Thursday, August 30, 2012

Fun Times at the 2012 Republican National Convention

For a hot second last weekend it seemed like an entertaining possibility to liveblog or drinkblog the inevitable nonsense of the Goopers' drunken Tampa trawl this week. But then I remembered, just in the nick of time, that I prefer to enjoy myself when I drink.

And sorry, there's just nothing enjoyable about this shitstorm of toxic buffoonery anymore, even by its inept, cringeworthy execution. Utter stupidity is only amusing when it has no real chance of succeeding, and while the smart money's still on Barry O, there are sadly enough dipshits in our fair land to make it close enough to wonder. It is only small, brief consolation that this weeklong sideshow was apparently eclipsed by the ongoing antics of some inbred fatbodies speaking some unknown patois in between what must be intravenous infusions of deep-fried Twinkies.

Even viewed through the kaleidoscope of Daily Show absurdity, these people make me sick to my stomach. Buncha pasty, doughy (and overwhelmingly white and old) middle-management assholes and exurban hausfraus who look like they'd be hard-pressed to fix anything, much less build it. Seriously, most of these people look like they'd fuck up a shit sandwich. But they're gonna fix our broke-dick gubmint that that Obammy wrecked all by hisself, with pure moxie and/or gumption. Riiiight.

[Also too, because hectomillionaire bidness geniuses always know something no one else does, right?]

So. The brilliant master plan here is to balance the budget on the backs of those least able to bear it, since ten full years of job-creating tax cuts have somehow failed to, um, create jobs. More of that, please, because it's worked spectacularly. Let's make sure that the "hard truths" that future Secretary of Cake Bobby BacalaChris Christie spoke of only apply to the peons, and not to the mighty engines of accumulation and pelf. Eventually 99% of Americans won't have a pot to piss in, or a window to through it out of, and these assholes can just sell shit to each other. It's the way John Galt would have wanted it.

As for golden boy Paul Ryan, they can fact-check his happy horseshit from now until November, and it won't matter. The tragic beauty of the current model of Gooper is that they are unconstrained, unimpressed by mere facts, or the refutation of false-fact agitprop. Just as the advent of Sarah Palin and her tribe of bumptious snowbillies made us damn near miss the subtle wit and vigor of George W. Bush, so does the trajectory of the party and its box of mismatched wingnuts promise to make us miss La Palin's Dorothy Parker-isms by, oh, 2014.

Perhaps the most puzzling aspect of their tedious jabber is this weird fixation -- this throbbing, constant, fucking obsession -- over abortion, and specifically over forcing rape victims to carry to term and bear the by-product of a horrific, life-altering crime. This is the sort of shit one has come to expect of, say, Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, countries that, like these homegrown monsters, also obsess just a little too much over Teh Ghey.

The most vile and unacceptable thing about all these platform planks these chumps profess to believe in, as a matter of intellectual probity, no less, is that everyone -- including them -- knows the built-in hypocrisy to their deeply held prinicples. The teabaggers showed their true stripes long ago -- they believe plenty in gubmint money and interference, just so long as it benefits them. The minute someone else catches a break from it, it's the advent of Castro-style communism.

Ditto all the other issues -- everyone else must bootstrap whilst they cash their farm-subsidy checks and get SBA loans (and in Ryan's case, collect Social Security death benefits); everyone else must pay normal payroll tax rates so that Mittford and friends can get their capital gains rates lowered to 1%, to sock ever more money away in the Caymans and Switzerland; and you know there's no goddamned way that if any of their daughters/sisters/wives were raped and impregnated (despite Surgeon General OB/GYN Akin's imprecations to the contrary), that they would force them to carry and bear it. They're a bunch of goddamned liars and hypocrites, daring you to call them on it, and again, it's no longer funny, it's truly nauseating.

And hey, speaking of nauseating, didja check fambly-valyews poster boy and doddering jackass Clint Eastwood's attempt to mock-interview an empty chair? [Note to Clint: it was Dick Cheney who told Pat Leahy to "go fuck himself" on the floor of the US Senate. It's true! Ask your greatgranddaughter how Teh Google works sometime, when she's done changing your diapers.] Gawd, what a half-assed effort at whatever it was -- comedy, commentary, making a coherent logical case for one candidate over the other. Whatever the fuck that mess was supposed to be, it failed so badly, you couldn't really even get all that angry at it, just feel sad that an authentic American film icon, rather than pulling off a Reagan or a Schwarzenegger, was revealed as a rambling, shambling husk of what they thought he was.

Sure, the peanut-chucking boozehounds in the crowd drank it up, it's a pep rally. But the rest of the nation saw Grampa getting shithoused at Thanksgiving, rising to his feet in surly glory to lecture a hapless child, only to have his pants fall around his ankles, revealing only chicken legs and leaky Depends. Nice surprise guest, gang. Maybe you can pull in Jon Voight next time, if you try real hard. Pretty please.

Look, no one has any illusions about the feckless Dummycrats, people whose sole defining characteristic is consistently taking a knife (or a feather) to a gunfight. Even if he manages to win, Obama has to up his game if he is to get anything accomplished; these assholes have made it abundantly clear that they are more than happy to lawn-dart the country further just to improve their chances in the next election.

But at least the Democrats seem to feel at least a little guilty about fucking over the middle class. If this week of Two Minutes of Hate segments gives any indication, the Republicans take a weird sort of glee in it, the gleam an evil, shitty kid gets in his eye as he shoves an M80 in the rectum of a hapless bullfrog, and prepares to light the fuse. They get off on this shit.

If there were a way for every GOP supporter to bear the full brunt of every policy they're endorsing, without the rest of us having to, I'd be all for it. In fact, it'd be their karma. Unfortunately, in this case, the devil we know, the devil we currently have, is much more preferable than Vulture and Voucher and their weird hordes, not a single conscience in the entire lot of them.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Vulture/Voucher 2012

Inspired by Balloon Juice's coinage and commenter Ralph Baldwin's excellent slogan way down in comments for Charles Pierce's scathing takedown of Ryan, I slapped together a quick mock-up (using clip art found on the intartubez) of what a bumper sticker might look like.

Maybe someone should start a design/caption/slogan contest.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Life of Ryan

So apparently noted tax-shelter enthusiast Rmoney is going to decide to eschew the vaunted swing-state wisdom, and bypass Portman and Rubio for conservatard hero Paul Ryan. Well, good luck with that, podna.

It's not as if Mittington had any good options anyway -- Rubio is not terribly well-known out of his state; Portman and Pawlenty aren't all that well-known in their states; Nikki Haley, Kelly Ayotte, and Susana Martinez, while possessing the requisite conservaquals, each have CVs roughly the thickness of La Palin's, and the Kochs and Adelsonsparty faithful don't want to relive that again.

So it makes sense, on the surface anyway, that Rmoney would fall for teabagger boner fuel like Ryan. The thing is, as Matt Taibbi (and anyone else actually paying attention to these dimbulbs) correctly sussed a couple years ago, while your average teabagger talks a great game about cutting spending and reducing government, blah blah blah, a great many of them were rather obvious recipients of that eeevil gubmint aid themselves. They're hypocrites -- they just don't like gubmint money that isn't thrown at them, pure and simple. How many of those Rascal-riding geezers down at the (tax-funded) public park didja see burning their Medicare or Social Security cards in protest? Yep, me neither.

So Ryan's past stances on those things -- especially considering Rmoney's average voter is going to be roughly in your Murder, She Wrote / Matlock demographic -- may come to haunt him and his new friend.

And if not, if the oldsters have a Maalox moment and decide to vote for the guy that'll have them eating cat food before they know it? Hey, what can you say? Bon appetit.

Freudian Slip

Is it just me, or does this shit read like this shit?

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Vote With a Bullet

Ho-hum. Another week, another massacre. Words fail at this point, you know, what else can you say on this miserable subject? Interesting debate over at Ed's nonetheless, with commenter Nick making some decent counter-arguments. Regardless, there are salient points and questions you just can't ignore in this context:
  • Why it's easier to get firearms than to get over-the-counter decongestants.

  • Why it's easier to get a gun than it is to legally drive a car.

  • Is there anything at all, any scrap of token resistance built into the acquisition process, that gun absolutists can accept, in the reasonable common-good goal that deranged individuals not have a completely unobstructed pathway to being able to inflict catastrophic damage to crowds of innocents in a matter of seconds? Or is it just a shrug of the shoulders and a "gee, that sucks", until one of their own kids gets slaughtered by one of these goons?

  • How does this inalienable right, this freedom, become more exalted and sanctified than any and all others? That is, we all concede absolute freedoms all the time every day, everywhere we go, because we have a utilitarian concept of what the "common good" entails. We acknowledge that the freedom to drive a car, and the freedom to drink alcohol, don't also confer an ability to do both at once. We get that you can't yell "fire" in a crowded theater, or make death threats, no matter how empty, against people. So where did we all decide that we can't erect any roadblocks, even modest ones, to lunatics acquiring AR-15s and cop-killer bullets, no questions asked? At what point did we all mutually agree that the collateral damage was just the cost of doing business?
None of this is said lightly; it's not fair to punish the vast majority of honest, responsible gun owners, for the actions of a deranged few. And as Nick points out repeatedly, pointing the finger at a deadly object does not remove all the underlying causes of the behavior that compels these individuals to commit these horrible crimes.

But we all put up with infringements to our absolute freedoms all the time; we put up with random police checkpoints for everything from seat belts to drunk driving, we allow ourselves to be felt up like strippers and herded like cattle, to ride on a goddamned plane. American life is filled with increasingly abusive and intrusive experiences, for the hollow promise of safety. There's even a new-millennium neologism constructed just for the phenomenon: security theater.

Would gun control (or bullet control -- or hell, just modest background checks and waiting periods) prevent all gun crimes? Of course not. But these acts, however meticulously planned, are on execution acts of immediacy, where everyone in that line of fire gets just enough time before the bullet hits to wonder whether a 72-hour waiting period or a background check might of thrown their wingnut on that day at that hour, just for a moment, just enough for a different quantum event.

Or is doing absolutely nothing infinitely preferable, because it might conceivably somehow infringe slightly on the god-given rights of people to buy a pallet of bullets to take out to the range? It's a tough question, and one that needs to be asked and examined by both sides of the debate, because simply chanting "Second Amendment" over and over again isn't cutting it.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Hungry Freaks, Daddy

What the world needs now.... is a nice e.coli epidemic for these humps. Every last one of them. Awful, awful excuses for humanity.

Sometimes you encounter an egregious, hopefully outlying example of someone who is clearly their own worst enemy in life, whose poor decision-making and impulse-control issues have led them to cadge assistance, and say something mean along the lines of, "This is the sort of thing that turns people Republican."

Well, this is the sort of thing that makes you root for the asteroid.

Me Too, Part 2: This Time It's Hilarious

Guess I'm just in a me-too mood ths afternoon, or maybe I'm just trying to avoid working on the e-book projects I've committed to. Whatever. This "fuck you" response to the high-horse teabillies is one of the most eloquent ass-poundings I've come across lately. Enjoy.

When Harry Met Mitty

Gotta me-too the Boggster here. As "honey badgers" go, Harry Reid is more of the Casper W. Milquetoast strain, but as TBogg notes, he knows what he's doing here in going after Rmoney with (so far) unsubstantiated allegations. Reid is a fellow Mormon, a former boxer, and understands his place in the food chain.

Besides, as the song says, is it irresponsible to speculate? It would be irresponsible not to.

If Reid is proven correct -- and it stands to reason that he will be, if for no other reason than that this is simply too high-stakes a game to be lobbing these sorts of assertions with no basis in fact -- Reid may very well turn out to be a better poker player than a boxer. As Bush's own war marketeers once sagely opined, you don't drop a new product in August.

You do it right before/during/immediately after your opponent's convention. Look for the necessary "put up" (to appropriate Mittford's hilarious tough-guy bluster) right about then, when it will have the most impact. In fact, done well enough, it could very well demotivate an already disheartened base, and damage the down-ticket races.

Fuckin' strategy, how does it work?

Coupled with Mittington's terrible, awful, no-good-very-bad last couple of weeks, where he managed to piss off our closest allies, hold a $50k/plate fundraiser with the swindlers and chiselers who have literally been caught rigging the global economic system, and the biggest endorsement he picked up along the way, aside from Clint "I don't like paying taxes either" Eastwood, was from a past-her-prime cum dumpster. (Said endorsement could actually be a way of making Rmoney look bad, not that he needs any help, but who knows? More to the point, who cares?)

Porn to lose, indeed.

The Democrats are annoying as all hell, with their inability to counterjab even the most ham-fisted guff from baldfaced, smirking liars just daring you to call them out. They need to get their shit together, and big time, which is made all the more difficult by the simple fact that they are rented by the exact same folks who rent the Republicans. It's the ultimate hedge fund.

But the Republicans just need to go, period, end of sentence. This is a party that has outlived its usefulness, and while every nation needs at least two viable parties, this grotesque cabal of snake-handlers and grifters, pandering to the farm-animal intellectual level of a certain swath of 'murkins, has no practical use anymore, except as a cautionary tale.

Rmoney will still probably manage to pull 45% of the vote, because the perpetual campaign industry needs the illusion of a horse race. But he is clearly positioned to be the worst GOP nominee since at least Bob Dole, and at least Bob Dole actually put his skin on the line for the country, and has a solid record of accomplishment over the years.

Reid does need to back up his assertions, and I'd put my next paycheck on him doing just that, when the time is right. But with people distracted by the Olympics, or watching evangelist gastropods waddle to the chicken shack for another box of Freedom Sammiches®, congratulating themselves on their brave defense of the beleaguered First Amendment, it would be forgotten before Labor Day.

Stay thirsty, my friends. Hilarity is about to ensue.

Down on the Corner

Apparently The Corner protagonist De'Andre McCullough (hopefully I got the meaningless, decorative apostrophe placed correctly) has shuffled off this mortal coil. Surely someone will eventually lament the vicious socioeconomic circumstances that forced poor Andy into the life he led.

But I'll remember the strutting punk who, on page 43 in The Corner, bragged to his fellow punks about grabbing a stray tomcat who had been casing Andy's pigeon coops, breaking the animal's legs one by one, hanging it from a tree, dousing it with lighter fluid, and setting it on fire. I have no sympathy whatsoever for someone who does something like that, they're a half-step above a child rapist.

Karma takes some time to arrive, if she ever does, but when she does, she's a bitch.

Friday, August 03, 2012

The Comeback Kid

Football fans may recall when, after the Raiders, in a fit of uncharacteristic sanity, cut unproductive pork chop JaMarcus Russell, that Russell vowed to get on with another team, climb back up the ranks, and show those stupid Raiders what they missed out on. Click on the link to see how all that's working out.

Maybe I'm being petty about it. [Ed.: There's no "maybe" about it.] But as the link notes, Russell pocketed over $30 mil, for a 7-24 win-loss record, 18 TDs and 23 INTs, a record and work ethic that set back an already reeling team several additional years.

I still think the Raiders missed a good opportunity to bring Russell around when they had the chance, by not hanging on to Daunte Culpepper, who would have been a terrific mentor to a kid who really needed one at that particular point in his career. But at some point, we all have to step up and be grown-ass men, as it were, and maybe it's just a predictable by-product of throwing way too much cash at an unsophisticated kid who wasn't ready for it all, but I don't recall him turning any of it down.

On the one hand, it's only football, grown men permanently damaging themselves in the service of a kids' sandlot game. But as has been (I hope) demonstrated here time and again, the football in general and the NFL operations in particular serve as nice case studies for everything from management science to strategy. And Russell's story will serve as another kind of cautionary tale, not quite as bad as, say, that of Ryan Leaf, but pretty damned close.