Daily Archives: March 3, 2010

Assorted shit

Obama gets his balls back?

President Barack Obama has endorsed a plan that would allow the Democratically controlled Congress to pass health-care reform with a simple majority vote without being hamstrung by an obstructionist Repugnican filibuster.

Repugnicans are agog, of course, but the filibuster is only a Senate rule, and Senate rules can be changed. (Indeed, during the years of rule by the BushCheneyCorp, the Repugnicans threatened to do away with the filibuster with their “nuclear option.”)

Perhaps the Democrats should kill the filibuster altogether; that would suit the minority — again, the minority — Repugnicans right.

The Senate’s Repugnican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said that the Democrats’ doing away with the filibuster would be “met with outrage” by the American public — never mind that the Repugnicans themselves were poised to do so. (Do as the Repugnicans say, not as they do, please.)

McConnell is full of shit. The majority of Americans, who voted for Obama in November 2008, are fine with Obama’s agenda being enacted on simple majority votes. They prefer that progress over the gridlock that the Repugnicans want.

The tea-baggers will fume once health-care reform is passed on a simple majority vote, but fuck them — they’re going to fume anyway, as long as Obama continues to commit the crime of presiding while black.

Supremes refuse to kill same-sex marriage in D.C.


The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to kill same-sex marriages in Washington, D.C.

Notes The Associated Press:

Washington, D.C., [now] is the sixth place in the nation where gay marriages can take place. Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont also issue licenses to same-sex couples.

To prepare for [same-sex marriages], the [D.C.] marriage bureau changed its license applications so they are gender-neutral, asking for the name of each “spouse” rather than the “bride” and “groom.” …

The [same-sex] marriage law was introduced in the 13-member D.C. Council in October and had near-unanimous support from the beginning. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty signed it in December, but because Washington is a federal district, the law had to undergo a congressional review period that expired March 2.

Notes AFP:

Although the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday refused a request to hold a referendum on gay marriage, which would have delayed the day the law took effect in Washington, it said opponents of gay marriage could seek to hold a “ballot initiative” in the capital to try to get the act repealed.

That would be similar to what happened in California, where residents voted in a referendum in November 2008 — known as Proposition 8 — to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, overturning a state supreme court decision six months earlier which legalized gay marriage.

Interesting… The U.S. Supreme Court apparently doesn’t want to decide on the matter 0f same-sex marriage, but is willing to allow the people of each state (and D.C.) to decide the matter for themselves.

While that’s not as bad as the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that there is no constitutional right to same-sex marriage (because there is), I still find it fucked up that anyone’s equal civil and human rights should be put up for a vote.

Whose equal civil and human rights should we put up for a vote next?

The response from wingnuts to the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to stop the D.C. same-sex marriages was predictable. Reports AFP:

Outside the courthouse, a handful of protesters held up banners and chanted slogans, saying the United States was doomed because it has allowed same-sex marriage.

“When this Congress acted to let fags marry in D.C., they bound this country,” anti-gay activist Shirley Phelps-Roper, who had travelled to Washington from Kansas, told AFP.

“This is the last generation. This nation’s destruction is imminent and they did it to themselves,” said Phelps-Roper, brandishing signs reading “America’s doomed,” “God hates you,” “You’re going to hell” and “Fag marriage.”

You know, if these are the “end times,” it’s only because the end-timers have brought the end times on. It wouldn’t be a “fag” who causes Armageddon; it would be a wingnut.

KKKopycats plaguing University of California campuses?

There are news reports about racist/white supremacist and anti-Semitic incidents cropping up at University of California campuses, including UC San Diego, UC Davis and UC Santa Cruz.

While I believe that university students — and everyone — should not be subjected to hatred and intimidation, I have to wonder how many of these acts (which thus far have been acts of vandalism and the intentional or unintentional creation of offensive displays, and not of violence) are the acts of actual haters and how many of them are the acts of copycats who don’t hate nearly as much as they just get a thrill from stirring shit up.

I can see male students who are young, dumb and full of cum thinking that it’s great entertainment to put a swastika on something, or to put a mock Ku Klux Klan hood on display, and then watch the ensuing reaction.

Stupid, yes. Racist/white supremacist? Not necessarily, not if the perpetrators aren’t actually racist/white supremacist.

Things not intended as racist or white supremacist can be interpreted that way, too.

For instance, The Associated Press reports that at UC San Diego recently, a noose was found dangling from a library bookshelf and that

UC San Diego campus police said they had completed their investigation into the noose incident and turned their results over to the city attorney on Tuesday for possible hate crime charges.

One of the students responsible for the noose apologized to the university community in an anonymous letter published Monday in the campus newspaper. She said the noose was formed while she and friends were playing around with a piece of rope and had no meaning as a lynching symbol.

The student said she is not black, but is a minority.

The student’s story is plausible, but the noose put the campus into an uproar nontheless. So think of what a display that is meant to stir people up can do.

Everyone needs to take a deep breath and act rationally, not emotionally. WWOD? (That’s “What Would Obama Do?”) He would be as cool as a cucumber high on weed. He wouldn’t freak out.

Actual racists and white supremacists shown to have violated laws against hate speech and hate crimes should be prosecuted. Dumbfucks who thought that it sure would be funny to stir up shit by making it appear as though their handiwork were the handiwork of an actual hater should be prosecuted under the appropriate criminal law, such as vandalism or disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace.

And again, we need to calm the fuck down.

There are crazies out there who feed on our frenzy, and if we don’t feed them, they’ll just go away.

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‘Locker’ in a world of hurt

Master Sgt. Jeffrey S. Sarver, a U.S. Army bomb expert, speaks ...

Reuters photo

Vietraq War veteran Master Sgt. Jeffrey S. Sarver, pictured above at a news conference today, says that the main character of the film “The Hurt Locker” was based upon him — and that he even coined the term “hurt locker.” He is suing the film’s makers for having profited from him.

It’s too bad that the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences already have cast their ballots for best picture, which is to be announced on Sunday — because if they voted for “The Hurt Locker” then, they probably wouldn’t do so now.

First, the academy banned one of “The Hurt Locker’s” producers from attending the Oscars for having overzealously lobbied academy members to vote for his film.

Now, real-life Master Sgt. Jeffrey Sarver filed a lawsuit against the makers of the film, stating that the film’s main character is based on him. Reports The Associated Press:

An Army bomb disposal expert who served in the Iraq war is suing the makers of “The Hurt Locker,” claiming the Oscar-nominated film’s lead character is based on him and that they cheated him out of “financial participation” in the film.

Attorney Geoffrey Fieger said at a news conference at his … office [today] that he filed the multimillion-dollar lawsuit in New Jersey federal court on behalf of Master Sgt. Jeffrey Sarver.

Sarver, of Clarksville, Tenn., claims screenwriter Mark Boal was embedded in his three-person unit and that the information he gathered was used in the film, Fieger said. The film is nominated for nine Academy Awards, including best original screenplay.

Sarver says Will James, the film’s main character (portrayed by Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner), is based on him and that James’ call signal, “Blaster One,” was uniquely his during his tours of duty, Fieger said. Sarver also says he coined the phrase “The Hurt Locker.”

Fieger says Boal’s embedded reporting — over 30 days in 2004 — led to an article the following year in Playboy magazine about Sarver, and that the story later was adapted by Boal for “The Hurt Locker” screenplay.

“If you do take the time to read (the Playboy article) and if you then go and view ‘The Hurt Locker,’ you will see — and there will be no question in your mind — that ‘Blaster One,’ Sgt. Sarver, is the character in ‘The Hurt Locker’ called Will James,” Fieger said. “The caveat in the movie that the movie is fictional and all the characters portrayed in the movie are fictional is a fictional statement in and of itself.” …

Yikes. That the screenwriter spent time “embedded” with Sarver in Iraq and then wrote the screenplay, and that the screenwriter even adopted specific, rather unique details about Sarver, such as his call signal and his coining of the term “hurt locker” — if this is true — seems legally damning, although I’m not a lawyer. 

You’re allowed to report what you witness, but then to turn what you witness into “fiction” and to profit personally from that “fiction” — that seems rather legally sticky to me.

If “The Hurt Locker” wins best picture, it will be a forever-tarnished best-picture win. (I don’t think that there is any remedy for any buyer’s remorse that the academy might have. I’m not sure whether any Oscar ever has been revoked. [I could look it up, but, truth be told, I don’t want to know that badly enough to look it up…])

My guess is that “The Hurt Locker” will win best picture if the members of the academy decided to go with the underdog. If not “The Hurt Locker,” I think that the best-picture Oscar will go to the sci-fi epic “Avatar.”

“Avatar” has its flaws, such as the fact that it is derivative of so many other movies, perhaps especially the “Pocahontas” storyline, but I can see the academy giving the best-picture Oscar to “Avatar” not so much for the film’s achievements alone but also to reward James Cameron for his life’s work, even though his “Titanic” won best picture in 1997.

Had “The Hurt Locker” lawsuit come to light before the members of the academy voted for this year’s best picture, the Na’vi would be cheering right about now…

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Traitor Rove parrots WMD ‘oopsie’ lie

Is “Bush’s brain” Karl Rove, like Dick Cheney, afraid that perhaps he might actually be held accountable for his treason and his war crimes in pushing the illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust Vietraq War?

Reports The Associated Press:

Republican strategist Karl Rove says in a new memoir that the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq badly damaged the Bush administration’s credibility and led to dwindling public support for the war.

The former White House political adviser blames himself for not pushing back against claims that President George W. Bush had taken the country to war under false pretenses, calling it one of the worst mistakes he made during the Bush presidency.

The president, he adds, did not knowingly mislead the American public about the existence of such weapons.

In Courage and Consequence, Rove … calls the 2003 invasion [of Iraq] the most consequential act of the Bush presidency and a justifiable response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, even though al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, not Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, were responsible.

In the run-up to the war, Bush and his national security team, including Vice President Dick Cheney, attempted to link Saddam to the attacks as a way to build support for the invasion.

“Having seen how much carnage four airplanes could cause, Bush was determined to do all he could to prevent the most powerful weapons from falling into the hands of the world’s most dangerous dictators,” Rove wrote….


The unelected Bush regime wanted to invade Iraq even before Team Bush stole the White House in late 2000. 9/11 was just an excuse to do what they’d wanted to do all along, as the Reichstag fire was the Nazis’ excuse to do what they’d wanted to do all along.

The traitors who comprised the Bush regime knew fully well that Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction, but they pushed the lie, fucking relentlessly, to justify the March 2003 invasion, which the United Nations Security Council had refused to endorse.

The traitors of the Bush regime blamed the non-existence of the WMD on the ineptitude of the intelligence community (it was “bad intelligence,” you see), when, in fact, the case is that the traitors of the Bush regime twisted the intelligence to try to justify the invasion.

(Remember Colin Powell with that vial of powder, ominously talking about anthrax? And the talk of the “smoking gun” coming in the form of a “mushroom cloud”? And the forged documents about yellowcake uranium from Niger that Bush even mentioned in his 2003 State of the Union address? Um, yeah...) 

In his book Rove even defends the Bush regime’s handling of Hurricane Katrina, for fuck’s sake, the AP reports.

Rove, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, all of them (yes, Colin Powell, too!) who took the nation to war on false pretenses, resulting in the deaths of thousands of our soldiers and in the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis, are war criminals, mass murderers and traitors.

They deserve to hang just as Saddam Hussein hanged, but as I’m against the death penalty, even for them, for their war crimes, their crimes against humanity and their treason, they deserve life in prison.

We owe nothing less to the thousands of our young people whom they sent to their pointless slaughter in the sands of Vietraq for the war profiteering of Dick Cheney’s Halliburton and the other oily subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp.

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Great moonbeams think alike

March 2, 2010

Democrat Jerry Brown announces that he has entered the race ...

Associated Press photo

Jerry Brown formally announced his candidacy for governor of California in a video message on his website today.

“We’re supposed to believe that a rich person who never has held elected office would make a great governor, but look at how great Repugnican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger turned out,” I wrote yesterday in reporting that Jerry Brown would announce his candidacy for the governorship of California today.

This seems to be one of the main lines of attack that Brown is going to make in his battle against billionaire Repugnican candidate Nutmeg Whitman.

Today, in making his formal announcement, Brown said, “Our state is in serious trouble, and the next governor must have the preparation and the knowledge and the know-how to get California working again. That’s what I offer, and that’s why I’m declaring my candidacy for governor.”

Reports the Los Angeles Times:

Brown also sought to use voters’ frustration with [Repugnican] Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who came into office without having been elected [to any political office] before the 2003 [gubernatorial] recall [election], to argue against repeating that pattern with Whitman, and to a lesser degree, the other GOP contender, one-term Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner.

“Some people say that if you’ve been around the process, you can’t handle the job, that we need to go out and find an outsider who knows virtually nothing about state government,” Brown said.

“Well, we tried that, and it doesn’t work. We found out that not knowing is not good.”

Oh, snap!

In a poll taken last month, Brown and Whitman were neck and neck, at 43 percent each.

However, Whitman declared her candidacy a while ago, while Brown didn’t make it official until today, so last month’s poll was taken when Brown wasn’t even an official candidate. Further, Whitman, who thus far has put about $40 million of her own money into her campaign, has been spending millions of dollars campaigning already.

I expect Whitman to go down in flames (the flames would be from the millions of her own dollars that she might as well just burn) for several reasons (not necessarily in this order):

  • Current Repugnican Gov. Schwarzenegger’s approval rating has been less than 30 percent for months now. And, as Brown pointed out, Schwarzenegger will still be governor when people are at the voting both in November. Schwarzenegger will still be around to remind them how fucking brilliant it was to put a rich “outsider” in the governor’s office in 2003.
  • Most Californians correctly identify the Repugnican Party as the party that flushed the nation’s and the state’s economies down the toilet. (Maybe the memories of George W. Bush would have faded if it weren’t for Dick Cheney’s Penguin-like visage on the Sunday morning political television shows all the fucking time.)
  • Outspending your opponent is never a sure-fire way of winning office in California. Notes Time

[Whitman] also faces scrutiny because of her wealth, which is estimated to be more than $1 billion.

“There’s a history of wealthy Californians trying to start at the top, like Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina [who is running against Democratic U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer in November], without having paid their dues,” says Lew Uhler, president of the National Tax Limitation Committee, an anti-tax group, who is supporting one of Whitman’s opponents.

It takes a vast amount of money to be competitive in California, but the road to Sacramento is littered with the bodies of failed parvenus: Michael Huffington, the former Republican Congressman and ex-husband of Arianna, blew $28 million on a failed Senate bid in 1994; Al Checchi, a former co-chairman of Northwest Airlines, spent $40 million losing to Gray Davis in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in 1998; and the businessman Bill Simon, who campaigned unsuccessfully against Davis in 2002.

All of them were seen as overconfident and underprepared, liable to self-destruct when pressed on basic policy questions. Raphael Sonenshein, a political-science professor at California State University at Fullerton, notes that self-made, first-time candidates often imagine incorrectly that politics can be made as efficient, orderly and logical as business.

“While [very wealthy candidates] are usually competitive, it’s not nearly as easy as they think it’s going to be,” he says. “There’s a reason that politics is a profession.”


  • It shouldn’t matter, but in the video age, it does: Megalomaniac Whitman is not an attractive woman. OK, I’ll say it: she’s fairly fugly, in my book. We like to think that we’re above such superficial things in elections, but we’re not. Physical appearance no doubt helped such politicians as Schwarzenegger, Barack Obama and Scott Brown. (Too bad Nutmeg didn’t use some of her millions to buy herself a face transplant or something…)
  • Besides rolling back state climate change legislation that even Schwarzenegger championed, Nutmeg’s other campaign promise is to fire tens of thousands of state workers. She hasn’t bothered to say which ones. In a state already dealing with unemployment problems, this idea to slaughter sacrificial lambs who aren’t even the cause of the state’s economic troubles doesn’t sit well with most Californians, who already have seen state services drop because of massive budget cuts to state social programs. This also is a sure-fire way to fire up the state’s powerful labor unions, whose support Jerry Brown already has.

Still, one never should underestimate the stupidity of many and often of even most of the voters, who did, after all, elect Schwarzenegger in the bogus 2003 do-over — er, “recall” — election and then re-elected him in 2006.

I plan to help fight to keep Megalomaniac Whitman in retirement from her gig at eBay.

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