Sunday, January 29, 2006

A prediction for 2006

This year, more people will die in Iraq.

Like this guy.

Here's another prediction: Upon hearing this, I will feel sad. Congress will further cut veterans' benefits, citing the need to restrict government growth. The apparent irony of such an action by the supposed party of strong national defense will yet again, go unnoticed.

Assholes like myself will screech about the unfairness of this, changing nothing.

A few more predictions: Twenty years from now, the two children of this guy who actually bother to register and vote will most certainly vote Republican, citing their abiding faith, the memory of their slain veteran father, and a desire to win (the still ongoing) war on terror.

Assholes like myself will screech about the unfairness of this, changing nothing.

I'm sick of people getting killed.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The 50 most loathsome people in the nation.

So right. For so many reasons.


And from 2004's list my favorite loathsome person; you.
3. You
Crimes: You gaze idly at the carnage around you, sigh, and go calmly back to your coffee and your People magazine. You can’t stop buying useless crap, though you’re drowning in a deepening pool of debt. You think you’re an activist because you bitch all day on the internet, but you reelect the same gangsters at a 99% rate. You consider yourself informed because you waste a significant portion of your life watching the same three news stories cycle over and over again on your gargantuan, aerodynamic television set while you eat processed food. You really thought everything would be okay if Kerry won. Not
only do you believe in an invisible man who magically farted out the universe, you also excoriate and marginalize those who disagree. You have a poorer understanding of your country’s foreign policy history than a third world peasant, but you can’t wait to see what Julia Roberts will be wearing at the Oscars. You cheer as Ukrainians challenge an election based on exit poll data, but keep waiting around for someone else to fix your problems. You can’t think, you can’t organize and you won’t act. This is all your fault.

Smoking Gun: You’re fat.

Punishment: You’re soaking in it.

What he says.

Digby does it gooder than me do it:
They are going to the 9/11 well again. They say that Democrats are sending talking points to Osama and giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Rove says we don't believe that the government should monitor al Qaeda's telephone calls. The next several months will be spent fending off accusations that if we don't let the president do anything he damned well pleases we are all going to die.

I don't know if it will work again. But I also don't know if I can take this campaign one more time. Five years of hearing the same thing over and over again and watching American sheeple fall for it over and over again is just too depressing. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to January 20, 2009 (and I'm of an age where rushing the future is no longer wise.) The day I no longer have to listen to one more word from this immoral, dishonest, incompetent, delusional prick will be the best day of my life.
That just about sums it up. I'm so sick of the unfettered arrogance, the absolute willingness to turn yesterday's talking points into today's 'we never said that' that I'm beyond screaming. Beyond pummeling my fists into a wall. It's just hard to believe in democracy when people are willing to just extend the benefit of the doubt to someone who shows zero compunction about twisting the facts to suit their own purpose time and again. And to call them on it is treason. And I know I am not saying anything I haven't read ten thousand times, but sometimes the scope of it all is just breathtaking.

Or, as Against me! puts it:
"When an invasion can give a country its freedom,
When unconsciousness is true happiness,
No, no I don't know what to say."

Saturday, January 21, 2006

I been Un Lazy Bastardo

Here's some good stories.

Bolivia elects a left-leaning leader, further adding toward south America's social revolution.

This is a good article on values, Democrats, and the state of affairs.

Here's a piece on UNITE HERE's attempts to negotiate a national union contract for hotel workers.

Fuck a bunch of Chris Matthews.

Illinois AFL-CIO says, "Hey! We really liked the way the Melissa Bean treated us after we endorsed her, let's do that again!"

Here's a great (and late) site on where the late, great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was when he met the business end of an assassin's bullet.

That is all.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

I wasn't gonna do this, but...

I hadn't felt much like posting recently. With the brutal onslaught of an impending Alito ascension to the Supreme Court (motto: making shit up since 1789), let's say I've been getting the party started to welcome in the apocalypse.

Or, I could tell you the truth, that I've been sick, busy, reading, enjoying life, etc. etc. Plus, the internets are a scary place. Case in point.

If this guy didn't exist, The Onion or the The Daily Show would have to create him.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Today is the greatest

Today I go to downtown Chicago to let Mr. George know my heart. I'll have pictures up, I promise. Till then, I leave you with these two posts by Atrios, both of which deserve your 40 seconds.

Pat Robertson is a fraud.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

What's wrong with Tom Delay summed up in one conversation

Doug Thompson recalls a sunny meeting with the Prince of Darkness his own bad self.

Fuck the law indeed.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Tonight I met Tammy Duckworth

Tonight I had my monthly meeting with the other Democrats in York Township, and for the first time since I've been attending, Christine's challenger Tammy Duckworth was on the scene.

She came across as very credible, a good candidate, but she really had a hard time answering the questions about her status as a resident in the 8th congressional district (the hated Melissa Bean's district). Her answer as to why she's running in the 6th is essentially that she can beat Pete Roskam, and she has friends here. Part of her hometown (Hoffman Estates) is in the 6th, part is not.

I asked her two questions that she handled pretty well. My first was whether she'd vote for CAFTA, she said no. My second was whether she'd support the bankruptcy bill that passed last year (and that punishes peopl for filing for bankruptcy for medical bills). I made sure to mention that 'her' representative voted for both of those pieces of heinous legislation, the former at the urging of Rahm Emanuel.

Afterwards, Christine got up and did a very good job presenting herself, saying that she knew most of the people in the room (ahem, Ms. Duckworth), that she forgot to introduce her campaign manager because she'd been running all around the district to so many events, etc. etc.

I wish that Tammy had run against Melissa Bean in the Democratic primary. She seems like a fine lady, certainly one with a compelling personal story. I'd probably have given her money. She's a fine candidate, but she isn't the issue. The way that the DCCC handled this is.

Friday I'm going here.

Since I didn't get my paperwork in on time to be a voted in candidate for precinct committeeman, I have to do so by write-in instead, so I'm getting that shit together. The contract I was wrapping up really took up a lot of my time in early December. Ahem.

A bad time to be a miner

It's horrible what's happened to the miners whose cave collapsed on them. Condolences are clearly not sufficient for their families, but it's the only equipment I have to deal with a tragedy like this.

People shouldn't be exposed to regular danger as a part of their livelihoods, but that's the world we live in.

I think something has been missing in the media coverage of all that's gone down--the perspective of the United Mine Workers of America. Wouldn't you think that the official voice of actual miners would have something relevant to say on the matter?

Greg Saunders over at TMW has an appropos point on the way the print media use the same photos to make two different statements--one about relief and the other about overwhelming loss. He's also right about the atrocious headline the Boston Herald tagged on to their coverage ("Miner Miracle--God Answers America's Prayers!).

The editor should be fired alone for that goddamnawful pun. When people die is not, as a rule, the most appropriate time to showcase your sense of humor.

Just sayin'.

Matt Yglesias Nails It.

To the wall.
"To my eyes, insofar as DeLay is involved, I don't see how one can minimize this, even though I don't actually find the caper all that interesting as such. DeLay has, for years, been the leading figure in the House Republican caucus. To the extent that he's corrupted, all his henchmen are corrupt too, even if they weren't so clever as to personally pocket any cash. The point, after all, of the Russia/IMF bribes wasn't to get DeLay to vote for the appropriation; it was to get DeLay to get the Republicans to vote for it. DeLay's great strength as a congressional leader has been the discipline with which he's led his troops. He said "jump" and they asked "how high?" As a consequence, all the troops are tarnished by their leader's sins."
Yep. Delay staked his reputation on his ability to get the republicans in Congress to fall in line with his orders. Even if they didn't take any money, as a whole they bear some responsibility in this sad affair.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Transit Strike Rundown

Josh Eidelson has more on the fallou from the transit strike. I think he about hits it on the head. The one thing I don't think most people appreciate is the inherent danger in bargaining a two-tiered contract, with different benefits and wages for future and current employees. It's like signing your own death sentence. It's the quickest way to increase resentment among young and old workers I can think of.

Andy Stern Bio in the WaPo

The Washington Post has a piece on Andy Stern, the President of the Service Employees International Union. It's lengthy, and a fairly psychoanalytical article that focuses on how the death of his daughter helped push in to the point where he led the SEIU out of the AFL-CIO this summer.

There's much that's useful in it, but it suffers from what is common about labor coverage-focusing on labor leaders as the movement itself, which they most certainly are not. This piece from Arizona focuses on their organizing strategies there, and lays off the 'union-boss' bent.

I myself go back and forth about my feelings with regard to the SEIU. I think that their service model kind of sucks (that's the way in which union members receive assistance from the union when they have a problem). They also have a bad reputation when it comes to internal union democracy.

On the other hand, they can absolutely organize the shit of some exploited workers. They excel at it. They're the only union with a focus on private-sector organizing to grow their membership. So clearly, they're doing something right. Unlike my union, I think they've also been successful 'branding' themselves with workers around a few key issues--key among them health care and privatization, Wal-Mart, and public funding for services. They're an issues union.

And they can raise the standard of living from those they represent. That's where I think they shine strongest--bringing a sort of rough justice for a wide group of people whom the economy has largely left behind, and whose interests would never be addressed without representation from a union.

They're the only other union I would consider seriously going to work for, warts and all.

More on Abramoff-Delay

This Washington Post story nicely details the way Abramoff took money from Russian energy tycoons and pumped into American electoral politics. Mostly for Tom Delay through an outfit called the US Family Network which existed primarily on paper.

Please visit TalkingPointsMemo, because they're going to be on this shit faster than white on rice. They're talking about up to 20 lawmakers and staffers going down, and there's apparently some talk that Abramoff will try and take a Democrat down with him, just to keep things bi-partisan.

That would be pretty funny, given his history as a reactionary apparatchik.

Dammit, turn your back for a minute...

And Jack Abramoff pleads guilty.

I remember when he was innocent, innocent I tells ya.

Happy new beer!

We jetted out of town down to the outer banks of North Cackalacka for New Year's, which explains an absence of posts.

And the fact that no one reads this explains the utter lack of emails I got questioning when will I post again.

Yesterday was the travel day from hell, we got stuck at an airport (and a shitty regional one at that) for over 8 hours and I didn't hit my pillow until 1 a.m. I should have been back by five. Ugh.

One highlight of the day's events was when the flight attendant got bonked in the head by a seriously wasted passenger attempting to enter the lavatory. He started crying. The flight attendant, I mean. He called for the captain, I suppose to enforce some kind of discipline on the guy, but by that point we'd landed, so I'm not sure what he intended to do the drunkard in question. I later noticed that this same drunkard got to baggage before we did, so I suppose no harsh sentence was meted out.

If I were the flight attendant, I'd be crying over my gutted pension. Maybe he was crying over both, I dunno.