens in Sussex said they are working from a “new rule book” to keep up.
“It is a very unsual year…I’ve been gardening for 30 years and have never seen anything like this,” said Wakehurst Place’s head Andy Jackson.
“We are increasingly seeing that plants are not synchronised with what the weather is doing,” he added.
I have a Master Gardener degree from Colorado State University. If I saw oh, say, a lilac blooming right now I would be downright scared. That would be a sign that the planet’s rhythm, its natural order, is totally fucked up.
Congratulations to Amanda Knox!
I haven’t followed her case closely, but from what I do know it sounds like she was shafted and that she is in fact innocent.
I think being in prison would almost be worse than death. I can’t imagine being deprived of fresh air, of sunlight and of, well, freedom. Deprived of the ability to spend an afternoon cooking a complicated meal; cuddling and/or walking my dogs; of sitting on the back deck on a warm fall day watching the birds and squirrels stuff themselves at the feeders. I would not do at all well in that situation.
So I can only imagine how absolutely thrilled Knox must be to have the charges against her dropped (other than one of defamation) and to be free, after four, what must have been very long, horrible years.
I wish her the very best.
The right is forever insinuating that there are probably thousands if not millions of people out there — people who could find jobs if they’d just get their lazy butts off the couch — who are ripping us off; “wasting” our tax dollars by living on food stamps and unemployment insurance. But you don’t hear a thing about the flip side of that nastiness:
After the economy slipped into recession in 2008, millions of Americans received unemployment benefits to make ends meet — including almost 3,000 millionaires.
According to U.S. Internal Revenue Service data, 2,840 households reporting at least $1 million in income on their tax returns that year also collected a total of $18.6 million in jobless aid. They included 806 taxpayers with incomes over $2 million and 17 with incomes in excess of $10 million. In all, multimillionaires reported receiving $5.2 million in jobless benefits.
Those numbers are a minuscule fraction of the 9.5 million taxpayers who reported receiving $43.7 billion from jobless benefits in 2008, up from 7.6 million recipients reporting $29.4 billion in benefits in 2007. Still, economists said they are surprised so many people with seven-figure incomes claimed benefits.
People who lose their jobs are entitled to unemployment benefits so matter their previous income. That’s the law. So the next time you hear a sour old wingnut politician complain about bottom feeders, keep the 3,000 millionaires mentioned above in mind because they sure as hell won’t bring them up.
Fox, Fair and balanced” my ass. As if there isn’t enough proof that that’s a crock of you-know-what, this might do it:
As the occupation of Wall Street enters its third week, the New York Observer points out that the notoriously right-wing Fox News has been doing its best to dismiss the protests. Fox has had its producers try to “prank” demonstrators, and the network has aired edited video interview footage to try to mock protesters.
Yet the Observer notes that there was one interview with a protester that Fox failed to air. Last week, a producer from Greta van Susteren’s show interviewed a demonstrator named Jesse LaGreca. LaGreca offered an eloquent defense of the protests and growing economic inequality in the United States, and scolded the Fox staffer for his network’s role as a far-right “propaganda machine.” LaGreca noted Fox’s parent corporation was under investigation by the Department of Justice and that the network was “wasting time” on subjects such as President Obama’s birth certificate and Solyndra.
But surprise, surprise, Fox didn’t air the interview. Per the picture Fox is painting, the protestors are inarticulate, sweaty, lazy hippies who want a nanny state to take care of them. Mr. LaGreca didn’t fit that narrative.
Here he is:
So, Fox will move on and air interviews with mumbling, fumbling hippy-types who are so stunned that they’re suddenly facing a television camera they don’t know what to say. They’re incoherent. (As I would be because my brain turns to mush when I’m in front of a video camera when what’s being recorded will be seen by thousands if not millions of people.) Yep. That’s their perfect interview.
Why isn’t the OccupyWallStreet movement being covered more heavily by the “liberal media?” Because they don’t have a look the media likes. Here’s the solution to that.
I presume you’ve heard the story by now about Rick Perry’s Texas hunting camp that he and his father named, “Niggerhead.”
That said, despite what seems intuitive — that Perry and his campaign will suffer as a result of this revelation — the opposite seems to be the likely outcome in the crazy world of the GOP:
So far, only one of Perry’s GOP rivals has commented on N-WordheadGate: Herman Cain. Asked yesterday about the story, Cain, the only black Republican in the race, lashed out at Perry. “Since Governor Perry has been going there for years to hunt, I think that it shows a lack of sensitivity for a long time of not taking that word off of that rock and renaming the place,” Cain said on This Week. On Fox News Sunday, Cain added that there “isn’t a more vile, negative word than the N-word and for him to leave it there as long as he did before, I hear, that they finally painted over it, is just plain insensitive to a lot of black people in this country.”
Cain’s reaction is certainly understandable. Anyone could find the revelations offensive, and Cain is a black man who grew up in the segregated South. And yet, as Michael Tomansky points out today, it’s Cain, not Perry, who could be damaged the most by this story. To understand why, you have to consider that there are two things Republicans hate more than anything. One is being accused of racism, which has happened with increasing frequency since President Obama became president, and, if you ask Republicans, is never, ever justified. Two is unfair treatment by the allegedly biased mainstream media. So among Republicans, the widespread response to the Post story was not, “wow, Rick Perry messed up.” It was, “the liberal media is smearing another Republican as a racist!”
Amazing. Just amazing.
Newt Gingrich has a very interesting take on the definition of due process — you know, the right to a lawyer and a trial to determine one’s guilt or innocence:
Newt Gingrich – a 2012 Republican presidential candidate who is one of the most critical of President Obama – today defended orders that led to the death of Al-Qaeda operative Anwar al-Wwlaki.
He called American citizens who engage in war against the United States traitors and said that the military strike that killed al-Awlaki is constitutionally justified.
“American citizens who engage in war against the United States are legitimate targets and I think it was an appropriate and correct thing to execute him,” Gingrich said.
He continued, answering a question about the right of due process, a term used to describe a legal principle that government must respect the legal rights of citizens.
“They got due process,” Gingrich said. “The president signed an order to kill them. That was due process.”
In other words, in the world the Newtster lives in, due process as we have known it in this country since the signing of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, no longer exists. So, who’s a terrorist now?