Friday, December 28, 2012

Corker Continues to Make False Statements That Social Security Is At Root of Deficit Problem

Since SS has a 2 trillion dollar surplus at the moment, how does he has the temerity to say things like that? He knows this isn't true so who exactly is pulling his chain?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

On Second Amendment Fraud

Despite the perverted version promoted by the NRA and the fraudulent opinion of the United States Supreme Court, the Second Amendment has nothing to do with the right to own or carry a weapon. It's about the right of states to form well regulated militias. Ever heard that term? How about this contemporary decision by the Tennessee Supreme Court...

A man in pursuit of deer, elk and buffaloes might carry his rifle every day for forty years, and yet it would never be said of him that he had borne arms.
Aymette v. State, 21 Tenn. 154 (1840).

Now all this does is clearly show how the right wing's stated goal of packing the Supreme Court with its servants has perverted the intent of our founders. It's time to put things right!

More reading

Tea Party Group Just Weird, Illegal, or All of the Above?

With the allegations of $12 million dollars illegally contributed and laundered through the Tea Party group FreedomWorks having a Knoxville TN connection, this story is certainly interesting. When you throw in a takeover of the corporate office by armed thug backed, Dick Armey, it is becoming more than weird. It's just plain surreal.

The aim was to seize control of the group and expel Armey’s enemies: The gun-wielding assistant escorted FreedomWorks’ top two employees off the premises, while Armey suspended several others who broke down in sobs at the news.

These acts are not just shenanigans. They smell more like a crime family than a tax exempt political action committee.

According to public records, FreedomWorks received more than $12 million before the election from two corporations based in Knoxville, Tenn.: Specialty Investments Group and Kingston Pike Development. The firms were established within a day of each other by William S. Rose III, a local bankruptcy lawyer.
Wapo Story

Congressional Republicans are caught between Grover Norquist's group of anti tax corporatists and the even more rabid and possibly insane  Freedom Works Tea Party front group. Left to the side is the sound fiscal responsibilities given to them by the Constitution. Forget balancing revenue with spending and the even bigger responsibility to look out for the General Welfare. The Rational Republican is fast becoming a figment of the imagination, wishful thinking on those party elders who are shaking their heads as they watch their once proud party degenerate into psychopathy. Hysteria rules amidst the armed body guards and even more heavily armed NRA cultists.

Stand in the middle of the Republican party, look out in any direction, and all you can see are extremists of one form or another. The impractical coalition of the right wing is breaking down the walls of the paranoia driven narrative crafted to keep them in line. At what point will they turn on their own masters?

This would be fun to watch if they weren't bringing down the walls of our nation in the process.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Look...It Was Not a "Spill"

 Unless you consider a man made geological event a "spill"...

I've been interviewed many times on the TVA Ash Disaster but I've rarely gotten the few points across that I thought were important. In the recent interview with Al Jazeera I did a bit better, but then the reporter, former NBC guy Tom Ackerman, didn't have to support a narrative given to him by higher ups. It's not a level playing field when you realize that the other side gets paid and coached on what and how to say by highly paid in or out of house media relations professionals, which is jargon for professional liars.

It's worth noting that TVA continually hired more pricey public relations people as they went along. A quarter of a million dollars seemed like a lot until they hired one for a reported $400,000.00. Up against that kind of messaging folks at ground zero have to learn how to get their message carried by the media instead of talking so much that a clip can be taken out of context and come across as something quite different from intended.

A primer for an amateur issue advocate, this should be required study for everyone who gets interviewed. I wish I had read it long ago.

Thank You, Clay Bennett

The Year in Review

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Quote of the Day...

The NRA has 3 million members. There are 36 million members of the AARP. I say we take ‘um. We have canes, scooters, colostomy bags, medical marijuana, and the entire Rolling Stones.

Friday, December 21, 2012

From Our Irony Department: The NRA BANNED GUNS From Its Own Press Conference

NRA Chickens afraid of reporters packing heat?
Held at the historic Willard Hotel, the NRA kept a tight lid on security with at least a dozen guards, security sweep and multiple security guard check points before journalists could enter the room where the press conference was held.

They don't allow guns at their own press conference but they want them in you child's school? Really??? These guys are getting harder and harder to satirize. I mean how do I top that? 

The New Jersey Times Wayne LaPierre is not only crazy...He's a Chickenshit coward!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Romney Spent $8.9 Million Of Your Money on Transition...Ummm, Didn't He Lose?

Laptops and cell phones for a 500 person transition team? This is the guy who was going to cut the deficit...


Monday, December 17, 2012

Today...From My Senator and My Congressman

Senator Corker is a pro gun vote in the Senate. He and his other pro gun compatriots were asked to appear on Meet The Press yesterday and discuss things in light of the massacre of 20 six and seven year old children at their school by a crazy person with assault weapons. Senator Corker refused. At the same time the Nation was going into shock and despair at what had happened, Senator Corker showed his sensitivity by attempting to talk about cutting social security and Medicare in order to reduce the national debt. Sent me an email.  Brave man, that Corker.   Here is a bit of his gun record

I just received a push poll call asking if Congressman Fleischman should vote for a bipartisan bill that would cut spending and reduce the debt. The nice person making the call seemed glad to hear me ask why the call wasn't asking if medicare and social security should be cut to reduce the debt instead of raising taxes on high income brackets? Are you doing a poll on guns at the same time? "No" he said. Then I think he went off script and said, "We need your opinions on this too. Thanks for not just hanging up. "

The Congressman has refused to address specifics on nearly every issue. His record is somewhat that of a weasel.

I accept whatever side of this you happen to have arrived at as long as you don't spout nonsense at me. It is time for us to reason together. The assault weapons ban was quite effective and we are not safer with more guns. I've owned weapons all of my life. I see no reason for assault type weapons, or large capacity magazines, or any reason for there to be loop holes in background checks. You have a record of mental instability, violent or felonious crimes...No gun. No exceptions.

The status quo is both insane and untenable. We have to do something. It is time for our leaders to come out from behind their shields if rhetoric and evasion and grow some courage.

 Let me repeat myself: It is time for us to put aside nonsense and reason together.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

From Our "The Truth Will Set You Un-Free" Department

The number of journalists incarcerated for publishing embarrassing truth has reached an all time high.
...the world’s worst jailers of the press, each made extensive use of vague anti-state laws to silence dissenting political views, including those expressed by ethnic minorities. Worldwide, anti-state charges such as terrorism, treason, and subversion were the most common allegations brought against journalists in 2012.
The crusading journalist may be on the endangered species list. This is not good for the future of mankind. more

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Since voters want to see compromise, Obama Should Give It To Them

Mr. President, may I suggest trying something like, "Ok, Boehner, since you lost the election we're going to start with expanding Medicare to everyone who wants to buy in and raising the top tax brackets back to the Reagan years." See, if I may be so bold, sir, it's called negotiating.

Cartoonish Treatment of What's Happening Now

This is pretty danged good...

Monday, December 10, 2012

The False Equivalency Fallacy That Has Destroyed Our Media and Threatens the Existance of America

How many times have you been talking politics and pointed out a flat out lie that a candidate has told and heard the retort, "They all do it"? Well first off they don't. That retort is often justified with false equivalency. For instance, The Romney campaign put out a falsely edited video to made it appear that Obama had said business owners, "Didn't build that." He actually said nothing of the sort. The video was a bald faced premeditated lie. This is often compared to the Obama lie that he promised to close Guantanamo and get us out of Iraq in a year. He actually did promise to close Guantanamo but was thwarted by direct intervention of House Republicans who made it illegal to use funds to close the place. This hardly qualifies as an intent to deceive. As for ending the Iraq war in a year, He didn't actually specify that time table and that turned into a longer process but it is mostly done, sort of. There was no intent to deceive. Nothing the Obama camaign did or said ever reached the level of the outright deception of the falsely edited "You didn't build that" video. In a just America with a functioning media the campaign would have been over at that point. Obama would have received 77% of the vote with Romney retaining the 23% that comprise the right wing nut job faction of the Republican party. But the media is wallowing in the throws of the false equivalency disease and the election went down to the wire, again because the media consistently quoted bad polls to make us believe the race was close. It wasn't and grows more of a trouncing every day as the votes are fully counted and certified. Now go read this and think about it. America must have a functioning media if it is to survive. This is serious stuff. Froomkin has the essay on the essay.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Sunday Sermon From Our "Wow, I Wish I'd Written That" Dept

Corporate profits and the wealth of the wealthy are not the reasons we have an economy, and are certainly not the definition of economy: They are luxuries, unlike education, transportation, communications, law enforcement, environmental protection, healthcare programs of every stripe, and Social Security - all things that conservatives are insisting need to be cut in order to facilitate the continued explosion of the former. This is literally an attempt by a vanishingly small group of people to turn an entire national economy and its government into their private property and everyone else into second-class citizens completely dependent on their voluntary largesse to even survive. That's insane and anti-American...
The question isn't why should we not let the Bush tax cuts expire but rather, "Why aren't we raising tax brackets up by far more than that? Why aren't we EXPANDING Social Security and Medicare?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Santa's Helpers Cause Uproar in Netherlands

OMG! Another Christmas outrage...Santa's Dutch helper is a little white guy painted black. I can see how this might possibly offend, but then doesn't the elf caricature offend little people? I guess you can't dress up as a elf if you are as tall as say, Will Ferrel. Black Pete

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dear Mr. Watchman On the Wall

Thank you for the nice pamphlets on how bad I've been in this life and how giving money to your organization will get me past that skeleton with the scythe and up the shining escalator in the clouds. It's nice to see that you have added first class mail as a method of delivery in addition to hanging around in public toilets and leaving them on the urinals. I would be interested to know who gave you my name and address so I could thank them personally, but since there's no return address on the envelope I guess that won't be forthcoming. I am also gratified to see that you've added a new pamphlet to your arsenal. It's the one that shows Al Gore looking like Don Corleone and says that all scientists are atheists who pray to the Moon goddess Ixchel and Gaia, the Earth goddess also known as Mother Nature). That's some pretty nifty mental gymnastics, don't you think? Atheists who pray to a goddess? In addition to Al Gore, scientists, the moon goddess and planet earth, you also attack Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Catholics, college professors, homosexuals, hippies, and unions. That's a pretty good coalition promoting this global warming hoax. I wonder why it isn't getting more traction? Oh and I looked up your organization and found that it's considered a hate group focussed with an anti gay focus. Hey, I also saw the picture of Mr. Scotty. I admit that I don't have very good gay-dar and all, but come on... Really? Now, I guess what with attacking nearly every demographic except right wing white men you were so busy that you missed my pamphlet on evolution. Did you forget to put it in the envelope? I was looking forward to reading the latest creationist blather but you, Mr. Watchman on the Wall, let me down. I was looking forward to the derisive cartoons putting down people who read peer reviewed journals and stuff like that. I need one more rundown of the Piltdown man hoax and how that shoots down 200 years of scientific inquiry, and how brontosauruses just wouldn't fit on the Ark. Would it surprise you to learn that by the time the Devil's twin brother, Charles Darwin came on the scene, evolution was pretty well accepted in scientific circles. Darwin didn't invent it. Even the term "natural selection" predates Darwin. What Darwin did was collate all the evidence and quantify how evolution occurs through the process of the filters we call natural selection. It's brain dead obvious with the tiniest bit of rational evaluation, and that's why it's tough for folks like you, Mr. Watchman. So I would like to return the favor of your pamphlet gifts, even though I'm sad they were incomplete, by connecting you with a ton of new material for future tracts, The Skeptic Society. No, it's not an atheist group, though a fair number of them are, a fair number of them are Christians, Catholics, Jews, and whatever. If you scroll down the page at the link you'll see a review of the history of Evolution that might give you some new ideas on groups to hate. I'm actually pretty happy that you say I'm not going to your heaven when I die. I can't imagine spending eternity trying to have conversations with you and your friends. We would just make each other uncomfortable, so have fun without me. Oh, and "Happy Holidays" to you and yours! Love ya, Steve eSkeptic

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Smurfette has Left Building...I'm Sad Now

My best biker bud Ray and I were getting into a groove about the Smurfs. We both had little kids at the time, it was the 80's and it was relevant. I asked him if he had ever noticed that there was only one chick Smurf with all those dude Smurfs running around. He said, "Yeah...I think they must have to have a gang Smurf ever niht."

Smurfette has gone to that great blue place in the sky...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Today's Sunday Sermon Will be Presented by Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan

An excerpt from Darrow's examination of Bryan in the Scopes Monkey trial:

Q--What do you think?
A--I do not think about things I don't think about.
Q--Do you think about things you do think about?
A--Well, sometimes. 

 Reminds me of most political conversations with conservatives. The transcript is here. It is worth reading.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

When You Do Something Idiotic On a National Stage Could You At least Not Tell Them You're From Roane County?

One of our local Tea Party spokesmen Ron Harwell appears to have a problem with majority rule Democracy in America. Unhappy with the majority's choice for President, Harwell wants Tennessee to secede from the Union. At this point less than 0.5% of Tennesseans have signed a secession petition. To put that in perspective as a percentage of population 21% of men have some form of mental illness, 1% have borderline personality disorder. The secession petition in Texas has gotten the highest number of signers but they account for only 0.3% of the population.

 Sociopaths account for around 1.2 to 1.6% of the population. I mention that specifically for a reason...

The National Institute of Mental Health lists the following symptoms for Sociopathy:

 Facet 1
Interpersonal Glibness/superficial charm
 Grandiose sense of self-worth
 Pathological lying

 Facet 2
Affective Lack of remorse or guilt
 Emotionally shallow
 Callous/lack of empathy
 Failure to accept responsibility for own actions

 Facet 3
Lifestyle Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
 Parasitic lifestyle
 Lack of realistic, long-term goals
 Impulsiveness Irresponsibility

 Facet 4
 Antisocial Poor behavioral controls
 Early behavioral problems
Juvenile delinquency
 Revocation of conditional release
 Criminal versatility.

Statistically, there are approximately 75,000 sociopaths in the state of Tennessee. The number of Tennesseans who have signed a petition for secession would equal only one third of the number of sociopaths. So we have a Tea Party spokesman living on the automotive job pension, which President Obama saved, wanting to leave this great Nation because he got out voted. His organization meets in the highly socialistic Community Center which is funded by the taxes he wants to abolish. Now it appears that even the sociopaths would be out voting him two to one against secession.

 The University of Memphis Student newspaper has an article on Mr. Harwell's secession petition.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

From Our "God, I Wish I Could Write Like That" Dept...Juanita Rips Gohmert a New One

Just when you thought there was a limit to insanity, Louie Gohmert starts waving a rake around in the air to dove hunt. And just when you thought that Newt Gingrich commenting on the Petraeous affair was lower than a snake’s navel in a wagon rut, Gohmert meets Gingrich, resulting in that colossal light show brought by the strange chemical reaction of Axe Body Spray and little balls on brains falling on the floor.
The Rest

The Republican Strategy Is Coded Racism...And Has Been For 30 Years

Thank You Jimmy Carter IV...
Background in case you didn't already know that Jimmy IV was the person who got the Romney 47% video.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Bigot Buzz Kill: 70% of Obama Voters Are White

Election post mortems are somewhat dry to the people who hated word problems in math. I'll try to skip the set up and go straight to the cheat sheet.

 There are still roughly 7 million votes that have yet to be counted in this Presidential election. Yeah, I said 7 million. Mitt Romney got fewer white votes than John McCain. Vote suppression appears to have worked in that 5 million votes fewer were cast in this election than in 2008. It appears that more white votes were suppressed than black or hispanic. Digest THAT ALEC people.

 The election was decided not so much with an increase in minority voters going for Obama so much as white voters not being all that strong for Romney. The percentage of white votes that Romney got is not the point, it's the total number of white votes that Romney got. The point is that 6 million whites did not go vote in this election. That number is three times the Obama advantage in minority votes.

 Bottom line: The election was decided by white voters who maybe didn't like Barack Obama but couldn't bring themselves to vote for the standard bearer of the Republican Party.

Real Clear Politics on the racial makeup of the electorate.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Letter To Republican Strategists

Thanks Juanita!

Supporting Farmers Doesn't Mean What WE Think It Means

It's time for a new Teddy Roosevelt. We need to bust monopolies from top to bottom, from banking conglomerates to hog farmers... I said hog farmers!
 Imagine, say, a suburb served by a handful of fast-food chains plus a supermarket or Walmart or two. Profits from residents' food dollars go to distant shareholders; what's left behind are essentially low-skill, low-wage clerical jobs and mountains of generally low-quality, health-ruining food.

Pictures with circles and arrows and something on the back of each one explaining what each one means.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Is there something we're missing in the GOP's war on public education?

"The Tea Party Has Done Its Job"

The tea party has done its job, and for all practical purposes its hard-nosed, no-compromise ideology now controls the Republican Party in a way that neither the Birchers nor the Clinton conspiracy theorists ever did. It's no longer a wing of the Republican Party, it is the Republican Party.
We've seen that graphically demonstrated right here in Roane County, where the Tea Party nut jobs now run the Republican party. More

Quote of the Week...Contrary to What You've Been Told

Do conservatives ever stop and think about all the flat out lies they've been told? Do they ever do any self examination on why they are so gullible and ready to believe this crap? Do they ever get angry at being lied to? Do they ever turn away from people and news sources who have fed them feebly transparent propaganda and slanted dews stories?

It's about as likely as them actually moving to Australia if Obama is reelected.

Ohio really did go to President Obama last night. And he really did win. And he really was born in Hawaii. And he really is legitimately president of the United States, again. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not make up a fake unemployment rate last month. And the Congressional Research Service really can find no evidence that cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy. And the polls were not skewed to oversample Democrats. And Nate Silver was not making up fake projections about the election to make conservatives feel bad. Nate Silver was doing math.
And climate change is real. And rape really does cause pregnancy sometimes. And evolution is a thing. And Benghazi was an attack on us, it was not a scandal by us. And nobody is taking away anyone’s guns. And taxes have not gone up. And the deficit is dropping, actually. And Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction. And the moon landing was real. And FEMA is not building concentration camps. And UN election observers are not taking over Texas. And moderate reforms of the regulations on the insurance industry and the financial services industry in this country are not the same thing as Communism...Rachel Maddow
But then the same folks who brought you all those lies are out with the Armageddon video to scare their constituents into continuing to give them money. They've given up on the pretense and gone straight to the Nazi propaganda theme...It's almost comical.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Quote of the Day: "Obama Won Because America Wants Him"

In one of the worst economic situations ever faced by a sitting President, Barack Obama won in a landslide. He won because he has the better ideas, and the GOP has none. He won because America does not like liars, and even the money, and the economy, could not climb that mountain. He won because America wants him for President.

From a piece called :

Let's Squash This Ridiculous "Reach Out To Republicans" Nonsense!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thank You Clay Bennett

The Times Free Press

 In case it wasn't clear, I voted for Bronco Bama.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Obama...A Successful Conservative President

The quote of the day comes from letters to the Editor in PA...
So far the only consistent principle Mitt Romney has held is a refusal to show his tax returns to a public he's asking to hire him to control their tax policy... In the end, Republican support for Romney seems to be less about any principled positions he holds (if any,) and more about their hatred of our current President. Ironic, when you consider the fact that in a lot of ways he's been a more successful President on conservative causes (lowering middle class taxes, being fiscally responsible, being strong on national defense, passing a Healthcare bill originally conceived by conservative Republicans) than any recent Republican President.
Two letters to the Editor

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

10 Dead In Tennessee Meningitis Outbreak Linked to Romney

The free market kills people, plain and simple. One of the jobs that citizens place on their government is to keep them safe from all threats, both foreign and domestic. Mitt Romney and his friends appear to be one of those domestic enemies. From Salon Magazine:
“The philosophy of the Romney administration was to have lax regulations across the board,” Philip Johnston, a former secretary of health and human services in Massachusetts before the Romney administration, told Salon. “It speaks volumes about the tragic outcome of Romney’s view on regulatory issues. There are two dozen people who died needlessly. It was clearly the responsibility of the company to protect them, but it was also the responsibility of the government at various levels, and, as far as I’m concerned, they failed.”
Read it!

The War on Women

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Republicans Destroy Mitt Romney

Romney Is the Right Man

HMS Bounty

There will be a lot of images from this monster storm. This one will stick with me.
Photo: USCG More

Republicans Cut FEMA 43% In Last Two Years

So House Republicans put our government on the brink of default in order to get budget cuts for programs that help ordinary Americans, FEMA being one of them and now in the spotlight as Hurricane Sandy wreaks its havoc. (They are all wet and frothy on increasing defense spending, though.) It's quite amusing to see grand stander in chief, Republican Governor Christie, saying he needs substantial federal dollars to pay for storm damage. Christie has been one of the prime grand standers in refusing federal money for project that would help his state. Mitt Romney will now come out and say he never said he would dismantle FEMA, which he most certainly did say. Romney would turn disaster relief back on the states, which would leave Gov. Christie twisting in the wind. It would take a very stout pole to do that, given his substantial heft. Perhaps he can help pay for his state's disaser needs by trimming his food budget?
Over the last two years, Congressional Republicans have forced a 43 percent reduction in the primary FEMA grants that pay for disaster preparedness. Representatives Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor and other House Republicans have repeatedly tried to refuse FEMA’s budget requests when disasters are more expensive than predicted, or have demanded that other valuable programs be cut to pay for them. The Ryan budget, which Mr. Romney praised as “an excellent piece of work,” would result in severe cutbacks to the agency, as would the Republican-instigated sequester, which would cut disaster relief by 8.2 percent on top of earlier reductions.
That and more here.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Conversation on Climate Science Is Killing Us...Because there Isn't One

Romney: Bankruptcy to Eliminate Unnecessary Expenses"...Like Employee Pensions

If you work for a living, get a paycheck for the hours you put in for your employer, you need to understand some things about Mitt Romney and Mitt Romney's way of doing business. First: Mitt is a sociopath. Believe nothing he tells you. This is the same character trait that allows him to rail against anti-war protestors and then take four military deferments to do Mormon missionary work in France. My friends were getting shot at and dying, Mitt was here...
Second: Your personal welfare means nothing to him. You are expendable as long as he makes money. Mitt's solution to the struggling American auto industry? "Let them go bankrupt!" Mitt says this would have eliminated unnecessary expenses, like worker pensions. This is how Mitt creates China! CBS reporter Dean Reynolds talked with GM CEO Dan Akerman...
"Did President Obama save General Motors?" Reynolds asked "Without the money, without the funding, it would have been very problematic," said Akerson. "At the risk of alienating a whole lot of potential customers, I would say the Obama administration did a good job." Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and other critics have argued the bailout was unnecessary, and that the regular bankruptcy process would have made GM and Chrysler stronger companies. "Would that have happened?" Reynolds asked. "Not in my opinion," asked Akerson. "It would have been in bankruptcy for years and I think you could have written off this company, this industry and this country."
So in Mitts world GM goes bankrupt and workers lose the pensions they earned over years of job service to their company. In Obama's world each worker still has a job, a pension, and a $7000.00 profit sharing check. Third: Mitt believes in bailouts for him but not you: Mitt saved the Salt Lake City Olympics...With a billion and a half dollars in government bailout money. Mitt's own company, Bain Capital, ws facing bankruptcy...Mitt took over ten million dollars n bailout money to save it. Mitt Romney has created zero net jobs in America. Never has, never will. It's all about him. A vote for Mitt Romney is a vote to end the middle class in America. Tell your friends. I mean it...Tell them! Steve

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

And the very conservative side of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the Free Press endorses the Republican candidate Gary Johnson. Wait...What?
As a result of his failure to provide clear methods for reducing the size and scope of the federal government, unwillingness to address structural flaws with entitlement programs, reliance on government to intervene in issues best left to families and individuals, and sporadic support of the Constitution and America's founding principles, Mitt Romney is too flawed to earn the Free Press' endorsement.
source Think it's Obama's fault? Here's another chart that covers 30 years. Let's see...Hmmmm...When did gas prices start skyrocketing? See what happens when two oil men get hold of the government?
source So now the GOP wants to put a corporate raider in office. That should work out well for the middle class.
Clay Bennett
Chattanooga Times Free Press
Oct 24, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Spin the Debate

I remember watching the Veep debate between Lloyd Bensen(D) and Dan Quayle(R) during which Quayle proves himself to be a nice bland sort of guy with no qualifications whatsoever for the position. Bensen thoroughly trounced Quayle in a mismatch that was at times painful to watch. The moment that sticks in my mind even more than the "You're no Jack Kennedy" zinger from Bensen after Quayle tried to invoke some claimed resemblance to John F Kennedy, was the statement from George H W Bush immediately after the closing handshake, "Dan knocked it out of the park" said Bush. Even the reporters were stunned at the disingenuous and plainly false utterance of the man who went on to become a one term President of the US. Now we expect it. Barack Obama clearly won this debate. He knew more, never said one thing that wasn't exactly correct, and even knew the Iran has two entire coastlines unlike Romney, who insistently displayed his ignorance with such statements as "Syria is Iran's route to the sea." Here we have a man claiming the stature to be President with a plan to forcibly deal with Iran but who doesn't even seem to know that Iran has a formidable navy controlling both its coastlines. But that won't come out in this morning's press. Here's what will come out:(LA Times)
Monday's presidential debate, the third and last between President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney, featured a forceful and articulate defense of Obama's foreign policy. That was no surprise. What was surprising was that it came from Romney.
What will Republicans say about the debate? There's no place for truth in a Republican campaign. Watch for it.
Update from our Told You So department: Sarah Palin: "...It’s unfortunate that Gov. Romney didn’t have time to answer all the false charges. I made a couple of pages of a list of the false charges." Only she never actually says what a single one of those false charges are. It's like all those newspapers she told Katie Couric she reads. Yeah right... From Bloomberg: "Someone apparently forgot to tell Mitt Romney about last night’s foreign-policy debate. He didn’t come to debate, and he wasn’t eager to talk about foreign policy."

Monday, October 22, 2012

What Does Mitt Romney Stand For, A Politicians Right to Prevaricate?

MORONi? Really?

So a convicted con man comes to you and says an angel has commanded him to found a new religion that has him as its leader. Before you go all wandering off in the desert and everything, how about doing some research on the guy's history.

The Pro-Life Swindle

How can a person call themselves "pro life" and yet be willing to vote for someone who will: Take us to war in Iran? Dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency? Dismantle Medicare and Medicaid? Is against the Lilly Ledbetter Act for equal pay for equal work? Turn public schools over to profiteers? Essentially destroy the very things that lifted America's middle class out of poverty? I'm beginning to think that the religious extremists who claim an acorn is an oak tree and an egg is a chicken are not pro life... They are Pro-Suffering! They seem to be against everything that helps people help people and believe in their hearts that Jesus was wrong to turn over those nice Money Changer's tables.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

It's Pretty Danged Clear...Mitt Romney Doesn't Like You

I was part of closing a factory and sending good people's jobs to a foreign country. In this case the foreign country was South Carolina and we offered everyone who was willing to move another job. This is impossible in most cases but about 20% actually did it. The scenario was that I and my partners had built a company from nothing to something and then something bigger. We now had a closely held corporation that had become far bigger than we had any idea how to run. We made the decision to sell and become part of a larger entity where we thought there would be experienced managers who understood the ballgame at high levels. We chose our new partners carefully, hoping they would buy into our vision of team building, taking personal interest in every employee, making decisions for the greater good, being involved in our community, and always looking five years down the road on any big decision. Boy were we naive. The recent debate performance by Mitt Romney is nothing new to me. I saw it time and time again in corporate meetings, where managers would tell straight up lies and misrepresentations to get what they personally wanted, regardless of the eventual consequences for people and profits. You could cut the self serving platitudes with a butter knife. I watched this over and over. The resulting decisions occasionally made short term sense but nearly always led to long term disaster. Morale plummeted along with quality and profitability. Skilled and creative people left in droves. Hard working production people stood in shocked amazement as English became the second language on the manufacturing line as the general manager decided that paying highly productive people what they were worth was cutting into profits and replaced them with temps from the lowest cost supplier of people as a commodity. I quit going to meetings and stepped back to a consulting role partly to avoid watching the death of something I had given birth to and partly to quit causing trouble when I would point out the downside of certain decisions and then somehow being at fault when the predicted future became reality. I lost way too many meetings in exactly the same fashion as Obama "lost" his first Presidential debate. The experienced managers who won those meetings by spewing emphatic bombastic bullshit, can take credit for turning a $65 million corporation into about a third of its former self. They got their money and left. Workers at Sensata in Illinois watched in dismay as the American flag was taken down in their factory and the Chinese flag raised... Romney makes $450,000 per week from his blind trust which contains a lot of Bain Capital stock. • Bain is closing a Sensata factory and shipping equipment and jobs to China • The US government has paid $780,000 retraining fired Sensata workers. • Bain can deduct the expense of moving to China from US taxes. • US workers at the Sensata factory have to train their Chinese replacements. • Romney owns about $8 million worth of Bain funds that hold 51 percent of Sensata’s shares. • These are high-tech, well paid jobs performed by skilled American workers. • Workers in the Sensata factory in China make 99 cents an hour. • Chinese laborers work 12 hour shifts, 7 days per week. • Chinese workers are housed 2 to 3 to a room in barracks • The American workers set records for profits for Sensata I'm seeing a repeat of my own personal history with the corporate sociopathic decision making process. It's all about the money to those at the top...Right and wrong and basic human decency be damned. It appears that Romney's Ten Commandments don't apply through the corporate veil. Corporations are not people with a moral code of ethics. Corporations, as they are constructed in America at present, are ravenous predators. It is only the few regulations that remain, and which Mitt Romney wants to remove, that keep them even partially in check. If America lets Mitt Romney take the White House it will lead to cataclysmic ruin of the American middle class and the economy we built. There is no decision I can find that Mitt Romney has ever been a part of that indicates he has any whiff of a care with respect to any of the people whose jobs and lives he destroyed. They don't seem to exist to him except as numbers on a spread sheet. Given his history of job destruction in America, it's clear that he goes beyond not caring about us. It looks like he actively dislikes the American worker, not only sending your job to China but taking his tax breaks to do it. Think about it. Steve More on this HERE

Saturday, October 6, 2012

From Our "well, Duh!" Dept.: UT Study Shows Republicans Screw Workers

It took an academic study to show that? I'll be the Prof gets hammered on Fox News or Limbo or somewhere, if the study is ever mentioned at all. It was interesting to note that the disparity between working folks and rich people goes up as the S&P 500 index goes up. Kinda makes you feel all conflicted about your 401k, doesn't it? UT Study

Thursday, October 4, 2012

What It Really Means To Fire Big Bird

The Public Broadcasting System (PBS) was conceived and born to bring knowledge and education to the citizens of the United States of America with no concessions to commercial viability. PBS is the alternative to the other media which bring us all the programming some business entity will pay for. Looking at the product that commercial media served up for our consumption, our elected officials, back in the day when elected officials served their constituents instead of corporations, decided to create PBS to be above the commercial fray and to deliver the needed information and educational programming to America's children and adults that would be free of the bias that requiring advertisers inherently creates. The Bank of America, for instance, is certainly not going to sign on to advertise on a program that specializes in financial shenanigan exposes. In fact, we've seen whole stories on banking irregularities goes strangely missing on all three major networks. It is precisely this monetary bias that PBS was created to avoid, for the sake and future of the American people. PBS programming has addressed the tough social issues well before commercial media even thought about it. I'm pretty sure Ernie is gay, and there's that Cow Pattie girl. Black friends of white kids in school, bullying, lessons on life for preschoolers and all sorts of things like that would never be covered by a media that has to prostitute itself to advertisers...too risky! But PBS was there for all those kids who faced the same problems and taught them to read and count and pass the GED at the same time. There are few things on this planet that deserve the support of all American citizens through their taxes than the Public Broadcasting System. And no character epitomizes the good that PBS does better than Big Bird. Will you stand with Big Bird or Mitt Romney? Republicans don't hate Big Bird because of the pittance in subsidies PBS receives. Republicans hate Big Bird because he(she?) speaks the truth and cannot be pressured by advertisers into misleading American children. So there! Steve Update: Rick Santorum puts his foot in it...
I’ve voted to kill Big Bird in the past. So I have a record there that I have to disclose. That doesn’t mean I don’t like Big Bird, I mean, you can kill things and still like them, maybe to eat them, I don’t know.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Huge Voter Registration Fraud Found in Fla (Yep, It's Republicans again)

This is several times larger than all of the ACORN problems combined, but do you think it's going to hit the news? Me neither. TPM Has the Story

Monday, September 24, 2012

Charlie Gibson on Congress...

In October of last year the Congressional approval rating was down to nine percent. That's the lowest in history. My question: who the hell are that nine percent? What world are they living in?
And in an aside, he also says it's over and Obama wins.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mormon Bishop Demands Single Mother Give Baby Up For Adoption or Be Excommunicated

The Bishop "walked into her small apartment, made small talk and then commanded her to give her baby up for adoption after it was born. He was her bishop, and as she knew, Mormonism disapproved of single motherhood. Hayes said no." The single mother, Peggy Hayes, gives a credible account of her lay Bishop then telling her she would be excommunicated. The lay bishop was Mitt Romney. From Alternet

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sarah Silverman Nails Tennessee Voter ID Law

What a brilliant solution!

(warning: well deserved profanity liberally used)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

OK, Look...

Outraged Christian extremists firebombed a theater showing Martin Scorcese's "The Last Temptation of Christ", so don't go telling me it's all about the Muslims. It's not. It's about religious tolerance and standing up for free speech, even if you personally detest a particular message. Religious extremists of whatever denominations are to be shunned and ostracized and tolerance shouted from every soapbox if we are going to have a peaceable world.

Where is the consistent message of tolerance from our leaders and news media? I want to hear the message on every news show and read it on every opinion page. We must make the case that any religion so small that it cannot stand against perceived insult is weak beyond redemption and should be turned away from. Violence is not a religious tool that a sane world can tolerate.

America stands for a number of freedoms, and foremost among these is the right to express opinions in our media and our art...even bad art, such as the recent movie that seems to have offended certain  Islamic extremists. Every religion on earth can find some artistic expression that it can be offended by without looking very hard. In America we stand behind the right of others to offend you. We also stand behind your right to express through any form of free speech why others should share your opinion and emotion. What America will not do is allow a violent act in a foreign sovereignty goad us into suppressing American freedoms codified in the tenets of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. We condemn and oppose violent religious extremists of all ilks and will use the force of domestic law and international diplomacy to oppose anyone who uses violence in the attempt to suppress what we in America believe is the fundamental human right to free speech.

We believe in everyone's right to make their opinion known and we believe in everyone else's right to oppose that opinion in speech of every form, including a crappy movie.

Monday, September 17, 2012

What's Really Going On IN the Chicago Teacher Strike

In any society where wealth and income concentrate overwhelmingly at the top, the affluent will almost always come to sneer at public services and the men and women who provide them. In Chicago, those men and women have pushed back.

Today's must read!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

How Big Media Has Thrown Off the Shackles of its Constitutional Duty

Southern Beale:

Seriously, people? And since when did reporting facts become “litigating the issue”? No wonder you suck.
Yes, do keep telling me how the internet killed journalism. Please.

Friday, September 14, 2012

From Our "Obnoxious Loudness Is Not Foreign Policy Expertise" Dept

Best line of the day:

Romney had an opportunity to condemn hate speech and religious intolerance as well as the violence and murders. Instead he chose to condemn the President...R.Neal
And it was a lie to start with:
Romney keeps accusing Obama of "apologizing for American values." Putting aside for a moment the fact that Obama did no such thing and to say that he did is an outright lie, what are the "American values" Romney is referring to?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Today's Must Read

From Southern Beale...

During the Bush years I observed how the messages and activities coming from the Republican Party corresponded with cult thought control techniques (something I touched on in this post last year), to the point where I wondered if somehow the Unification Church’s cult techniques hadn’t been adopted by the GOP and performed on the American population as a whole. I still think there’s something to that.

The parallels are obvious, but is anybody listening?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

TN R's Sponsor Bills to Impose Religious Views

You can couch it in any terms you want but Republicans have obtained and kept Congressional power by introducing bills to impose Conservative religious views on the rest of the citizenry.

Take the ludicrous concept that "Life begins at conception", for instance. Somehow this has become a biblical concept in the right wing mind, even though there is scant evidence for it and even a passage that appears to support abortion in the old testament. But putting that aside, anyone who has looked at sperm under a microscope (or seen the science class videos, assuming they still had science in your school) will be forced to admit that sperm are very much alive and so, presumably, are the eggs each and every one of them will try with all their existence to join with in the process of birthing a new human. The point at which sperm and egg become human is a point of much debate. Only certain religious communities claim to know this for certainty, based on the fact that religion has nearly always gotten scientific matters completely wrong in the past and continues that proud heritage even as I type and you read. For those who have the certainty of their own personal religion to impose that through weight of majority rule is contrary to everything the founding fathers intended. It did, of course, take a Supreme Court ruling to point that out. This outraged a certain brand of religious bigot and empowered those who would use that outrage as a source of votes, even when they and their wives privately supported the Freedom of choice.

 The problem of imposing one set of religious dogma onto others is only touched at the surface by the abortion question. Deeper and more frightening is the growing realization that we now have a Vice Presidential nominee who would willingly participate in the outlawing of contraception. How can any sane person give two minutes of thought to world population and not come away as a fierce advocate of free contraception for all? There is not a single problem of magnitude on this entire planet that can't be linked to a population oh humans greater than the ability of the planet to sustainably support. To oppose contraception is to have a death wish, not just for you and your children, but for Planet Earth as we know it.

 So there.


 The Tennessean has a run down on stupid grandstanding bills by TN Congress people.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Speech Every Democratic Candidate Should Give

The Truth is our weapon. Let's go use it! A partial transcript is here.


The GOP puts forth a genuine plutocrat as their Presidential offering and a compulsive liar wannabe as their vice. A tollbooth world is what their puppet masters are shooting for. Amazingly, a conservative voice seems to be questioning the ideology and the world it will lead us to...
Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it. If one can afford private security, public safety is of no concern; if one owns a Gulfstream jet, crumbling bridges cause less apprehension—and viable public transportation doesn’t even show up on the radar screen. With private doctors on call and a chartered plane to get to the Mayo Clinic, why worry about Medicare?
Revolt of the Rich If you prefer the cliff notes version this is an excellent read.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Democratic Party Labor Day Picnic

Best Line of the Day

Thank you, Southern Beale...
Yes, I did catch a bit of Clint Eastwood yelling at an empty chair....To paraphrase The American Prospect’s Jamelle Bouie, this was the perfect metaphor for the modern Republican Party: an old white man yelling at an imaginary Barack Obama.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Saint Howard and the Fiscal Cliff

"Any politician who tells the American people that we can fix the budget without sacrifices for everybody is a liar...I think it's time the people who made all that money pay their fair share."

I love this man.  

In the Ongoing Battle Between Science and Mythology

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sunday Sermon, For Neil

I remember watching Neil Armstrong step off the Moon Lander ladder and onto the surface of the Moon. If you weren't there you can't know what a thrill that gave a 19 year old engineering student and science junkie from way back. What folks who didn't live through it can't know was the fear for their lives we felt. I was scared for them and excited at the same time. When the module blasted off from the moon and we saw that they were on their way home I jumped around the room and yelled. Mom thought I was nuts.

Well now...It's a clear night and I'm going to take a glass of Malbec out on the deck and drink to Neil Armstrong in a couple of hours. His act was symbolic of all the work and thought and efforts of an entire nation to do something incredible that wasn't war. I wonder if we have it in us as "One Nation, Indivisible" to make another "Giant Leap for Mankind"? We worked for each other and for all of us back then. Could we do that today? 
Think what a gift to future generations we could make!
Maybe deal with global warming or our over population problem?
 Please? For Neil?
 I can't remember any goals or big projects longer than five years after the moon project. By setting a goal that would take ten years, Kennedy was setting it up for a President other than himself to bask in the glow. Now we've shifted to 5 year plans which, if successful, let the sitting President take credit, and if a failure, it won't happen until after the re-election campaign. Today's goals seem to be all about making sure your connected friends get rich and don't have to take the hit when they screw up big. The multi-billion dollar Savings and Loan debacle under Bush 1 was just a taste of what was to become a muti-trillion dollar bailout of the SEC and banking industries under Bush 2. Even Obama, who I support unconditionally against Romney, told us to wait until his second term to really face up and deal with the big problems. Kennedy was flawed but he had guts. Neil Armstrong and crew faced a slew of fairly horrible death scenarios if any one of the gazillion hand wired circuits wiggled loose. Wires that held his life by a tiny piece of copper.
 We hear of that same kind of bravery every day in our forgotten wars, only today, those brave Americans are apparently expendable to the whims of multi-national corporations and oligarchs who feast on a nation's ignorance and timidity.
 I want another Moon shot. The National soul demands it.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Sermon...Kathleen Channels Molly

These are some bad, ugly and angry times, and I am so freaked out. Hate has stolen the conversation. The poor are now voting against themselves. Politics isn’t about left and right; it’s about up and down. The few are screwing the many. Not that hard to figure out how to fix things. Stop letting big money buy our elections.

 Kathleen Turner has a one woman show, "Red Hot Patriot" in which she becomes Molly Ivins.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

"That's Backwards...That's Wrong"

From President Obama's weekly radio address...

...the economic plan that almost every Republican in Congress voted for would make the situation even worse.  It would actually cut funding for education – which means fewer kids in Head Start, fewer teachers in our classrooms, and fewer college students with access to financial aid – all to pay for a massive new tax cut for millionaires and billionaires.

Why do the less educated states vote Republican?
Why do Republicans want to take away education funding?
Why are the poorest states Republican states?

The complete transcript and some comment

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Death of Truth?

Under George W Bush Republicans enacted what I consider to be the most obvious example of their theory on taxes and the "Free Market". They actually barred Medicare from negotiating prescription drug prices. See, what they actually mean by "free" is that it doesn't cost them any time or effort to get the government to pay the highest price in the developed world for medicine for its own citizens. Since this was done as a result of millions spent by pharmaceutical lobbyists it also illustrates the Republican theory of taxation. Simply stated, "Tax everybody who can't afford their own lobbyists and gather up all the money into one place to make it easier for us to steal." After this was done, Republicans stared right into the camera without a hint of conscience and derided Medicare as a wasteful program.

 In 2008, tired of the wars, "free speech zones", and the international embarrassment that was W, and in spite of voting fraud for which at least two Republican operatives served jail time, Democrats were swept into power on the Obama wave. Rather than being good losers and putting the country first by working together to drag us out of the depression that "Tax cuts for the rich" drove us into, Republicans have waged a never ending campaign of lies, obstructionist tactics, massively stepped up voter suppression, and more lies. In the past, Presidential candidates have mostly left the blatant lies to their surrogates. Buoyed by the near complete corporate takeover of American media and the cowardice of what's left (though there are notable exceptions), Mitt Romney now feels free to take over for hisownself the unseemly task of lying.

Remember how Medicare was a "wasteful government program"? Obama and Democrats ended the inability to negotiate prescription drug prices and, together with other measures to reduce waste and fraud, cut over $700 billion in the cost of Medicare while streamlining the program and delivering better care and services to medicare recipients. Romney has chosen a strangely incapable young man for his Veep candidate who has proposed a budgetary plan that will make $800 billion in cuts to Medicare and slash the services it provides. Somehow Mitt Romney gets to claim that amounts to "Saving" Medicare while his ads breathlessly trumpet Obama's "Stealing 700 billion dollars from Medicare to pay for Obamacare.

Obamacare, by the way , is crafted around the exact same features as the very successful program that Mitt Romney himself enacted in Massachusetts. Romney now essentially says that Romneycare doesn't exist and never happened. So in the last couple of weeks a couple of things have happened. Romney released an ad with a heavily and deceptively edited video that shows Obama saying something that he never in fact said. (This is the same tactic that Okeefe used to discredit Acorn. He's being sued by the Acorn worker who was fired as a result of the fake video) Out of the other side of his mouth, Romney blasted the President for a "campaign of negativity, lies and deception". It's gotten so easy to tell when Romney is lying. (His lips are moving...yeah , I know) When ever he blasts the President for some egregious campaign tactic, you can bet your bottom dollar that Romney has just done that exact thing.

 We've seen glimmers of feisty from the media as they actually called Romney surrogate, John Sununu, on the Medicare lies. Where are they in confronting Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan? Nowhere yet.

 We'll see.



  Mitt Romney Sure Does Lie Alot

Friday, August 10, 2012

First Things First?

But is it the first thing?

The election of TNDP Chair is at least 5 months away. Let’s table any discussion about all of that until November 7th.
There will be plenty of time to sharpen pitchforks, light torches, and storm that castle after the election.

Vibinc is a very astute person. I personally disagree with her on timing but her argument bears thought. If I were sitting on the board of and organization that blew it this magnificently, the leadership would have a new office in a closet with the light bulb removed at the very least. An incompetent general can't be left in charge of the troops until after the battle.

Still, V does have a point that there are good candidates to devote full attention to and she has compiled the list. I suggest we ignore everything from the TNDP , strongly urge a change in leadership ASAP, and devote our energies and money directly to candidates who can win or hammer a coherent message. This election is about field position and the public perception of what the Democratic message really is. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

From Our "Mark Clayton is a Right Wing Creep, Thanks for Everything, Mr. Forrester" Dept.

State Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester is very good at winning one, and apparently only one, election... the internal party election that keeps his paycheck flowing. Other than that he seems stunningly incompetent. This is not news to Democratic activists but now everyone knows. Republicans are falling down laughing at the debacle of having a man who is vice chairman of a right wing extremist group running as a Democrat, running zero ads, spending zero money, and yet somehow winning the Democratic nomination for Senate against Bob Corker.

Attempts by Forrester and others at having the (Republican ) State Elections Coordinator, Mark Goins, remove Clayton are being predictably laughed off... "Although Chip Forrester had the authority in April to disqualify Mr. Clayton, he did not do so..." The party chairman's first responsibility is to vet statewide candidates. How hard is to spend two minutes at a candidate's organization web site to learn that it opposes everything the Democratic Party in Tennessee stands for?

For that matter, why hasn't Forrester started an investigation as to how Clayton got twice the number of votes that people with name recognition and who actually campaigned got? Did the Republicans' darling unverifiable electronic voting machines have anything to do with it? Thanks to Republicans revoking the verifiable voting act in Tennessee, we may never know if this election was gamed. I do know that in 2008 over one million votes were cast by Tennessee Democrats for Barack Obama. The abject failure to energize even ten percent of those voters to oppose Bob Corker with a viable candidate is damning testimony to the regime of Chip Forrester.

At the top, Democrats in Tennessee are plagued with bumbling incompetents running the show. Democrats deserve better. Tennessee deserves better.  Perhaps this is the wake up call Tennessee Dems need to make them clean house and start rebuilding the Democratic party that can serve the working people of this great state instead of merely providing a job for a few small time bureaucrats.

Let us hope so, but instead of just hope, let's get to work. The voice of Tennessee's One million Democrats is being snuffed out from within. This has to stop now. Otherwise we will continue to watch as Republicans sell off our public schools to for profit entities, serve the financial health of the health care industry instead of the health of our citizens, and eviscerate the Tn Dept. of Environment and Conservation (TDEC's proposed fracking regulations are weaker than the ones proposed by the industry itself, if you can believe that). The list of Republican atrocities is endless. Unfortunately it is compounded, aided and abetted by the incompetencies of the weak, ineffectual, blundering Democratic Party leadership.


Update: RNeal lays it out

Background from The Times Free Press

More from the Tennessean

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Quote of the Day

"During elementary school, I was bullied about my beliefs and whenever the subject of my religion, or lack thereof, came up, my social status dropped for a few days," Disbrow said in the release. "When I realized that the county commissioners were actually behaving like a bunch of fifth-grade bullies, I sat down and started writing my address to them."

Bullies? Exactly!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

What She Said...

Dear Friends,
Thank you so much for your support throughout this campaign. I am humbled by all the kindness and encouragement I received while on the campaign trail.

Under normal circumstances I would be coming out to congratulate and endorse the Democratic nominee for U.S Senate but I can only say that I am very frightened by the Party's nominee, Mark Clayton. His values do not represent my Democratic Party. Me, my staff, and my campaign DO NOT endorse or support either Mark Clayton or Bob Corker in any way.

I am flattered by the thousands who have encouraged me to run a write-in campaign and will continue to advocate for progressive Democratic values. I will always be a Democrat and will always support the Democratic Party. If the Party calls on me I will step up and run a write-in campaign.

Thanks again for all of your support and remember this is just the beginning.
- Park Overall

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Quote of the Day

Or maybe this is just today's must read...

Consequently, Republicans are totally obsessed with guns. And here’s the reason why. As Peter Gent wisely explained in North Dallas Forty, “Freud says that guns are an extension of your dick, Joe Bob.” While this puts women at a grave and deeply unfair disadvantage, it also explains why Democratic men don’t need guns.
So go read the smartest Texas woman. Tell her I sent you.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

From Our Dept. of Understatement...

"We think Tennessee legislators are being bought and paid for by an exclusive network of corporate lobbyists and special interest groups," said Mary Mancini, executive director of Tennessee Citizen Action.

Two Dems quit ALEC as Republicans praise the anti Democracy Organization.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

What the Democratic Campaign Message Should Boil Down To...

Thank You, Southern Beale!
We’ve had 12 years of the Bush tax cuts. Where are the f*****g jobs?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

NC Legislature Votes Against Sea Level Rise...Problem Solved

Lawmakers in North Carolina, which has a long Atlantic Ocean coastline and vast areas of low-lying land, voted on Tuesday to ignore studies predicting a rapid rise in sea level due to climate change and postpone planning for the consequences.
Opponents of the measure said it was a case of legislators "putting our heads in the sand" to avoid acknowledging the possible effects of global warming.

Why did they do this? So developers could sell oceanfront property to unsuspecting buyers.

Monday, July 2, 2012

On the Allmighty and Omnipitence

Here's the money quote:

“It is hugely ironic and hugely significant,” he continues, “that the one thing on the planet most closely resembling the forgoing conception of the divine is money. It is an invisible, immortal force that surrounds and steers all things, omnipotent and limitless, an ‘invisible hand’ that, it is said, makes the world go ’round.”
Or, if it so chooses, money can decide to make the world uninhabitable. It works in mysterious ways…

Must Read

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Doctors? Guess Who Really Likes the Supreme Court Ruling?

Listening to the megaphonic idiocy from the right, you would think the Afffordable Care Act is nothing but a tax increase on everything, instead of a fine to cover the expenses on the very few people who won't buy health insurance even after we give them the money to buy it. But guess what? Almost all doctors love that they'll be able to focus on the wellness of their patients instead of only seeing them when they are already sick.
 From Medical News:

Ardis Hoven, MD, president-elect of the AMA, which was an early supporter Obama's healthcare plan, told MedPage Today that the ACA expansion of insurance coverage will mean that previously uninsured patients will be more likely to seek preventive care in the doctor's office sooner, rather than waiting for an emergency to send them to the hospital.
"It allows physicians to see patients earlier, rather than delaying seeing them when they get sick," Hoven said. "What it does is allow them to do the kind of care that they want to do in prevention and wellness."
The other big doctor associations, such as the American College of Physicians, likewise support the Obama plan.  So which physicians don't like the plan? Urologists. For some reason they are getting all pissy about it.


Monday, June 18, 2012

A Little Gift

I consider R. Crumb's "The Complete Book of Genesis" one of the more serious artworks of my time. Most of us were introduced to him on the cover of Janis Joplin's first album with Big Brother and the Holding Company. Crumb is one seriously cracked human being and one of the few artists capable of showing us our  bared societal soul in the mirror of his cartoon truth. He's been called every name in the book because of it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Quote of the Day

Money won the Wisconsin Election, except that Democrats took over the State Senate and the era of Walker is over, even though he kept his Governorship.  Will we keep showing fealty to money?

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Park Overall in Roane County

Here's a woman who gets it. She speaks truth to power and she's taller than Bob Corker.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Why I'm Tired...

And real danged happy!
 Blue Mother Tupelo
Jammin' at Hippie Jack's is a PBS series. It's videoed at "Hippie" Jack Stoddard's farm in someplace north of Monterey, TN on the east bank of the west fork of the Obey river. I first met Hippie several years ago when my brother played with Ab the Flagman for the show. Hippie runs a class Non Profit act and as just was gracious to us hangers on as he was to the musicians themselves. Jack is a renowned photographer and I hesitate to post any of my amateur hack stuff, but if you'll just think of these as "snapshots" instead of high art it may work. As I work things up I'll post more in a slideshow. Check back.

Thanks, Hippie!


Monday, May 21, 2012

Quote of the Day..."Are We There Yet" Dept.

 "Let our countrymen know, that the people alone can protect us against these evils, and that the tax which will be paid for this purpose, is not more than the thousandth part of what will be paid to kings, priests and nobles, who will rise up among us if we leave the people in ignorance."

Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Al Gore, Inductee Internet Hall of Fame (Waiting for the Republican Apology...Still Waiting...)

One of the more disgusting campaign tactics used most often by Republicans is attempting to discredit a person's good accomplishments with a half truth or whole lie campaign. Since the 2004 Presidential campaign we now know this as "Swift Boating", the process by which the genuine Viet Nam War hero John Kerry, was reduced, by outrageous but repeated lies, to the level of the genuinely AWOL George W. Bush. Included in this process was the wholly manufactured "Rather Gate", in which the few documents that escaped the physical record cleansing of Bush's National Guard record by Rove operatives were attacked as forgeries on the flimsiest of evidence. And, even though office staff verified the facts of Bush's failure to report for duty contained in the documents, Dan Rather's career was ended for all real purposes, and the age of mainstream American Media as the watchdog  of Democracy was officially over when CBS failed to stand up for their star newsman and he resigned under pressure.

Many of us first noticed the tactic when Karl Rove was dealing with a campaign in which the other guy was dripping with accomplishments, a public activist on many levels, and proven leader. This was a problem when Rove's guy was pretty much a spoiled rich kid recovering alchoholic party boy with Bin Laden family associations, business failures, and a fair record of non accomplishment. Rove's method can be boiled down to "Smear the truth, Repeat, repeat, repeat the lie." So it was with Al Gore and George W. Bush in the 2000 Presidential campaign.

Among Al Gore's many accomplishments was the fact that he recognized the potential of a World Wide Web early on.  At every opportunity, Gore pushed for ways to bring his shared vision of the information super highway into reality. From an article by Mountain Democrat columnist David Jacobson, in which he notes the claim that Gore said he "invented" the Internet is an outright lie.

  But the real question is what, if anything, did Gore actually do to create the modern Internet? According to Vincent Cerf, a senior vice president with MCI Worldcom who's been called the Father of the Internet, "The Internet would not be where it is in the United States without the strong support given to it and related research areas by the Vice President in his current role and in his earlier role as Senator." 
The inventor of the Mosaic Browser, Marc Andreesen, credits Gore with making his work possible. He received a federal grant through Gore's High Performance Computing Act. The University of Pennsylvania's Dave Ferber says that without Gore the Internet "would not be where it is today." 
Joseph E. Traub, a computer science professor at Columbia University, claims that Gore "was perhaps the first political leader to grasp the importance of networking the country. Could we perhaps see an end to cheap shots from politicians and pundits about inventing the Internet?"

So Gore had done exactly what he claimed,  "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

But ask a Republican about this and nine times out of ten they will joke about Gore claiming he invented the Internet. (I'm being generous here because I have yet to run across a Republican who gives Al Gore his due.)

This brings us around to the Internet hall of Fame, which I predict will soon be disparaged and denigrated by  Conservative pundits because Al Gore has been named one of the inductees.
Al Gore, the 45th Vice President of the United States, was a key proponent of sponsoring legislation that funded the expansion of and greater public access to the Internet. Instrumental in helping to create the “Information Superhighway,” Gore was one of the first government officials to recognize that the Internet’s impact could reach beyond academia to fuel educational and economic growth as well.

In this media age which saw 68% of American believing Saddam Hussein was in part responsible for 9-11 and not one single news person asked George W. Bush about his business association with Osama Bin Laden's brother, Salem, I wonder if we'll see Al get his due?

I'm not expecting it to happen.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Little Reminder

What happened under Bush? We cut taxes on the rich and doubled military spending. (And started wars.) And don't forget collapsing the economy, forcing people onto unemployment and food stamps. That is why we have a deficit. We have a deficit because of tax cuts for the rich, huge military budget increases and the consequences of deregulating corporations.
It amazes me that anyone tries to blame the economy and deficits on Obama...Even more so that any sentient human being falls for that.  Read!

The Deficit Clowns Come to Washington

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Remembering Mother's Day

"Mother's Day" was the idea of Julia Ward Howe, composer of the Battle Hymn if the Republic. After seing her work used as the anthem for men to slaughter each other in the American Civil War, she called for the mothers of the world to withhold sex for the wagers of war, and for women to take over the world to foment peace:

"We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have taught them of charity, mercy and patience..."

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.
Julia Ward Howe's Proclamation for Mother's Day

Monday, April 30, 2012

President Obama at the White House Correspondents' Dinner

Rarely have we had a president who could stand and deliver like Obama.

"Some have said I blame too many problems on my predecessor, but let's not forget that's a practice that was initiated by George W. Bush."

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Why is There a War on Woman's Right to Birth Control?

How do you make the case in your head that you can be against abortions and be against birth control at the same time?

The war on women's health has taken a nasty turn. Wal-Mart told one woman it is against their policy to fill a prescription for a diaphram. In some areas there is an 8 week backlog for birth control pills. Republicans have declared war on Planned Parenthood...Look people, there is no greater threat to our world than the ever growing number of people on this planet. Every other problem we have stems from that one factor. we understand the Pope's beligerant stand on this because rather than convert followers the Catholic Church has decided to grow them. I don't understand why they think it's a good idea to outlaw birth control for their opponents though. It's as if the religions of the world have suddenly decided to bring on Armageddon themselves instead of waiting for their God to do it.

Today's must read

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day

All along the way, I have been involved in environmental activism. I don't understand how a rational human being, when confronted with a burning bible, will feel outrage and yet will stand by complacently as one half of the “Heaven and Earth” creation is maimed and destroyed. Regardless of your feelings about the messages inside it, any particular bible is a bit of work by man. It is an act of commerce. I think it is a tragic flaw in the design of the human psyche that burning a bible or whatever religious text can provoke murderous rage. Yet the destruction of something that humankind cannot replace, destroying what is an unarguable part of the creation spoken of in those man produced texts, an irreplaceable bit of life on planet earth, will be complacently tolerated in the name of jobs or profit. 

Long ago I realized that I felt better when I sought truth in the works of creation than any other way. There is more information written in a spoonful of healthy forest dirt than in all the books ever printed by mankind. I won't have time on this planet to read it all, so I need to work to save it for those in the future who will be so blessed. I invested a majority of the proceeds from selling my business into protecting, as best I can, a small part of creation from the destructive practices of mankind. 

Over this lifetime Mrs. Creek and I have done all right on the economic front.  On paper, we could live better than well. In day to day practice we try to get by on a little bit more than the minimum so that we can do something we love. We allow ourselves enough to get by and live frugally. It is not a bad way to go and is rewarding, but choices must be made. We have dedicated a fair portion of our resources into protecting Whites Creek Gorge in East Tennessee. This is a work in progress as it will always be. It takes time and money. This is a problem that must be dealt with. I admit to being a manly man and I have my manly toys. The guitar collection some of you know about, but there are also farm machines, bicycles, outdoor gear, and cameras. A part of the ongoing negotiations in our marriage contract, my wife and I decided I had enough toys and that in order to get a new toy, I had to sell an old toy. Fair enough and actually a good and workable plan. After 60 a boy needs fewer toys anyway and the old ones clutter the place up.

In addition to being ready for some new and better toys, we placed a conservation easement on one mile of Whites Creek. This turned out to cost more than projected. It is surprising how expensive it is to give something away, regardless of how worthy the sacrifice. The world appears to be stacked against those who want to give to the future and in favor of those who want to take from the future in the name of personal wealth. So with the cost of protecting the gorge rising with every conversation with the TN Parks and Greenways, I decided it was time to sell a toy.

I had decided to part with an extremely nice Taylor guitar that I had hoped I could play but can't. The selling process was taking longer than I thought and fraught with scammers and thieves in the online market place. At some point I came around to an old Gretsch that lived in the closet. I had bought it decades ago when all the fingers on my left hand were still the correct length. After a woodworking accident in 1984 I became unable to play a narrow neck guitar. Could I part with it? I found an online Gretsch Forum and posted about it. Good people populate that world in a high ratio compared to bad people, but as one drop of oil can pollute a million gallons of fresh water, so it is with human scum. Even so, I worked around the scams and the good folks filled me with information and somehow started making offers on the Gretsch. I began several long distance conversations with a number of them. Most of them just wanted to chat, much like car enthusiasts at a car show, but a few were serious about buying the guitar, which went from being an old Gretsch to a Cadillac green 1958 Gretsch Duo Jet with significant value. Now it lives in Italy and plays live music with someone who appreciates it, and I had enough coin of the realm to cover the immediate expense of the conservation easement with a little left over.

 So now I have a couple of new toys and also defrayed a part of the cost of protecting a significant portion of Whites Creek Gorge where it cuts through Walden Ridge and flows into the Tennessee Valley. I have a lot more work to do and it won't get finished in my lifetime. We have to remember that, even though there is more to do, we must take time out to sing and play music with our friends. Just as we restore old and beautiful instruments, I believe we should protect and restore this old and beautiful world so everyone who will listen and pay attention can hear its music for all time.

Take some time today and enjoy the music your planet plays for you. 

Happy Earth Day!