Mental health days

W|ith my posting schedule, this notice is probably superfluous but I'm taking some time off.  So that's why you see me sniding it up at that place that's so crowded that no one goes there anymore for the next week or so.  Oh and I won't be posting here during that time either - but that's not gonna surprise anyone.

And if you really must know what I'll be doing, let's just say that I've got a tip about a certain document of Kenyan origins, but retrieving it is going to be an adventure of EPIC proportions (kinda like your mom).


For Esteev

The problem is all inside your head, I said to he
The answer is that you can't think logical-ly
I’d like to help you in your struggle to be free
There must be twenty ways your column's stupid.

He said it’s really not my habit to tell the truth,
Furthermore, I hope the facts get lost and misconstrued
But I’ll repeat myself at the risk of being crude
There must be twenty ways Obama's a despot.
Twenty ways Obama's Hitler.

You can't just dump the sick, Rick (Cission)
You gotta offer 'em a plan, Stan
And not one filled with shit, uh-something that rhymes with shit Mitt (ster)
Just teabag yourself free

Jus' eat that chicken fat off the floor, boor (tz)
And use the word "Tough" much
Just drop your pants, David
And teabag yourself free

I said your article it gives me so much pain
I wish there was something I could do so that you never write again
And the world would appreciate that, and we'd be free from the taint
Of Hogberg's words....

Hogberg's mom said why don’t we both just sleep on it tonight
And I believe in the morning you’ll have fucked me just right
And then she kissed my PENIS as I rammed it down her throat - oh so tight
There must be fifty ways to do Hogberg's mother
Fifty ways to fuck his mother.

UPDATE:  Tweaked for Great PENIS and thnax to Xecklothxayyquou Gilchrist for the shit rhyme.

Noted Without Comment.

Apparently, when Obama officially made health care reform the law of the land, he said I'm signing this bill on behalf of my mom.


Sunday Audition: Unprecedented Ramming

Today is a momentous day in history since it is the day that marks the complete breakdown of the Americac political system.  The pure gamesmanship and procedural follies being employed by the government are shocking and simply unprecedented.

First, there's the the fact that he's tackling health care at all.  At a time when the nation has much more important issues to deal with.  Two wars, a financial meltdown, a housing crisis, unemployment levels through the roof, a loss in the Olympic gold medal hockey game, something about Sandra Bullock and Jesse James and the whole Tiger Woods thing - America has much more important things on her plate.

It's a bait and switch of epic proportions.  Candidate Obama didn't run on reforming health care, in fact Obama's health care platform during the 2008 campaign was very sparse and proposed no major changes.  Chasing this completely unrelated issue from out of the blue is unprecedented.

Secondly, the use of reconciliation.  This arcane and almost never used procedure sets up a horribly undemocratic precedent whereby measures supported by a majority of Senators can be passed.  It's never been used for health care before.  In a word, unprecedented.

Thirdly, the Slaughter Rule.  Slaughter of the Constitution if you ask me.  This is where the House of Representatives will vote on two related measures at the same time.  Another completely unprecedented use of an arcane almost never used procedure.

Fourthly, the House now intends on not using the self-executing Slaughter Rule.  Although it is no surprise to see Democrats completely abandon their convictions, the sheer scope of this reversal is unprecedented.  It's a size 20, EEEEE-wide flip-flop.

These are certainly enough points to demonstrate how the Democrats are subverting the legislative process, but much more importantly is the behaviour of Barack Hussein Obama Junior himself.  Obama has forcefully inserted himself into the debate.  Although we would expect Obama to meddle in the affairs of others, he is a Democrat after all, the size of his footprint on this issue (and you know what they say about big footprints) is unprecedented.

The Framers wrote the Constitution very carefully and defined several distinct and separate branches of government.  There is the judicial branch, the legislative branch, the executive branch and the vice-presidential branch.  The important factor is that these are separate arms of the government - separate.  The President does not write legislation, Congress does.  And Barack Obama's attempts to manipulate Congress - his unconstitutional over-reach in pressuring the House and Senate into passing legislation - these actions erode the very foundation of the Republic.

Never before has a President even considered attempting to influence Congress - and every health care reform speech made by Obama is yet another direct assault on the Constitution.  He is acting as a traitor to his own country, and all for the sake of ramming his huge reform package down the throats of the American people.  Unprecedented.


Zorbing Grannies

Apparently zorbing is big business now.  Kneel before Zorb, son of Jor-El.  Anyways, always glad to do my part:

Zorbing Grannies!!
Zorbing Grannies!!

Zorbing Grannies!!

Zorbing Grannies!!

Zorbing Grannies!!

Zorbing Grannies!!


I'm drunk.


Pass The Bill

So yesterday was pretty crazy. Not teh win-est of threads - perhaps this was what was meant by the Breitbartocalypse. HCR has really been shitty for building community - one of those excellent signs for any progressive reform.

Still, this is actually looking like the one last final ultimate push - the do or die, the next six days are critical to the fate of &c. Time for progressives to take a big bite of the shit sandwich and proclaim it the yummiest EVAR. I've made my feelings about the Senate bill pretty clear, and the reconcilliation bits being bandied around do very little to sway me. I think it's a bad bill. I think that passing it may have some great short term effects, but by itself - this HCR package has more potential for harm than good.

Still, this is what's on the table. Single payer was apparently never an option, and the public option was basically the bait for the insurance industry bribery switch. Basically - this is as good as it's going to get right now. And despite the fact that I believe that the basis and foundation of this reform is bad - I'm now lining up behind the centrists. Pass this fucker.

Why? Well first, it's not going to get any better. At the rate that this legislation has been developed, sooner or later it was going to turn into mandatory organ donation by anyone making less than six figures. Secondly, despite this bill being a victory for conservatives (it's an affirmation of the twin ideals that teh poor are evil and markets will solve everything) it'll be seen, even by our stupid media, as a victory for liberals.

Okay, it's a mark in the win column, bestowed by the geniuses of teh liberal media establishment. That and a bottle of Coke gets you a bottle of Coke to wash down the shame. What's the big deal then, why is this something that might make me change my position on the HCR package?

Well, firstly - the cost of my waffling is small. It's not like there are policy-making gurus who know that I exist, let alone hang on my every endorsement. Second, and more importantly - it's because Health Care isn't the be-all-end-all. Democratic leadership has decided that it's going to tackle Education and fix the mess that is No Child Left Behind. They are currently working on regulatory reforms for financials. They still have to get DADT repeal passed. Sure the useless wads stinking up the place with their brilliant political maneuvering are probably still going to try and give away anything worthwhile in those reform efforts - although there are some indications that patience is a little thinner for courting GOP senators. But the momentum from passing the LIBERALEST SOCIALISM OF ALL TIME!!exclamationpoint1! might mean that some good stuff might get rammed in there too.

TL;DR version - meaningful Health Care reform is dead - but we should pass the bill as a means of reanimating the corpse to supply momentum for progress on other reform efforts.


Sunday Audition: The Seed of Interesting Times

May you live in interesting times - the worst curse the Chinese have.  Well, if any times are interesting, it is these dark and rocky days that the ship of state is currently sailing through.  Consider the circumstances, the US is engaged in two separate wars overseas, as well as a two other "Wars" being "Terror" and "Drugs".  That this is all occuring against the backdrop of the financial meltdown and continuing foreclosure crisis, not to mention a massive assault on first Health Care and now, Education - these are the most interesting times that have ever been.  It's also very evident why the Chinese use the phrase as a curse.

How did we get here?  What is the root cause of all this discord?  The motto of my alma mater, the University of Toronto, sheds some light on it - velut arbor aevo or "from little acorns, mighty oaks grow".  ACORN, the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now - that discredited hotbed of illegal schemes for fleecing the government is at the heart of each and every one of the problems we're facing.

The links between ACORN on the foreclosure crisis are obvious.  One of the main goals of ACORN was to provide housing for the needy, housing which they could not afford.  And those poor mortgages served as the trigger for the financial meltdown.  Even more damning, the practice of layering high risk collateral into tiered financial derivatives, well that's exactly the same as advocating for mixed income housing communities.  I would not be surprised to find that the banker who first though of collateralized debt obligations got the idea from mixed income housing.

And the War on Drugs?  The connection there is also plainly obvious.  The low income people that ACORN abets everyday are also the ones most likely to be involved in illegal drugs.  And our enemies on the War on Terror, those that would commit suicide attacks - these are clearly people who hace very little to live for and who have been brainwashed when they were at their most vulnerable.  ACORN also deals with people who have little to live for, and often when they are at their most vulnerable.  Does that sound familiar?  With ACORN being at the centre of the War on Terror, it's also quite clear that they are the reason that the US is still in Iraq and Afghanistan today.

The Obama Administration's twin assaults on Health Care and Education are also based on the same leftist ACORN indoctrination that Barack Hussein Obama must have absorbed on his way to becoming the Community Organizer in Chief.

Every single one of the problems faced by the US today can be traced back to one source, ACORN.  From that ACORN, a mighty tree did grow - the tree whose fruit (probably augula) banished mankind from paradise.


The Moral of The Wise Pants

Josh Marshall asks a question:
Still, with all that, is it really moral, let alone wise politically to kill legislation that would provide insurance for 30 million people because immigrants in the country illegally would be barred from access?
Moral?  Yes, it is.  Josh (unlike the way Yglesias has been acting) recognizes that there's a lot of crappy garbage in the Senate bill - but he still supports it.  It's the "30 million uninsured hostages" scenario.  But what if the bill provided insurance only for 30 people?  Would it still be moral to support such an anti-abortion anti-immigrant piece of legislation?

It's like that Winston Churchill fable that ends “Madam, we've already established that. Now we are haggling about the price”.

Here's how I read your question:  if we can help enough others in need - isn't it immoral to prevent government from further codifying illegal immigrants as non-people.  Not that I believe that Josh Marshall thinks illegal immigrants ought to be treated like sub-humans and I do apologize if I'm even close to implying it.  Which is certainly a better deal than what he's offering to the Unwise and Immoral.

Also, Republican and Reconciliation Start With the Same Letter!

UPDATE:  Man, I gotta lurn how to count.


McArdle.  Someone that BM Matt listens too ought to point out this post and then ask him if he regrets not spitting in her face.  Extra special bonus points to James Joyner who did the original heavy lifting on this EPIC FAIL of anal-izing.  Super double-score multi-ball face-spitting regrets for BM Matt, since it was one of his posts that set the ball rolling - although in Matt's defense (I can't believe I'm doing that again) he managed to read the graphic and/or accompanying description.

D.A.'s point about 8/15ths being "almost every act" is just the tip of the iceberg.  Sure, based on that standard, using reconciliation is just a method of enacting legislation that "almost every" Senator is going to vote for anyways.  But the awesome deadly part is that these idiots are basing their smug "Dummy-craps are dummies" on evidence that totally refutes their point.

So anyways, keep in mind that we're talking about work where the final conclusion is:
The history is clear: While the use of reconciliation in this case — amending a bill that has already passed the Senate via cloture — is new, it is compatible with the law, Senate rules and the framers’ intent.
Anyways, here's Joyner moving on from his "almost every act" bullshit:
The argument that Republicans were more likely to use the process than Democrats is meaningless, simply reflecting the fact that Republicans have dominated the Senate over the period in question.
Really JJ?  Really?  To borrow a phrase Sadly, No!  From 1980 to 2007 there have been 12 15 sessions of Congress with six Dem majority Senates and six eight GOP majority senates (UPDATE: the 107th is the Jim Jeffords Session).  Talk about domination!  If they could have squeezed in one extra year of control, the Republicans would have had the Senate for "almost every year for the period in question".

Anyways, let's get back to the point - just how unprecedented is this reconciliation attempt?

As it turns out, not at all.  Here's Joyner again:
The two outliers: The 1996 welfare reform act and the 2007 student aid package. Why those were passed under reconciliation isn’t made clear.
IOW, other than the two other times it happened, including the most recent application - totally unprecedented.  Never before, except for those two times.  Nope.  But, let's pretend that those don't count, I mean it's only fair that he be allowed to totally ignore at least some facts before trying to make an argument.

Okay, let's ignore that Joyner has already proven himself fundamentally wrong on this.  Next he says that it's only been used for that purpose 7 times since 1980.  Well, that may be 7 more times than he's said anything correct in his post, but it aint' really "rare".  For example, the Yankees have only made it to the World Series 7 times in that time frame, so that's also "rare", right?  Nevermind the point that these cases only represent times when the threat of reconciliation hasn't made the minority shift it's position - nor the times when shitbag Senators switch to supporting actions they wanted to filibuster.  Regardless, let's use his bullshit metric and consider just those seven occasions.  If you look at the NYT graphic, it lists out what the policy effects of the reconcilliation bill are laid in a column titled "Policy".  Now I know that these jerkwads want to ignore policy, but let's just take a glance and see how omany of those seven occassions were related to health care... it's four.  4/7.  ALMOST EVERY TIME !!!!111one!

I'd say that this type of garbage, this level of incredible stupidity is unprecedented but:
1.  I know what unprecedented means
2.  I've read McArdle before.


You Shoulda Just Spit in Her Face.

UPDATE:  Some clarification.  Also, please do read comment #42 on Matt's bullshit post.  Also, bolded last line as it didn't seem strong enough before.  Also, too.

I've defended BM Matt several times before, but this time here's gone too far.  What a fucking doosh. 

It's not like he thinks Kucinich is wrong or doesn't have a point.  He's blockquoted the big problem with this garbage HCR on the table - "$70 billion a year, and no guarantees of any control over premiums, forcing people to buy private insurance…I’m sorry, I just don’t see that this bill is the solution."  Then, magical handwave - Kucinich is now an AHIP toadie!



A Few Words Regarding Jon Swift

I didn't know the guy.  I got into this late enough and in a removed enough circle that I never interacted with him.  Sure I've been yelling PENIS at S,N! for ages now but I really don't venture all that far in my commenting.

I read his stuff on occassion.  And yes it made me laugh.  When people claim that he was the greatest satirist on the Net - well I don't know how one goes about measuring that type of thing but I can certainly understand how they could feel that that statement was defensible.

But from what I've read about him since - from what I've seen in the responses people have had.  It seems that despite being teh Funniest EVAR, his writing was oversadowed by his basic sense of decency.  That is certainly something special and I am sad that I missed out.

So, I'm going to do a bit of a tribute to him.  At first I was thinking about finally getting around to assembling a Blogroll - and I still might but I don't think I'll be setting it up as a Jon Swift memorial.  So here's what I'm doing instead-

I read a lot of namby-pamby centre-left kinda progressives as well as a batch of A-Listers.  Like BM Matt and Talking Pants Marshall and Political Animal and FDL and on.  Basically what I read is - some sites more regularly than others - Atrios' Blogroll.  I read a bunch of other stuff too, but I've been using Eschaton as a home page portal thingy.

Well, I'm stopping.  I'll not be dropping into people's sites from Eschaton anymore.  Perhaps this isn't the best tribute - it seems kind of spiteful and passive agressively petty.  Well, that's how I roll.  Here's the thing, I'm going to continue reading the stuff I used to, but with the exception of a couple bookmarks, I'll be finding my way there through other folks' links or teh Google.  And I'm easily distracted.  So, I'm looking at this as a way of pushing myself to venture into corners of the Web I wouldn't normally be found in.

Like I said, I didn't know the guy (which I regret) - and while I admired and have been thoroughly entertained by his writing - I'm not fanatical about it.  So I'm just going to make this one small change in my surfing behaviour in his memory.  And I'm doing it for me too - I suspect that this will be a much better way for me to find things.

PowerPoint and Laugh

via Steve Benen.

Just the link for now.  Will update when I stop laughing long enough to take it srsly.

UPDATE:  I'm never going to be able to take this seriously.
Okay.  Here we go - first thing, please take notice of the extremely high production values that went into this thing.  First thing we get are credits, kinda like how all the really important movie credits like starring and directed by, etc. get put at the beginning of the flick.  Only everything's centred on a blank background, kinda like the credits at the end of a movie.  It's totally cinematic, the only thing that would have increased dramatic tensions more would have been to do the whole thing in Trajan¹.  Anyways, you can tell you're in for an awesome presentation when the first five (or so - #3 and #7 are missing/blank) slides are just different people's names and titles/affiliations.  W00T - you go Bethesda, MD Team 100 Chairman!

Okay - down to the nitty gritty.  Since GOPpers are conservatives, what they're really concerned about is what the heck is the RNC doin' with the money.  Hence the subtitle (How We Spend Your Money) on the first actual slide.  And How Do They Spend Your Money?  Hint:  They never show how they spend the money, I guess the speaker is supposed to go over that with just this title slide in the background.

BTW, it's a lotta money.  A lot of lot of loot.  We're talking 14 figures.

$81,255,000 million.  Or $81,255,000,000,000.  Or  enough to pay back the entire US National Debt (and we're talking the new elevated socialism Obama debt) over five thousand times!  That's pretty fucking amazing.  Or maybe it's a typo (see earlier comment regarding production values).

Okay, then a lot patting-ourselves-on-the-back for Virginia, Jersey and Playboy Brown.  No mention of NY-23 - in fact no whiff of teabags anywhere in the document.  Perhaps the speaker was expected to earn teabagger sympathies by revealing his scrotum or something - the Presentation Notes weren't included.

But not looking forward, not backwards - 2010 seats in play apparently include 41 Republican Senators.  OMFG!  It appears that the obstructionistic tendencies of the GOP senate caucus is so powerful that they are all resigning their seats and all up for re-election this year!  If that's not a major story then I don't know what is (or it could be another example of them exemplary production values I was mentioning earlier).  Oh and as a bit of extra info for those of us who are astounded by how badly Republicans interpret polls:

23% of Self-Identified Voters are Republican

Then we get a double title page.  That RNC is awesome - not one, but two consecutive title pages right in the middle of the presentation².  Perhaps this is meant to forewarn the audience - a "jump-the-shark" moment.  Because this thing goes downhill from this point.

Putting the Fun Back in FUNdraising
Hearts and flowcharts³
Save the country from trending towards Socialism!
OMFG, Obama as the Joker and American Gothic a la Reid & Pelosi.

You know, that last point, the slide titled The Evil Empire - that's what a lotta the fuss is about, which is lucky for the RNC.  Two slides earlier they lay out their plan to build support for the GOP - Fear and Reactionary response related to Extreme negative feelings toward Administration Issue/circumstantially oriented.  IOW, teh RNC plans on using fear and hate to squeeze $$$ from teh rubes.  Also, for teh Big Money donors it's Ego-Driven and Access.  So, if you're an RNC fundraiser faced with someone with deep pockets, stroke their egos and sell access.  Yup, sounds like the GOP to me.

Is that an unfair statement?  Is accusing the RNC - the political leadership of the party of Abramoff - of influence peddling too much?  I mean we are talking about one word in a messed-up slide that's hard to understand in the first place.  Well, the very next slide, the penultimate before Cruella de Ville and Scooby Doo is titled "What can you sell when you do not have the White House, the House or the Senate...?" 

Okay, the next major chunk is really just a pile of RNC insidery shit, so I'm gonna let you (and me) off of trudging through it - but it's another interesting point that the last slide is titled "RNC v. FEC".  Hahaha, LOL - they're actively promoting breaking FEC regs! LOL!

Well, not really.  If only it were just that.  It's a reference to this case where the RNC wants the BCRA declared unconstitutional.  That's the Bi-Partisan Campaign Reform Act or McCain-Feingold.  So when the RNC has to decide whether it prefers the positions of their last candidate for President or those of industry lobbyists - we know where they stand.  And they'll file an Immediate appeal to U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.  AWESOME.
¹I'm not a typeface expert, heck I ain't even an ace KERNER (who ARE GO!) but this looks like Goudy Old Style (warning: link is to M$) to me.  Imagine my delight to discover something called Goudy Trajan.
²Actually 24of72.  Also a tip of the hat to that second title page - Tools For Success - that says a whole helluva lot more than was intended.
³And we all know how awesome the GOP is with flowcharts.


Any More and I'll Have To Make Ann Althouse Tag

There's some pretty funny stuff going on about Ann Althouse and her brilliant medical diagnosis of Obama's drinking habits.  Teh Funneh is pretty strong so if you haven't had a chance to explore - please do, and click the heck outta both the Althouse and TBogg links.  A richer vein of comedy hasnt' been opened up since Jonah Goldberg's last post.

Anyways with that type of snark going on elsewhere, it is pointless to try and compete here.  So why am I bothering to mention it?  As a jumping off point for a contrarian take on it all.  Althouse's last word on it is pretty typical - a revisionist recap that completely misses every the point of every criticism levelled at her.  That's not the interesting part.  The interesting part is this:
Ah, but look at the prudes — the killjoys — who freak out about drinking, who think that lifting one glass depicts degeneracy.

With S,N! to represent the prudes and TBogg for the killjoys.  You know, the usual group of Talibangelical Teetotalers.  It is to larf.

But perusing through the comment thread following that piercing jab of Althouse reveals that this actually what some people believe.  That teh Left is made up of a bunch of teetotaling prudes who shun alcohol and want to be the no-fun police.  Yup, there's even one guy citing some book to make the clear historical connection between the Puritans and the contemporary "progressive" movement.  Because, you see the Puritans settled in the North-East.  Also, the Puritans are all about elitism, which is a priori Leftsist.  (Also manages in the same comment to call progressives sexually promiscious - which is part of having a dire, joyless worldview.  PROTIP for Vitor Erimita - U R DOIN IT RONG)

This is their world.  Lefties are all about boinking like crazy but nobody is allowed to drink.  Except of course that Lefties like Obama are clearly at risk of being boozing party animals.  That religious-osity which is the fundamental driving force for Puritanism is a non-issue.  That contemporary folks who abstain from alcohol generally do so for religious reasons.  That Mormons are the group with the highest rate of self-identification as conservatives.

It's the black-and-white duality that is so ingrained into the conservative mndset.  That everything that is right and proper and good is conservative and since liberalism is the opposite, it contains everything that is wrong and evil.  Jonah's Magnum Opus is predicated on this conceit and its popularity amongst conservatives along with their complete inability to address any of the shockingly dishonest and ridiculously pathetic arguments made within its pages is an interesting demonstration of the concept.

So, booze is good - therefore liberals hate it.  Excessive alcohol comsumption is bad, therefore liberals partake in it.  Having fun is good, therefore conservatives are all for that.  Hedonism is bad, therefore conservatives are right to oppose it.  This is how Teh Left has become low-information-ebonics-spewing-ivory-tower-intellectual-elites and Islamo-Atheists and violent-pacifist-thugs.  This is how Wall Street is no longer a figure of the Market worshipping right but an integral part of the ACORN-run leftsist movement.

But you know what?  Biden doesn't drink, therefore Lie-berals are Puritans!!!one1

Apparently there's a vaccine for cognitive dissonance, it's conservatism.