June 5, 2015

“Get the card!”

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:25 pm

Tight crop Make Pizza notche

“Smoke,” by Hollywood actress Meili Cady, tells the story of a young lady who had some success in Hollywood as an actress and subsequentially got accused of smuggling seven tons of pot into the USA. This new book came to our attention right after we viewed “The Big High” 1968 episode of Dragnet and a colorized version of “Reefer Madness.” On Thursday May 28, we heard one of the Getty and Armstrong (which one is Costello, which one is Laurel?) duo did a segment which urged American military veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to “get the card,” which is to say they should do the paper work that would give them access to medical marijuana rather than seek relief via consuming alcoholic drinks. We knew that it was time to do another column on a topic that permits us to use the old cliché: “we don’t have a dog in that fight.” Th

e World’s Laziest Journalist doss not care if Pot is classified as a capital offense or if it becomes a product available in (irony alert!) drug stores and/or is sold at the corner news stand (do they still exist?).

Doing fact checking to see why the boys at the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory voted the rumors surrounding the reason why pot was original classified as a dangerous narcotic as an explanation of why pot was voted into the Conspiracy Theory Hall of Fame (located on the super-secret campus somewhere in the Sierra foothills, near Berkeley) was a myth of Sisyphus assignment.

Back when “Reefer Madness” was a sensationalistic new movie it helped (propaganda alert?) convince the public that one puff for pleasure could lead, inexorably, to a life as a demented dope fiend. The 1968“Big High” episode of Dragnet (it’s available for viewing on Youtube), seconded the motion.

Could it be that capitalists, allegedly from both the booze and paper industries, as a way of diminishing a threat of competition, somehow (bribe alert?) convinced politicians to overreact and blacklisted a product with medicinal effects that would be very therapeutic for G. I.’s with battle fatigue? If so, why then would altruistic minded Republican politicians continue their misguided efforts after the doctors presented them with documentation that strongly endorsed the controversial PTSD treatment?

We considered doing a column detailing how, today, the voters in the USA seem to be as much the victims of lies, distortion, and propaganda as were the citizens of Germany, in the Thirties. Ein Volk got all their news only from officially sanction sources of information such as the Volkisher Brobachter newspaper. Is Fox News following in that tradition?

Denny Hastert did something and made mistakes in withdrawing the hush money from his bank account. Republicans want to go on record as saying the persecution of Hastert is an example of government overreach and not worth the effort and concomitant media circus. When Bill Clinton got a blowjob from a consenting adult woman, it was a basis for a group with lynch mob mentality to urge that impeachment proceedings should begin immediately. What’s not to love about strong, opposing partisanship reactions to the two stories?

Last December, when some of the citizens staged some “Black Lives Matter” protests in Berkeley, a low-flying single engine airplane was pointed out to us and the assertion was made that it was intercepting and monitoring cell phone calls being made below them as a way to do crowd control. During this past week, Newsweek provided confirmation of those rumors. Do a Google News search for “Operation Stingray.”

We were also tipped to the assertion that a rich pair of brothers bankrolled an effort to discredit the “Black Lives Matter” political protests by paying thugs to commit vandalism and to incite violence. Then when it was time for the hooligans to collect the promised cash, they were stiffed. That allegedly precipitated new riots with a more pragmatic rationale. That topic was accessible via a Google News search, but perhaps all traces of that story have been scrubbed off the Internet by now.

If true, this hypothesis has some very disconcerting implications. If hoodlums were paid to add vandalism and violence to a legitimate free speech protest, then one must make one of two conclusions. If the American Homeland Security agency was fully informed and complicit with what was happening, then fascism and Gestapo tactics have become an ingredient in American life. If, on the other hand, the Homeland Security did not know ahead of time about the payments to aggravate the situation, then their reasons for surveillance of all American citizens is a farce. They were either complicit or derelict in their mission if some of the protesters were paid agent provocateurs. With that ominous binary choice, it becomes evident why management of the news might be an integral part of the charade.

These days all the news seems to have a conspiracy theory aspect to it. Have you heard the assertion that B. B. King might have been the victim of foul play?

The latest hacking scandal causes us to ask again: “Why didn’t the system that was hacked use the security program that makes the electronic voting machines immune from all attempts to get hacked?

The hot rumor making the rounds this week on the digital counter-culture websites is that the John Kerry broken leg story was not a bike accident but was a fib designed to draw attention away from an assassination attempt by Isis.

Does the slump in confidence in American Journalism imply a concomitant spike in credibility for various and sundry Conspiracy Theories?

Speaking of de facto censorship, is it true that the website RevolutionbooksNYC dot org is promoting the use of a graphic symbol illustrating the concept that citizens should fear the police assigned to protect and serve them? Will media owned by conservative millionaires permit the staff to give any publicity to that concept?

The World’s Laziest Journalist will skip this week’s transvestite story. (Is that story that most folks, even those in the liberal San Francisco Bay Area, find boring and thus want it banished from the airwaves, an example of managed news?) Are any American pundits asking if the failure of the TSA screenings indicates that the actual purpose of the hassle is to wean Americans on to fascism?

Since Saturday June 6 will be the 71st anniversary of D-Day, we need to ask a question: “If the soldiers who were killed in WWII were fighting for The Four Freedoms, does it show disrespect for their sacrifices if Sen. Lindsey Graham rolls his eyes when the concept of fighting for America’s liberties, is mentioned?”

[Note from the photo editor: Pot, pizza and psychedelic tie-die t-shirts can always be lumped together in the San Francisco Bay Area and hence legitimize this week’s photo illustration.]

Some analysts are baffled by the fact that Republicans, who were very enthusiastic about invading Iraq and Afghanistan, seem willing to renege on their promise to take care of wounded veterans by denying them access to medical marijuana to treat PTSD.

Since many pundits ignore the controversy over the use of pot treatment, any suggestion which attempts to explain why the Republicans continue to endorse the restrictions on the use of cannabis sativa rather than approve its use, we will (speculation alert!) offer our unique explanation.

The fable of the scorpion and the frog was used in two movies. It was told in Orson Welles’ “Mr. Arkadin,” and also in “The Crying Game.”

A scorpion wanted to cross a river. He asked a frog if he could hitch a ride. The frog vehemently objected saying: “When we get in the middle of the river, you will sting me and we will both drown.” The scorpion used his highly developed debating skill to convince the frog to ignore his objections to the proposal. The scorpion hopped on the frog’s back and they began to cross the river. When they got to the middle of the river, sure enough, the scorpion stung the frog. The perplexed frog asked the scorpion why he had broken his promise and thereby signed both of their death warrants. The scorpion’s response possibly explains the Republicans’ attitude and provides us with the column’s closing quote: “Because it’s in my nature!”

Now the disk jockey will play the Platters 1958 hit “Smoke gets in your eyes,” “Puff the magic dragon,” and Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson’s new song “It’s all going to pot.” We have to go see if the film rights to the “Smoke” book have been sold.   Have a “Go Warriors!” type of week.

January 2, 2014

Keeping abreast: Hazards of picking wives based on mammary-gland size & politicians based on…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Jane Stillwater @ 8:35 pm

If you are a guy who is out looking for a bride who you would want to spend the rest of your life with, what qualities would you look for in a perspective life’s companion? Compatibility? Sunny disposition? Common interests? Kind heart? Brains? Earning capacity? What? Remember that we’re talking about selecting a wife who you will have to hold conversations with for approximately two hours a day over the course of the next 60-odd years (that’s 43,800 hours) — and even wake up next to each morning approximately 21,900 times.

All too many American males these days seem to pick their future life’s companion based solely on her mammary gland size. Good luck with that one! 60 years from now, your wife’s mammary glands will be a moot question, but you will still have to talk to her — and you’d probably be bored out of your mind by that time if you have selected her for her breast size alone (or, conversely, if she had married you solely based on the look of your sexy six-pack package, she might be bored out of her mind by that time too!)

So here’s some good advice, gentlemen (and ladies as well): Pick your future spouses based on the size of their minds and their hearts, not on the size of their implants!

And I wouldn’t recommend Phil Robertson’s method of picking wives either — which just might land you on a sex-offender registry for the next 60 years. But then apparently Robertson and his duckie friends used to be just one more bunch of yuppie fraternity boys trying to break into “The Hills” until they discovered they could make more money by representing southerners as ignorant unwashed bigots.

And this same rule — of seriously examining long-term consequences before making important decisions — also needs to be applied to how we pick our politicians as well.

Selecting a congressional representative or president or governor or even local dog-catcher based solely on information you have gleaned from the Koch brothers, Citizens United and Fox News may make you feel good at the time — but 60 years down the road when the planet has been destroyed by pollution, radiation, Endless War and climate change and you are poor as a church-mouse because there are no more unions or Social Security to protect you and your children are uneducated and starving on sweatshop wages, you will definitely look back on those elections and say, “What was I thinking!”

And also do try to apply this “Mind and Heart” rule to how we select our healthcare as well. Let’s try to be more aware of what happens next, cause and effect, in this respect too, before we fall for all those pretty ads that tell us that Sutter or Humana or Blue Cross is “On Our Side” — while behind closed doors these guys are happily screwing America’s doctors, nurses and patients, people like us, for every penny of ours that they can get their hands on.

Approximately 1,800 Americans die from lack of healthcare per day In the next 3,650 days, we will needlessly lose approximately 6,570,000 Americans — stone cold dead so that CEOs of health insurance companies can own yachts. Where is the long-distance thinking here? Where is the outrage?

When you look at the long run, only single-payer healthcare makes sense.

Bottom line: It’s time to start seriously keeping abreast of our long-term hopes, goals and aspirations here in America, or else we’re never gonna find any long-term happiness here either — just an empty handful of public-relations-generated illusions and a whole big bunch of “Coulda shoulda woulda….”

PS: Another way that Americans are constantly being fooled is by having our strong sense of justice, honesty and morality turned inside-out and then used against us. If someone on TV keeps telling Americans over and over again that acts of murder, theft, lying, bigotry and greed committed in our name are actually just good Christian values, Americans naively tend to believe this.

As a whole, Americans are kind, generous and moral people who always want to do the Right Thing. But what is the right thing? Bankers who steal from both our government and their clients? Corporations who deliberately sell us junk that will kill us and happily poison our air if it saves them a buck? War profiteers who send our sons and daughters overseas to act as their personal goon-squad thugs and then send our same sons and daughters back home in a box when their usefulness is over? And racists and bigots who thump the Bible in order to justify their own evil ways?

Justice? The Ten Commandments? Freedom and patriotism and the First and Second Amendments? Most Americans believe in these things — and so these very beliefs, the solidly-felt beliefs of good people, are constantly being used against us by Bad Guys in order to pillage and lie and steal in the name of God, apple pie and the Flag.

It’s time for Americans to start keeping abreast of what is really happening to them — not what is only supposed to be happening. And it’s time for our leaders in sheep’s clothing who are always talking the talk to actually start walking the walk as well — of justice and fairness and morality — or else go off to jail where they belong. “Thou shalt not murder, steal or bear false witness…” must apply to us all.

PPS: And speaking of breasts, apparently we ladies should also be keeping our breasts away from the Pacific ocean forevermore — if we don’t want to get cancer. Why? Toxic radiation.

Here’s a video of some guy with a Geiger counter walking along a beach near San Francisco. Just watch his Geiger counter jump up from a normal reading of 34 to an outrageously-high and dangerous reading of 156 as he approaches the Pacific ocean. Please Please Please let this video be a fake! Otherwise we females here on the West Coast are clearly in big trouble.

However, somebody else just wrote to tell me that I should stop worrying about radiation drifting over here from Fukushima. “Why worry about Fukushima when 47,500 55-gallon steel drums containing nuclear waste had already been dumped out near the Farallon Islands between 1960 and 1970, and there’s a fair chance that those barrels might be now starting to corrode and open. So why would anyone be surprised by high levels of radiation at a beach near San Francisco? And why assume that it’s coming all the way from Fukushima, more than 5000 miles away — when so much was dumped here, just 30 miles away?” Why indeed.

We shoulda looked more closely at who we voted for 60 years ago!

April 4, 2013

Closing corporate tax havens: The solution to the sequester (and world poverty)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Greg in cheeseland @ 1:58 pm

Author’s note: This article was originally published on the Madison Independent Examiner. There is a slideshow and video for viewing there. You may recognize some of the images from this site. The video is very informative and I encourage you to check it out. It is about time Americans demand that mega-corporations and the super-rich pay their fair share of the tax burden.

It has been widely reported since at least 2010 that U.S. corporations and the wealthiest Americans have taken advantage of tax loopholes by hiding their assets in offshore subsidiaries (a.k.a. tax havens) in order to avoid paying U.S. income taxes. The amount of money hidden in these tax havens and what the lost revenue means to the American people has not been so widely reported.

According to several sources, including the BBC, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) and James Henry, former Chief Economist at McKinsey & Company, the top 1% of wealthiest Americans and corporations have deposited between $21 and $32 trillion in tax havens in order to evade U.S. taxes. The top seven U.S. banks, furthermore, account for over $10 trillion in assets in more than 10,000 overseas subsidiaries.

Assuming these figures are correct, if all of these assets were taxable, then the U.S. could collect billions, perhaps trillions in additional revenue each year.

Data from the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and several governments are used in that assessment. (See video at source). CRS’s report focuses on five small countries generally considered to be tax havens (the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Ireland, Bermuda and Switzerland) and compares them to five of the top “traditional” foreign countries where American companies actually do business (Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia and Mexico).

While any knowledgeable person knows that U.S. multinational corporations engage in tax avoidance by shifting their profits into tax havens, not many know exactly how that is done. The waters are further muddied by CEOs and corporate lobbyists who either deny that outright or use the standard industry mantra: “Our company pays all applicable taxes in every jurisdiction where we operate.”

The practice of using tax havens is somewhat simple and is legal under current tax codes, but that does not make the practice morally right or even ethical. Corporations and banks simply need to shift their profits by conducting transactions in countries with little or no corporate taxes. U.S. tax codes allow a “deferral” on paying taxes in the U.S. until the funds are actually brought back to the U.S. and in most cases, they never are.

A classic example of tax haven abuse is the common practice of registering subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands. With more than 85,000 companies registered there, it is one of the few territories in the world that has more organizations than inhabitants.

Mitt Romney’s Caymen Island accounts garnered some scrutiny during last year’s Presidential election. Facebook sheltered $700 million in the Cayman Islands in 2012, while posting over $1 billion in profits and paying no taxes in the US. In fact, 26 of the 30 largest U.S. corporations that utilize subsidiaries paid no income tax between 2008 and 2011, including GE, Boeing, Verizon, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs. The banks on the list, ironically, were bailed out by U.S. taxpayer money.

It can be correctly argued that the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the world at 39.2% when both federal, state and local taxes are included. That, however, means very little in terms of actual taxes paid when corporations and the top 1% hide most of their profits and assets in offshore tax havens. Smaller corporations, small businesses and the bottom 99% of individuals are generating more than their fair share of revenue than are large corporations and the top 1%.

Conservative estimates of lost federal revenue due to offshore tax havens are about $150 billion per year, but that does not take into account what the states lose. A U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) report estimated that states lost nearly $39.8 billion in revenues in 2011, bringing the total to about $190 billion annually. Of that total, corporations were responsible for about 65% in lost revenues to tax havens, while wealthy individuals were responsible for the rest.

To put that in perspective, $39.8 billion would cover education costs for more than 3.7 million children for one year. This sum is also roughly equivalent to total state and local expenditures on firefighters ($39.7 billion) or on parks and recreation ($40.6 billion) in 2008. The U.S. national debt is closing in on $17 trillion and the sequester cuts total about $22 billion. $150 billion in additional federal revenue would make sequester a moot point and remove austerity from the national political vocabulary. The government could then move on to addressing the real problem in the economy – lack of well-paying jobs.

In his book, The End of Poverty, Jeffrey Sachs estimated that in order to end extreme world poverty it would cost $175 billion per year for the next 20 years, a total of $3.5 trillion. In other words, the wealthiest corporations and individuals have enough in offshore tax havens that they could do that now and still retain most of their assets. Taxing 65% of between $21 and $32 trillion in profits and assets at a rate of 39.2% could also provide more than enough to do that.

Dropping food instead of bombs on impoverished nations, true humanitarian projects such as helping to provide clean drinking water and electricity, instead of facilitating regime change in third world countries, may help to repair the U.S. image in the world and reduce terrorism. A better world image may even reduce the need to spend more on defense than the next 13 nations combined. As things stand now, unfortunately, the U.S. does not have enough revenue to help its own people.

The same businesses that avoid paying taxes are also the ones that benefit from educated American workers, an infrastructure that aids in the transportation of goods, services and transactions, and the security that the publicly-funded police and military provide on both a local and global level.

Yet corporations, banks and wealthy individuals have no problem with avoiding paying their fair share of taxes, thereby dumping the tax burden on the working poor, middle class and small businesses. Meanwhile Americans are looking at cuts in social services such as Medicare and Social Security, a crumbling infrastructure, an underfunded educational system, a higher deficit and higher taxes.

It is about time for Americans to demand that lawmakers put the brakes on the free ride that huge corporations and the top 1% have been getting for the past few decades.

Get links, sources, a slideshow and video here: Madison Independent Examiner – Closing corporate tax havens: The solution to the sequester (and world poverty)

January 3, 2012

Politics as Religion, the Ayn Rand Way

aynandfrankensteinAnd vice-versa. The primary thing in politics is to maintain your skepticism and pragmatism. The current version of the Republican Party have abandoned both, when they are being fed what they want to hear, and cling to ideas both woefully archaic and provably tattered with failure. Presently, they seem to believe that if they build a high enough pile of manure, a pony will magically appear. That kind of thinking inevitably leads to defeat and extinction. Ironically, many Republicans who call hemselves Christians eagerly embrace the philosophy of Ayn Rand, an avowed atheist. Of course, the GOP Elite are not Christians, they are well-heeled grifters picking the pockets of the sheep and hewing to Randian ‘principled selfishness’ as a self-serving convenience to make themselves wealthier.

“Still, the mystery of Atlas Shrugged isn’t why is it so bad? Many books are this bad and some are even worse. No, the mystery is, why does anyone who made it out of eighth grade take it seriously?

“Yet, obviously, people do. Individuals capable of dressing themselves apparently love this, one of the most turgid, contrived, pompous, and comically over-written books ever published in English. Why?

“Because they believe. For Randroids, ‘glibertarians,’ ‘conservatives’ (whatever that means at this point) and Republicans in general, politics has become a matter of faith.” […]

“Faith not only requires you to ignore what happens in the world, it praises you for it. The more unsubstantiated, untenable, or preposterous the belief, the more virtuous the believer. So [The Wall Street Journal’s] Stephen Moore’s solution to global recession is to wave around one of the most unreadable books ever written as though it were holy writ. For him, and for the right, politics is now religion.

“And, as with any mythology, believers want to emulate their heroes. Cable traffic on the wing-nut sites after the last election featured many writers and commenters musing about ‘going John Galt,’ withdrawing their genius and talents from the rest of us and leaving us to our own moocherly devices. To which all one can reply is, Please do. Knock yourselves out. And take this hideous book with you.”
– Ellis Weiner, “On ‘Atlas Shrugged’ as a Guide to our Times,” Huffington Post, Jan. 12, 2009

December 12, 2010

It’s A Wonderful Life 2010


December 4, 2009

Do Be Dems or Don’t Be GOP?


November 21, 2009

The Tattlesnake – Frank Luntz is a Scum-Sucking Pig Edition

(With apologies to our porcine friends who also happen to suck scum, but don’t have much influence on the electorate.}

While some readers may chastise me for gross understatement in the title, and I take their point, I decided to keep this clean, or as clean as you can when describing the contents of the sole working Port-O-Potty on free chili and beer night at a baseball game.

“[A]sk a question in the way that you get the right answer.”
– Frank Luntz on his ‘fair and balanced’ polling methods.

What makes Republican word-whacker Frank Luntz my target is that he is an intentional and dedicated deceiver of the public, smart enough to know full well what he’s doing, but blithely willing to trot out his wares — borrowed from the misuse of modern psychological techniques to sell the gullible what they don’t need joined with a carnival conman’s shell game pitch — for the temporary benefit of his bank account, while his country slides into a wreckage of divisiveness and debt. If you’d like to find the home base for the decimation of our public speech into ignorant, inflamed, fearful, flag-draped hatred; the revision of our history into a reeking bonanza of selfish suicidal capitalism, evangelical Christian crapola and nasty neoconservative warhawk bilge; and the reduction of our political discourse into so much overheated, oversimplified, covertly racist, sound-bite slag, you can point to three names: the late Lee Atwater, Karl Rove, and the lesser-known, but every bit as important, Frank Luntz as the authors of the meltdown in progress.

“Luntz is glibly amoral, worrying only about whether language has the right effect, not whether it’s true.”
– Steven Poole, commenting on Luntz’s book “Words That Work” in The Guardian (UK), July 21, 2007.

It was Frank’s notion to rename a bill allowing more pollution as the ‘Clean Air Act’; it was Luntz who told the GOP to re-label estate taxes as ‘death taxes’ so that the wealthy paid less while the rest of us took up the slack; it was his demented mind that connected Iraq to 9/11 and instructed Republican pols to always preface any mention of the failed Iraq incursion with ’9/11 changed everything’; behind nearly every current and past GOP talking point, endlessly repeated in the Right-Wing Echo Chamber, you’ll find Frank’s pasty round face, tirelessly choosing just the right words to convince a malleable faction of the American public to eat corporate Republican turds and think it’s prime rib.



July 11, 2009

Will the Democrats Come Through?


June 14, 2009

Another Scary Carrie


May 20, 2009

Tenet’s Slam Dunk House of Secrets


For a partial list of CIA lies to Congress, go here:

“Does the CIA Ever Lie? Parsing the Pelosi Torture Controversy”
Peter Hart, Common Dreams, May 20, 2009.

April 3, 2009

The Tattlesnake – Fitzgerald Finally Indicts Blagojevich for Jaywalking Edition

19 Charges Against Blago, 16 of Them Felonies, But Not Much St. Pat the Prosecutor Can Hang His Halo On

The AP has reported that federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald finally indicted impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich yesterday, April 2, on 16 felony charges, including conspiracy, attempted extortion, wire fraud and racketeering.

This all stinks to high heaven – Fitzgerald needs four months to indict a guy who, in his words, was on a “crime spree” and then doesn’t even have a press conference to announce the particulars of the indictment? Quite a bit different from the media circus he ringmastered last December to drive Blago from office. Plus, his key witness is apparently the jailed slimebucket Tony Rezko. Rezko is doing hard time in solitary and might be amenable to saying whatever Mr. Fed wants to hear to shave off some months from his sentence – not what you’d call a stellar witness.

Charges that Blago used his influence to arrange job interviews for his wife with companies doing business with the state where she wasn’t hired, used ‘improper influence’ (did he have a gun?) to block efforts to consolidate state retirement funds, held up taxpayer money to fix the Tribune Company’s privately-owned Wrigley Field, and ‘discussed the possibility’ of having Fitzgerald replaced tip off the flop-sweat desperation of a prosecutor trying to pad his case. Privately ‘discussing the possibility’ of removing a prosecutor, blocking the consolidation of state funds desired by a corporation, withholding taxpayer money for a private sports enterprise, and arranging job interviews for your wife are now illegal? Fitzgerald is going to be mighty busy from now on, prosecuting every single politician in Illinois.

Also named in the charges is a ‘Candidate A’ that some of the TV Talking Heads are claiming is Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. The allegation is that Candidate A was offered Obama’s vacated US Senate seat in return for a contribution to Blago’s campaign of $1.5 million. All well and good, except Jackson has already categorically denied that he discussed any kind of deal with Blago or his staff.

According to Jim Warren, formerly of the Chicago Tribune, speaking on Chris Matthews’ Hardball last night, there is little in these 16 counts that was not brought out in Fitzgerald’s press conference last December. If so, Fitzy is armed with 16 counts of wet noodle here – he supposedly has wiretaps that have Blago discussing bribes, but no actual bribes taking place. He might be able to make a thin-beef conspiracy charge stick but, then again, does he really want Blago and his staff taking the stand to expose the way the sausage is made in Springfield by both the Dems and GOP?

Regular Tattlesnake readers know that I have a friend who has 20 years experience with non-profit organizations trying to bring health care to everyone in Illinois. She reports that Blago was the only governor, and one of the few statehouse politicians, who ever took the issue seriously, and even appointed a liaison to the non-profit health care groups, with the aim of instituting single-payer universal health care for every Illinois resident. For this, and other progressive ideas, such as supporting unions and cracking down on the mortgage-lending industry, Blago was loathed by the corporate Powers-That-Be who have been trying to get rid of him since he took office. On the Republican side, the attacks have been spearheaded by the Chicago Tribune, and on the Dem side by Illinois Speaker of the House Mike Madigan, a corrupt leftover from the old Daddy Daley Chicago Machine who wants his daughter Lisa, currently the Illinois AG, to be governor someday.


April 2, 2009

What Makes Republicans Operative?

Filed under: Commentary,Opinion,Toon — Tags: , , , , , — RS Janes @ 6:12 am


March 31, 2009

And Don’t Forget to Use a Condom

Filed under: Commentary,Opinion,Toon — Tags: , , , , , — RS Janes @ 4:57 am


February 26, 2009

The Tattlesnake – Catch a Rising Star Crashing Edition

Apu’s a Goner in 2012, Along with Sanford, Palin, and Barbour, As Party Leader Rush Waits in the Wings

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
– Albert Einstein

It’s become a cliché to point out that Obama, once again, oratorically cleaned the Republican clock, as he did Feb. 23 in his quasi-SotU. To gauge how bad the damage was this time around, all you had to do was look at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who appeared as if he’d just chugged a gallon of alum as he listened to the president, and House Minority Leader John Boehner, who looked like he just fell out of a coffin. But the GOP wasn’t done slitting its own throat; to do that they employed Dr. Bombay, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, a very creepy little man who, in his spare time, doubtless flashes women on street corners, smiles his goofy lopsided smile, and then runs away giggling.

GOP ‘Rising Star’ Jindal was no match for Obama – it was like watching Barney Fife in the ring with the 1973 Muhammad Ali – and his cornucopia of ineptly rendered half-truths and flat-out lies induced much chuckling. Memo to Bobby: There is no Disneyland to Vegas mag-lev train in Obama’s stimulus package; the unnamed ‘bureaucrat’ that you and your sheriff friend were so incensed at for not responding properly to the Katrina flooding was a ‘heckuva job, Brownie’ Bush FEMA employee – in other words, an incompetent Republican boob — and, speaking of that folksy-hokum ‘Lonesome Rhodes’ Katrina anecdote, Jindal apparently just made it up since he was 80 miles away from New Orleans in Baton Rouge at the time the alleged incident took place. Of course, sprinkled throughout were Jindal’s ‘better ideas’ such as continuing to cut taxes, as if the massive Bush tax cuts of the last eight years worked so well.

And in Jindal’s national media debut he exhibited all of the aplomb of a geeky 12-year-old appointed mayor-of-the-day, possessing the charisma of a tub of slow-drying glue. Oh, yes, this guy is presidential, all right – for a junior high class. Even many prominent conservatives were disgusted with this so-called ‘Washington outsider’s’ wet-dishrag performance; the NY Times’ David Brooks pegged it as “stale,” and even “insane.” Only the Head Dittohead seemed to enjoy Jindal’s dance of doom, bizarrely calling the LA governor the “next Ronald Reagan.” (Perhaps he meant the way Ronnie is now.)

Then there’s Jindal’s bizarre past: I wonder what conservative Protestant Christopublicans would think if they knew he was a Hindu who converted to Catholicism, once participated in a weird college exorcism, changed his name from ‘Piyush’ to ‘Bobby’ because of a Brady Bunch episode, and that his parents were liberal Democrats?

Let’s also have a round of applause for tone-deaf Republican Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, who just ended his political career thusly:


February 22, 2009

The Tattlesnake — Mantan of Steele Edition

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — RS Janes @ 8:31 am

Spike Lee’s Fictional Film Character is Now Chairman of the GOP

I thought the brilliant Richard Pryor had left us, but he must be back writing speeches now for ‘the white man’s black man’ Michael Steele. How else do you account for all the satirical comedy emanating from this guy? Going after the votes of “one-armed midgets,” “urban-suburban” hip-hoppers, and calling the GOP “way beyond cutting edge” (isn’t that like a cartoon character running in mid-air before he falls ‘splat’ to the ground)? Hilarious! Sure, and don’t forget this gem: “Not in the history of mankind has the government ever created a job.” Hey, Mike, tell that to a cop, a firefighter, a postal worker, or a soldier just returned from Iraq – they all think they have jobs and, what’s more, they all pay taxes and buy things from private companies which, last I checked, stimulates the economy. (For that matter, who’s been cutting former Lt. Gov. Steele’s paychecks in the past?) And I’m sure the party of Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms and David Duke will appreciate Steele pursuing “moms of all shapes” in his lust to expand the GOP base. Sheesh, he’s like Godfrey Cambridge in “Watermelon Man.” (I guess it’s also possible he’s on drugs, because he sure appears to be hallucinating in public.)

“Get jiggy with the GOP”? Most people would rather hug a poisonous cobra.

At least he’ll be entertaining until he’s replaced in 2011 after the GOP racks up even more losses in Congressional and state elections. His predecessor as RNC Chair, Mike “Huh?” Duncan, was a typical dull, cookie-cutter Republican twit; Steele, by contrast, is ding-dong, spittle-lipped crazy.

Thank you, Jebas.

January 31, 2009

The Tattlesnake – After Blago the Deluge? Edition

“How many legs does a dog have, if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”
– Abraham Lincoln

Last Thursday, Illinois Speaker of the House and state Democratic Party Chair Mike Madigan finally managed, with the help of Patrick “Spotless Mind” Fitzgerald, the bankrupt Chicago Tribune editorial board, and their cohort in the national Big Media, to get rid of Gov. Rod Blagojevich on 14 articles of impeachment that are quaint and laughable compared to the blatant offenses of Bush and Cheney. Among the horrible crimes Blago committed were abusing his power by making it easier for senior citizens to get their drugs at cheap Canadian prices; bringing health care to uninsured kids, and helping poor women get regular mammograms and cancer treatment. Seriously. Since Blago bypassed, apparently legally, the corrupt lead-asses in the state General Assembly, they called this an abuse of power. Of course the main charge that he tried to sell the US Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama was based entirely on Fitzgerald’s lip-licking public readings of excerpts of wiretapped tapes – the actual full tapes have yet to be released — and remain unproven in a court of law. Here are a few things the BM, in its haste to bury Blago under ridicule, have missed:

– I live in Illinois and have known for years that Blago was not popular with the state Power Elite comprised of corporations, wealthy country-clubbers of both parties, the mortgage-lending industry, the bankers, the conservative Chicago Tribune, and the for-profit health insurance creeps. In fact, these various groups, through their mouthpieces at the Trib editorial board and elsewhere, have been trying to impeach ‘The Rod’ for years, but they needed the supposedly bias-free imprimatur of Fitzgerald’s bizarre press conference on December 9, 2008, following Blago’s arrest – he had yet to indict Blago, and hasn’t to this day — to bring it to a head.

– I also know a trustworthy woman who has worked for various organizations for more than two decades to bring health care to uninsured Illinoisans. She claims Blagojevich was the first Illinois governor to listen and take action, action that would have resulted, eventually, in universal health care for every Illinois resident. This alone, she says, made him a pariah among most IL politicians who rake in campaign contributions from the for-profit health care industry and he had that industry shaking in its boots – universal health care in a state the size of Illinois? It would be the beginning of the end of for-profit insurers across the land. This had to be nipped in the bud before it got out of hand.

Speaker Madigan is an Old-School Chicago machine politician who has amassed immense power in Springfield and committed every public vice he’s imputed to Blago. (If you think Blago has a foul mouth on him, spend a few minutes off camera with Mike or any of Daley’s Army – this is the way pols talk in Chicago.) He also wants his daughter Lisa, currently the Illinois Attorney General, to be governor and Blago stood in the way. Make no mistake, Pat Quinn may have been sworn in as governor on January 29, but the real power is Madigan who controls the purse strings, both in state government appropriations and Dem party politics. That’s how he got many of these State House toads to go along – he no doubt threatened he would throw official Dem party support to another candidate in the next primary, thereby guaranteeing they would lose their cushy seats in the legislature. (Some of these slack-jawed monkeys aren’t fit for much else; a good portion of them might drown in a rainstorm if they looked up.) Of course, he didn’t have to convince the Republicans – they all needed drool cups at the prospect of impeaching Blago.

– You’ve heard the old line that a Grand Jury will indict a ham sandwich. Illinois’ rules of impeachment are so lax you can be removed from office for just talking about that ham sandwich on the phone.

– Just in case, as is likely, Fitzgerald isn’t able to prove his corruption charges in a court of law (he may even quietly drop the charges now that the mission has been accomplished), Illinois lawmakers added an extra fillip to the impeachment indictment – Blagojevich is now barred from holding elective office in the state for life, so he won’t be in the hair of the health care apparatus and Corprocracy ever again, even if he’s cleared of corruption charges in court. They thought of everything.


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