Saturday, April 25, 2009

Music Break! Weather Report

Teen Town

The Result of Doing Too Many Whip-Its In Your Youth

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Douchelandia) gives us a science lesson on the House floor and explains the wonderful world of carbon dioxide. Grab a beer and enjoy.

(H/T PZ Myers)

Bea Arthur Dies at 86

NY TIMES: Beatrice Arthur, the tall, deep-voiced actress whose razor-sharp delivery of comedy lines made her a TV star in the hit shows ''Maude'' and ''The Golden Girls'' and who won a Tony Award for the musical ''Mame,'' died Saturday. She was 86.

Arthur died peacefully at her Los Angeles home with her family at her side, family spokesman Dan Watt said. She had cancer, Watt said, declining to give further details.

Other notables that I've failed to mention over the last couple of weeks are Broadway lighting design pioneer Tharon Musser at 84 and porn star Marilyn Chambers at 56.

Red State: Waterboarding = High School Swim Team Practice

Silly me! Of course being on the high school swim team is exactly like waterboarding! Those long practices were "torturous"! Why didn't I see this to begin with?

As a matter of fact, I do recall seeing pictures of Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps being strapped down onto an inclined board with his feet higher than his head, while his swimming coaches blinded him, stuffed a rag down his throat and poared water onto his face, into his nose and onto the rag which would then seep into his throat as part of his training regimen. And what does he have to show for it? 14 GOLD MEDALS, BABY! (Two bronze medals too, but that's because he wasn't waterboarded enough, that pussy.)

No one remembers those pictures though. All we get is the bong hit photo - fucking LIBERAL MEDIA!

Oh, the other difference between waterboarding and the swim team? Waterboarding is torture... and you can always quit the swim team.

(H/T Bob Cesca)

Off The Rez

posted by Armadillo Joe

Looks like some of the help forgot who actually runs the plantation. Wonder how long til he's taken out behind the woodshed and reminded who actually runs the Rethugli-goon party (h/t WTF Is It Now?!?):

“Rush Limbaugh is a racist, he’s a cancer to the Republican Party and he should be excised,” [Republican Senate candidate Larry] Murphy said recently.


“My opponents are afraid to say that,” Murphy, told recently.


“People like Rush and [radio host] Laura Ingraham, they’re really destroying our party, and we need to wake up and see that,” Murphy said, adding that his would be a “different kind of Republican candidacy.”
I give it until the end of next week before his family never hears from him again.

Must Reads

The Rude Pundit: Torture and the Permanent Republican Majority & A Long Quote to End Torture Week 2009 (Probably Just the First of Many)

Mark Seibel and Warren P. Strobel: CIA Official: No Proof Harsh Techniques Stopped Terror Attacks

Sarfraz Manzoor: How To Tell I'm Not a Terrorist

Armadillo Joe recommends...
James Scurlock: The TARP Queen - Why we should all bow before Elizabeth Warren (even if you've never heard of her).

David Sirota: Don't Pooh-Pooh Populism

Mahablog: Devolved

Digby: Nobody Said This Was Going To be Pretty

For my drinking buddies...

posted by Armadillo Joe

Choo-choo trains RAWK!

toy train in a circle

President Obama's Weekly Address - April 25, 2009

Calling for Fiscal Discipline

Friday, April 24, 2009

Testing... Is This Thing On?

I am testing one of the latest Blogger features - mobile blogging from my phone. I'm going to be out of town for a few days and instead of lugging my laptop around , thought I'd give this a shot.

My mind has been a little fried lately - hence the light blogging - what with all this talk about torture (it's okay if we do it), torture ( what treaties?) and torture (if Liz Cheney says it's not torture, who am I to argue?).

So I'm headed down to Myrtle Beach for a four day golf vacation (yes, hispanics play golf too - Chi Chi Rodriguez anyone?) and fly down on Sunday night. My hope is that I'll clear my head and curse at my golf game for a change rather than at a withering political party trying to justify something for which we've condemned others.

Hopefully the resort my friends and I have booked hasn't burned down. In any case, I'm going away come hell or high water - whether I'm swinging a 7-iron or an axe and hose is up to Smokey the Bear.

St. Ron Got It Right...

... at the UN Convention in 1984. And yet we're now hearing Ronald Reagan's party arguing for the use of torture. There is no debate. America does not torture.

(H/T Bob Cesca)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pain and Suffering

(H/T Andrew Sullivan)

New Talking Point Hot Button Phrase: Show Trial

The Republican party has been in a frothy lather since the torture memos were released and President Obama left the door open for AG Eric Holder to possibly investigate those who authored the memos.

Seeing the writing on the wall, the GOP is now attempting to make torture a liberal/consevative issue instead of the moral and illegal issue that it is, and their new tactic is to use the term "show trials" in an effort to belittle the the process should hearings and investigations occur.

Here's GOP ass kisser Bill O'Reilly justifying torture and repeating the phrase "show trial" to which Ellis Henican vehimently challenged. And I just caught Sen. Kit Bond (R-Doucheburgh) using the same term in his latest interview with Andrea Mitchell.

SHOW TRIAL! Watch for it!

Obama License Plate Sales Fund Libraries

Can I trade in my Elliot Spitzer New York plate for one of these?

(H/T Paddy)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Don't Fuck With Hillary

Here's Rep. Mike Pence (R-Doucheland) thinking that since he's sitting in a seat that is physically higher than the seat Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is sitting in, that he must be more intelligent than Clinton. While questioning her in his best Perry Mason impression with the "Isn't it true" meme, in an attempt to embarrass Clinton and President Obama with that day's faxed Republican talking points regarding the oh so disgraceful Hugo Chavez handshake, what he thought would be his moment of glory quickly became the Bitchslap of the Year to date.

That's beautiful. I can watch that clip over and over again. What did that douche Pence think Clinton was going to answer? He teed it up and she smashed it out of the park. Anyone who had a problem with the choice of Hillary Clinton in this position should take note. She's doing her job, supporting the president and not afraid to take shit from anyone, especially douchebags who bring a knife to a gun fight. Or in this case, one of those soft foam bats that you get at couples therapy sessions to beat out your frustrations.

Reason #23,758 I'm glad I left Texas

posted by Armadillo Joe

Joe Barton, the Congressman with the look of smug, blissful ignorance on his face in the following video, represents a huge, sprawling district between Dallas and Houston with no major towns or universities. He is possibly the smartest guy in that district.

The best part is that he thinks he won that fight:

I think it would be unsurprising for folks to learn that the fine Mr. Barton is a graduate of Texas A&M University, home of the Fightin' Texas Aggies and a brain-dead black-hole of Rethugli-goon cornpone Nazism (P.S. -- Bush, Sr. put his library there). In Texas, everyone else's pollack jokes get re-told as Aggie jokes.

This video perfectly illustrates why.

Been Busy

posted by Armadillo Joe

Hey, Blog-O-Maniacs! I had such intentions of posting yesterday and the day before, but I got sucked into a head-to-head in the comments of a friend's facebook page over, of all things, torture. One of my friend's friends (I don't know this guy personally) has been spewing all the usual Reich-wing talking points, downloaded directly into his feeble brain from a trunk line hooked into the seething heart of Limbaugh Kee-ray-zee Land and it has been good sport, jolly good sport indeed.

Like shooting fish in a barrel. With a shotgun. Sawed-off. Point-blank.

I have been obsessively checking back in at about 10 minute intervals and just can't let this wingnut go. I've been trying to put my finger on exactly why and I think it is the first time in years that I have had a direct confrontation with someone this acrimonious wherein everyone's identity is fully known. It's facebook. The spat doesn't just involve me and this guy, either. It's my friend from high school's page and I know personally some of the other commenters. I get the impression that this exchange on facebook may be the first time many of them have even heard many of the arguments that are the coin of the realm in our Left Blogistan milieu and it's not because they're Fox News zombies per se, but simply because they are that scourge of democracies everywhere: the low information voter, too busy with kids and work to dig deep into issues. That characterization does not apply to Mr. Wingnut, though. He's a full hard-on while watching Top Gun, weepily holding a picture of Ronald Reagan, kill 'em all and let god sort 'em out Rethugli-goon.

I'll spare you the majority of our exchanges, except for the latest one:
Wingnut on facebook -
You probably think the New York Times is a valid news source so here is info from the Times where Obama's own intel director agrees the techniques did provide helpful intel in the fight against terrorists:

Intel chief: Harsh techniques brought good info

WASHINGTON - President Obama’s national intelligence director told colleagues in a private memo last week that the harsh interrogation techniques banned by the White House did produce significant information that helped the nation in its struggle with terrorists.

“High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa’ida organization that was attacking this country,” Adm. Dennis C. Blair, the intelligence director, wrote in a memo to his staff last Thursday.

(And, I got this information from the MSNBC website -- and we all know how ultra-conservative they are!)

Armadillo Joe on facebook -
OK, one more time:

It doesn't matter if torture works.

A lot of things "work." Guillotines work. So do nuclear weapons. What "works" doesn't matter because, no matter who does it or for what purpose, inflicting pain on a person held against their will is torture. Torture doesn't stop being torture just because patriotic Americans do it for the ol' red, white & blue. Whether committed by Americans, Nazis, Soviets, Ba'athists, Sandinistas, or Janjaweed, torture is wrong, immoral, a basic violation of human dignity, or -- if it's your cup of tea -- a sin.

"All men are created equal" & inalienable rights and all that language isn't just fancy rhetoric to trot out on July 4th along with some pocket flags and a rousing rendition of "Proud To Be An American", or at least it shouldn't be and if you actually believed in those words, you'd not have to have all this explained to you over and over and over again.

And, by the way, nice try on the Blair thing, but next time actually try to read the whole article instead of citing just the part that advances your viewpoint. Did you see the part where Blair said this?...

"...these techniques have hurt our image around the world, the damage they have done to our interests far outweighed whatever benefit they gave us and they are not essential to our national security."

Either you read that part and ignored it, you saw your original quote elsewhere and didn't fact-check your source, or you skimmed the article and just cherry-picked a quote. No matter how you came about it, what Blair said still does not mean what you think it means.

And round and round it goes, since Monday. For once, I know what the sadistic knuckledragger on the other end actually looks like and that he has a kid, because his profile pic shows him with one. I assume it's his kid.

I'm not drawing any grand, epic, life-changing lessons from the observation that for once I know my enemy's face, it just makes me sad for his child.

From the Awesome Idea File...

Posted by Fraulein

Wingnut militia members plan to seek out a million armed right-wing whackadoodles to march on Washington. A couple things on this: if in fact there are a million armed, true-believer militia fruit loops running amok across the United States, I'd be pretty surprised. I doubt there are that many hard-core militia types. Secondly, good luck getting even a few thousand of them off the couch long enough to march anywhere but to the convenience store for more Cheetos. Also the story points out that the video is from the Obama inauguration, as opposed to some previous Totally Awesome Right-Wing Whackadoodle Hoedown. So, they get a big FAIL on that one.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

One Question

Why is Cloris Leachman impersonating a member of the US House of Representatives?

Joe Scarborough Is An Idiot

Within the course of one Morning Joke™ broadcast, Joe Scarborough equates the Obama/Chavez handshake from Chavez just being misunderstood and maybe we should have been "more respectful of Stalin" and "some terrorists across the globe" would see the smile and handshake as "a sign of weakness" in the early hours of the broadcast, to backing off his initial statement so much, he got to this point by the end of the show: "...none of us here think it was a problem that he shook hands with the president of Venezuela, and I'm glad he smiled."

What a joke.

(H/T Media Matters)

Obama Shakes Hand - Civilization Collapses

This past weekend, President Obama met with South American leaders at the fifth Summit of the Americas to discuss international relations and it seems that the Obama haters have their panties in a knot over the fact that the President shook hands with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Senator John Ensign, Republican of Nevada, said on CNN that it was “irresponsible for the president” to be seen laughing and joking with “one of the most anti-American leaders in the entire world,” referring to Mr. Ch├ívez.

Shaking hands with an anti-American leader? Surely, that's never happened before. As leader of the free world, you wouldn't want to appear weak and have a dialogue with "anti-Americans." I mean, diplomacy is one thing, but shaking hands? That's out of the question.

So, when you're in a room with thirty-three leaders from other countries for "diplomatic" purposes, what do you do? Walk across the room and slap Chavez in the face and call him a potty mouth? Take off your shoe and smash the heel of it on the desk?

For all the bluster from the ever increasingly marginalized right wing, doesn't it seem like President Obama is coming out smelling like a rose in all of these meetings? Everyone likes him, everyone wants to be seen with him, everyone wants to rub the Obama belly and get a little piece of that "­¡Si Se Puede!" mojo to increase their own popularity at home. Hell, he even got a gift of a 36 year old book from Chavez (a cheap photo op for Chavez to be sure, but you take what you can get).

This new (and back to the real definition of) diplomacy can only help the new administration and America as we reach out to our neighboring countries and solidify previously strained relationships that can have far reaching effects in the continuing process of protecting our nation.

That's a far cry from the last eight years of cowboy diplomacy.

Obama Is Weak!

I can't believe it! Now he's bowing down to Mexican President's DOG?! This is outrageous! What's the dog's name? Cesar Chavez?! Great! Acquiescing to a foreign leader's dog AND unions at the same time! COMMIE! FASCIST! SOCIALIST! And any other "IST" you can think of!

(H/T Cesca & Willis)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Eugene Robinson Wins Pulitzer

Congratulations to Eugene Robinson who won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary today.

This Is Brilliant

posted by Armadillo Joe

A dollar a day to make Norm go away. Over $22,000 raised so far.

I've signed up. So should you, here.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

SUPERTRAINS!: a graphic

posted by Armadillo Joe

I made me a little graphic with some overlays and stuff that I think (hopefully) somewhat illustrates the size of the problem at hand when it comes to building all those rail lines.

If anything about the graphic is unclear, let me know and I will try to improve it.

Harold Ford Jr. Kicks Armey's Ass

I'm not a big fan of Harold Ford, Jr. usually because he rebuts Republican talking point statements with, "I agree with everything you said, but...", but I'll give credit where credit is due. On Meet The Press today, Ford took Dick Armey to task right before a commercial break with the following:

REP. ARMEY: Let me make a couple points. As Milton Friedman said, "The real rate of taxation is the rate of spending." It's going to be pay me now or pay me later, but eventually every dime's worth of government spending is going to be taxation. But I think there's a fundamental question here that Hubert Humphrey would appreciate. The fact is, even by Hubert Humphey's standards, Humphrey-Hawkins, this government is too big. It's too much of a burden on the economy. And people sense that this president wants to take an already existing burden on the American economy and make it even bigger with a questionable ability...

REP. FORD: All right.

REP. ARMEY: do any good. Has the government actually made health care better in America? I would argue probably not.

MR. GREGORY: All right. Comment, Harold?

REP. FORD: Two things. We use the term "bailout" when we talk about the help on the financial side. It's important to note that the TARP is designed to actually be paid back. If the banks perform at the rate that some have suggested they performed this quarter and across the year, you're looking at a dividend payment from the banks back to the taxpayer, rightly so, between $12 to $15 billion this year, number one. Number two...


REP. FORD: ...I would agree with you, Leader, in this regard. Spending is large, but what is the alternative? Government's playing the role of the, the, the, the, the financial investor of last resort, the spender of last resort. We, we fought this, we fought this battle for many years in this country. Think if we'd decided not to pass the Servicemen Readjustment Act back in 1944 called the GI Bill. It was an enormous expenditure. You sent eight million veterans to college, you provided one year of unemployment compensation and you ensured they could buy a home. The impact that had on the nation's economy going forward, educating that greatest generation, has been enormous. Think if Eisenhower's national interstate, the highway system would not have passed. It cost $425 billion in real day terms. The impact it's had on commerce, prosperity and growth has been immeasurable. We face one of those moments. This is one of those 100-year flood moments. And as much as I'd like to see government not engage and involve itself in so many enterprises, I don't know the alternative. And as much as I like and respect you, I've not heard from Republicans or conservatives or the TEA party attenders, what is the alternative? If the alternative, alternative is to sit back and do nothing, the majority of Americans, evidenced by poll after poll, say, "Do something. Be active and get us out of this mess."
Although Gregory interrupted to go to break, if you watch the video, Armey had no answer or else he would have responded.