Sunday, 03/26/2017

the ruin of many a poor bannon


One foot on the platform, the other foot on the train...

ntodd

March 26, 11:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bad Matters Worse

Not All There:

I turned to speak to God,
About the world’s despair;
But to make bad matters worse,
I found God wasn’t there.
 
God turned to speak to me
(Don’t anybody laugh)
God found I wasn’t there—
At least not over half.

Robert Frost.

ntodd

March 26, 10:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

If You Can't Dazzle 'em With Dexterity

Baffle 'em with drunken belligerence:

Steve Bannon may think he is the Sith lord, but the Freedom caucus looked at him and saw...A fat retirement age alcoholic in rumpled clothes stinking of yesterday’s gin with bloodshot eyes, a mean streak a mile wide, who has one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel.

I understand Bannon's liver transplat is covered under Obamacare...

ntodd

March 26, 8:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

I am the god of hell fire, and I bring you!


Bannon's theme song.

ntodd

March 26, 7:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mutually Assured...Democracy?

Still puzzled as to the the point of not using a tool that they will destroy anyway?

Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) signaled Thursday he is open to using the "nuclear option" to eliminate the filibuster entirely if Democrats try to use the maneuver to block the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

Eliminating the filibuster would break Senate precedent and make it impossible for Democrats to hold the nominee to a 60-vote threshold, allowing Republicans to approve Gorsuch with a simple majority.

Graham told conservative radio show host Mike Gallagher that he would vote for the nuclear option if necessary.

"Whatever it takes to get him on the court, I will do," Graham said, after being asked about using the nuclear option.

"If my Democratic colleagues choose to filibuster this guy, then they will be telling me that they don't accept the election results — 306 electoral votes — that they're trying to delegitimize President Trump,” Graham continued. “And that's not right, and we would have to change the rules to have the Supreme Court like everybody else.”

I do fondly remember the Senate comity so passionately expressed by your moving Obama's nominee forward in his last constitutional year of office, fully embracing his 2nd decisive popular and electoral victory in the spirit our Founders would so honor with their lives and framing and shit.... 

ntodd

March 26, 6:05 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stopped Clocks And Shit Sandwiches

Finally, something Senator Tom "Strongly Worded Seditious Letter" Cotton and I can agree upon:

"To release a bill that was written in secret and then expect to pass it in 18 days I just don't think was feasible."

He unfavorably compared Republican efforts to bring the bill to Trump's desk to Democrats' work on health care legislation in 2009.

"For 60 years at least they had been pursuing a national health care system, yet they didn't introduce legislation for eight months," Cotton said. "They didn't pass it for over a year of Barack Obama's first term."

A shit sandwich cooked longer is still a shit sandwich, but at least he recognizes that shoving a shit sandwich down our throats--the image always preferred by our GOP overlords--isn't the best way to get us to want to eat said shit sandwich.

ntodd

March 26, 4:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, 03/25/2017

Madness


Make America Baroque Again!

ntodd

March 25, 11:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

America To Trump

There Is A Way:

for you to make me
perfectly happy,
dearest: drop dead.

Jaime Sabines.

ntodd

March 25, 10:46 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Forget about the little shit

Back when American government was great, or at least passed shit:

Mr. Gilman, from the Joint Committee for Enrolled Bills, reported that the committee had examined two enrolled bills, one entitled "An act to establish an Uniform Rule of Naturalization;" the other entitled "An act making appropriations for the Support of Government, for the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety;" and had found the same to be truly enrolled: Whereupon,

Mr. Speaker signed the said enrolled bills.

Ordered, That the Clerk of this House do acquaint the Senate therewith.

Fucking legislating: how does it work?

ntodd

March 25, 9:22 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

He was willing to make a deal


The boy said, "My name's Donnie..."

ntodd

March 25, 8:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

A candy-colored clown they call the sandman

It started in Ohio:

In 1894, Jacob S. Coxey, an owner of a sand quarry in Massillon, Ohio, faced difficult financial times as the Panic of 1893 gripped the United States. In protest of the federal government's failure to assist the American populace during this economic downturn, Coxey formed a protest march that became known as "Coxey's Army." The group left Massillon, numbering one hundred men, on Easter Sunday, with the intention of marching to Washington, DC, to demand that the United States government assist the American worker. As the group marched to Washington, hundreds more workers joined it along the route. Coxey claimed that his army would eventually number more than 100,000 men. By the time that the army reached Washington, it numbered only five hundred men.

Upon arriving in Washington, Coxey and his supporters demanded that the federal government immediately assist workers by hiring them to work on public projects such as roads and government buildings. The United States Congress and President Grover Cleveland refused.

The New York Times reported--in a tone one modern chronicler calls "bewildered amusement"--the day before departure:

IN DREAMS HE SEES AN ARMY.; Then Coxey Awakes and Sees Only Fifty Tramps.

MASSILLON, Ohio, March 24 -- Nearly 100 recruits for Coxey's Commonweal Army arrived to-day from different points. Most of them are tramps who camped in the woods surrounding the town during the night. A number of them slept in the lock-up, but were rehersed this morning. Among the arrivals is lass M. McCallum, who represents Mrs. Lease, and who asked permission to have her address the army at Pittsburg, which Coxey refused.
...
It is claimed by Marshal Browne that nearly fifty recruits have arrived in Massillon, but up to last night, none of them had been discovered, and reputable Massillonians asserted that the arrivals were all in the mind of the the “Seer and Prophet” as the Marshal styles himself.  The headquarters of the Commonweal consist of one unfurnished room in a new block in West Main Street, one small desk, which when new, cost $7.25, one small soft-coal stove, one nail keg, two chairs, and one saloon table, which has recently seen some service.  Here the mail is opened every morning, and plans for the great movement are talked over.

The Paper of Record didn't know quite what to make of all this, and it's not clear the particpants did either.  While there was a good bit of energy and a lot of common interest, there doesn't appear to have been a whole lot of cohesion in the so-called army.

For example, here's a story in the Times on April 14COMMONWEALERS NIGH UNTO RIOT.; Marshal Browne Bounced by Coxey's "Unknown" in Maryland.  And then when they arrived in DC on April 30th:

  • COXEY WILL DEFY THE LAW - WILL SPEAK AT THE CAPITOL EVEN IF FORBIDDEN. (April 30)
  • COXEY PLACED UNDER ARREST - The Leader of the Mob of Tramps...May Be Fined or Imprisoned Sixty Days. (May 2)
  • COXEY'S ARMY DWINDLING AWAY - According to the order issued yesterday by the District Commissioners, Gen. Coxley would have to remove his camp by Saturday morning...[he] explained that it would be impossible for him to get his men out on so short notice. (May 10)

None other than Jack London took part in the Western contingent:

A "stiff" is a tramp. It was once my fortune to travel a few weeks with a "push" that numbered two thousand. This was known as "Kelly's Army." Across the wild and woolly West, clear from California, General Kelly and his heroes had captured trains; but they fell down when they crossed the Missouri and went up against the effete East. The East hadn't the slightest intention of giving free transportation to two thousand hoboes. Kelly's Army lay helplessly for some time at Council Bluffs. The day I joined it, made desperate by delay, it marched out to capture a train.
...
Then some local genius solved the problem. We wouldn't walk. Very good. We should ride. From Des Moines to Keokuk on the Mississippi flowed the Des Moines River. This particular stretch of river was three hundred miles long. We could ride on it, said the local genius; and, once equipped with floating stock, we could ride on down the Mississippi to the Ohio, and thence up the Ohio, winding up with a short portage over the mountains to Washington.

Des Moines took up a subscription. Public-spirited citizens contributed several thousand dollars. Lumber, rope, nails, and cotton for calking were bought in large quantities, and on the banks of the Des Moines was inaugurated a tremendous era of shipbuilding. Now the Des Moines is a picayune stream, unduly dignified by the appellation of "river." In our spacious western land it would be called a "creek." The oldest inhabitants shook their heads and said we couldn't make it, that there wasn't enough water to float us. Des Moines didn't care, so long as it got rid of us, and we were such well-fed optimists that we didn't care either.

Pay special attention to what happened when London and 9 others went Galt.  Anyway, being an angry, dispossesed tramp is a lot of work...

ntodd

March 25, 7:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

no one's gonna save you from the beast about to strike

When you think about it, we all should be amazed the Democrats were able to keep their shit together enough to pass Obamacare in the first place, let alone stand back and allow the Republicans to implode/explode their own bill.

ntodd

March 25, 6:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Grab a fiddle, everybody!


Baby, what did you expect?

ntodd

March 25, 5:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Watch out you might get what you're after

Lord Dampnut heightens the contradictions:

Trump couldn't blame Ryan, and he couldn't blame the House GOP, so he blamed the Democrats, and he blamed the American people by damning them to what he thinks will be healthcare hell.
 
““I’ve been saying for the last year and a half that the best thing we can do politically speaking is let Obamacare explode,” Trump said at the White House. “I think the losers are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, because now they own Obamacare. They own it, 100 percent own it.” 
 
 And he really, really meant that, because he repeated it for emphasis:

“Perhaps the best thing that could happen is exactly what happened today, because we'll end up with a truly great health care bill in the future after this mess known as Obamacare explodes,” Trump said. “So, I want to thank everybody for being here. It will go very smoothly.”
Once all that human suffering has happened, and the people cry out for a savior, and all eyes turn to Trump.  You gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette,  you know, and sometimes you have to destroy the village in order to save it.  

Hold tight, we're in for nasty weather...

ntodd

March 25, 4:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

We gonna let it all hang down

Everybody so worried about doing things right this time:

"I'm worried about doing it right. I've seen one process that produced Obamacare, where you vote on it on Christmas Eve. I don't feel a need for speed," Graham said.

The GOP just HATES X-mas eve.  Midnight, on the other hand:

The Senate early has passed a measure to take the first step forward on dismantling President Barack Obama’s health care law, responding to pressure to move quickly even as Republicans and President-elect Trump grapple with what to replace it with.

The nearly party-line 51-48 vote early Thursday came on a nonbinding Republican-backed budget measure that eases the way for action on subsequent repeal legislation as soon as next month.

“We must act quickly to bring relief to the American people,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

That vote was taken at 105am.  The House changed its rules this week in the middle of the night as well.  All within the first 2 months of Lord Dampnut's reign of terror.  Whereas Obamacare?  Signed into law more than a year after Obama took office, surviving challenge after challenge in the 7 interverning years.

Now who's gonna stimulate some action?

ntodd

March 25, 3:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, 03/24/2017

Presented To Christian Ludwig, Margrave Of Brandenburg-Schwed


Always makes me think of the X-files...

ntodd

March 24, 11:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sir, it is an absurdity.

In Goya’s Greatest Scenes We Seem to See...

                                           the people of the world   
       exactly at the moment when
             they first attained the title of
                                                             ‘suffering humanity’   
          They writhe upon the page
                                        in a veritable rage
                                                                of adversity   
          Heaped up
                     groaning with babies and bayonets
                                                       under cement skies   
            in an abstract landscape of blasted trees
                  bent statues bats wings and beaks
                               slippery gibbets
                  cadavers and carnivorous cocks
            and all the final hollering monsters
                  of the
                           ‘imagination of disaster’
            they are so bloody real
                                        it is as if they really still existed
 
    And they do
 
                  Only the landscape is changed
 
They still are ranged along the roads   
          plagued by legionnaires
                     false windmills and demented roosters
They are the same people
                                     only further from home
      on freeways fifty lanes wide
                              on a concrete continent
                                        spaced with bland billboards   
                        illustrating imbecile illusions of happiness
 
                       
                        The scene shows fewer tumbrils
                                                but more strung-out citizens
                                                                     in painted cars
                               and they have strange license plates   
                           and engines
                                           that devour America

Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

ntodd

March 24, 11:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fucking Oversight: How Does It Work?

So much for separation of powers and shit:

House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) said on Thursday night that he felt an obligation to tell President Donald Trump about “incidentally collected” information on Trump and his associates from the intelligence community because the President has been criticized in the media.

"It’s clear that I would be concerned if I was the president, and that’s why I wanted him to know, and I felt like I had a duty and obligation to tell him because, as you know, he’s taking a lot of heat in the news media,” Nunes told Fox News' Sean Hannity.

Heh, he said, 'duty'...

ntodd

March 24, 10:29 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

Why Are You Hitting Yourself?

Thanks a lot, Obama:

“Let’s remember that Republicans said for eight years that there was nothing that President Obama could propose that they would lift one finger to support,” Reid recalled. “Now we suddenly discover that when Republicans are in total control of the government and can’t get their act together. We need Democrats to discover bipartisanship. Did you ever say one time in eight years, that Republicans should come to the table with Obama. You cannot expect or demand Democrats play ball, they have zero incentive to play ball. Why should they?”

Governing is hard.  But all this is a feature, not a bug, methinks...

ntodd

March 24, 9:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

All Our Death Panels Have Come


Seasons don't fear the Speaker.

ntodd

March 24, 9:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

No quarter will be given!

The Quartering Acts--first of which passed March 24, 1765--were egregious enough to be referenced in our Declaration of Independence:

[King George III{ has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

And 15 years later we got the Third Amendment protecting us from forced billeting of soldiers in our private homes, which probably isn't the biggest worry most people have right now.  F'rinstance, here's Griswold:

[S]pecific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance. See Poe v. Ullman, 367 U.S. 497, 516-522 (dissenting opinion). Various guarantees create zones of privacy. The right of association contained in the penumbra of the First Amendment is one, as we have seen. The Third Amendment, in its prohibition against the quartering of soldiers "in any house" in time of peace without the consent of the owner, is another facet of that privacy. The Fourth Amendment explicitly affirms the "right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures." The Fifth Amendment, in its Self-Incrimination Clause, enables the citizen to create a zone of privacy which government may not force him to surrender to his detriment. The Ninth Amendment provides: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

With the defeat of TrumpCare2.0, women at least don't have to worry about Republican Men quartering in their uteri or mammaries for now...

ntodd

March 24, 8:07 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution, Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trumpcare Needs More Cowbell


Feel the Bern!

ntodd

March 24, 7:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Home isn't pretty, ain't no home for me

To be fair, somebody got burned:

A rowdy group of Republicans burst out of the meeting like explorers on a quest for glory. “Burn the ships,” one Republican shouted to House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (La.), invoking the command that Hernan Cortes, the Spanish conquistador, gave his men upon landing in Mexico in 1519.

The message was clear, to the GOP leaders now and the Spaniards in 1519, there was no turning back.

Useful metaphor, but not historically accurate:

Fact: Cortes didn't burn his boats. Technically, he didn't even scuttle them. He did order the captains of nine ships to run their vessels onto the sand. But that left him with three other vessels -- and a master shipbuilder among the crew.

Fact: Cortes wasn't "motivating" his men -- he was protecting his backside. According to Hugh Thomas's "The Conquest of Mexico," Cortes grounded the ships to win at palace politics in Spain. Cortes's Mexican mission revolved around his intense rivalry with Diego Velazquez, the governor of Cuba. When Cortes obtained his first boatload of treasure, he dispatched it to the king with three letters pleading his case for more power.

Among Cortes's own men were some of Velazquez's supporters who disapproved of Cortes's actions. They plotted to steal one of his ships to take a message of warning to Velazquez, who would then have time to overtake the treasure ship and seize the letters.

Cortes learned of the plot and captured the four ringleaders. He hanged two of them, cut the foot off another, and let the fourth, a clergyman, go free. Then he ordered the nine ships run aground. According to John H. Coatsworth, director of Harvard's David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, "Cortes beached the ships to prevent anyone from heading back to Cuba to report to the Spanish nobilities that he was engaged in an utterly unauthorized and illegal expedition. He was running for cover."

Republicans are sure running for cover now.  I particularly enjoy their attempts to blame Obama for their impotence--good thing Viagra is still covered under Obama's care.

ntodd

PS--Speaking of not burning bridges, I'll note that 3 of my 4 references for my current awesome gig came from the only other company I've ever worked for.

March 24, 6:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, 03/23/2017

Some (Wo)men Are Unsinkable


Godspeed, Molly Brown.

ntodd

March 23, 11:03 PM in Mars, Bitches! | Permalink | Comments (0)

Man may not be replaced.

The Robots, the City of Paradise:

Out of the knowledge you mysteriously left
came oil, steel, art,
ways to duplicate ourselves.

Year-of—Our—Makers—X, world without nations,
wherein we walk, fearless, under the dead lamps,
hardly bothering to care. Our shadows
cross your dark shop displays; our purposes
slowly forgettable, though faithful to your plan.

Your aluminum police, our angels, soar. . .
Everywhere the new pattern
is ourselves, believing in necessity, as you
in our memories did not.

City of Paradise: commitment to a powerful,
abandoning instruction. We stand
like citizens, like lambs without banners,
under the best of all lives,
liking it, yours.

Jon Anderson.

ntodd

March 23, 10:54 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Man will never be enslaved by machinery if the man tending the machine be paid enough.


And time marches on...

ntodd

March 23, 10:02 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The cry, "to arms," seemed to quiver on every lip, and gleam from every eye!

So Patrick Henry gave a famous speech about liberty and death on this date in 1775.  In all likelihood, what we know of the speech is not entirely accurate, but rather a reconstruction presented to us third-hand through Judge St George Tucker and William Wirt.

Here's the latter complaining about his project to write about the renowned orator 16 years after the man's death:

The incidents of Mr. Henry's life are extremely monotonous. It is all speaking, speaking, speaking. 'Tis true he could talk:—"Gods! how he could talk!" but there is no acting "the while." From the bar to the legislature, and from the legislature to the bar, his peregrinations resembled, a good deal, those of some one, I forget whom,—perhaps some of our friend Tristram's characters, "from the kitchen to the parlour, and from the parlour to the kitchen."

And then, to make the matter worse, from 1763 to 1789, covering all the bloom and pride of his life, not one of his speeches lives in print, writing or memory. All that is told me is, that, on such and such an occasion he made a distinguished speech. Now to keep saying this over, and over, and over again, without being able to give any account of what the speech was,—why, sir, what is it but a vast, open, sun-burnt field without one spot of shade or verdure?

My soul is weary of it, and the days have come in which I can say that I have no pleasure in them.

It seems the man gave good, fiery speech that made quite an impression, but nobody really remembered much detail.  Reportedly Henry's fellow Virginian, Thomas Jefferson, said of him:

His eloquence was peculiar, if indeed it should be called eloquence, for it was impressive and sublime beyond what can be imagined. Although it was difficult, when he had spoken, to tell what he had said, yet, while speaking, it always seemed directly to the point. When he had spoken in opposition to my opinion, had produced a great effect, and I myself had been highly delighted and moved, I have asked myself, when he ceased, 'What the devil has he said?' and could never answer the inquiry...

His pronunciation was vulgar and vicious, but it was forgotten while he was speaking. He was a man of very little knowledge of any sort. 

Such a contrast to contemporary politics.  Anyway, for all his passionate speechifying about liberty during the Revolutionary Era, he lead the anti-federalist opposition to our proposed Constitution and weren't no democrat:

[S]ir, give me leave to demand, What right had they to say, We, the people? My political curiosity, exclusive of my anxious solicitude for the public welfare, leads me to ask, Who authorized them to speak the language of, We, the people, instead of, We, the states?

Henry feared enslavement by government, and claimed to hate slavery, but

Among ten thousand implied powers which they may assume, they may, if we be engaged in war, liberate every one of your slaves if they please...Have they not power to provide for the general defence and welfare? May they not think that these call for the abolition of slavery? May they not pronounce all slaves free, and will they not be warranted by that power?

This is no ambiguous implication or logical deduction. The paper speaks to the point: they have the power in clear, unequivocal terms, and will clearly and certainly exercise it. As much as I deplore slavery, I see that prudence forbids its abolition. I deny that the general government ought to set them free, because a decided majority of the states have not the ties of sympathy and fellow-feeling for those whose interest would be affected by their emancipation. The majority of Congress is to the north, and the slaves are to the south.

It's a puzzle that this Virginian focused so much on states' and not individual rights.  Today?  I'm sure Lord Dampnut's DoJ will heed Henry's stirring call and not trump legal weed...

ntodd

March 23, 9:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

We Did See Lots Of This Guy's Hats


Die ich rief, die Geister werd ich nun nicht los.

ntodd

March 23, 8:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fortunately, We Didn't Meet This Guy


His park sucks.

ntodd

March 23, 7:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sadly, We Didn't Meet This Guy


Times have changed, and apparently you don't just bump into characters these days, but have to go to an appearance: my kids were looking for Goofy to apologize for their father, who at Age 5 punched the poor dog in his stomach.  So...atonement next time.

ntodd

March 23, 5:53 PM in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (0)

So We Met This Guy


Say what you will about how evil a corporation Disney is, at least they make the monorail run on time, and magically make kids happy (not to mention Daddy happy with their cool app).

ntodd

March 23, 4:16 PM in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (0)