Wednesday, August 31, 2011

One More Thing

One more thing about Limbaugh. Believe me, it pains me to mention him again so soon, because the mere thought of his porcine face makes me nauseous, just like certain odors bring on an instant gag reflex. But I can't let this pass.

In his latest screed, El Pusball advised that orange faced baboon, John Boehner, to put Obama "in his place." And I'm wondering just where the fatuous turd thinks the President of the United State's place is?

Obviously somewhere beneath Boehner's. And Limbaugh's. And all the mental and spiritual dwarfs that make up the Republican presidential contenders. And the ghost of the "sainted" Ronald Reagan (God, don't get me started on that asshole).

And all the other white men, living and dead, in America, too?

Just guessing, but if Obama were white, this shit wouldn't be happening. Oh, there would be plenty of other shit for Rush to roll around in. That, after all, is what pigs do. They can't help it--it's genetic.

But this particular, "let's put him in his place" shit? I don't think so.

At Least He's Consistent

The sun rises. The sun sets. The tides go in and out. And Rush Limbaugh makes a racially tinged remark about President Obama. Ho hum. Just another day on planet earth.

Say what you want about that mendacious, pustular, bloated bag of noxious fumes, but lil' Rushie sure knows his audience. And ain't no uppity colored going to put one over on the retarded hillbillies as long as Rush is there to warm 'em! No sir, no way!

I'm sorry, did I say "retarded"? I meant intellectually challenged.

"Only in America", as Don King--yet another charlatan grifter--but of a slightly different sort--used to say, could a malicious, sneering, drug addicted buffoon make many millions of dollars a year by appealing to the basest instincts of a bunch of stupid, fearful, sexist, racist, homophobic, hateful, morons.

Everything You Need To Know About The Phoenix Mayoral Race In 25 Words or Less

Wes Gullett used to work for J. Fife Symington III and John "the Maverick" McCain. And he's proud of it. The end.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cheney v. McCain

So in this "book" that the Dark Lord Cheney "wrote" he apparently takes some potshots at John McCain, R-Hensley & Co.

This is reminiscent of nothing so much as two old, neutered, toothless tomcats yowling away on a ramshackle fence somewhere.

Except that the Maverick has decided to take the highroad and not yowl back.

He is a statesman, after all. Also, the last time he dared to mess with the Bush-Cheney-Rove lie machine, circa 2000 in the South Carolina primary, he got chewed up pretty badly.

And there are two things every old, neutered, toothless tomcat knows: where they stand in the pecking order and not to make the same mistake twice.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday night music video

Because I'm quite frankly fed up with the political situation these days and the fact that I'm hot and tired and the fact that I'm really bummed about the earthquake and hurricane both hitting the east coast in one week (even though that's actually the good news -- they turned out to be much less serious than expected and everyone I know came out OK), I need something to cheer me up tonight -- and I'm betting you do as well.

Therefore, I offer you this: Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes along with Bruce -- doing one of the greatest Jersey Shore songs ever!

Tales From The Dark Lord

Dick Cheney, who is, despite all of our prayers, still alive, has written a book!

The Dark Lord Cheney, whose soul, if he ever had one, was, I'm sure, a small and shriveled thing, must keep whatever little conscience he has left in an undisclosed location. How else could he possibly presume to write a book? What was it the man said? "Have you no shame, sir?"

I'm afraid that for the next few days at least little Dick will be unavoidable. His hand picked interviewers will ask fawning questions while he sneers that still boyish sneer of his.

I will not read his book. You will not read his book.

I'm reminded of something Mary McCarthy once said about Lillian Hellman: "Every word she writes is a lie, including 'and' and 'the'."

That pretty much sums up my feelings about Dick Cheney's literary efforts.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

What Year Is It?

Ron Paul, who is from Texas, which, when you get right down to it, accounts for most of what he says, doesn't think much of FEMA. In fact, he'd prefer us to do things the way they did them in "1900". Folks helpin' folks on a local level--without the dadgum gubmint interfering. (At this point, feel free to spit some tobacco "juice" and hitch up your pants.)

So, when the hurricane, or tornado, or earthquake flattens your town, don't come crying to Ron Paul. Just bend over, grab your bootstraps, and pull. If that doesn't work, tough. You don't need no Federal aid--you just need to pull harder!

You see, this is what we're up against. There are people, not as many as Fox News wants you to think, but definitely enough to screw things up for the rest of us, who want to turn back the clock 100 years or more, to what they imagine, in their tiny little brains, was a "better" America.

Admit it, things were so much better before child labor laws, when you could work those little suckers until they dropped. When women could not vote, black people dare not vote, and homosexuals didn't even exist, except in European novels. Before all those pesky, intrusive Federal regulations that keep our food and water and air (reasonably) clean. Before the 40 hour week and OSHA, before unemployment insurance, before universal elementary education and Social Security and Medicare and all those other "socialist" ideas that have destroyed the Eden that once was.

You know, being nostalgic for the "golden age" that people like Ron Paul hold so dear is like being nostalgic for a cholera epidemic.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Need some federal funds for hurricane relief? F.U. says Cantor...

Every time I think Eric Cantor couldn't be more cruel or stupid than he already is, he proves me wrong. It's really a bit unbelievable to see the lengths this guy will go to to please Grover Norquist. You see, he's now decided that no money should be spent on hurricane relief without corresponding cuts on other federal programs (you're right, he only wants to cut those programs that help the poor -- God forbid we should cut defense!).

Cantor's spokesperson told Talking Points Memo today:
"We aren't going to speculate on damage before it happens, period," his spokesperson Laena Fallon emails. "But, as you know, Eric has consistently said that additional funds for federal disaster relief ought to be offset with spending cuts."

Now note that Fallon says "ought", not "must" -- but I think that's a distinction that really doesn't matter. We've already seen what Cantor and his ilk want to do to the federal budget -- in their ideological world, the only purpose for government is to transfer money from the bottom up to the wealthy. They have shown this to be true over and over and over again. Yet people still vote for them -- go figure.

I'm sure there have been more despicable people to reach positions as powerful as the one Cantor now occupies, that of House Majority Leader, but with the notable exceptions of Dick Cheney and Tom DeLay I have to think really hard to remember one. Usually the system realizes just how inhumane these people are and spits them out after they have their few moments of fame -- but Cantor is still with us and I doubt seriously that his district will vote him out, especially since they are inland and won't bear the brunt of the coming storm. I suspect the rest of the state (especially the coastal areas) will disagree with Cantor, after all,  Governor McDonnell has already declared a state of emergency -- precisely so the state will be eligible for federal disaster funds.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

You Can't Argue With Crazy

Jon Huntsman seems like a reasonable fellow. Moderately intelligent and with mostly moderate beliefs. There's no way I would ever vote for him, but I'd understand if some of you would. Of course he's got that goofy religion weighing him down, but hell, they all have some form of goofy religion weighing them down. That's the American Way and there's no getting around it.

Too bad Huntsman has chosen to be a member of a party that has gone completely crazy. I mean howling at the moon, rolling around in its own feces, frothing at the mouth, barking mad.

A day doesn't pass without either Michele Bachmann or Rick Perry, the two current darlings of the Republican base, saying something that astounds us all with its slack jawed stupidity. The groundlings eat it up and Fox News roars its approval. No, you just can't be too crazy for the typical Republican voter these days. Global warming? Hoax! Raise taxes on billionaires? Job killer! National Healthcare? Socialism! Medicare and Social Security? Privatize!

Look, there's poor Sarah Palin, filled with envy, feeling left out as the circus rolls past, her nose pressed to the glass of her idling non-campaign bus, as she screams plaintively "What about me? Don't you remember me? I can be just as crazy as they are!" Of course you can, dear.

The sad truth is there's no place left in the GOP for someone who even occasionally recognizes and acknowledges those troubling things called "facts". They really have created their own reality and they will not brook any form of rational dissent.

So, sorry Jon Huntsman, you may well be a sane and honest man, but you've picked the wrong party and the wrong century. Save your breath. You can't argue with crazy. It's pointless.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Senatorial Snark

John McCain, R-Hanoi, and Lindsey Graham, R-Hillbilly, could not muster up the decency to give President Obama any credit whatsoever for the impending demise of Moammar Gadhafi. They managed to praise the Libyan people and NATO forces but found nothing good to say about the actions of our President. In fact they condemned Obama for not using more US air power earlier.

Of course, Graham is stuffed so deep in the Israel Lobby's pocket it's a wonder he can still breathe, and both he and McCain were cheerleaders for W's Iraq war, (Arizona's favorite POW also had a hardon for bombing Iran), so maybe this dynamic duo's realpolitik expertise is just a little suspect.

McCain in particular has been wrong so many times that taking his advice about foreign policy (or anything for that matter) is the same as taking Casey Anthony's advice about childcare.

Indeed the "legend" of Maverick John McCain is based almost entirely on his being a prisoner of war 40 years ago. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that means he got caught and surrendered.

Call me old fashioned, but holding your hands in the air and saying please don't shoot me does not qualify one as either a hero or a foreign policy expert. And only in Arizona does it qualify you for the Senate.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Free Market In Action

Because we don't really like to leave the house unless we positively have to, Mrs. Franklin and I always vote early by mail. (Her Mother was fond of saying "there are a lot of kooks out there", and the funny thing is, she was right.)

This time the ballot contained, in addition to the chance to vote for the ineffectual cipher of our choice for Mayor of Phoenix, the rare opportunity to engage in free market economics, the bedrock of this great nation.

See, somebody wants to build a gas station near a neighborhood and naturally, the NIMBY gene being so strong, this has caused an uproar.

In the past, the compassionate, caring part of me would side with the neighbors. But not anymore.

I voted for the gas station. Hey, this is Arizona, remember? The rights of businesses are more important than the rights of the individual. You folks keep electing a bunch of neo-conservative, free market luvin', "corporations are people" spouting, mostly Republican, punks and this is what you get.

Live by the free market, die by the free market.

Enjoy the toxic fumes and plumes.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Some Good News in Arizona

State Senate Majority Leader Russell Pearce's recall election has been certified and will take place in November. The unfortunate thing of this recall is that there is an obscure law in Arizona that apparently means the taxpayers will have to foot Pearce's bills for the recall!

Funny -- Pearce is the guy against big government, against wasting taxpayer funds, against ANY public financing of campaigns. Yet he seems to have no problem in accepting those same funds in an attempt to hold on to his power, power that I would argue has been misused against the Arizona taxpayer.

If you go to the comment section, be aware that some of the people who comment on the Arizona Republic website seem to be tried and true crazy freepers -- and there are some particularly ridiculous comments here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


As we approach the tenth anniversary of September 11th, the avoidable tragedy that will be forever known, like Pearl Harbor, by its date, we find ourselves in an increasingly terrifying world.

Even though Bin Laden is finally dead--and killed not by order of that smirking, flight suit wearing, dry drunk, AWOL prone National Guardsman, Simple W, or his puppet master, the gun safety poster boy, multi student deferment wielding, Dark Lord Cheney, but instead by Barack Obama, our Kenyan Socialist semi-Democrat President--the world just gets scarier and scarier.

It turns out the enemy, to paraphrase Pogo, is "us".

"We" get fooled over and over by the same divide and conquer tactics that Nixon proudly called his Southern Strategy. Emphasize fear more than anything else. Play the whites off against the blacks. As an added twist play both off against the browns.

"We" accept stupid, simplistic explanations from bought and paid for corporate mouthpieces masquerading as statesmen or "mavericks".

"We" forget the lessons and struggles of the past at the drop of a hat. As a nation we have ADHD. We believe in a fictional history, fairy tales about a nation that never existed. And whoever tells them the best, Ronald Reagan being the prime example of this, gets our vote.

"We" make millionaires out of Murdoch, Limbaugh, Beck, O'Reilly and all of the other purveyors of hate, fear and divisiveness.

"We" don't want to pay taxes--but we still want services. But just for "us" and not for "them". Because "they" don't deserve them and "we" do.

"We" want to blame someone else. Usually the wrong someone else.

This nation will never fall to a foreign enemy. But the enemies within? I'm not so sure.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

If nothing else, remember this!

Jim Hightower, former TX State Agriculture Commissioner, author, activist and close friend of Molly Ivins on Rick Perry: "He's George W. Bush without the intelligence or the ethics."

That ought to scare the living shit out of you.....

Monday, August 15, 2011

B. Franklin's Book Club

I bet you're as tired of the Washington gambol as I am. Call it a Super Dooper Committee of the Devoted and Caring, if you want--I don't care. As Vladimir said to Estragon in Waiting for Godot, "I begin to weary of this motif."

Really, how many times can they avoid the obvious solutions? Talk about the blind leading the blind. Here's an idea: let it burn to the ground...perhaps we can make something interesting from the rubble. No? Well then I'm sorry, but my dance card is full and I'm looking for other, more soothing, forms of entertainment.

How about a book or two? Glad you asked.

Comedian-actor-screenwriter-director Albert Brooks has added another hyphenate: novelist. His Twenty Thirty: the real story of what happened to America is a fairly entertaining look at what becomes of the USA in the year 2030. Hint: we're deeply in hock to China and the BIG ONE finally hits Southern California. Brooks is not much of a prose stylist, but some of the dialogue is clever, and the book is brimming with interesting ideas--sometimes amusing, sometimes frightening--about the future of our benighted land.

Crime is a collection of short stories by a German defense attorney, Ferdinand von Schirach, and it contains enough fascinating characters to keep a legion of film noir screenwriters busy for years. Mr. von Schirach knows the intimacies of the criminal mind and this is flat out a wonderful book. Like the man says, "most things are complicated, and guilt always presents a bit of a problem."

Equus and Amadeus, two of the great plays of the last century, were written by Peter Shaffer. His most recent play, if 1992 can be considered recent, is The Gift of the Gorgon. "A famous playwright has fallen to his death on the Greek island where he exiled himself after the failure of his last play...leaving his wife and a son he never acknowledged to sort through the wreckage..." And then the "fun" begins. It is a difficult and complicated piece, laced with allusions to Greek mythology, which probably accounts for it never having any major American production. Judi Dench, who starred in the award winning London production, reportedly hated the play. And, as you read it, you can understand her reasons. But still, a major work from a major playwright, and attention must be paid. PS there's a multi-part conversation between Shaffer and the playwright John Guare posted on youtube, if that sort of thing interests you.

And last but not least, Padgett Powell, a novelist I was previously unaware of, gives us The Interrogative Mood, a novel?, which consists of nothing but questions. It is laugh out loud funny, but also much, much more. A short book that you never want to end. Trust me, my poor words do not do it justice.

If they haven't shuttered your local library--necessary austerity measures, you know--or if there are any bookshops left open near you, preferably of the independent variety, put down the remote control, get thee hence and start thee reading.

Remember, a mind is a terrible thing to waste. Unless you're in the Congress, of course, where wasted minds go to quorum.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Faith Debased

Rick Perry? Devout Christian.
Michele Bachmann? Devout Christian.
Rick Santorum? Devout Christian.
Sarah Palin? Devout Christian.
Herman Cain? Devout Christian.
Newt Gingrich? Christian. I guess it depends on what your definition of "devout" is.
Mitt Romney? Devout Mormon. (Some fundamentalists don't think that Mormon's actually are true Christians. Personally, I couldn't care less--but really, who are you going to believe, a bunch of snake handlers, or a good conservative free market businessman who made his millions by buying up companies, stripping off the assets, and then firing everybody in sight? Forget that "cult" stuff, I say Mitt's a True Republican and a Devout Christian.)

I don't know about you, but taken as a group I can't think of a better advertisement for atheism.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

All politics is local

For a couple of weeks I've been stumped -- what should I write about? The manufactured debt ceiling "crisis"? The Wisconsin recall elections? The crazy people in my home state of Arizona (particularly in Quartzsite -- Google it if you don't know what I'm talking about)? The absolutely crazy people running for the Republican Presidential nomination? The even crazier people who talk about these issues on Fox News every night (believe it or not, even with RupertGate going on in the U.K., they are still with us)?

Nope, instead I'm going to write about something a little more serious -- politics. I can't remember offhand who it was who said "all politics is local" but I'm coming to believe that it's true. Everytime I think of my state senator, Ron Gould (AKA the man who feels that guns are a good idea in both the state senate and on college campuses), I feel a pulsing in my temple, a vein pops out in the side of my neck, and my face gets as red as a pomegranate. So I've decided it's time to try to do something about it.

I was listening to Thom Hartmann the other day and he was discussing how the tea partiers have come to have such an inordinate influence on the Republican party and, by extension, out entire political system recently. He said something that struck me -- the most powerful office in the U.S. is not the Presidency, or a seat in the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives, or even a state governor. Nope, it's the local precinct committeeman. You see, those are the people in every district of every state who ultimately decide who goes on the ballot in primary elections. If you look at what the tea party has done since 2009, you'll see that they've gone in at the local level and made sure that their candidates are always on the primary ballots and then they work like hell to get them elected. That friends, is power.

So I went and volunteered at my local Democratic HQ the other day and told them I wanted to run for precinct committeeman. I found out that it's actually very easy -- in fact, the first step is just to be appointed. Tonight I attended a meeting of our local Democrats and trust me, in my area (Mohave County, Arizona) that is a small meeting. My thoughts in the past were that I couldn't make a difference here -- after all, I wouldn't even put an Obama sticker on my car for fear of vandalism. That is how pervasive the right-wingers are here in Kingman. But I've now come to the realization that if every Democrat or progressive out there in the red states and red counties continues to feel that way, then nothing will ever change. The meeting tonight energized me in a way I haven't felt in a long, long time. Writing on a blog is wonderful as is commenting on political bulletin boards. Making telephone calls and going door-to-door for a national candidate is a great thing as well -- but now I'm going to try to get in at the bottom and really try to make a difference.

After all, all politics is local.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Four questions for today's Republican Party:

When you succeed in killing off the middle class, what's next?

Once the middle class is gone, who's going to buy things? Poor people struggle merely to subsist and there will never be enough rich people to support the economy. Your corporate friends are really going to miss the buying power of the 200 million or so people you're reducing to hand to mouth living. China sure isn't going to make up the difference and Europe never has and never will. But by all means keep driving down the average wage and shipping jobs overseas and see what happens.

What are you going to do with all of those angry, newly poor people? When they figure out you've been lying to them for all of these years it will get very ugly, very quickly.

Finally, how high do you think the walls around your gated communities will have to be when the time comes to keep the rest of us out?

Monday, August 8, 2011

The N.R.A. Man of the Year

You can stop voting, we have a winner! The N.R.A. Man of the Year is from Chandler, Arizona. It had to be Arizona, of course, and it might as well be Chandler, where the official town motto is "We're somewhere south of Tempe, just keep driving."

Our winner won his title by the time honored method. He shot himself. Where? Well, that's where it gets fun! This young Charles Bronson wannabe shot himself in what used to be called, in far gentler times than these, "his private parts." That's right. No doubt imagining himself as an undercover cop, or maybe even a hitman, our hero tucked his piece into the waistband of his pants and Kablooey! You know, I bet that really hurt. Pretty bloody, too. But he was probably able to distract himself from the pain and gore until the ambulance came by reciting the Second Amendment, over and over again, like a mantra.

Since these are not the "gentler times" I mentioned earlier, thanks to the paper we know that he shot his penis and not his testicles. Therefore we can assume that this genius is still able to reproduce. Which means we can count on more potential challengers for the title of "N.R.A. Man of the Year" in the not too distant future.

Not to worry, though. Darwin was right about many things and the herd has a way of thinning itself out.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Worst Case Scenario

My boy and I went to see the angry monkey movie today and naturally that got me to thinking about our Republican cousins and the 2012 election.

To begin with, we should never underestimate the ability of the American people to do the wrong thing. Exhibit #1: the 2004 Presidential election. I'm sure that some of you believe, as I do, that the 2004 vote in Ohio was rigged. But the point is that the election shouldn't have been close enough for "electronic funny business" in one Midwestern state to have made any difference. After 4 years of Simple W--the Appointee in Chief--and the Dark Lord Cheney, including their Keystone Kops act on September 11th, the resulting bait and switch war in Iraq and, to top it off, replacing a large surplus with a huge deficit, how could more than 60 million people still vote for the Republican ticket? Are they that stupid? Sadly, the answer is "yes".

So let's say up is really down and black is really white and in 2012 the good citizens of the USA elect some lunatic Republican to the highest office in the land. (Next to Grover Norquist's, that is. Oh, that's right, he's never been elected to anything. He's a lobbyist. Strange, isn't it?)

And let's throw in the Senate for good measure. So that means the White House, both houses of Congress, and perhaps most importantly, the Supreme Court, would all be in Republican hands.

Doesn't really matter which Republican either. Sure Bachmann (or Palin or Cain or Perry) might be the craziest of the lot, but when you get right down to it, is there really that much difference between any of them and Romney (or Pawlenty, or Gingrich or, hell, any angry monkey)?

Can you imagine a country run by these people with absolutely no checks and balances?

And you think you're fucked now?! Baby, you don't know what fucked is...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Being essentially an understanding, compassionate, bleeding heart liberal, (I consider these to be virtues, by the way), I'd like to think that President Obama had no choice but to go along with the latest Republican attack on the well being of the American people.

The Israelis may have the luxury of saying that they don't negotiate with terrorists, but when the terrorists are duly elected members of the United States' Congress it is a slightly different matter. And when the credit and honor of the nation is at stake in addition to the economic well being of much of the world, well...

It is true that nothing good can get through the House of Representatives at this point. The Tea Party Jacobins have scared whatever little sense there was out of the other Republicans. So maybe this is the best deal he could get. I don't know.

I do know that Mr. Obama is a cautious man who likes to calculate and re-calculate and run through every possible hypothetical. And it may indeed be the case that invoking the 14th Amendment, and telling Boehner and Cantor and McConnell and the rest of the scum to go to hell, might have ended up with the Supreme Court--which at this point is about as corrupt an institution as I can imagine--having to decide the matter. So what?

Let Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, Kennedy, and Alito--the Supreme Corporatists--explain to their "owners" why they let the US default. I for one don't think they have the balls to do it. I mean, what would their country club buddies say?

But now we'll never know.

One thing is for certain: if you believe in the hereafter, then at some point Barack Obama will have to answer to Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Harry Truman, JFK, MLK, RFK, LBJ, Gene McCarthy, and Teddy Kennedy for what he's helped the Republicans do to the citizens of this country.