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People of Connecticut, RECALL Joe Lieberman, NOW please.

Here's the deal. Bear with me while I run down the civics. You see, senators and congressmen USED to serve in most states at the behest of the state executive branch. They were appointed to national office by the governor of the state. Not so anymore. Not in Alaska. Our constitution was amended to make it law that they are elected representatives of the people now. Since all states use the same system, the same rules should apply to Connecticut. Our representatives in D. C. are elected by the people and thus THE PEOPLE have the power to RECALL those same elected representatives when and if they feel they are not doing what is in the best interests of those who elected them. It is as simple as that. Petition and ballot initiative for recall. Governor appoint temporary replacement or via special election depending on the law of the state and voila! Say it IS so, no more Joe!

The rest of America waits with baited breath to see what the people of Connecticut will do with their own rogue pitbull in lipstick. Pray that a certain ex-politician prone to fits of quitting isn't cutting her Hawaii vacation short, rushing off to spend Christmas -- errr, I mean Hanukka with her dear friend Joe (and I'm sure she has been authorized by her Dominionist overlords to offer their new neo(theo)con friend Joe a place in heaven right alongside them after the rapture, just like all the good Christians. They're just that darn powerful, by golly. God told them so.You betcha!

Or maybe Joe just went home over the weekend because he obviously needed a meaningful hug. From someone. Anyone. You know. Like that schlub Bernie Madoff, screwing everyone, laughing all the way to the bank. But blames everyone else and their greed, not his. Maybe he just needed a hug. I'm sure he's getting plenty of hugs in prison. Joe just needs a hug and a little understanding of why he insists upon lighting 'Rome' figuratively aflame while he and those last remaining greedhead neocon and neotheocon assholes still in office rob and grift every damn nickle they can grift or graft from us poor taxpaying citizens or by gaming the system of lobbyists and corporations through campaign contributions. Those neocon and neotheocon rats still aboard ship in D. C. until progressive candidates can weed them out during the next two or three election cycles. If you're claiming to be a progressive you had better be thinking big picture and long haul and bring plenty of patience along if you think we're going to miraculously dig this country out of the deep well of shit the past administration left us all in, buried up to our eyeballs. It is going to take some major effort on all of our parts.

Soon Joe will (and in fact already has) announce he's thinking of running again, but this time maybe as an 'R' next election, justifying more grift and graft and bribes. But I predict he quits, takes all his bags of dirty private insurer death and blood money for profit campaign warchest bribes (you know they can keep those even if they lose or run and decide to retire before the poll date, right?) and retires to his country estate forever. Like a fine Lord or gentleman. Didn't America once fight a war against the aristocracy of a country that was run like this? Like a revolutionary one. Where we Americans were the guerrillas? Yeah. Thought so.

Please pardon my boldness by expressing this aloud as an outsider (and appreciate that plenty of outsiders to Alaskan politics have been just as bold with suggestions about OUR political problems) but in my opinion those who currently seem to be treated as the 'serfdom' of Connecticut by their elected representative and the private insurance industry need to tend to the maintenance of its transplanted vine by doing some selective pruning lest it wither. Now, please? Meet the rest of America at least half way on health care reform of I can almost guarantee that what does get passed in D. C. through either reconciliation or the expansion and reform of Medicare and Medicaid as a single payer public option for ALL Americans will absolutely kill the insurance industry in your state and all those jobs forever. In case I'm not making myself clear -- please, I implore you in the name of all things decent and pure and right, people of Connecticut, recall Joe Lieberman now. Thank you.


P. S. -- Housekeeping chores for our reps -- get on their asses about them, people.... write some dead tree letters and fill their offices with mail sacks: Break up the insurance monopolies. Allow more competition in the states. Alaska has one, maybe two major private insurers. Competition doesn't exist when two competitors agree to keep prices the same and never actually compete. More competitors, more competition. Everybody wins and those that can do the best job win more. You know. Like lassiez-faire capitalism. Only really. Then onto banking reform! Are you with me?


Oh, by the way....

In case you hadn't notice I am on a bit of a writing hiatus from the blog. There are plenty of things to discuss and write about -- but lets face it, I'm a lazy bastard. Lately I've mostly been writing while on facebook because its format lends itself to links and the immediacy of sharing amongst friends. When I get bored with doing that or when some bug flies up my ass again and pisses me off, I'll be back. There are still tons of OMFG things about Alaska to share and write about.



The Sleeper Awakens...

In effort to be concise I presume all know about Afghanistan, the situation there, it's American appointed President, and the sorry state of affairs as it pertains to completing the original objective: capturing and prosecuting Osama bin Laden? Okay. Good. For those that don't know (and I encourage you to google and wiki to you hearts content) Hamid Karzai is an ex-negotiator of pipeline right of ways (i.e. a lawyer) for a big oil conglomerate. He was instrumental in getting a pipeline built from Pakistan and Afghanistan to the Caspian Sea area of Russia. So basically doing for the Russians what we (meaning the Bush administration) wanted to do for Iraqi oil. Liberate it for the greater good (and profit) of America(n oil companies)! Only he got the job done for his Russian overlords. Unlike that buffoon al-Malaki that America appointed in Iraq.

What is not so funny, because I find the above hilarious in a disturbing sort of way, is that we are now, as a nation being asked to commit even more blood and treasure propping up an illegitimate Afghan government and I would rather see any armed forces used there focused with laser pinpoint precision upon the true and original target, bin Laden. Time to bring the mastermind of 9/11 to justice. Fuck propping up petty tin-horn dictators and dreams of democratizing the locals. Fuck blood for oil. That is 20th century thinking. Time to move along. Time to fix the problems of America first. Again. We can still help out overseas but is it not well past the time of us thinking we are the police force for the entire world? What the hell is the UN supposed to be if not filling that very role? Time to disband NATO. What is the point? Coldwar is over, right? Time to bring home our troops from Germany and South Korea and Japan and Iraq and Afghanistan and any other place on the planet that isn't legitimate American soil. Time to give Gitmo back to the Cubans and drop the embargoes. Time to force the Israelis and Palistians to hug it out. Time to have a beer (non-alcoholic, of course) with Ahmadinejad. Time for the entire world to be sick and tired of war.

Enough war already, people. Why? Because the world is running out of adult males to continue to fight. Are these the government allies you wish to pair up with our highly trained soldiers, Senator? Congressman? Mr. President? Please. Enough already. Bring our troops home, now. Stop funding perpetual death, before it is too late for us all.



Senryu Update Edition

No sounds, just silence --
breathe in breath out and repeat
sparks fly, hair ablaze.



Team... WHO?

So here's what I'm saying: the expansion of the 'compound' is probably a house for Bristol. Big deal. Who cares. They can afford it now. Her 'compound' is a large house on a public lake visible from the highway. Not some "secluded location" as I got a good laugh from today while reading comments on the 'intarnets'. I have driven past it literally hundereds of times. So unless they've planted some strategically placed trees recently, you can see it from the parking lot of the public pisser right next to the park where people from Wasilla, frolicing on what passes for a beach during summer in Alaska, are crazy enough to swim and boat and jetski and fly planes and such. It's kind of what we do here in Alaska. I know. Shocking! Oh and by the way people of Wasillia -- figure it out! What do you think the pisser drains into? That's right. You're swimming in it, doofus. Criminy. Or is it just some crafty country way of preventing swimmer's itch? If so, bravo Wasilla!

Okay. I'm picking a side. My utmost expression of compassion in the entire soap opera of life that swirls around the entire Palin family is NOT for Levi. Nor Bristol. Definitely not for Sarah or Todd... no, my most heartfelt wishes and hopes should naturally lead me and everyone else to root for and choose Team TRIGG! I wish him the best. Good luck little buddy. You are going to need it. With all the effed up things adults do, let us all hope the best for him and that he is able to grow up vital, alive, healthy and happpy. And loved by EVERYONE in his family. Let us all hope that ALL the Palin and for the matter the Johnston family(s) "stop effing things up!" and learn to do right by each other, which is the just and humane path. Lives and hearts are at stake. But alas, no. Probably won't happen. That doesn't sell books. Or magazines. For ALL involved.

BAH! I'll have none of it! Go peddle your future Murdock sponsored reality show driven conceptual lifestyle infotainment bullshit elsewhere, lady! I leave consumption of any 'reality based' shows or books or magazines or whatever to others. It's not like they need my permission but I suppose they're going to build their little family fame industry. Nothing we can do to stop it other than ignoring it or not participating. But none of them shall ever see a single penny from my pocket. Unless someone wants to hold a TEAM TRIGG fundraiser, of course. Your mileage may vary and you are free to choose, &tc.but -- GO TEAM TRIGG! Woot!

From my own experience I learned that the answer to the problem with the NOOKULUR family model is that you need to ACTIVELY keep it from blowing up. Think of it as '24' only for 50+ years. I personally was somewhat less than successful and McGuyver-like during my experiments with it and yet because of it I have a brilliant son of whom I am very proud and who I will always love. I grew to understand that perhaps some adults need remedial education to learn how to act as adults rather than spoiled children when matters of family and heart come into play. Even myself. Everyone in the equation is human (though in Trigg's case, probably too young to understand much of what's going on for now...) and needs to be treated politely and with a certain sense of tact and decorum. All humans have feelings and emotions and honest communications are required for all concerned to come out relatively unscathed emotionally. The child's wishes take priority and everyone needs to learn to cooperate towards that end. Within reason of course... no driving off a bridge because "little Timmy told me to...".

Anyhow. As a child of divorce, someone who has been through divorce and as both a married then single parent myself, I say -- "Go TEAM TRIGG!" We're rootin' for ya', buddy.


*note the author wishes to acknowledge every where you see 'TRIGG' he is secretly inserting the name of his son Jon. Parents, you understand. Which is NOT to say I am being insincere in my best wishes for Trigg himself. I really do wish young Trigg all the best and really feel he is the most important person in whatever drama if any arises in the near future. So one first and one last time: GO TEAM JON! GO TEAM TRIGG!


Celtic Diva Nails It!

Why oh why do some Alaskans still seem to carry a bit of a chip on their shoulder about the subject and personage of Sarah Palin? Here's why. My friend Linda at Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis explains it better than anyone. Part 1 and Part 2. Yes, it takes at least that many parts to explain it because with Palin, "it's complicated". Excellent work, Linda! The only thing missing is Todd's sexy silk NY boxers and you can bet your sweet ass you can pin THAT one on Sarah, too.



...and Furthermore!

Two things in the battletide of health care reform. Notice I'm so non plused I'm not even bothering to capitalize 'Health Care Reform' any longer? Yeah. Me too. Because ultimately I believe the "public option" is narrowing down to equate to "expansion of Medicare/Medicaid" and it WILL happen, if not by majority vote, cloture or any other damn thing then by executive order if need be. Obama wants to grow a huge honking pair, he'd do it that way. Take responsibility for it all and when it is properly run and regulated and profitable, tell ALL the wingnuts to just go fuck themselves. Forever.

But I digress. Here's Wyden insisting there be a public option in the final bill, and here's old 'Independent' Joe putting on the squeeze play. Why the squeeze play? Because the only way it seems able to get through now is if there's an "opt-out" clause on a state by state basis. States rights. Still the possibility exists that the triggers may either be set too high and that having triggers in the first place PLUS insistence upon voiding the private insurers anti-trust exemption could possibly trigger the regionalization of medicine and medical treatment in America. In other words make it more hard to get competent, qualified medical care AND increase the travel cost! Brilliant! We already have that in Alaska so perhaps it won't effect us all that much.

So, yeah -- NO. Yes to the public option. Yes to the expansion of M/M. NO to any sort of trigger. It's part of the Medicare/Medicaid package, we're reforming and expanding the system to cover the uninsured, either you're in or you are out at the state level. Are any states presently NOT enrolled in both? End of story. Eureka. You have found the pot o' gold. You have freed the dragon. Public Option. Now move along.

Eventually and as stated I expect it will all be part of M/M so "no big whup..." THEN yes, reform of M/M is a must and please pass the anti-trust hammer. It's clobberin' time!


Mmm... CEOs Are Bad, M'kay?

...both National and Local ones.

Okay. I agree. It's not the people in corporations that make them so bad. I'm sure there are boatloads of people who are perfectly nice, upstanding and honest fellow citizens working for many corporations. It's really about your leaders. Well -- our leaders. Some of them are righteous assholes interested in only money and power. Some of them are paid vast sums of money to make the heart wrenching decision over whether to fire 10,000 or 20,000 factory workers or just eliminate all corporate pension and health care fund contributions in order to maintain the 14% ROI (return on investment) that "stockholders DEMAND". Some of them seek to use their money and power to influence a government "of, by and for the people." -- especially here in Alaska.

Yeah. I'm touched. I'm sure the cost of therapy alone could run six figures. I mean how could you sleep at night knowing that your bad decisions were going to wreck the lives of families nationwide, cast them to the winds? Meanwhile please enjoy your $25 million severance package and your $50 million retirement/pension.

Or for you future prisoners, please enjoy your stay with "three hots and a cot". You can probably even find a way to do some "day trading" from inside the joint, eh Bernie, eh Bill? You know... to parlay all the money bad guys like you looted from Americans and America and stashed offshore in the Caymans or Dubai. Keep spreading the money and influence around while America pays for your extended stay at one of our fine penal hotels. Chin up, new meat. Lucky for you it's a "white collar" country club kind of prison and you will all probably be out in 5-10 years anyhow. If that long.


(this message brought to you by the number 2 and the letter(s) "Senator B")


When they outlaw net neutrality, only outlaws will have net neutrality...

(or "they can have my net neutrality when they come and pry it from my cold, dead fingers.")

Zoiks! Cranky Grandpa is back on the loose and he's looking to "scratch the back" of some of his biggest campaign donors, telcos.

As a side note (or 'rant' as many readers have been known to say ;) ), speaking only for myself but using the word 'America' to represent... well, myself and America -- America is SO sick and tired of business as usual in Washington, D.C., seriously. Not necessarily gun-totin' crazy pissed off crazy (though some few number are), but calculating crazy in the voting booth crazy -- voting AGAINST all obstructionists and do-nothings (hello, Congressman Yon Dung!) and voting AGAINST those that would choose corporations over unions and the little guy workers of America... voting them all out out OUT!

Change is a'comin', I can smell it. I can feel it. Very soon someone in high political office may get upset enough with all the stinkin' 'moneychangers in the temple' to start tossing them out. They're starting to do that with bailed out companies and bonuses by getting clawback from essentially majority publically owned companies (due to them still owing America both me AND the entire country). America is beginning to demand responsibility, accountability and mostly PAYBACK for all the monies we taxpayers LOANED these companies -- BEFORE they give out fat bonuses for failure. If these are new hires, not responsible for past mistakes then okay, but if these are rewards passed out to rats abandoning a sinking ship, that they themselves scuttled like pirates to pilfer for the booty -- then yes, I have a problem using taxpayer money to reward these pirates.

Though I'm clearly kidding by comparing through allusion the implications of Obama as 'a savior' or 'messiah' for America (this time the country and I suppose by extension even me), change DOES need to come starting with, as he was told to do by advisors from the outset, curtail and sharply regulate and control lobbyists. Corporate influence over D. C. must end in its entirety. 527 groups with 501(c)3 status eligibilty must always be and should always remain tightly controlled to only narrowly allow non-profits and their public members to form coalitions in order to access their representatives in D.C. in cases where people feel the cause needs to cary more clout and gravitas (and then by extension employ an actual living, breathing person to go 'lobby' the representative). This naturally carries more impact than that of a lone constituent sending a letter to their congressman or senator to discuss an issue. The bottom line is that it should all be done through non-profits with all elections publically funded to eliminate corporate control and undue influence on our government.

Yes, corporations are people too, but MONEY must be removed from the equation for us to be able to make good law based upon facts, science and reality. Reform the way Washington works FIRST and THEN Obama and his administration could really work through health care and labor issues and human rights issues and DADT and getting us out of bad wars while protecting America issues and &tc, ad infinitum. Ahem. Oh and he'd SO be able to take care of that nuclear non-proliferation thingy while he's at it, too. Here's to hoping Axelrod reads this. Ah screw it, maybe I'll just email him the link. ;)

TL;DR version for Dave: Change Washington, D. C. first, then change everything else to what is good for ALL the common citizens of America, not just a select few. P.S. -- KEEP NET NEUTRALITY!



Hark! Yon Dung doth approacheth!

Weigh in on this from the ADN?

Does any of this surprise anyone from or now presently living in Alaska? Really? Who pays for Don's picnics? Hello? The sponsors all have banners at the events. Right down to the gas grills.

I've already posted about our sole congressman and said he needed to be replaced. I'll support the best candidate that runs against him in the next election. So should you. So should we all.

Let's get ALL the corrupt bastards back in court and finish all the sentencing already. Is the court waiting for a written invitation from the people to proceed with the machinations of justice and due process? Consider it grated, please proceed.



Hallelujah! (and) Progressive Blog Links Rodeo Roundup!

Is this the bill you're looking for? Why yes thank you! It's all starting to make sense now. From here until election day it's firebrand progressives like Grayson and Weiner and Franken laying down the legislative smack. HARD.

"We're attaching  some amendments to your pork laden, war profiteering, home district rewarding Department of Defense spending continuation bill..."

"Hey! Wait now... let's all simma down naow..."

"You [Republicans] don't like what we [Democrats] are doing, then filibuster. Or vote no."

 America needs more critical thinkers. Though sometimes you get rogues.

By the way, Rep. Anthony Weiner actually supports a true single payer system, as do I. Just expand Medicare/Medicaid and reform the hell out of it.



Things Are Tough All Over...

Okay. This has got to be a joke, right? I doubt that Palin has ever even heard of LinkedIn, let alone personally know how to sign up for one of their accounts or post he resume there! But I will say in all honesty, if she really needs the work I could seriously use a housekeeper. Seriously. I realize she may be vastly overqualified for the position (or perhaps not if we are to believe Levi Johnson's Vanity Fair account of behind the scenes life within the Palin household) but I'd be willing to pay her $250 for a day and provide her with the HAZMAT suit she'll most likely need to come over and clean my little four room apartment. Standing offer Sarah. Call me!



I Love The Smell Of Deperation First Thing In The Morning...

Not mine but rather Sarah Palin's seeming desperation. Remember this is an independent, ad-free and unpaid blog -- thus I have no financial gain or benefits to disclose for writing what I write. It is my personal opinion covered by my right to freedom of speech. Period. Nobody is slipping me money under the table nor paying me either directly or indirectly, in fact it costs me over $600 a year for my broadband access. I have never even asked for any donations to support this blog, myself or my writing! Lastly, Google provides the blogspace for free. So there you have it. That is MY disclosure statement, so please indulge my whims again for a moment by allowing me to relate the following bits of recent Palin related information with those thoughts in mind.

There are two items of recent note about our ex-governor, the perpetual second runner up, that I now discuss -- first, she announced yet another PAC yesterday. Why? According to Fred Malek, apparently one of the few former McCain campaign staffers still willing to talk about her, "She wants to continue to be in a position to help causes dear to her heart and help people close to her". Hmm... does that not sounds exactly like what she herself said on the day she quit her job as governor of Alaska? Perhaps Fred helped her write her July third abdication speech? So basically then it is the announcement of a new PAC funding Sarah and her aparent megalomaniacal personal ambitions, right Fred? At this point you may be wondering as much as I am just what exactly is wrong with the old SarahPAC which would cause the need for an announcement of an entirely new PAC? Incidnetly, even after this announcement the old SarahPAC is still functioning online and continues to beg for more money from her supporters. So really -- why a second PAC?

Allow me to take a stab at explaining this from the perspective of a non-lawyer but as someone who has done extensive research concerning her troubles with personal finance and her various online fund raising efforts. At face value this new PAC appears to be exactly the same thing as SarahPAC, which again immediatly begs the question as to why she needs yet another PAC? Why Sarah, WHY? Is it because the hammer of justice is about to drop hard on SarahPAC due to its original thinly veiled charter that essentially makes it a slush fund to pay her friends, family, cronies and the monthly fees of spokes-model Meg "The Mouth" Stapeltongue rather than actually supporting political candidates and causes other than Team Sarah itself? My short answer is yes I believe so, yes precisely. Here comes the hammer, Sarah and lovers of Sarah. Better brace yourself.

As a PAC, the FEC has already officially grumbled about SarahPAC's legality based upon its original charter, pretty much alleging hers is NOT truly legal under the rules, regulations and laws governing what qualifies as a tax exempt 527 group. It has also been suggested by some at the FEC that there are glaring legal difficulties with the original charter of SarahPAC in claiming it to be a 501(c)3 which would allow her donors to write their contributions off on their taxes. Since Sarah is not currently running for political office how can she and her team continue to ethically claim tax exempt status? It's not a campaign fund. Add to that the fact that  the limited amount of FEC disclosures available also show only small portions, indeed a minor percentage of the donations to SarahPAC have actually been passed along to support other political campaigns and causes of interest to her and her team. A comparatively miniscule amount, even. Essentially it seems thus far that the money mostly goes towards furthering her personal ambitions which presently appear to be a nothing less than a personal money making venture for Sarah and her team. No pun intended but the cash cow seems to be Sarah herself as is the direct majority beneficiary of the PAC amply demonstrated by FEC disclosures of the percentage of total monies doled out from the PAC towards other legitimate political causes and concerns. So unless she has declared herself PERSONALLY to be a non-profit entity, a candidate or a registered lobbiest concern and is willing to back it up with public disclosures to both the FEC and IRS, she seems to be dancing around with the truth in a murky gray area both legally and ethically about the usage of funds donated by her supporters to her original PAC.

Her recent FEC disclosures show a limited amount of actual "political actions" or "causes", mostly in the form of donations to a select few of her fellow Republicans and their campaign funds (John McCain and Michelle Bachman amongst them). In addition, the few times she and team Sarah even bothered to actually spend PAC donations on something recognizably political OTHER than her or team Sarah, they over donated above the legally permitted per annum amount which in turn then had to be reimbursed back to her PAC just to keep everything within the law. Fair enough. A simple mistake for which I will not cruxify them. These things happen. Those campaigns returned the excess amounts when directed to do so by the FEC because of excess per anum dollar amount violations, so no problems there other than the seeming perpetual stupidity of her PAC administrators. But as has often been the case in the recent past with so many of her legally required public personal financial disclosures, she and her team may have been playing fast and loose with the truth, the rules and their adherance to actual law. The FEC disclosures I have read show that she has been just as lax at reporting SarahPAC expenditures to the FEC as she has been in declaring (within a legally mandated set period of time) the financial value of gifts given to her while serving as governor of the state of Alaska. I cease to be surprised and -- surprise! -- she has been just as late complying with FEC rules as well. Sarah and team Sarah always seem to be late with their legally mandated "homework", having to erase the smiley faces and hearts and replace them with properly dotted i's and properly crossed t's.

Most interesting to me however is that her team's actions appear to be a literal demonstration of an acting and actual confederacy of dunces! You bet'cha! She has hired herself her very own circular firing squad! From my perspective it is obvious that perhaps she is getting somewhat less than what she is paying for from her employees who continue to act as some sort of perpetual newsmaking gaffe machine. It would almost be funny if it weren't so damn sad. It makes it hard to decide if I should feel cynical or maybe even sorry for her. In most cases I'm going to choose cynical because often it seems intentional and almost orchestrated rather than accidental. On top of all of this it appears, again through the limited disclosuers team Sarah HAS actually made to the FEC and in both the main stream media and as reported on various partisan or non-partisan political blogs, that many of these very same dunces may be directly paid out of her SarahPAC slush fund. Which of course only further compounds her potential problems with the FEC and IRS and their rules. Team Sarah will probably claim otherwise but though their own initial and perhaps accidental uncoordinated press releases and in words taken directly from her spokesperson Meg "The Mouth" Stapletongue, it was originally disclosed that this was actually the case before someone had a cow (Sarah, doing damage control C.Y.A. work as undoubtedly advised to do by her more politically savvy hired gun mercernary attorney, I'd wager) and quickly tried to claw those statements back by asserting that Sarah was actually paying for all these employees personally. Sorry folks. You already said it was paying for Meg and the Team Sarah folks at first. Once you hit the 'SEND' button it it nigh well impossible to 'UNSEND'. In my opinion all of this crazy sideshow freak circus amounts to the appearance of her and her team wilfully skirting the bounds of what is both legal AND ethical and serves only to confirm the hapless antics of her confederacy of dunces perhaps even in a craven effort to only get her still more press merely to keep her name in the headlines. Sad to contemplate that possibility but how esle is one to explain the veritable Keyston Cops nature of her and her team and their crazy press release circus? It's almost like the Three Stooges, only without the funny parts! Oh wait... never mind. Anyhow, the news and press releases are out there in the wilds of the untamed internet and I don't feel the need to provide citations. I've seen them, I've read them and I have now reported them. If you are truly interested in unraveling all this crap (and I pray for the sake of your sanity) then I encourage you all to go look for it yourself. Again, I have nothing to gain from retelling all of this other than amusement at the total and continued ineptitude of her team plus the personal satisfaction of reminding everyone of their possible lies concerning her, her ambitions and the somewhat shadowy financial details of her and her political machine. It totally boggles the mind just how badly one could possibly screw up what supposedly started out as a bright political career and yet from all appearances that seems to be the case.

Whatever the causes or reasons it does appear to help keep her name in the news which is probably the most important issue for Sarah and team Sarah. Especially considering the other item of note today: her popularity. According to a newly published Gallup poll, her popularity numbers nationally are still on the wane as they have been since the end of the McCain campaign. Don't even get me started on how low they have dropped for her within her own state! I'd go as far as to say that even the majority of Alaskan Republicans no longer favor or support her. Most Alaskans don't like quitters. Especially ones that quit on Alaska. Ask former governor Hickel. The latest numbers show fourty percent overall average favorable opinion nationwide, with sixty-nine percent of polled Republicans still seeing her favorably. So nationally many Republicans who didn't have to live with her as their governor still seem to have the wool pulled over their eyes. Perhaps more telling is that twenty-five percent of Republicans nationally see her unfavorably with just six percent registering no opinion. Still even more telling is the approval rating of those valuable "swing voter" independents: a full fourty-eight percent register as unfavorable, with eleven percent registering no opinion and only fourty-one percent registering approval. It goes without saying that the vast majority of Democrats both nationally and locally register as unfavorable.

All of these factors lead me to believe that her announcement of another new PAC is precisely because they already have an inkling that the old one is about to be shut down for both FEC and IRS violations. But as has been the case for her sketchy and incomplete (not to mention LATE) personal gift disclosures while the governor of Alaska, we have yet to have an official declaration of any legal violations and any subsequent penalties or remedies, so this story isn't over yet. Not by a long shot, unfortunately. As an Alaskan I am comfortable with the idea that many of us would prefer that her and the questionable antics of her political machine just go away forever. She has become an utter embarassment for many, many Alaskans and with every hapless gaffe continues to reflect negatively on both the state and it's inhabitants. As far as I am concerned we Alaskans need only be patient a little while longer until the she and the whole shebang implodes on her, her employees and her supporters at NewsCorp (including but not limited to Fox News, Harpers, The New York Post and The Wall Street Journal who continue to promote her as Rupert Murdoch's (mostly undisclosed to those NOT in the know) pet project). May we all collectively offer a deep and loud sigh of relief when this impending implosion occurs and she fades into personal and political obscurity as a sad Alaskan hisorical footnote. May we also cheer at her and her hapless minions repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot (as they still continue to do), thus liberating us and the rest of America from any further news about her, her causes and her political ambitions (whatever the hell those may be now she's been branded a quitter and hasn't yet announced for any office) now and forever. Then and only then we will ALL be able to breathe that collective sigh of releif and we Alaskans can return to rebuilding our now sullied reputation as hardy and THINKING rugged individualists. From my fingertips to your eyeballs to her ears. Amen.



The Chickens Come Home To Roost...

Back in August when the Tea Baggers were at the height of their collective craziness, Senator Graham poo-pooed the idea that there was any problem with the radicalization of the Republican party. Well guess what, Senator? Now these very same Teag Baggers want Senator Graham's head on a platter for saying he'll work together with Democrats on global climate change legislation! How do you like them now, Senator?



Unintended Side Benefit of Obama's Nobel Peace Prize Win...

Obama's Nobel Peace Prize win is helping to make the heads of partisan political hacks pundits explode. Too funny. Obama has already done more concerning nuclear non-proliferation within his first year of office than Bush did in his entire eight years COMBINED. In fact Bush was going the opposite direction by proposing to deploy a controversial 'missile shield' in eastern Europe, much to the chagrin of our supposed ally, Russia. There's your reason for why Obama won, neocons -- but your vision is too clouded with the haze of partisan political hackery like the example of CBS' Chip Reid cited above to see it.



Episode 1: Overheard on Facebook

Shannon Moore:

Oh, to be against the war and then for it...a fancy pair of flip flops...

Maddison Bradshaw replies re: Ex Gov 2rd runner up, SP:

"For so many reasons, can someone just make her go away, just have her evaporate or something?"

Then tell Rupert Murdoch to stop paying her. He owns Harper, her publisher. Don't buy her book. Boycott anything Newscorp. All things Murdoch. Tell the interloping carpetbagger addios. Go peddle your snakeoil elsewhere. Sarah's rumored 'concern' over investing in gold  coincides with the previous day's Glenn Beck Show. Beck has lost a total of 80 advertisers since originally calling Obama a racist. Two out of three of his remaining major advertisers are in the -- surprise! -- gold and gold speculation markets. Sarah is so transparent I can see Russia through her from here. Cut off the $ supply through the advertisers, and not just Beck's circus freak sideshow but ALL of Fox News and you cut off their oxygen. [Yes even Harper. Then sadly we can all say goodbye to Idaho's favorite daughter Sarah, as we realists here in Alaska have already disowned her.] End of story.


Holy Crap! The Anti-Beck Juggernaut rolls on...

In between today and my last post about boycotting Glenn Beck's infotainment and propaganda show on Fox, no less than nineteen more companies have dropped advertising support! That's right, NINETEEN. Including the maker of Guiness. Now I'll drink to THAT, mate. That's 80 companies total and now some of them are pulling ALL their ads from all Fox News shows.

Thanks to all who take the time to keep pushing on this issue... if we keep up this pressure we can not only strangle the beast that is Glenn Beck, but Fox in it's entirety. Believe it.



The Beck Boycott Goes Worldwide...

A total of sixty-two advertisers have now dropped support for Glenn Beck on Fox. The latest is a UK grocery chain. Instead of the boycotters petering out in force or ferocity, the supermarket Waitrose has doubled down! They have pulled ALL ads from Fox, not just Beck's daily infotainment hate circus. ALL shows, ALL timeslots. That's what I'm talking about! Boo-yah! How do you like us NOW, Fox?

Thus we enter the next phase of shutting down the idiots of Fox who worship at the altar of hate speech and it's about damn time. Remember, you too can add your voice to this important boycott by supporting the people who started it all, Color of Change. Better yet, directly participate by boycotting those who still advertise on Fox. Companies think they are doing the right thing for their profit margins by advertising with the cable 'news' network that supposedly has the most viewers, but what they are really doing is supporting a far right wing propaganda machine. Stop them all now. Help us throw sand in the gears of this ugly hate machine and shut it down forever.



Reasons Why The Public Option Failed in Finance Committee...

This artice at True/Slant gives us a glimpse into the true reason why Baucus and the so called 'Gang of Six' helped to kill the public option in the Senate Finance Committee. More than $19 Million reasons in fact and this is only four or five politicians, all listed are Democrats. There is blood money and bribes (aka 'campaign contributions) on both sides of the aisle, so neither party is blameless. Imagine if we tallied up all the lobby dollars donated to campaign funds to defeat this issue? I'd estimate that we are approaching something like $300-500 Million poured into the campaign war chests of everyone in the house and senate by private insurers, big pharma and other for profit medical enterprises to shore up their industry's muderous profits. So yes, a whole damn lot of money (much of it taken as profits made from the premiums paid to them by their clients) is being paid out to insure that these companies retain their profit margins and in the meantime uninsured Americans continue to die at the rate of over 44,000 people a year.

Even though as a Buddhist I don't really believe in the concept of souls or hell I think you can clearly understand me and where I'm coming from when I say I hope that the souls of these 44,000 lost Americans torment these motherfucking sellout bastards forever after they all wind up in hell. I personally vow to vote against and refuse to support any senator or congressman who works against health care reform and health insurance reform. Join me next election in spirit as you enter the voting booth -- vote your conscience against those that don't have one.



Thinking local, acting like dumbasses...

Ah, local Alaskan politics! Why must you vex us so? Several issues are confronting Anchorage in the wake of a new mayoral administration that need to be addressed and while I am in no position to actually do anything about it myself since I am not a member of the assembly or mayor Sullivan's staff, I do have some opinions to share.

The new controversy is the budget shortfalls in city government. Some, mostly Bill Starr, Dan Coffey and mayor Sullivan himself appear to be making political hay out of trying to blame our money woes on outgoing mayor, now U.S. Senator Mark Begich, saying that his administration hid facts from the assembly so that he could meet his budget. This is factually incorrect and I believe they know that. Starr has pointed to one internal Begich administration email and attached spreadsheet as evidence that the former mayor deliberately hid the shortfall from assembly members. Which begs the question -- how did someone who essentially is a member of the legislative branch of local government (the Anchorage Assembly) get his hands on internal documents that were only meant to be seen by staff members of the administrative branch? Mayor Sullivan, would you care to answer that question? Have they never heard of the separation of powers? It applies even at a local level, Mr. Starr. I believe the method and manner in which he came into possession of these documents needs to be exposed. If it were I am sure we would most likely see the links leading directly back to the new Sullivan administration as mayor Dan attempts, with the help of partisan political hacks like Coffey and Starr to scapegoat the former mayor for yet to be determined reasons.

As already addressed by Begich in direct response to the asshattery of Starr, the documents Starr now holds up as evidence of deliberate deception against the assembly were internal planning documents that detailed various budget scenarios. They are 'game theory'. Begich asked his staff to come up with various best and wort case scenarios for budget planning and submit them. Starr is whining about the path NOT taken and claiming that mayor Begich was less than forthcoming and honest with the local assembly. Bullshit, Mr. Starr. It has already been explained that they did the best they could with the money they had available for the budget and any shortfalls are really because of our current economic situation. In other words times are tough all over even for city government. The documents you now hold up as evidence of obfuscation were scenarios, not reality or the resutling actual policy that came from mayor Begich's administrators. You literally are using them as a straw man to score political points with Anchorage conservatives and you should be ashamed for doing so, Mr. Starr.

In my opinion all of this political theatre is nothing less than a prelude to mayor Sullivan attempting to introduce a very unpopular local sales tax in order to lessen the fiscal sting and make it appear as though it's not HIS fault that he had to do it -- it's all Begich's fault for putting us in the position we presently find ourself in as a city not able to meet its budget. Sullivan has proposed a sales tax before and he will no doubt be pushing for the same thing again in order to score political points with conservative, Republican and Democratic homeowners who now bear the brunt of local revenue generation through collection of local property taxes, the only way things get paid for in Anchorage municipal government.

If there is any conspiracy whatsoever it is between these three a-holes -- Sullivan, Starr and Coffey -- all longtime conservative agitators looking to snare all Anchorageites within their web of taxation deciet. What Starr is asking for is for the administrative branch to provide the assembly with copies of their internal work papers, a clear violation of the separation of powers. His demand is a double edge sword because if successful and any new laws are passed they will provide unprecedented access to internal administration documents. This would also presumably apply to Sullivan and HIS administration. Do you guys REALLY want to go there?

My suggestion is they quit dicking around and playing the blame game by coming up with their own solutions to the present budget crisis rather than trying to pin the blame on someone who hasn't been in office for well over a year. Oh and quit making mountains out of molehills where no wrongdoing exists just so you can sneak an upopular tax in through the back door -- a tax that discriminates against the poorest members of Anchorage society as Sullivan refuses to add exemptions for critical items such as food. It unfairly places more of the local tax burden upon those who can already barely afford to live and survive in this town while relieveing the tax burden from those who are more than capable of meeting taxation and cost of living requirements to be able to live comfortably within this municipality. After all, how much infrastructure do those who rent or those who are homeless or with marginal, low paying jobs use as opposed to homeowners who rely on water, sewer, lights, roads, snow removal and a host of other municipal services paid for by their taxes? The answer is that the majority consumers and beneficiaries of those services need to pay for them and quit whining or trying to foist the bill off on those who can ill afford it and to those who don't own property in this town. We already have 'hidden' regressive municipal taxes (alcohol and cigarettes) that punish those of lower economic means and now these idiots want to add more just so they can score political points with their conservative constiuents? Fuck that, Mr. Mayor! You and your buddies on the assembly need to man up and come up with real solutions instead of being dickheads, which by the way doesn't help anybody -- not even Anchorage property owners (who, by the way, have enjoyed a cap on taxes for well over a decade), ultimately.


(I will have a couple more posts on more local political hot button issues in the very near future, so stand by for those later today...(procrastination is the art of getting artfully sidetracked))


That's What I'm Talking About!

Alan Grayson is a rock star. He is a House Democrat from Orlando, Florida calling bullshit on GOP and Blue Dog Democrat obstructionists blocking meaningful health care reform, speaking the truth and calling them out on their utter lack of any plan. Grayson has bigger balls than the entire GOP combined and you know what? He deserves praise and support for being one of the few voices to speak out against those who both wish to see reform fail and those who wish to see President Obama fail.

Grayson recently outraged simpering GOP crybabies by stating their reform platform for them since they have yet to offer any coherent plan:
"Don't get sick. If you do get sick, die quickly..."
That pretty much sums up the Republican plan for the uninsured and it's not a lie nor is it outrageous to say it because it is true. While most if not all of the GOP and Blue Dog Democrats in the House and Senate fiddle away like Nero watching Rome burn, 44,000 Americans a year DIE because of a lack of health insurance and a lack of adequate health care coverage. It took someone like Grayson to remind them and all of us -- a relative newcomer from a pretty conservative district who is not afraid to stand up for what is right rather than selling his soul to the private insurance lobby for campaign contributions as many politicians have already done.

Now some right wing extremists are whining incessantly that he should apologize for his comments. He basically told them to go fuck themselves and rightly so, pointing out that ten time the amount of those that have died in the service of our country in Iraq and over ten times the amont of people that died during the 9/11 attack are dying each and every year because of their inaction and craven attempts to squeeze more campaign funds from an industry that profits directly from continued death and suffering. Some in the GOP are even going as far as to liken his presentation in the house to Joe Wilson's rude outburst calling a sitting president a liar in front of upwards of 40 million people. They equate his truth telling with the lie that Wilson told and continues to boast about. Now that's outrageous! It's called equivilency and it is a tactic the GOP has become experts in exploiting. Wilson should have been censured and ostracized for his rudeness his lack of protocol and common decency. On the other hand, Grayson's words make him a hero to the majority of Ameicans, not just a fraction of the less than 25% of the Republican right wing extremists and whackjobs for whom Wilson spoke. Even though Grayson refuses to apologize to the butthurt GOP weasels like Wilson and his ilk, he did offer his apology to those who have died and the families of those who have died because of stalling on the part of congress. They all should do that. They should all be ashamed for doing what they have been doing for decades -- which is absolutely nothing. Republicans and Democrats alike.

If you believe the world needs more Alan Graysons then put your money where your mouth is and contribute to him and guys like him. It's the only way we can get some reality inside the beltway... by supporting those who realize the importance of meaningful health care reform. NOW. The debate has had sixty years. Enough debate already -- time for action. Those that don't act to do the right thing NOW will suffer the wrath of the majority of American voters who absolutely DO support a public option or single payer system when we vote those bums out of office and I promise we will do precisely that. If they're not going to do the will of the people who elected them in this representative democracy then it is time to send them back home forever. Let them fuck up something else in the private sector rather than America and Americans.


(Oh and P.S. -- Congressman Grayson, if you have any extra cojones to spare and I think you do, please send some along to Rahm and Barack post haste! They could use some balls and perhaps some good old fashioned backbone as well.)

With friends like these...

According to an insider at the Rupert Murdoch owned New York Post:

"The big lecture buyers in the US are paralyzed with fear about booking her [Palin], basically because they think she is a blithering idiot," the source said. "They don't want to tick people off."

So there you have it. Apparently the only people who would not be ticked off are her fellow "blithering idiot(s)".



The Bizarre World of Sarah Palin's Brain, Part Deux...

Now with COLOR VIDEO. Dang these internet tubes are freekin' awesome!

The absurdity of Palin's position is untenable. The woman needs a serious wake up call (see previous post, written before I watched this video). At the moment Palin has national ambition stars in her eyes (Shuneman fueled, blowing smoke up her wazoo, whispering promises of ponies, unicorns and untold millions with which to purchase peep toe pumps...) and will be hitting the media with a book tour and her 'just Sarah plain and tall' (in jog togs or the aformentioned peep toe pumps) act soon. I see either her and Beck together (and I DO mean TOGETHER together, as in doing 'it' -- you want to see the anti-christ for real then it would have to resemble an imagined unholy spawn of an equally unholy Beck/Palin union) or she will run for President (actually my guess is that by Shuneman being back in the mix again, McCain is making overtures to have her as VP all over again just to show America he's got huge fucking brass balls the size of Brazil, NO! China... he's SO damn mavrick-y he'd choose her all over again, gawdammit). She will probably do both, milking the media, milking the politics for as long as both are possible but either way, eventually she will lose. Lose in the mainstream majority controlled media and then run for office and lose again as President (though more likely as VP to the maverick-y glimmer twins ticket, back for a second thumping in 2012). Or eventually, if Alaskans are lucky, Palin will just quit every blessed thing altogether as it seems quitting stuff is really her true calling (judging from past history), and I've always supported people committed to their true calling. I was called to be a great writer and thinker but all I have is the lousy t-shirt. Not that I'm saying that would be Sarah's fault... who do you think helped me buy the lousy t-shirt?



The Bizarre World of Sarah Palin's Brain...

Perhaps Sarah just has a broken irony meter? I don't know. I find it hilarious that she doesn't see it as ironic that her first major paid speech is taking place today in a communist country, where she will no doubt mindlessly rail against communism and socialism. I'd bet even money that she doesn't even really know that Hong Kong is now part of China and that China is one of the few remaining communist contries left on earth. I'm sorry, but a woman who once referred to Africa as "a country" rather than a continent isn't winning any confidence points for intelligence from me, nosiree.

In fact AP/HuffPo has reported that during Palin's speech today she said, "We [America] got into this mess because of government interference in the first place...". Which is of course diametrically opposed to the facts. Now who is makin' things up, Sarah? Apparently a former popular young cheerleader once named Sarah Heath who was not paying close enough attention to the proper things in history and civics classes, that's who. One that suddenly believes herself to be as credible talking about world financial markets as she purportedly is supposed to be when talking about energy development. Even though she's really not qualified to talk authoritatively about either subject in reality. She's aborted her career in both fields of endeavor prematurely. She's hardly an expert in anything. Other than the good old fashioned down home gum smackin' and eye winkin' Wasilla-billy charm she seems to exude.

No, Sarah -- we got into a financial meltdown (again) because we took the controls OFF the banking industry that we had previously put there after the failure of thousands of savings and loan institutions back in the 80s. Read that again carefully, Sarah. Not "too much government interference" but rather "not enough government oversight". Again you have things completely ass backwards Sarah, pounding your meme nails with the skinny end of the hammer. The entire premise of your speech is laughable precisely because it is exactly the opposite from actual reality. Which by the way does not surprise me in the least. (Sarah was never much of a scholar so the idea that whatever she says, do the opposite still applies).

You see Sarah, without any goverment oversite or interference Wall Street, led by investment banking firms helped finance a banking industry that created high risk loans for people who could not realistically pay them back. Then when those borrowers defaulted they repackaged the whole mess into 'default credit swaps' which were then magically made into something of value by rebranding them as 'derivitives'. What made them valuable was because they were insured against failure by AIG. In fact towards the end, it became default practice to bet against the derivatives as 'investments' and collect your insurance money from AIG for the losses you were helping to cause as a banker.

Older readers will recall 'junk bonds' during the 80s. Well meet the new debt boss, same as the old debt boss. Derivitaves are nothing less than junk bonds whose sole backing is debt itself. The idea is that if you're a multi-billion dollar corporation and you need to not pay taxes, you can buy up a few billions worth of these 'investment' derivatives, show them on the books as an investment, but then mark it down to show it as a loss for tax purposes. It's a ponzi scheme, the same one made up back in the 80s with junk bonds only with all new terminology. Terminology with zazz! Whee. Aren't we so damn lucky that the Amercan system seems to foster some of the worst, most unethical, most greedy and opportunistic bastards on the face of the planet to migrate towards MBA degrees?

So Sarah's next answer? She claimed that if taxes were cut and the capital gains tax and estate tax eliminated, the world would "watch the U.S. economy roar back to life." Wrong again Sarah. All that will do is further entrench the wealth of the most wealthiest 1% of Americans. Your overlords. It does nothing for the majority of Americans. According to one conference attendee "she criticized Obama a lot but offered no solutions." Damn. It's almost like having her back as governor! The the gaffe machine, now humming along like well oiled clockwork churned up the idea that she believes "the U.S. has a role in helping China find its future and that the U.S. will always be on the side of promoting freedom...". Which is always the thing communists want to hear. Yeehaw! We loves us some freedom, Sarah Palin! Freedom from an oppressive state controlled political apparatus! Hey wait... ahem. Awkward.

As if that weren't bad enough she then weighed in with her opinion on the Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese problems in China saying she thought their ethnic disputes were "a sign that China lacks mechanisms to deal with regional issues...". I bet the Chinese laughed even harder at that than I am now. That's a hoot! But only because I KNOW it to be yet another classic example of Palin wrongheadedness. Not only does she have no business or basis for offering such insight to her Chinese hosts, she seems dreadfully unaware of the situation back home. Gee I don't know Sarah, seen a news show lately? Town Hall health care meetings? Rampant racism? Disrespect for a sitting President? Any of these ringing a bell for you yet, Sarah? It's as if somewhere, in a parallel universe, they recast that clueless goes to Washington, D. C. girl as a redhead from Idaho except we're actually living in that parallel universe. At least we are in Sarah's bizarre mind.



Two Things...

Now comes the time where I can tell myself "I told you so..." as even conservatives are starting to squeal that Glenn Beck, paid Fox News political whack job, is hurting the Republican conservative movement because of all his whack conspiracy theories. The fact that his 9/12 march in D. C. could only muster less than 70,000 people (even though Fox started the later proved incorrect meme tha ABC News had reported anywhere between 900,000 to 2 Million marchers) also demonstrates precisely how much his popularity has been hyped and overblown mostly by Fox themselves. They even went as far as to circulate photos also later proven to actually be photos for the recent 'Million Man March' and claim them as their own. Even their lies are becoming more transparent and even more ineffective. Hope you are enjoying the marginalization of the neocon wing of the Republican party as much as I am -- good riddance to bad rubbish!

So let's recap -- Beck has less than 50% of his original advertisers left... conservatives are jumping the sinking ship like squealing rats and I bet if you took a ratings poll, it would show his ratings to either be down slightly or up greatly. A dismal turnout for the 'grassroots movement' promoted by Beck and Fox as the '9/12 Teaparty March' would seem to reinforce the former as being more accurate rather than the latter. Beck is becoming a sad assclown before our very eyes. One who will soon need to do the sweeping/mopping up routine right before he packs all his desk toys into a little box and leaves Fox in disgrace. I mean it's Fox so you know it's going to be ugly. Personally I believe they will have actual men with a real long sleeved white jacket show up for him live and on the air. They'll buckle him up and he will froth manically as they cart him away for a few months to process him through the Fox Indoctrination Work Camp. Then of course he'll come back even stronger and uglier than before. I'm crossing my fingers that he just retires to the sanitarium for good. In fact I look forward to the day when both he and Rush will only be guests at some distant reality TV show location. When their lies and subversion as well as their blatant spoken racist ideas are forever off the radio and television airwaves.

The other 'I told me so' is about balance and how I predicted the extremism manifest in town halls would eventually stop once the "big fat wide majority of centrist, moderate and progressive Americans" showed up to laugh at the absurdity of the far-right's argument and assclown antics at town hall health care reform meetings. So now it's happened. The majority have shown up and laughed the wingnuts right off the stage and it will continue to happen. As we get closer to a working bill, it will become harder and harder for the GOP to pull lies out of their asses about progress on a finalized bill. Their only hope is to poison it through the amendment process. Fortunately for all of us that isn't likely to happen. Ultimately it's going to be a Democrat bill and every poison pill must be crushed, each loophole stitched before it becomes law. Not a single Republican will vote for anything however. You can take that to the bank. If they put the 'Public option' in the final bill and I believe they will, not even Olympia Snowe will vote for it. So in retrospect we can now see there was no need to get our collective knickers in a knot over the August recess. Once again sanity, reason and intelligence will prevail over stupidity in America as it usually and historically has done in the past and we will see a health care/health insurance reform bill, probably before the Xmas break. With or without the Republican obstructionists. Most likely without.



Slackin' with Lisa

Hey -- nobody pays me to write so I do it when I want. Okay? ;)

Mostly I've been in a quieter observer mode. Seeing how things are playing out. Laying low but jumping in where I feel I need to, but more in the offline world than here, so my apologies for neglecting the blog for an entire week.

One thing that does pique my interest is a maybe, sorta, kinda move to slow down climate change legislation by our own Senator Lisa Murkowski. Shorthand reason: the still unfinished nature of any gas pipeline in Alaska. Everybody else can speculate as to what the REAL reason is but if you can't read the wall that Lisa is sorta, kinda thinking of spraying her own personal graffiti upon, then you don't know Lisa. She's looking out for what she believes are Alaska's economic owners, Big Oil. Don't believe me? Go look up her campaign donations on the FEC website. So basically she's merely doing what her corporate overlords are telling her to do. On the left hand side of the FEC homepage is a link to 'Campaign Finance Reports and Data' punch in Murkowski 2010 in the search box and browse away. Particularly in the non-party and PAC section. See the 'Big Oil' and energy company donors? Understand, now?

You see I'm a constituent too, but not one that works for 'Big Oil' or one that can afford to contribute to her campaign in a large enough amount to get her attention. So basically that means I'm shit out of luck in her book. Were I to remind her that glaciers are melting, ice floes are receding and a host of other obvious signals that demonstrate we're already in the midst of global warming, my words could be ash upon my lips. But ash I'd be more than willing to blow in her ear. When did American Democracy become a patronage system? Oh yeah, when corporations took it over.

But because I still have hope for the American system, I will write her and post her on her facebook account anyhow. Time to register a constituent opinion and hope she wakes the hell up. Stationary CO2 emitters are just as culpable as mobile ones, Senator.



OMFGAK Rawkin' Rodeo Roundup...

A big rawkin' roundup of links and interesting stories around the nets.

Raise your hand if you think the Iraq war to be unnecessary, unjust and a diversion away from Al Queda? Mark me in the 'we were lied into a war where hundreds of thousands of people died for no damn good reason, 4,300+ of them American' column. I have used the words 'war profiteering' here in previous posts. I think I may have said it'll take decades to dig through and deconstruct the Cheney-Bush administration. Perhaps a generation, though much of any history left over from that particular Whitehouse has already been shredded and bulk erased. Or perhaps Cheney is such a meglomanicial asshole that he's got copies of EVERYTHING.

In case I wasn't clear before -- we need all Americans overseas home, now please. Time to end the expeditionary forces act, the "Mission Accomplished" bullshit that remains in Iraq and Afghanistan. Time for pushing the reset button. Time to let Pakistan ferret out their own radicals in Waziristan. Time to let the despot ex-oil pipeline negotiating Bush designee Karzai sink or swim on his own. Propping up our puppets has never worked out for American foreign policy. NEVER. Time to end the illusion that we are equipped to build democracies elsewhere when we sometimes appear to have such a slippery grasp of our own democracy in America. Ted knew. As did many others.

Unfortunately America took her eye off the ball, diverted it's military power to payback Saddam for Bush 1 with Stormin' Norman and Powell where we didn't finish the job during a justifiable war (invasion, blowing up hundreds of wellheads). We we're in Iraq a seocnd time under Bush 2 for god knows what reason (see also: 'war profiteering', KBR, Haliburton, Carlyle Group, Blackwater, etc, et al.) when we should have been finishing the job in Tora Bora rather than farming it out to local militia due to lack of our forces in country (umm, yeah -- because they were in Iraq helping with the sack, looting and war profiteering). Fast forward to a $1+ Trillion cost for Iraq and us still entrenched, bogged down in some cases, in places we just shouldn't be. Places like Afghanistan. Either get Bin Laden or get off the pot, Mr. President. But bring the rest of our fine male and female service personnel home, now. Please? Or maybe station a few more at the border of North Korea. I'm just sayin'...


So many pre-existing conditions, so little red ink for the cancellation stamp pad. Life is a pre-existing condition. Apparently in the apalling minds of the private insurance industry, so is spousal abuse. So are so many, many things. That's just how they roll in free market corporate America when it comes to the life or death private insurance industry -- all so they can, in one case, put $120 Million in their CEOs pocket for the last five years. OMFG! $120 Million!?! The poor bastard must be forced to wipe his ass with $50s for gawdsake! And light his Dominican cigars (egads!) with Andy Jacksons!

All kidding aside it was/is something that the private insurance industry promised to self reform back in the 90s and they haven't yet so of course they continue to lie and profit, profit and lie and in the process re-victimize victims of domestic abuse -- and we all just take it like the idiots we apparently have become. Wheeee! Time for change we can ALL believe in.


Online diversions. Oh so many. As a child of the burgeoning television age I have grown bored with it lately as a medium. With all apologies to McLuhan, the real action is on the net with hulu and youtube and The Daily Show/Colbert... Rachael and Keith... or PBS with full length videos of Nova and all sorts of free, on demand content. The future of teevee will not be broadcast. It will be streamed. I do not provide links as I'm sure if you're really interested you'll find them. I particularly appreciate the Daily Show and Rachael/Keith as I do not have cable or satellite television and it is the only way I get to see their shows.



Evidence of a rapid loss of influence...

"Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."

Even the once mighty Fox News can't fake up a big enough 'grassroots movement' crowd to support their teabagging any longer... it would be pitiful if it wasn't so funny. Plus they repeatedly lied on air about attendance. Sad.



Nine Eleven Oh One

An image taken two years after by Brendan Loy.

Download the original at the site above...


tenh-HUT! Part Deux...

I've read Jon Krakauer's Everest book. Though never a mountain climber, more of a bolderer and free climber in a past life, I understood all the terminology. My idea of a climb is looking for stairs or calling for a helicopter if necessary. However, some of my best friends are true climbers. I thought Krakauer's "Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster" an excellent read about a tragic push for summit, poorly timed and perhaps populated by a group not truly schooled in actual high altitude climbing techniques. I've been told that altitude sickness is a demon that will lay you lower than a sick dog, and when you're making decisions to summit with many including some of your best technical climbers unable to do so because of being sick, you're making bad decisions. It's recuperate and then summit or evac. That the choices, folks. Krakauer captured the moment. And the tragic carnage.

Now, no pun intended but certainly appreciated, Krakauer tackles the story of Pat Tillman.

Starting at about 1:28 in... Craig schools a rude congressman:

(and part 2):

"Hey I don't come to where you live and knock the wiener out of your governor's mistress, do I?"

Classic. Yes indeed, South Carolina has plenty of trouble, but then again they always have.



Civics for Americans 455 - 1.5 Credits

The Pop quiz happens entirely in your head spontaneously afterwords. Best fifty-three minutes of time spent in my entire life.

(Thank you, Mr. President)



For any like me that may feel the occasional need for the reminder of just exactly how much our service men and women sacrifice for this country, our people and our freedoms, allow me to channel the ghost of Robert Heinlein and present to you Major General Paul D. Eaton. I echo his words by pointing you there. Read it yourself. It's all that needs be said about rude congressmen and their behavior, in front of a President, a Vice President, the entire supreme court, both houses of congress and the entire world that witnessed the rudeness live:

"I would never expect to hear anything but the greatest respect for the elected President of the United States from these men and women, regardless of their political persuasion."
That said, Mr. President, bring our men and women home now. Get out of Iraq, out of Afghanistan. Now, please. Thank You. We're not "fighting it there to keep us safer here...", we're breeding new forms of it there to be further tested upon us here sometime in the future if we don't stop all the war madness.



Hello World! Hello Robert Meyerowitz!

My friend Robert Meyerowitz mused on why we 'bloggers' even bother to pay attention to the ghostwriting muse that posts 'press releases' to facebook disguised as 'Sarah Palin" -- even going as far to impugn that we did it to drive hits to our little no ad, for free schemes. Oh Robert, that makes me laugh! Thank you! No some of us, for reasons known only unto ourselves are driven to continue to act as heralds to bat-shittery and here is precisely why, my friend: 
"When Palin resigned as governor of Alaska, many progressives and liberals declared victory, just as Beck and his cohorts are doing now over Jones' resignation. But Palin's resignation actually makes her a more dangerous political weapon for the right. As governor, she was chained to a desk in a state far removed from most of our everyday affairs. Now she's like a pitbull running loose with no leash or muzzle."
 That's why. McCain let this genie out of the bottle and for some unexplainable reason we have set ourselves to the task of contianing same. Accept it. Live with it. Better yet, write it. I am NOT making MY living off of it, I have a day job just like you. But from time to time I find the time to frame an opinion or two. So should you. So shall we all.



Palinbots and Palinistas...

I've actually called them the American Taliban before in discussions with friends. Hardcore radical evangelical Christians who are led by people like Becky Fischer, a youth pastor featured in the documentary 'Jesus Camp':

“I wanna see young people who are as committed to the cause of Jesus Christ as the young people are to the cause of Islam,” Fischer said in the documentary during an unguarded moment. “I wanna see them as radically laying down their lives for the Gospel as they are over in Pakistan and Israel and Palestine and all those different places.”
She's talking Christian suicide bombers, people. The idea of radical Christianity is just as bad as is radical Islam. Establishing an American Taliban with dominion over America politics and policy is just as wrong an idea here as it proved to be over there. Not only is it wrongheaded in oh so many ways, it's also un-American and unconstitutional. Freedom of religion and the separation of church and state insure our mutual freedom FROM religion if we so choose as well and particularly NOT a state sponsored religion. Which would be illegal. People really need to read their constitution more closely. Maybe read their bible a little more closely as well.

 Max Blumenthal details the history of how all of this may fit in with the policies and practices of a certain ex-governor of ours up here in Alaska and gives us a nice juicy slice of his book, 'Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party'.

Light Sunday reading, for the win!



***UPDATE*** Welcome to Glennbeckistan, Pop. 1...

No man is an island but Glenn Beck is quickly becoming a poor third world agrarian society all unto himself. A total of 57 advertisers have now quit his show and you know what? The more desperate he gets, the crazier the 'scenarios', innuendo, rumor, propaganda and lies. It's become an even bigger wild roller coaster ride of crazy lately because now he apparently thinks Obama can travel back in time some odd 50-60 years and influence the artistic and architectural tastes of a Rockefeller.

Van Jones, director of, the site that drove the advertiser boycott also happened to serve in the Obama administration at the Council on Environmental Quality. Notice the past tense in that previous statement. Jones has resigned as a casualty of this culture war. In my opinion he did both a good and a strategic thing. He has removed himself from any potential liability within the administration. Perhaps now he can afford the time to focus even more closely on the culture wars. But by toning the rhetoric down. Not amping the crazy up. That's Beck's 'job'. One he should be leaving soon.

All that remains now is that Beck take his weepy clown broom and weepily sweep up the pooled spotlight into darkness akin to what Red Skelton did when he left television. Carol Burnett used a mop. Might I suggest Glenn use a box of Kleenex? But naaah. Not Losebeckistan! He'll want to go out using the nuclear option. The one where he makes his own head explode. Though something that makes my head explode is the nagging possibility that they may decide to double-down on the crazy by adding Sarah Palin as Beck's co-host. Fox is just THAT crazy.


Arianna agrees.

With Van Jones free of public service duties, he is free to effect real change. But his replacement is also very important lest the green jobs/energy thing fall prey to bamboozling Republican Governors back in their home states, shoveling out large sums of readily available funding for cronies with pet projects. Instead of applying the stimulus funds where they need to go, improperly managed they become more of the same problems we already have, right? Start-ups and companies getting the funds should be held accountable for results. Look, it's the least we should ask for our tax dollars funding this gigantic circus, right? We're overdue for some honesty and accountability from our financial sector, too. Right?



Because I Could Not Have Said It Better...

Endgame. It is going to become the sound of inevitability. As our senators and congressmen thunder back from summer recess to D. C. for the start of the second session, that sound will be that Health Care is absolutely THE number one top priority. Period. Not only that, their jobs depend on it. Even the far right should realize that health care/health insurance and Medicaid/Medicare reform is coming. Whether they like it or not. The question has always been in what shape or form. I again suggest not as a lion, but as a lamb. A lamb with a big fucking hammer.

Let's review my previous predictions: The main bill is bloated and perhaps destined to fail. Except through the reconciliation process. Which would be a juicy process. BOOM goes the Hammer! Ferreting out all the hidden beneficiaries of the built in graft and loopholes of h.r.3200. It the only hope of saving this bill. I've suggested alternatives, a political bait-and-switch to more progressive bills as well. I've suggested that bipartisanship is dead, as if it was ever even alive in the first place. The GOP seems to have left the asylum to be run by the 'patients' and Nurse Michael "Ratchet" Steele. I've also suggested that since a simple majority won't be available because of circumstances on the part of BOTH sides of the aisle, whichever bill they choose will have to be put under the budget reconciliation hammer. BOOM goes the Hammer!

In short, our elected representatives, with their own good as gold private insurance will be 'earning' what we the people, the American taxpayer pay them to do, which is: work. Work for what the majority want. A Public Option. Singlepayer. Expand and reform Medicare if it's too much effort for you to re-invent the wheel again. Which is precisely what is happening at the moment... oh look, let's reinvent the wheel! Hey that wheel sure looks a lot like Medicare/Medicaid, doesn't it? If it was a snake, the idea would have bit them all on the ass by now.

If Medicaid/Medicare expansion and reform proves to be the wrong idea then at least by using the reconciliation model at the budget level you can go through everything with a fine toothed comb, dropping unnecessary or obstructive amendments like just so many nits. Then you squish them with the hammer. BOOM! Ultimately, in my opinion, it needs to go there. Imagine wave after wave of stimulus dollar funded flat panel screens everywhere, tuned to C-SPAN as they show the grueling blow-by-blow details of a budgetary fight. In both chambers! Senators having to teabag for themselves! Live from the house and senate... whew! It is not Watergate, but we have better modern production values, better visual effects. Plus, it would put all this recess nonsense to bed once and for all because the naysayers and obstructionists to the health care reform debate will have to declare themselves officially and on the record, not via shovel ready mass media soundbites and clown-like antics for the 'rubes' back home.

This fall it's either that or the live feed of the Iraq War Crimes trials from The Hague on C-SPAN3. Or that "Truth Commission" thing on C-SPAN2... hmm. Those can wait until January 2010, in my opinion. Get out the hammer, President Obama. Because it's hammer time. Time to hammer out some health care / health insurance reform.

With all that in mind and because originally I claimed I couldn't have said it better, because I can't -- I share Matt Taibbi and Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) taking Maria Bartiromo to task for her debating on the "have" side of the column that reads "Do you have private insurance?" -- why yes you do, Maria. Congratulations! You're a full 5/5 of a human being. You get premium health care! At premium cost of course. While your co-workers rail about "the biggest re-distribution of wealth EVER" concerning Obama's plans for the future, none of you can even see that it already happened during the Bush/Cheney years with Paulson as the bagman? Amazing. Oh no, that's right -- you and some of your former hedge fund managing co-workers are now reaping the benefits of the financial raping of America, aren't you? Often even aiding and abetting, if I do say. Because I do. Say.

Those of us working poor -- without benefits, without insurance and without pensions politely applaud your stunning achievement, Maria Bartiromo. Now we would like to be able to buy some insurance, too. Something more pedestrian and five-figure-ish, please. Make it a public option, single payer, with no exclusions and no limitations. Then use it as an even BIGGER HAMMER as it becomes the largest private insurer in the nation and proves itself worthy enough to drive the profit motivated weasels out of the health care insurance business forever as it pounds, pounds away, straightening their bottom lines.




Fictitious from a random field agent back to GOP Darth Jefe [Voicemail, Transcribed]:
"Ah, Cheney! The original pitbull. Unlimited, unchecked executive branch with no oversight by congress and no accountability to the courts. If that just ain't a gawd-damn neocon paradise! You crazy bastard... and you only had to pull off 1/4 of a Tyler Durden closing scene extravaganza in NYC to kick it all off! You the man. But ya know there buddy, it's getting harder to keep playing phone tag with those assholes in The Hague. Mumbling something about 'jurisdiction'..."
[roots of the 2nd American Civil War, Establishment of Independent Republic of Texas with G.W. Bush as president, published July 3, 2012, all rights reserved]  ;-) (I'm writing it

Then you and the other cronies can war profiteer off of a $1.2+ Trillion price tag for an unnecessary and unjustified war in Iraq. We took our eye off the ball in Afghanistan, now it's spread to Pakistan and all the geopolitical bullshit that THAT gets us into. (For 'English' wonks only: I do believe that last sentence ended in an example of a dangling participle. For a reason.) That we need to get out of. See how I did that?

There will come a day when everybody from the top down will be held accountable for any crimes. It's the only way to make SURE "it never happens again". But now is not the time. Since we're scheduled to have a hot date this autumn and perhaps on into winter with Health Care, Insurance and Medicare/Medicaid reforms to hammer out by Dec.31st, plenty of time. So proceed with prelim, Mr. Holder, do the discovery work, then after the first of the year it's bloody well time to start laying the worse sins of the Bush administration bare.

So if I ever had the 'disease', which I highly doubt, I have since been cured.



Sowing Postmodern Chaos and Dissent Virtually...

(this post is a historical look back at something I used to do back in the 90s which is hang out and program MOOs, something that now is obliquely related to the text portions and object database portions MMOs (Massively Multiplayer Online) games like World of Warcraft as well as the subversive ways one sometimes uses to change the nature of debates or to distract others from the real debate...)

In the next post I am going to talk about Godwin's Law and how it applies to obstructionists in the health care reform debate but for the sake of internet history and as a preface to that post, allow me to point out I may have been that very same 'Quirk' responsible for coming up with the 'Quirk's Exception' to Godwin's Law, Quirk being the name of one of my many avatars on PMCMOO besides Laz(arus). Briefly MOO stands for Multi-user Online Object-oriented. It is both a programming environment and a game-like chat environment. My Quirk avatar referred to in the next post after this one may have actually made the original point of exception on the MOO known as the Post Modern Culture MOO when discussing the problem of 'Godwin's Law' in real time chat with fellow MOO-er Formosa. Because when we programmers weren't busy living postmodernism we actually discussed it and the ramifications our programming had upon the environment that scholars were using as a mere text based chat interface. In this post I will show how it is possible for a driven class of individuals with just the right amount of power granted to them are able to take the focus away from serious debate and focus it elsewhere just as today's right wing crazies are doing with the health care debate, albeit literally rather than virtually as we did online for a brief time at PMCMOO. Our intentions were merely to demonstrate postmodernism in action, not to rip apart the structure of the server or to stifle the debate therein -- unlike what may currently be happening in the health care debate. Since our time there, they have reverted to their normal, boring scholarly discussion and debate but I bet we were able to show the practicality of what postmodernism REALLY meant while we were making all of those present live postmodernism as it played out in front of all at the time.

PMC-MOO originated sort of as an online collaborative distance education site and a place for folks at UV (University of Virginia) to discuss the humanities and postmodernism. It is a computer program that runs on a remote server that facilitates this function. At the time I was not in college, just had lots of free time to play with the environment and play I and others did. After being on a server hosted at UV for a short time PMCMOO later moved to a server at UNC (University of North Carolina), but it's focus was always on the humanities and postmodernism in particular within the construct of a programmable C++ like environment. We talked postmodernism and about the humanities but many of us were also programmers who were there creating the contextual reality within which all this discussion took place. So not just chat 'rooms' but chat palaces, water slides, amusement parks -- all with text descriptions and manipulatable shared objects that one could exist within or carry as virtual tactile objects on the person of one's avatar. Think 'text based adventure game' though made of virtual silly putty.

The people who ran the MOO on the remote server were there to discuss things like a 'Panopticon' while us programmers interested in postmodernism were actually building one and demonstrating how it would actually function in addition to discussing and debating postmodernism. There were thinkers, there were doers, and there were thinkers AND doers. I was a member of the latter class. We were the engineers, they the theorists and we were there to prove the theory through use of objects we programmed and put into their common database.

Oh the fun we had creating invisible portable rooms one's avatar could carry in one's pocket so that one could sit undetected in other peoples rooms, undetectable to them then using that room to rebroadcast their intimate conversations to the entire population of the MOO because of their mistaken idea that anything in a shared and collaborative online programming and chat environment was ever private (thanks to my friends Sabat and Sedate -- hello, Panopticon!).

The anarchy that spread with my good friend Visual Mark's steampunk-esque hand-cranked 'Rumor Mill' that would associate any player's avatar name with all sorts of outlandish, outrageous and outright lies or rumors -- even using our own avatar names! One programmer during a particularly nasty dispute with the wizards (who after all did own the server that ran the MOO) even went as far as to stage a public immolation of his avatar and all the objects he had personally had a hand in programming, something supposedly impossible to do according to the wizards. Yet he accomplished it. It was quite a performance.

Or roving gangs that would kidnap and inconvenience your avatar. Or infamous Kibo .sig[nature] gopher slate command as digital pepper spray to keep the real pests and griefers off of you. In fact we helped get the earliest form of the web, a little program called gopher to link to offsite content. We also used sendmail on both servers to rarely send super secret back channel communiques, unfortunately never within the MOO, though why would you need it... everybody there is online now in this one spot, PMCMOO. From half a dozen to hundreds all exploring this word game played out in real time online, worldwide. People worked in shifts. There'd always be someone on you'd know and they'd let you know if they were busy working on something. Another object. Programming AI and strings to give a certain sort of textual presence online. Little text bombs of descriptiveness.

Not everyone on the MOO were allowed to be programmers. Besides wizards there was also a simple user class, tourists within the environment the two other classes helped to create. Lab rats, as it were. One had to ask a wizard for a 'programming bit' before they became the 'middle class', the true interface between regular users and the wizards themselves. The wizards were mostly there to discuss postmodernism. Programmers like myself were in part the creators of the environment itself although our job, as I saw it, was to slice and dice it, to add odd twists, to amaze, as much as was possible in a text based environment for both wizards, programmers and users alike. The wizards wanted scholarly order while a large portion of the programming class wished to demonstrate actual postmodernist theory in action by subverting and creating chaos within that environment. Chop it all up into bits and ram it through the digital sausage grinder to see what squirted out the other end. So eventually, while us programmers were pushing the envelope of theory by our software and social engineering we would from time to time piss off the odd user or wizard. Okay, frequently.

In my case it was an incident of getting banned from the MOO for either creating or helping to create such subversive, postmodern objects as those listed above. Then I proceeded to set about demonstrating a proven ability to further subvert my banning (by my Lazarus avatar who fittingly 'came back from the dead'). Once reborn, I escaped from my virtual prison and teleported my avatar directly into a supposedly 'private' room where the wizards were meeting to discuss the anarchy we programmers had sown within a post modernist context and debate it's meaning. Once I had resurrected myself it seems I had arrived in their minds and several wizards then argued in front of me that I should not be banned again because of my demonstration that they obviously couldn't really do it anyhow. If that does not give me my computer nerd bonafides, I don't know what does. It was like playing a game of Zork only you could control parts of the narrative and most of the objects within the game while at the same time people from all over the world were doing likewise. I do not have a citation to a recorded chat session to prove 'ownership' of 'Quirk's Exception', but it certainly sounds like something I would have said when discussing postmodernist theory amongst my nerdy programming friends back in the mid 90s on PMC-MOO. In any case it shows how one can take something and then with creativity turn it into something else, perhaps diverting attention away from the original intent. We could change the discussion, change the debate through direct, though in this case, 'virtual' action.

In short, I am no stranger to sowing anarchy and creating dissent when people are present to have serious discussion and serious debate. They wanted to discuss postmodernism, we wished them to LIVE it. Because how can you seriously discuss or debate anything without having some personal knowledge or experience? Through what may temporarily seem to be bad behavior it is possible to utterly destroy a rational debate or discourse in sometimes maddening ways. Which is what we've seen in the health care reform debate. But you know what? Eventually everybody moved on to other things, more creative and less seemingly destructive. Perhaps unlike the nonsensical nature of the far right neocon wing, to this day I still think what we did was meant spur debate and to foster discourse. Whereas some of the far right wing seem to have ideas of destroying and tearing apart the very thing that allows THEM to push the envelope of reasonable debate -- to speak their crazy, loony ass minds in a country that allows them freedom of speech that they themselves own and control.

PMCMOO now exists in archive form and I believe if one were really interested you can still log on and wander around. We didn't destroy, we created, we collaborated to make it a better place. Our actions added to the debate, to the dialog. While it may have since been replaced by better technologies (it's been ages since I've even tried to visit) it's existence alone or the existence of archives from that time of experimentation should be proof to some that true debate -- even that spurred by sometimes outrageous behavior allow durable structures to endure... no matter how many times you shove them through the sausage maker.