Thursday, October 31, 2013

From "The Rude Pundit"

Here's a little something from "The Rude Pundit"  --  read it.  Think about it.  Then do whatever you can (legally) to change what's going on in Washington, and in so many statehouses.  People will starve.  Crime will go up.  Anger will simmer until it's rage.  All we have to do is be Americans.  Do what Americans have always done in the past.  Help those with less than us and stop being so proud of being obscenely rich.  It's unbecoming to a real American, to someone who knows our history and loves our nation.  These plutocrats are going to fall.   

Anyway, here's a little something to read.

GOP Decides Slow Starvation of the Poor Will Ensure Them Victory:
The Rude Pundit thinks that the day starts for most Republicans in Congress like this (and, in this scenario, the Republican is a male): After waking up and jacking off to the Syrian chemical weapon attack videos (especially the ones of the gagging children), Dick Republican showers, scrubbing his skin with a Brillo pad; he shits out a tight little turd ball; and he shaves his face so close that his beard is afraid to grow. He drinks a cup of coffee, punches his wife in the tit, backhands his two children across the face, and heads out to the car waiting for him. On his way to work, he has the driver go through the shittiest areas of DC, like Anacostia or Congress Heights. He stares through the tinted windows at the poverty and deprivations of the people there, fondling himself the whole time, thinking about how much he just wants to take a flamethrower to entire blocks in front of him. He ponders how much their suffering gets him off. He gets an idea on how to fuck with the poor today, and he texts it to the Heritage Foundation or one Koch-run superpac or another. When he gets approval from those in charge of him, usually by emoticon because they're so goddamned busy, he knows he's ready to run with it.

For how else, in any way that we could define as "rational," could a member of Congress not just allow the food stamp program to get a cut by $5 billion tomorrow (because a recession stimulus program is ending) but also vote in favor of slashing the program in half, by $40 billion over ten years, as the House GOP did in September? The only way it makes any sense at all is if hurting people in poverty was like porn for Republicans.

You wanna know what class warfare actually looks like? It ain't telling the rich pukes with houses in the Hamptons that they might have to buy a couple less cases of Chateau de Suckanass Grand Cru for their parties next summer so we can have bridges that don't fall down. No, it's telling a family with disabled kids that they have to figure out how to fucking eat starting next week. It's slashing a program where 87% of the recipients "live in households with children, seniors, or people with disabilities." It's making people decide if they want to eat or have heat during the winter in order to keep the overpriced wine market well-financed.

Republicans want the usual worthless bullshit: drug tests and work rules for participants. Of course, they want this without providing child care, health care, job training, or, you know, jobs for people, as if somehow this will all just magically materialize for people once their kids are starving at Christmas, just like Jesus wanted them to.

If you need a face to put with your bile and disdain, well, you could pretty much toss all the Republicans you despise up there: Paul Ryan, Steve King, Marsha Blackburn.

But let's narrow it down to this cockface: Frank Lucas of the completely chimpfuck insane state of Oklahoma. The chair of the House Agriculture Committee, Lucas crowed like he just ejaculated in a donkey's anus when the House passed the cuts. Only 6% of the people in his district receive food stamps, so, you know, fuck them.

When the first food riots happen, probably sometime around Thanksgiving, let's make sure that these brave Republicans are manning the barricades. Sure, they might end up eaten as meat by the end, but that's more good than they've done in Congress.
Why haven't I put anything up  --  well, because these are some of the "headlines".  Will this insanity EVER stop?

Then there are these items from "Some Assembly Required"
Fear And Loathing: American conservatives' dislike for poor people – witness their current drive to dismantle the food stamp program, the refusal of 26 Republican governors to accept the no-cost expansion of Medicaid coverage under Obamacare, and their unthinking rejection of Obamacare in total – is mainly based on fear. Some small part of their abhorrence of the poor may stem from sophomoric idealization of 'free markets' and the idea that those who fail to succeed must be defective, even more of it is the desire to elevate oneself over others, but a great deal of it is simple racism.
Victory: The Congress has managed to cut nearly a million undeserving, slothful veterans from the food stamp rolls, effective Friday. That leaves about 46 million Americans on the dole, as the number receiving food stamps continues to increase, even as employment slowly recovers – another sign that millions of working Americans don't make enough to feed their families. 76% percent of SNAP households included a child, an elderly person, or a disabled person. These vulnerable households receive 83 percent of all SNAP benefits. Kicking those veterans off will really save money.
Positively Negative: US consumer confidence fell sharply in October, we were less optimistic about the current situation, and are decidedly gloomier about the future. Yeah, recovery.
Push/Shove: No matter how much the Fed would like inflation to be higher, without putting money in the hands of consumers – a direct stimulus - it cannot succeed. Flooding the world with money does them little good if the money is not used (borrowed) by companies to expand their output, and a company does not make more widgets if it does not see customers for those widgets. As long as the customer doesn't have the money (or sufficient credit) to buy the widget, the cash just piles up in asset heaps, uselessly. 
etc., etc., etc.
What in heaven can I write about this stuff without just repeating what so many other folks have already written?  Those who dispute these FACTS do so out of some sort of belief and faith.  Neither common sense nor actual facts can sway their beliefs   ---   after all, a whole lot of folks still think Obama is:  the anti-Christ, a Muslim, a communist, a Fascist, or a Fascist,Communist, Muslim, Tyrant.  The fact he has been elected twice, and cleaned the clock of his opponents both times seems to mean nothing to these folks.  Do you think RACISM might have a bit to do with all this crap?    



Barton: It's Not Global Warming, It's The Judgment Of God - See more at:
Barton: It's Not Global Warming, It's The Judgment Of God - See more at:
Barton: It's Not Global Warming, It's The Judgment Of God - See more at:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Oscar Peterson -Fly Me to the Moon-

Dental stuff

By the way - just a little personal note:  I had a really nasty toothache and infection for the last two weeks.  Finally went to a dentist yesterday and had the problem tooth extracted.  Now operating on Vicodin and penicillin - at least for another day.  Also discovered I need a lot of work  --  including at least three more extractions  --  oh happy day!  I had a bridge break recently, followed by this toothache (not related to the bridge), followed by the x-rays that showed how messed up my mouth really is.  Perhaps I'll have "pearly whites" by the time I die.

Pages Matam - "Piñata" (NPS 2013)

Private Industry "More Efficient"?

Always remember, the sign up for "Obamacare" has been handled by PRIVATE INDUSTRY - the magic thing that is "more efficient" than Government.  The ONLY thing it's more efficient at is spending huge sums on lobbyists in order to stay in business.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

Chuck Berry is 87!!

Chuck Berry was 87 today.  here's a sampler:

Get the CD of Chuck Berry - The London Sessions, with Keith Richards and many others.

Friday, October 11, 2013

From "Joe.My.God"

Thursday, October 10, 2013

"Man Caves

Of late I find myself unable to watch or listen to any "news" shows.  Nor can I abide any of the "pundits".  As a result, I've been watching stuff like the DIY (Do It Yourself) Channel.

Among the shows is one about "Man Caves".  "Man Caves"??  What in hell is that?  Is it a supposedly "grown up" version of a boys club house, where no "stinky girls" are allowed?  Is it another step in the attempt to make men consumers of more and more toys?  A further attempt to keep them "boys" and not really men  --  no matter how much they protest they ARE MEN!!

I remember when well-to-do men had a library or a den.  Then as we began the attempt to have real families they were called things like "rumpus rooms", finally morphing into family rooms.

I guess that whole "family" thing cuts down on consumption - so, now any decent middle class home has a living room, dining room, family room, eat-in-kitchen, untold numbers of bedrooms, and bathrooms  --  maybe even a library and a studio.  The newest addition is the "Man Cave"  --  which is where the homosocial man-child goes to watch "his" sports, play "his" games and pretend no stinky girls are allowed.

What in hell have we done to ourselves? 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Boehner Bunglers By PAUL KRUGMAN

Monday's column from Dr. Krugman.  Please follow link to original

The federal government is shut down, we’re about to hit the debt ceiling (with disastrous economic consequences), and no resolution is in sight. How did this happen?
The main answer, which only the most pathologically “balanced” reporting can deny, is the radicalization of the Republican Party. As Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein put it last year in their book, “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks,” the G.O.P. has become “an insurgent outlier — ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”
But there’s one more important piece of the story. Conservative leaders are indeed ideologically extreme, but they’re also deeply incompetent. So much so, in fact, that the Dunning-Kruger effect — the truly incompetent can’t even recognize their own incompetence — reigns supreme.
To see what I’m talking about, consider the report in Sunday’s Times about the origins of the current crisis. Early this year, it turns out, some of the usual suspects — the Koch brothers, the political arm of the Heritage Foundation and others — plotted strategy in the wake of Republican electoral defeat. Did they talk about rethinking ideas that voters had soundly rejected? No, they talked extortion, insisting that the threat of a shutdown would induce President Obama to abandon health reform.
This was crazy talk. After all, health reform is Mr. Obama’s signature domestic achievement. You’d have to be completely clueless to believe that he could be bullied into giving up his entire legacy by a defeated, unpopular G.O.P. — as opposed to responding, as he has, by making resistance to blackmail an issue of principle. But the possibility that their strategy might backfire doesn’t seem to have occurred to the would-be extortionists.
Even more remarkable, in its way, was the response of House Republican leaders, who didn’t tell the activists they were being foolish. All they did was urge that the extortion attempt be made over the debt ceiling rather than a government shutdown. And as recently as last week Eric Cantor, the majority leader, was in effect assuring his colleagues that the president will, in fact, give in to blackmail. As far as anyone can tell, Republican leaders are just beginning to suspect that Mr. Obama really means what he has been saying all along.
Many people seem perplexed by the transformation of the G.O.P. into the political equivalent of the Keystone Kops — the Boehner Bunglers? Republican elders, many of whom have been in denial about their party’s radicalization, seem especially startled. But all of this was predictable.
It has been obvious for years that the modern Republican Party is no longer capable of thinking seriously about policy. Whether the issue is climate change or inflation, party members believe what they want to believe, and any contrary evidence is dismissed as a hoax, the product of vast liberal conspiracies.
For a while the party was able to compartmentalize, to remain savvy and realistic about politics even as it rejected objectivity everywhere else. But this wasn’t sustainable. Sooner or later, the party’s attitude toward policy — we listen only to people who tell us what we want to hear, and attack the bearers of uncomfortable news — was bound to infect political strategy, too.
Remember what happened in the 2012 election — not the fact that Mitt Romney lost, but the fact that all the political experts around him apparently had no inkling that he was likely to lose. Polls overwhelmingly pointed to an Obama victory, but Republican analysts denounced the polls as “skewed” and attacked the media outlets reporting those polls for their alleged liberal bias. These days Karl Rove is pleading with House Republicans to be reasonable and accept the results of the 2012 election. But on election night he tried to bully Fox News into retracting its correct call of Ohio — and hence, in effect, the election — for Mr. Obama.
Unfortunately for all of us, even the shock of electoral defeat wasn’t enough to burst the G.O.P. bubble; it’s still a party dominated by wishful thinking, and all but impervious to inconvenient facts. And now that party’s leaders have bungled themselves into a corner.
Everybody not inside the bubble realizes that Mr. Obama can’t and won’t negotiate under the threat that the House will blow up the economy if he doesn’t — any concession at all would legitimize extortion as a routine part of politics. Yet Republican leaders are just beginning to get a clue, and so far clearly have no idea how to back down. Meanwhile, the government is shut, and a debt crisis looms. Incompetence can be a terrible thing.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Friday, October 4, 2013

It Don't Mean a Thing - Anita O'Day

Oscar Peterson Night Train

Oscar Peterson - C Jam Blues

Live in Denmark,1964.
Oscar Peterson on Piano
Ray Brown on Bass
Ed Thigpen on Drums

Charlie Parker - Lester Leaps In

Recorded September 8, 1949.
Personnel :
Roy Eldridge - trumpet
Tommy Turk - trombone
Charlie Parker - alto saxophone
Lester Young - tenor saxophone
Flip Phillips - tenor saxophone
Hank Jones - piano
Ray Brown - bass
Buddy Rich - drums
Ella Fitzgerald - vocal

Ella Fitzgerald - Mack the Knife

Countie Basie and Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald: Every Time We Say Goodbye (1965)

Ella Fitzgerald "Someone to Watch Over Me"

The Very Thought of You - Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald - Night and Day

Thursday, October 3, 2013

With U.S. Government Shut Down, Colorado Has To Tap Into Its Own Money To Rebuild

Oh dear, I guess those Colorado Republicans didn't quite figure on this.  Then again, if their homes weren't destroyed they might just tell you to "pull yourself up by your bootstraps".  Same guys who voted against giving any help to the Northeast after Sandy now want no DEMAND help for their folks. 

Please follow link to original

As the government shutdown puts a strain on military members across the country, the Colorado National Guard has furloughed 650 people, some of whom were working to rebuild communities devastated by last month’s historic flooding. But the state isn’t letting the furloughs stand in the way of flood rebuilding.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said Tuesday he will use state funds to pay the 120 National Guard members working on flood recovery — workers who are normally paid by FEMA. The daily cost of the workers is estimated at $40,000 to $80,000, and until the government reopens, that money will come from the state’s emergency-relief fund. Once the shutdown ends, the state hopes to get reimbursed for about 75 percent of the National Guard expenses by FEMA — the rest of the money will have to come from state and local government funds. Colorado still hopes Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will reclassify the National Guard members as essential, so that the state doesn’t have to foot the bill for long.
“We can’t afford to lose one day in rebuilding areas destroyed or damaged by the floods,” Hickenlooper said. “Our National Guard troops are an invaluable part of the team working on the recovery. We need them to stay on the job.”
If the government shutdown drags on, it’s still unclear how Colorado will deal with the 450 Guard members from Utah, Kansas and Wyoming who are scheduled to arrive in the state in waves in the coming months. The state is hoping to get at least one passable lane open in all major highways by Dec. 1, a goal that could be delayed if the shutdown creates further kinks in National Guard aid.
But for right now, outside of the National Guard questions that still remain, rebuilding is going as planned in Colorado. Federal disaster relief from FEMA is still coming in to the state, as FEMA spokesperson Dan Watson assured earlier this week. Watson said there are 1,000 FEMA workers on the ground in Colorado, helping Colorado citizens recoup after the disaster. And since state officials are currently tracking all oil and gas spills as a result of the flood, that work isn’t likely to be affected by the shutdown. Colorado’s government has not shut down.
Rebuilding from Superstorm Sandy, too, is expected to continue largely as planned during the shutdown. But disaster cleanup in other areas may face more of a challenge. California’s massive Rim fire is now 92 percent contained, meaning very little of the fire is still burning. But there are still hot spots on the ground, and though about 41 percent of U.S. Forest Service employees continue to work — including some firefighters such as the elite “hotshots” crews — it could be hard for them to purchase the supplies and equipment they need as funding runs low during the shutdown. And since states like Colorado could see more wildfires this fall, a decrease in firefighters and funding leaves them, as one local sheriff said, in a precarious position.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Edith Piaf - La Vie En Rose

Ella Fitzgerald - Louis Armstrong "Dream a Little Dream of me"

A Visit To "Some Assembly Required" a bit under the weather  --  so, here's a selection from "Some Assembly Required".

Please follow link to original.

The Big Sleep: Senator Rand Paul (Mental Giant-KY) who slept through last year's elections and the debates leading up to passage of the ACA in March 2010, justifies the government shutdown because “We haven’t had a big debate about Obamacare since it passed in Congress.” Well, it passed, dummy. 

Möbeus Stripped: There is but one 'side' to the shutdown, "checks and balances" is not what's going on here. Republicans - unable to accept their defeat, unable to accept that there's a Democrat in their White House, unable to accept the idea that poor people may actually benefit from the goddamed too big government, unable to accept the basic concepts of democracy - are solely to blame for the shutdown. They would destroy the country rather than share it with the rest of us. 

Naming Names: Among those companies too damned cheap to provide healthcare to their employees are Forever 21, Trader Joe's, Seaworld, and Home Depot. They are cutting employees to less than 30 hours a week so they won't have to pay for health insurance – instead throwing the workers on the public dole for their healthcare needs. Corporate welfare. Don't go there. Don't shop there.

To Serve & Protect: Two Chattanooga cops, whose defense for punching, tazing and beating a halfway-house resident so savagely they broke his nose and both his legs as he lay on the floor begging them to stop, was that their victim "was almost sitting up a little bit”, have gotten their jobs back after a local judge ruled their actions were “not ideal” but not sufficient to “ruin the lives (of) two otherwise unblemished and promising police officers?" Another reason to avoid Tennessee. 

Bang Bang You're Stupid: A school system in Florida suspended an 8-year-old boy for pretending that his finger and tumb were a gun while playing cops and robbers on the school playground. He didn't even say 'Bang, Bang, you're dead.” With any luck, the administrators involved will lose their jobs and the school system lose the lawsuit. Stupidity is not a defense.

Fiesta! Rep. David Schweikert (Millionaire-AZ) says that shutting down the government and sending 800,000 federal employees to bed without supper “is my idea of fun”.

This, Just In: Reports claim that the War on Drugs failed. Not so; look at how much money was made from the pretense, equipment, manpower, money-laundering profits, privately run prisons, careers, payoffs. Nah, you just didn't get the memo.

What your government does to others it will eventually do to you.   

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Rebels Without a Clue By PAUL KRUGMAN

Here's an interesting column from Dr. Krugman  --  please read it.

Follow link to original.

This may be the way the world ends — not with a bang but with a temper tantrum.
O.K., a temporary government shutdown — which became almost inevitable after Sunday’s House vote to provide government funding only on unacceptable conditions — wouldn’t be the end of the world. But a U.S. government default, which will happen unless Congress raises the debt ceiling soon, might cause financial catastrophe. Unfortunately, many Republicans either don’t understand this or don’t care.
Let’s talk first about the economics.
After the government shutdowns of 1995 and 1996 many observers concluded that such events, while clearly bad, aren’t catastrophes: essential services continue, and the result is a major nuisance but no lasting harm. That’s still partly true, but it’s important to note that the Clinton-era shutdowns took place against the background of a booming economy. Today we have a weak economy, with falling government spending one main cause of that weakness. A shutdown would amount to a further economic hit, which could become a big deal if the shutdown went on for a long time.
Still, a government shutdown looks benign compared with the possibility that Congress might refuse to raise the debt ceiling.
First of all, hitting the ceiling would force a huge, immediate spending cut, almost surely pushing America back into recession. Beyond that, failure to raise the ceiling would mean missed payments on existing U.S. government debt. And that might have terrifying consequences.
Why? Financial markets have long treated U.S. bonds as the ultimate safe asset; the assumption that America will always honor its debts is the bedrock on which the world financial system rests. In particular, Treasury bills — short-term U.S. bonds — are what investors demand when they want absolutely solid collateral against loans. Treasury bills are so essential for this role that in times of severe stress they sometimes pay slightly negative interest rates — that is, they’re treated as being better than cash.
Now suppose it became clear that U.S. bonds weren’t safe, that America couldn’t be counted on to honor its debts after all. Suddenly, the whole system would be disrupted. Maybe, if we were lucky, financial institutions would quickly cobble together alternative arrangements. But it looks quite possible that default would create a huge financial crisis, dwarfing the crisis set off by the failure of Lehman Brothers five years ago.
No sane political system would run this kind of risk. But we don’t have a sane political system; we have a system in which a substantial number of Republicans believe that they can force President Obama to cancel health reform by threatening a government shutdown, a debt default, or both, and in which Republican leaders who know better are afraid to level with the party’s delusional wing. For they are delusional, about both the economics and the politics.
On the economics: Republican radicals generally reject the scientific consensus on climate change; many of them reject the theory of evolution, too. So why expect them to believe expert warnings about the dangers of default? Sure enough, they don’t: the G.O.P. caucus contains a significant number of “default deniers,” who simply dismiss warnings about the dangers of failing to honor our debts.
Meanwhile, on the politics, reasonable people know that Mr. Obama can’t and won’t let himself be blackmailed in this way, and not just because health reform is his key policy legacy. After all, once he starts making concessions to people who threaten to blow up the world economy unless they get what they want, he might as well tear up the Constitution. But Republican radicals — and even some leaders — still insist that Mr. Obama will cave in to their demands.
So how does this end? The votes to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling are there, and always have been: every Democrat in the House would vote for the necessary measures, and so would enough Republicans. The problem is that G.O.P. leaders, fearing the wrath of the radicals, haven’t been willing to allow such votes. What would change their minds?
Ironically, considering who got us into our economic mess, the most plausible answer is that Wall Street will come to the rescue — that the big money will tell Republican leaders that they have to put an end to the nonsense.
But what if even the plutocrats lack the power to rein in the radicals? In that case, Mr. Obama will either let default happen or find some way of defying the blackmailers, trading a financial crisis for a constitutional crisis.
This all sounds crazy, because it is. But the craziness, ultimately, resides not in the situation but in the minds of our politicians and the people who vote for them. Default is not in our stars, but in ourselves.