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Friday, July 21, 2017

Flashback Friday -- The Pogues

I remember the first time I heard the Pogues. Watching MTV on an illegal cable hookup, it was either 120 Minutes or  The Cutting Edge;center,center&resize=1050:*

Anyway, it was 1984 or 85 and the host of the show said they were some new band from Ireland and played a few of their songs "Dirty Old Town," "The Sick Bed of CĂșchulainn," I think. Anyway, I was blown away. I'd never heard anything like them before. They were the band that posed the musical question "what would Rock & Roll sound like if it had evolved in Ireland instead of America?" And the answer was "pretty damn good!"

I saw the Pogues live once at Berkeley's Greek Theater, opening for Bob Dylan. I was surprised how much better Shane MacGowan's voice sounded live than on their records. Then I found out that Shane was in rehab and Spider Stacy was handling the lead vocals. Oh, well. Still a great show.

A little off-topic, but I have to say that I'm glad I got to see Bob Dylan live, I'm a big Bob Dylan fan, but I wouldn't do it again. He has some weird compulsion to make the live versions of his songs sound different than the versions you've heard on his records which seems like a good idea, but was actually kind of annoying. If anyone else played his songs the way Dylan played them that day, I would've said "you're butchering Bob Dylan!"

Anyway, enjoy the Pogues:

Also, they played the trouble-making MacMahone Family in Alex Cox's "Straight to Hell." I don't know if that movie will hold up, but you can watch it here:

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Headlines that Show America is Fucked.

I saw this on Twitter or Tumblr or something earlier today:

[A] group of 43 senators — 29 Republicans and 14 Democrats — wants to implement a law that would make it a felony for Americans to support the international boycott against Israel, which was launched in protest of that country’s decades-old occupation of Palestine. The two primary sponsors of the bill are Democrat Ben Cardin of Maryland and Republican Rob Portman of Ohio. Perhaps the most shocking aspect is the punishment: Anyone guilty of violating the prohibitions will face a minimum civil penalty of $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison.

Okay, that can't be true, right? I mean, I know that US politicians all feel some pathetic compulsion to kiss Israel's ass in order to placate the tongue speakers and snake handlers who are afraid that the apocalypse might not be able to happen if Israel isn't restored to its Old Testament boundaries or something. I know that, but this has to be a misunderstanding, right? I mean, there's no way that you could actually think you could make a law banning private citizens from participating in a boycott, right?

Image result for double takeS.720 - Israel Anti-Boycott Act 

115th Congress (2017-2018)

Wait, what? That's actually what the bill is called? But it can't really mean that people can't choose whom to support with their dollars, right?

The bill prohibits U.S. persons engaged in interstate or foreign commerce from:
  • requesting the imposition of any boycott by a foreign country against a country which is friendly to the United States; or
  • supporting any boycott fostered or imposed by an international organization, or requesting imposition of any such boycott, against Israel.

So, if I run a business, say a retail store, and I say "I'm not going to carry this product because it's made by a Saudi company and I don't like the way Saudi Arabia treats women and religious minorities," everything's fine. But if I say "I'm not going to carry this other product because it's made in Israel and I don't like what Israel is doing to the Palestinians," I could be fined or jailed? Can I still boycott Chic-Fil-A?

Here is a list of the bill's co-sponsors, which includes shining lights of the Democratic Party like Chuck Schumer and Claire McCaskill and a bunch of other bums who ought to be getting primaried in the next election:

Then I saw this headline that is as good an indication as anything of the depths to which this country has sunk and what a struggle it is going to be to restore a tiny bit of sanity:

Trump voters don’t think Donald Trump Jr. met with Russia, even after he said he did: poll

A new survey by Public Policy Polling reveals most Trump voters are still skeptical of the Russia investigation

How. . . how is that even possible? He's not even denying it, and they still think it's #FakeNews? How is that possible?

It's like if everyone in town is whispering about their wife having an affair and they say "no, not my wife, she would never!" and then she comes to them and says "honey, I have to confess, I've been sleeping with your friends, all of your friends, all the time, every chance I get," and they're still sitting there going "no, my wife would never be unfaithful. Not her!"

The survey by Public Policy Polling found that, even though Donald Trump Jr. has admitted to meeting with Russia to get dirt on Hillary Clinton, only 45 percent of Trump voters believe that that meeting actually occurred, with 32 percent claiming that it never happened and 24 percent saying they aren’t sure.

Despite Donald Trump Jr.’s own emails including an admission by a Kremlin-connected lawyer about how “Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” only 26 percent of Trump voters will admit that Russia was pulling for Trump to win the election, while 44 percent support the baseless belief that they wanted Hillary Clinton to win and 31 percent saying they’re not sure.

 Image result for snl no! gif

If basic facts can no longer be accepted as being basic facts (and they apparently can not, see: the world is getting warmer) how can we possibly continue as a civilization? If everyone gets to choose their own reality, how can a society function? We're fucked.

Image result for snl next gif

GOP Senate candidate embraces men’s rights blogger who said ‘misogyny gets you laid’

Yeah, but not really, though. Right? Right?

Wait. Cernovich? You don't mean. . .

Mike Cernovich is the sort of person that makes you question whether the internet is a good idea. An outspoken promoter of the false claim that a pizza restaurant in Washington, D.C. was a front for a pedophile ring involving Hillary Clinton, Cernovich offers men advice like “misogyny gets you laid” and “the hotter the sex, the more closely it resembles rape.”

Ah, fuck! It is him. Mike fucking Cernovich. And a candidate for the US Senate is throwing in his lot with this sick piece of shit. In 2017. God damn it!
This guy:

who's tweets.jpg

Of course, this is the guy that Don tRump Jr. said should win a Pulitzer, so I guess I shouldn't be so surprised.
Still, though, it really seems like supporting a sick twitch like Cernovich would be beyond the pale even in this degenerate political climate.

Apropos of nothing, Fuck Joe Scarborough. Morning Joe pimped tRump's candidacy as much as any FOX show. Joe kept inviting tRump to be a guest on his sow after he said that Mexicans were rapists. He kept promoting tRump after he mocked a disabled person. He kept letting him call in to spew his bullshit after he complained about Megyn Kelly having "blood coming out of her wherever."
But once Il Douche throws alittle shade at Joe and Minka, suddenly, Scarborough's all "hey, maybe this isn't such a great guy!" Hey, maybe an incompetent, senile failed businessman with a long history of racism and misogyny isn't the best choice to lead our nation." Fuck you, Joe. After all the shit Cheeto Mussolini said and did during the last year or so - insulting P.O.W's, talking about his tiny dick during a Presidential debate, encouraging his supporters to beat up protesters - all that and you had no problem with him, but suddenly you're going to get your back up because he insulted your wife and now you're, what, joining the #Resistance? Get off the air, you hack.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Rush Limbaugh Fumes: 'Three Liberal Women' In GOP Running The Senate

Oh, gee. A minority of the Senate keeping the majority from passing its agenda?

Image result for obama face frown

Must be rough!

I read the news today, oh boy

Hey, Lou. I got a story for you. 

The police shot a totally innocent. . . 
Mmhmm. . .

. . .completely unarmed. . . 

 Zzzzzz. . .

. . .white lady.

Stop the presses!

Australian woman 'shot and killed by police after she called 911 to report assault'

Samuel Osborne

Betsy Hodges, the mayor of Minneapolis, has demanded to know why the officers' body cameras were turned off.
"We all want to know more," she said. "I want to know more."

'I Demand Answers.' A Minneapolis Cop Shot and Killed a Bride-to-Be

Melissa Chan

Police officer who shot and killed Minneapolis woman identified

Community demanding answers after woman shot dead by police

Jul. 17, 2017 - 1:18 - Australian woman killed by Minneapolis police after calling to report possible crime; Mike Tobin reports from Chicago

Questions over why Minnesota cops had body cameras off during shooting of Australian woman

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

So Many Things!

I've been very neglectful of the internet lately. Dear, sweet internet, please forgive me You were always on my miiiiiind!

Anyway, my neglectfulness has caused me to miss things. So many things. So now I will try to get caught up on all the things.

Some of the things.

Thing Number one:

Apparently we need to send a bunch more troops into Afghanistan because, you know, those kids aren't just gonna blow themselves up, right? So Il Douche has brought in some advisors to present him with options.

Trump Aides Recruited Businessmen to Devise Options for Afghanistan

Because who knows more about military strategy than fucking businessmen, right?

Erik D. Prince, a founder of the private security firm Blackwater Worldwide, and Stephen A. Feinberg, a billionaire financier who owns the giant military contractor DynCorp International

Oh. Sure. That makes sense.You're asking two guys who own mercenary armies what sort of troop deployment strategies to use. Makes sense. Just like asking me for a plan to get rid of excess cheesecake, there's no way their answers will be predictable and shamelessly self-serving.

Erik D. Prince, a founder of the private security firm Blackwater Worldwide, and Stephen A. Feinberg, a billionaire financier who owns the giant military contractor DynCorp International, have developed proposals to rely on contractors instead of American troops in Afghanistan at the behest of Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, and Jared Kushner, his senior adviser and son-in-law, according to people briefed on the conversations.

Oh, wow! What a shock! Steve Bannon is involved in a plan to kill lots of brown people? Quelle surprise!

By the way, you ever notice that white supremacists never look like Chris Hemsworth?

They always look like Steve Bannon.

I mean, Hemsworth is pretty much the Aryan ideal ubermensch, you'd think it would be people like him who would go around feeling all superior to everyone. But no, it's always people like Bannon, that talking gin blossom in an ill-fitting human costume, who by rights have no call to ever feel like they're better than anyone who cling to this doctrine of racial superiority to keep from having to admit that they are a genetic trashcan. As long as their identity is centered on whiteness, I guess that becomes a basis to feel that someone like this :

is in the same category of humanity with someone like this:

You're welcome, Bob!

Thing #2: Cheeto Mussolini was at the G20 in Germany and figured that a summit of world leaders was the perfect place for his daughter to get a turn pretending to be president, so he had her sit in for him when he left the room to go drunk-Tweet FOX hosts or whatever he does when he gets bored listening to the grownups. Anyway, that wasn't the funny part. the funny part was this rationale for having Binkie fill in for him:

 Yeah, because you know how it is at the G20, you get up for two minutes and someone steals your seat! Then you end up sitting at the nerd table while the cool kids sit there being all cool without you. You definitely have to have someone hold your seat for you when you're off looking for women to grab by the crotch.

Thing 3: Failure afficianado Mark Penn wrote the dumbest op-ed ever.

Back to the Center, Democrats
Ugh! Here we go again!

The path back to power for the Democratic Party today, as it was in the 1990s, is unquestionably to move to the center and reject the siren calls of the left, whose policies and ideas have weakened the party.

You're welcome, Debra!

Okay, let's see. . . the Dems nominated the poster girl for moderate centrism, Hillary Clinton, and they lost to a drooling imbecile with zero qualifications and a toddler's temperament. And the lesson you drew from this humiliating defeat was "move to the center?" How is that possible?

In the early 1990s, the Democrats relied on identity politics, promoted equality of outcomes instead of equality of opportunity and looked to find a government solution for every problem. After years of leftward drift by the Democrats culminated in Republican control of the House under Speaker Newt Gingrich, President Bill Clinton moved the party back to the center in 1995 by supporting a balanced budget, welfare reform, a crime bill that called for providing 100,000 new police officers and a step-by-step approach to broadening health care. Mr. Clinton won a resounding re-election victory in 1996 and Democrats were back.

 Yeah, a "resounding" victory. He won 19% of the popular vote. If Ross Perot hadn't decided to tilt at the presidential windmill a second time, he might have lost to the gruff centenarian Bob Dole.

But the last few years of the Obama administration and the 2016 primary season once again created a rush to the left. Identity politics, class warfare and big government all made comebacks.

Um, only if you're watching FOX where every breath Obama took was considered a radical leftist big-government act of treason. When did he move to the left? The ACA was his first term, so was the Lily Ledbetter Act. What big government programs came during the last years of his administration?

Candidates inspired by Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Elizabeth Warren and a host of well-funded groups have embraced sharply leftist ideas. But the results at the voting booth have been anything but positive: Democrats lost over 1,000 legislative seats across the country and control of both houses of Congress during the Obama years. And in special elections for Congress this year, they failed to take back any seats held by Republicans.

Yeah, Dems lost a lot of seats during the Obama administration. The entire eight years of the Obama administration, not just the last few when you claim there was this big leftward lurch. Democrats lost a lot of seats because of gerrymandering. They lost a lot of seats because the party in the White House typically loses seats in midterm elections. And they lost a lot of seats due to there being a racist backlash against the first black president. Also because they abandoned Howard Dean's 50-State Strategy.

And when the Democrats ran outspoken progressive candidates like Elizabeth Warren, Al Franken, or Sherrod Brown, they won. When they ran centrist milquetoasts like Michelle Nunn or Martha Coakley, they lost.

And who are these "well-funded" groups embracing "sharply leftist ideas?" I can't think of a single one.

Central to the Democrats’ diminishment has been their loss of support among working-class voters, who feel abandoned by the party’s shift away from moderate positions on trade and immigration, from backing police and tough anti-crime measures, from trying to restore manufacturing jobs. They saw the party being mired too often in political correctness, transgender bathroom issues and policies offering more help to undocumented immigrants than to the heartland.

Okay, I am really sick of this trope. You do not have to choose between "identity politics" and progressive economic measures. The Republicans have no problem promoting their destructive economics while donning the mantle of the good ol' boy rural gun-toting, WalMart-shopping, pickup-driving, country-music-listening Bible-thumper. So why should Democrats? How hard is it to say "we support progressive taxation, a livable minimum wage, and equality for women, minorities, and the LGBT community?" It's one sentence. It's a flase choice and I'm sick of the "conventional wisdom" brigade treating it as if it were an inescapable truism.

Also, you think what voters want is "moderate positions?" How do you explain this?

Poll: Bernie Sanders country’s most popular active politician

Poll: Bernie Sanders is most popular U.S. politician

Why Bernie Sanders Is The Most Popular Politician In America

03/20/2017 06:31 am ET | Updated Mar 20, 2017

Thing 4: Members of Trump's Turd Reich (TM) are meeting with some awfully unsavory people.

Jeff Sessions addresses 'anti-LGBT hate group,' but DOJ won't release his remarks

It's actually not even that shocking that Sessions would address a hate group, but the event was closed to the press and they won't say what he said to them?

Sessions addressed members of the Alliance Defending Freedom, which was designated an “anti-LGBT hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2016, at the Summit on Religious Liberty at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, in Dana Point, California.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Alliance Defending Freedom is a legal advocacy group founded in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 1994 that “specializes in supporting the recriminalization of homosexuality abroad, ending same-sex marriage and generally making life as difficult as possible for LGBT communities in the U.S. and internationally.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice confirmed that Sessions addressed the Alliance Defending Freedom on Tuesday but did not respond to multiple requests to release his remarks. The Department of Justice released a transcript of remarks he delivered in Dallas earlier on Tuesday and a transcript of remarks he delivered in Las Vegas on Wednesday, but a transcript of his address to the Alliance Defending Freedom has yet to be released.

And. . .

Betsy DeVos to Meet With Accused Rapists

The secretary of education will hear personal stories from those claiming they were falsely accused of rape, as well as a ‘men’s rights’ group.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will hear personal accounts on Thursday from two former students and attorneys representing men who allege they were falsely accused of rape, according to a spokesperson for Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE), a nonprofit that is described by the Southern Policy Law Center (SPLC) as promoting misogyny. The ex-students meeting with Secretary DeVos are Joseph Roberts, a retired Navy serviceman who previously lobbied members of Congress about what SAVE describes as the “military’s sexual assault witch hunt,” and Jonathon Andrews, a representative from SAVE who claims he was the victim of multiple false accusations that were meant to punish him after Andrews alleged that he was sexually assaulted by a member of his fraternity.

Yeah, those are the kind of people who should be taken seriously. These are clearly people who deserve to have their stories heard by a god damned cabinet member. The guy who thinks that the military -- THE MILITARY!-- is too overzealous in its rape prosecutions. And a guy who somehow mysteriously keeps having accusations of rape leveled at him for some unknown reason because obviously he didn't do any rapes, duh!
So Betsy DeVos heard about the rape crisis on America's college campuses and thought "they're right. There totally is a huge problem with these awful women going around accusing these fine young men of rape! I must meet with these poor unfortunate men!

And I'm sure there have been more things. Many many things that we haven't touched on here. But honestly, it's too much already.