Friday, February 27, 2009


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Here, Dear Gentle Reader(s), is an amusing bit of right-wing circular thinking.

From today’s email from The Washington Post

Charles Krauthammer
The Obamaist Manifesto
The president wants to transform America into Europe.

This from today’s email from The Spectator (A British right-wing publication):

They wish we all could be Californian: the new Tory plan

Fraser Nelson

Wednesday, 25th February 2009

Fraser Nelson says that the Conservatives are taking their cue from the West Coast of America: the land of Google, Stanford University and venture capital. They want to rebuild Britain in California’s image: dynamic, high-tech, green and ‘family-friendly’


Interesting, eh wot?  Krauthammer things we’re being edged toward Europe; Frazer things the Brits are worthy of being edged toward California.  (What?  With out budget problems???!!!???)

La loca vida.

Trust, but verify.  (Especially that “family friendly” bit.  It means one thing here is the U.S., and quite another in England.)

Cause if we don’t, to quote Bush I, we’re in deep doo-doo.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

La BM and Peristalsis

A little movement from Bono Mack, Dear Gentle Reader(s), caused a teensy ripple in the placid waters of House politics.  It seems Ms BM decided to vote with the majority party on a recent House Appropriations bill—only 15 other Republicans did so.  There’s a reason few people out here in God’s Waiting Room noticed.

Bono Mack’s constituency is just a teensy bit to the left of center.  Her monied constituency, however is, ahem, comfortably to the right of center.  Ergo look for Ms BM to vote the progressive element out here when, and only when, it doesn’t endanger her financial base.

Nothing new about that.  As long as money = “free speech” some of us will have just a smidgen less representation in Congress.

Trust, DGR(s), but verify.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Why do they keep digging?

The Republican Party generally, and the California Republican Party specifically, Dear Gentle Reader(s), presents a conundrum.  One would think they’d pause, take a look at some of their pet projects over the past 60 some-odd years, and see that their predicament today is linked to the “success” they have had with those projects.

For instance, the U.S. Constitution was amended, in large part, to limit the presidency to two terms because of the 4 successful elections which firmly affixed Franklin D. Roosevelt in the pantheon of American politics.  Then, there was the successful effort on the part of California Republicans to impose “term limits” on the state legislature because of the power amassed by Speaker of the state Assembly, Willie Brown.  Then there was the successful Republican drive to make a super majority vote necessary to pass a state budget.  Finally, there is the irresponsible “pledge” the Republican base is imposing on candidates which states they will not vote to raise taxes. 

The California legislature is a national joke because of term limits.  The California budget process is creating havoc statewide.

And the Republican base refuses to allow their legislators to act responsibly.

What is wrong with these people?

What happened to the concept of good stewardship?  The responsibility of leadership?  The art of compromise?

(Of course, few of those changes in the legislative processes could have been achieved without the jaw-dropping acquiescence of voters.  Why on earth do people insist on voting against their self-interest?  Present company, excluded, of course, DGR(s)!)

Away with term limits!  Away with super majority budget votes!

Think.  Just because the Republicans have dug this hole—with, alas, our help—doesn’t mean we should allow them to keep digging.

Trust, but verify.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Mice, Men, Cabbages, Kings

Oh, the hand-wringing.  Oh, the misery.  Oh, the moaning.

The right wing punditry and blogo/blathersphere, Dear Gentle Reader(s), are spilling vast amounts of e-ink over the “fecklessness” of the Republican Party under the Obama administration.

One such article, e-penned by Andrew Sullivan is entitled “Of Mice and Men.”  Given the reference in the quote-best laid plans, and all that—Sullivan might have better called it “Of Cabbages and Kings”—a lower case much ado about extraordinarily little.

Trust, but verify.

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Muckroom Follis 2.15.09 Fox Dens and Hens

It’s a wonderful day for hens, Dear Gentle Reader(s).  Over at the Townhalldotcom Muckroom a hen has gained entry and dropped a little chicken reminder of her presence.

Go over to the Muckroom and read Ken Connor’s piece, “Nuts!”  There you’ll find a cogent argument for the ability to sue the pants off corporations.  Usually, the mantra of the muckroom denizens, and readers—you’ll find the “average vote” is a mere two—is to jam tort “reform”, limit tort suits as much as possible, down our collective throats.

Relevant quote:

Free market principles work. They increase productivity and maximize freedom, but they don't protect the public from thieves and wrongdoers. Many corporations today have manipulated the language of the free market (think "deregulation") in order to conceal their misdeeds and to protect themselves from accountability. They deceive, steal, or act in a negligent or reckless fashion, then lobby for laws that protect them from their victims.

Now there’re a couple of sentences for the ages.  Tort suits are sometimes necessary for everyone’s protection.  Tort “reform” has most recently been an attempt to avoid responsibility.  We’ve had enough of that avoidance over the last 8 years to last for a couple of generations.

Congratulations to the sly Mr. Connor.  (And congratulations to Jonathan Garthwaite for looking the other way!)

For the rest of us,

Trust,but verify.

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Filler Items and China in the Mideast—a Quickie

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Two items which didn’t make headlines but might bear watching in the future:

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AFP) — Taliban militants have released a Chinese engineer six months after he was abducted in violence-wracked northwest Pakistan, security officials said Sunday.

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) - Kidnappers threatened on Friday to kill an American employee of the United Nations within 72 hours and issued a grainy video of the blindfolded captive saying he was “sick and in trouble.“

And what, you may ask, Dear Gentle Reader(s), of it?  The what is that the Chinese captive is being released and the American is threatened with death.  What might be indicated is the growing influence of China in the Mideast, along with China’s growing influence in Africa. 

Just a little burr for you to store.

Trust, but verify.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Beyond us

Happy birthday to Abe and Chuck.  February 12, 1809, two hundred years ago.  What time hath wrought!

There has been, Dear Gentle Reader(s), a great deal of electronic “ink” spilt lately about the existence of a deity, propelled, in part, by the bicentennial of Charles Darwin’s birth.

Today’s edition of The Washington Post contains an interesting column by Rick Weiss of The Center for American Progress.  In it he addresses Darwin’s writings about that existence.  The operative quote provided by Weiss is "The safest conclusion seems to be that the whole subject is beyond the scope of man's intellect."  In other words, Darwin didn’t know.

Regardless of any claims by religionists, two hundred years later, still, no one knows.

What we do know is that the anthropomorphic deity has been a very misguided and easily abused metaphor.  We have suffered greatly from it. 

We can’t know; we shouldn’t allow people who claim they do to have sway over our lives. 

The Golden Rule should be the primary organizing principle.

Trust but verify.

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Monday, February 9, 2009

In case you missed it…

God Bless America.  We are a special nation.

Here, Dear Gentle Reader(s), is a quote in an article about one Pete Sessions a Republican member of Congress from Texas.  (Hi, Gary!)

sessions-pete.jpgInsurgency, we understand perhaps a little bit more because of the Taliban,” Sessions said during a meeting yesterday with Hotline editors. “And that is that they went about systematically understanding how to disrupt and change a person’s entire processes. And these Taliban — I’m not trying to say the Republican Party is the Taliban. No, that’s not what we’re saying. I’m saying an example of how you go about [sic] is to change a person from their messaging to their operations to their frontline message. And we need to understand that insurgency may be required when the other side, the House leadership, does not follow the same commands, which we entered the game with.” […]

When pressed to clarify, Sessions said he was not comparing the House Republican caucus to the Taliban, the Muslim fundamentalist group. “I simply said one can see that there’s a model out there for insurgency,” Sessions said before being interrupted by an aide.

So, DGR(s), the Taliban is a model for the Republican Party, but the party should not be compared to the Taliban. 


Nothing constructive, just a model for destruction.  Eliminate the enemy at all costs. 

Nice guy.

Nice guys who keep him in the party.

Ah, Texas, my Texas!

This one’s hard to

Trust, but demands we Verify.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sheesh, Bare!

Why is it, one wonders, Dear Gentle Reader(s), that so many in Washington refuse to learn the lesson of Santayana?  “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

Just 16 years ago President Clinton had trouble filling a couple of cabinet and cabinet level appointments, as did W just 8 years ago.

Pay your taxes, public servants—or those who aspire to public servitude!  Don’t hire illegals!

What’s it going to take?

Caesar’s wife and all that, folks.

And what’s with the vetting squad from team Obama?


Trust, but for heaven’s sakes, VERIFY!!!!

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

It’s never over ‘til it’s over


In the midst of the economic mess, Dear Gentle Reader(s), we begin to have an eerie sense of deja-vu—all over again.

Over in Afghanistan the Taliban is on the move and in charge of several key areas of that poor country.  Therefore, we have the specter of imminent increase of America’s military involvement in that area’s struggle against Islamic thugs.

Hie thee to US Centcom for the latest.  (Note, too, the near gallows humor in the title:  “Afghanistan troop buildup a ‘delicate endeavor.’

Get ready for another couple of years of “Light at the end of the tunnel” and “In six months” and “additional troops.”

Trust, but verify.

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