D-D Day, “Democracy is Dead Day”

Two weeks ago I wrote about the upcoming decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Commissions, and how a ruling in that case overturning the lower court, would destroy once and for all the fiction that citizens have any influence in the so-called democratic political system of the United States.

Well the Supreme Court just handed down their decision: 5-4 in favor of overturning the lower court’s ruling. So let me make the situation now absolutely crystalline clear by quoting from my previous post:

…McCain-Feingold will be eviscerated, corporations will be elevated to the status of people once and for all and will be able to dump as much money as they want, into any election they want, in support of whomever they want.

Imagine how politics will be conducted after such a decision. Any politician that deviates from the corporate orthodoxy, even a little, will simply be unseated in his/her next election. Corporations will deploy their limitless resources to ensure that no one…EVER…votes in a way that harms their interest.

From now on the only voice that will speak in US elections will be the voice of money. If you have it—corporations and the very wealthy—you are now infinitely more powerful, more equal, than any single citizen or group of citizens.

Need health care? Want to reform the insurance system? Want to force the government to stop giving public money straight to Wall Street? F*cking forget about it! No politician, from Pelosi to Reid, McCain to Feingold, will dare risk the consequences of opposing corporate interests.

As I said in my previous post: Game over!

Send in the clowns

Bush on Lessons from Previous Disasters: Don’t Set Expectations Too High
This was an actual headline over at ABCNews.com this week.  I’m sure the Haitians, who’ve just suffered a 6.1 aftershock today, will be delighted to hear that our former President is riding to their aid.  To be fair to the Demander in Chief that’s not exactly what W said.  Still remembering how he handled Hurricane Katrina it does sound like him doesn’t it?  Set the bar low, story of George W. Bush’s life.  How sad that he’s even involved in the Haiti mission.  Frankly I’d have preferred to keep the Bush, Sr./Clinton tag team intact.  I mean what’s W going to do ship ’em beer and pretzels?  Time for you to retire from public life buddy and just go away.

Brown defeats Coakley – New senator pledges to pose nude for Congressional Record

Republican Scott Brown became the newest member of the U.S. Senate last night, defeating Democrat Martha Coakley 52-47% in the close Massachusetts race for the seat of the late Edward M. Kennedy.

Brown thanked an overflow of supporters at Boston’s Park Plaza Hotel. “You have helped this son of the Bay State get one step closer to my dream of becoming the first nude centerfold in the Congressional Record,” said Brown, who also was Cosmopolitan Magazine’s Mr. June 1982.

Brown attributed his late surge to Levi Johnston, former future son-in-law of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, and Jeff Gannon, former White House correspondent for Talon News. “I am so grateful they were able to join me on the campaign trail in the critical final days, as examples to show the people of Massachusetts what the GOP has to offer.”

“The three of us were a former male nude model dream team,” he said.

The senator-elect said he looked forward to Senate orientation, and to meeting and working with his new GOP colleagues — “except for John Ensign, who is to never be left alone with my wife and daughters,” Brown said.

Coakley did not appear at her election night headquarters, instead undergoing treatment for a broken finger. The injury occurred at about the time Coakley pointed the finger at the White House, while complaining to chief of staff Rahm Emanuel that the Obama administration waited too late to start campaigning for her.

The Upside of a GOP Win In Massachusetts

According to House Speaker Pelosi (D-CA), a GOP win in the Massachusetts special election…

“…doesn’t mean we won’t have a health care bill. Instead, it would simply be a question about how we would proceed.”

But the sad fact is that win by Scott Brown would be a godsend for Democrats. Then, instead of having to explain why health care went down to defeat—as moderate and liberal democrats defect at the crucial moment—Democrats can point at the Republican minority and say, “…it’s their fault! They defeated this bill.” Far better for the Democrats than having to explain why they can’t lead, won’t fight, can’t unite, and crafted a crap bill that looks like it was written by the insurance industry lobby.

A Brown win is the easy way out, though it remains to be seen whether Pelosi and Reid have sufficient legislative skill to take advantage of a it.

Insurance industry hospital ship to Haiti – S.S. Hopeless will serve rich quake victims

More aid from the U.S. arrived in Haiti today as the insurance industry’s hospital ship S.S. Hopeless sailed into Port-Au-Prince harbor, on a mission to bring much needed medical relief to rich survivors of the 7.0 earthquake that struck the country January 12.

The Hopeless had steamed at top speed from the Bahamas, where it waited for six days while Haiti’s paperwork was being processed.

“We are here to bring the world’s best health care system to the Haitian elite,” explained Julie McCoy, the Hopeless’s cruise director.

“Medical care for poor quake victims is being provided by emergency public options funded by the world’s governments and nonprofits, so the industry role is to offer a standard of care and service to Haitians willing to pay the free-market price,” McCoy said.

The Hopeless is a 32,000 ton Connecticut-registered vessel, recognized around the world by the familiar green dollar sign painted on its side. It carries 500 private rooms, a galley staffed by six cordon bleu chefs, 12 operating suites for elective surgery, 20 magnetic resonance imaging scanners, a claims department, a Wal-Mart pharmacy, and an IMAX theater currently showing Avatar.

The Hopeless is suspending many of its normal policies due to the urgent nature of the Haiti situation. Plate tectonics won’t be treated as a preexisting condition, and patients will be able to add domestic servants to their policies at a rate of 30% of full premium instead of 50%.

S.S. Hopeless

In other news, surging GOP Massachusetts senate candidate Scott Brown brought in help yesterday to put his effort over the top. The former male centerfold’s office announced that Jeff Gannon and Levi Johnston were flown in to help campaign for Brown on the final day of his race against Democrat Martha Coakley. “The male centerfold aficionado voting bloc is going to put us over the top,” said a spokesman.

ERITAS and Wiseline Institute and Center for The Secular Humorism celebrates its 300th post on Ragebot

Dispatches From South America – Water Issues

I suspect that, even in the US, there are many places where the availability potable water is an issue, but of course I’ve never lived in one. Consequently, it never occurred to me that I’d have to deal with the fact that, “…you can’t drink the water.”

This is no joke. Quito is bad. You can bathe in the water that comes from the tap, provided you don’t have any open cuts on your body, but you sure as sh*t can’t drink it or even brush your teeth with it. On the other hand, Quito is pretty high up in the Andes and close to its water sources. We don’t ever see the water turn a funny color like it did in Cusco (Peru), and Quito’s water doesn’t stink like the water in Lima. But consider Guayaquil, Ecuador’s most populous city and on the coast to boot. They’ve got real problems. You can’t drink the water there. You can’t cook with it, and some guidebooks recommend not bathing in it. Though I have no idea how you’d manage that.

So what’s our life like here where the water isn’t potable? Well…mostly we boil water…a lot of water…three or four times a day. In fact, we boil the CR*P out of it because at 9,500 ft. water boils readily but not effectively when sterilization is the goal. And we haul water, lots of water, in 5 liter jugs, uphill (both ways!) from the local mercado. And despite all the precautions, both the Frogette and I have had a bout of stomach flu in our 5 weeks south of the equator. Was it the water? Who really knows, but it’s the most likely culprit. Gives me a whole new appreciation of how lucky most people in the US have it where water is concerned.

More ‘Dispatches From South America’

iNews Friday, 1/15/2010

A sampling of this week’s output from the iNews 9000 Turbo wi-fi headline translator—

Headline: Steele- Reid should step down from leadership role for ‘Negro’ remark
Translation: “Let GOP handle the Negro remarks”

Headline: Sarah Palin takes Fox News commentator job
Translation: In anticipation Bill O’Reilly places large falafel order

Headline: Scalia sides with sex offenders against federal law
Translation: Thomas prefers Jenna Jameson to Sasha Grey

Headline: White House nears deal on health care
Translation: Don’t. Get. The undercoating

Headline: Pat Robertson says Satanic pact caused Haiti quake
Translation: Robertson also says small gnome stole his carkeys

Headline: State weighs giving up control over tuition hikes
Translation: Colleges could adopt Comcast billing model

Headline: Rightwingers fail to dent US donation surge
Translation: GOP introduces resolution to rename Haiti ‘Katrina’

Headline: ‘Pants on the ground!’
Translation: Belt industry launches awareness campaign


Robertson, Limbaugh sweep Demons Choice Awards

(Westmost, NC) Conservative media personalities were the big winners at yesterday’s Demons Choice Awards, the evil industry’s annual gala held at the Dukes of Hazzard Theater in downtown Westmost.

Talk show host Rush Limbaugh won three awards and television evangelist and Christian Broadcasting Network founder Pat Robertson took home four of the coveted Demons Choice statuettes, the depleted uranium winged lizard with fangs stained with real human blood.

Limbaugh’s politicization of Haiti disaster relief brought him victories in the categories of Satan’s Favorite Handmaiden, Most Likely To Share Hitler’s Dorm Room In Hell, and “The Severed Ear” — which goes to the past year’s highest-rated radio program in Hades.

While Limbaugh won because of his Haiti work, it was Robertson who took repugnance to the next level by falsely blaming God for the Haiti earthquake and deaths of thousands. The Virginia Beach, VA, televangelist won Favorite Hound Of Hell, Most Admired Incubus, and the ceremony’s most coveted award, Spiked Phallus of The Year.

Robertson was also given a fourth honor, the Rev. Jim Jones Lifetime Achievement Award.

Backstage after the ceremony, Robertson flashed a fanged smile for photographers while cradling his radioactive statuettes. However, Robertson’s image failed to register in any of the photos.

The questions still need asking

Before I head off back to the splendid isolation of my rural retreat, which lacks power and other amenities like internet, a quick reflection on issues arising in the past week or so. Well perhaps this can be summarized with headline and sub-head which caught my attention: Who else but Fox News would have Sarah Palin? Palin fits in totally at Fox – standing up for ignorance and stupidity.

The late Sir Keith Murdoch was widely regarded as a ‘scholar and a gentleman’ in Australia. An unofficial sobriquet to be sure, but the highest accolade one Aussie can give to another. Sure he ended up owning newspapers, the springboard for the loathsome Rupert, but Keith cared about journalism and about those in the industry. He helped establish the AJA, the journos union here.

Now second question here is: How did Rupert catapult a minor region media property into a global enterprise? Oh, and a third: Why did Rupert start talking about charging online access fees after the demise of his political benefactors?

Rupert accepted his inheritance with great pleasure and sought to make his name immediately with the launch of ‘The Australian’ newspaper. Rupert soon joined forces with transport magnate, Peter Abeles; allegedly shipping illicit drugs around the word. Possibly complicit in this was Bush Sen., Cheney and that toad Richard Armitage.

Back to media; Rupert quickly found a home in the USA, dumping his Australian passport for a more profitable one. As a compliant minion of the American political establishment Rupert had it made, so long as they lasted and he followed order. Presumably embracing (a horrid thought) Palin Rupert sees the potential to stay in the loop.

The point is, Murdoch is not committed to journalism, rather he is committed to his on vision of power. Now we have some national leaders with IQs bigger than their shoe sizes one would hope that is a false hope for Rupe. On the other hand, IQ is no real indicator of potential. It is up to the people to keep badgering and asking.

Palin makes Fox debut

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin made her first regular appearance as a member of the Fox News team last night, in a performance being widely praised for her ability to point while making eye contact with the camera.

The 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee delivered the network’s 8 pm national weather forecast, showing off her new American Meteorogical Society certification.

Palin said the eastern U.S. establishment should expect continued cold temperatures, “because with a wave of his hand the Almighty is gonna freeze all you elitists in carbonite.”

“Sodomites in San Francisco will experience locusts, fire and brimstone,” she continued. “While in the red states, expect flight delays in the event of Rapture what with all the people flyin’ up to meet Jesus.”

“There’ll be a lot of rain in Seattle, which you could see if it wasn’t covered by all these white swirly things,” said Palin.

“Seattle’s red on this map — not because it’s a red state, but because they’re socialists,” she said.

Palin supporters no doubt had their fingers crossed as their hero concluded her inaugural broadcast with a forecast for the Far East. She rewarded their faith by correctly describing the difference between North and South Korea. “North Korea is the one above the dotted line,” she said.