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1949 – USSR detonates the first Hydrogen Bomb in the world

1966 – The Beatles perform their last concert before paying fans at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.

2010 – Glenn Beck celebrates his 1,780,000 fans before whom he preached about how he is just like MLK.


So, what happened yesterday?  Some here complain about the insult to MLK, others crow about Beck not meeting his numbers. A few say we should ignore it all, because there are so few Tea Baggers in this world. Still others suggest that the Beck fan base is simply a misguided, doddering, pale-faced, slow-witted group of befuddled conservative christians.

I suggest that all of the above may be true, just as all of the above completely miss the point.

There is something far more important and critical going on here. There is a broad, deep, and growing discontentment in America. Frankly, it exists throughout the world. Today, we learned of even greater instability within China, of right wing groups protesting in Japan, even of riots organized by the right wing English Defense League in the UK last night. Europe, Asia, Africa, hell, everywhere change is coming, and it is being met with resistance and fear.

What is happening? Simply put, our global society is on a collision course with something else – the explosive growth of technological change. Not with just computers, Frankenfood, or material science, but in each and every aspect of technology, in every facet of our lives.

In his seminal book, “The Singularity is Near,”  Ray Kurzwell describes what he calls The Six Epochs, essentially describing the history of the universe, and how complexity in forms, starting with basic Chemistry after the big bang, to Biology & DNA, followed by Brains, Technology,  to the Merger of Technology with Human Intelligence, leading finally to the scariest thought of all, “The Universe Wakes Up.”  Kurzwell measures human progress and repeatedly notes that growth in systems is always misread and underpredicted – by experts, at least. I strongly suggest this book. It makes the Tea Bagger scenario so obvious, in retrospect.

“Another error that prognosticators make is to consider the transformations that will result from a single trend in today’s world, as though nothing else will change. A good example is the concern that radical life extension will result in overpopulation and and the exhaustion of limited material resources to sustain human life, which ignores comparably radical wealth creation from nanotechnology and strong AI. For example, nano-based manufacturing devices in the 2020s will be capable of creating almost any physical product from inexpensive raw materials and information.

“I emphasize the exponential versus linear perspective because it’s the most important failure that prognosticators make in considering future trends. Most technology forecasts and forecasters ignore altogether this historical exponential view of technological progress. Indeed, almost everyone I meethas a linear view of the future. That’s why people tend to overestimate what can be achieve in the short term (because we tend to leave out necessary details) but underestimate what can be achieved in the long term (Because exponential growth is ignored).”

It is not that the Tea Baggers are idiots, morons, and sheeple, easily led by knaves. It is precisely because they sense what we sense – there is a rapidly increasing change to our society, and the leaps and bounds taken by technology have a huge impact on our lives, each and every day. It is the ever accelerating pace of change that scares them silly.

You don’t believe it?  Think about this: It took 14 years from the development of the first commercial PC to the birth of the World Wide Web. When the “Internet” finally reached 1,000 nodes, people were actually worried about the Web coming to a crawl, because of a lack of capacity. Today, there are

billions of e-mails

transmitted each day. Every day. Cell phones are now the norm, not a unique, rather ineffective, heavy box that you would lug around.  Photos, music, video, are now sent from one user to another, without either party thinking about how new and powerful this technology has become.

Artificial intelligence is now the norm, even if it is in in infancy. Banks, credit card companies, Wall Street all live or die on AI, and it will not be long before every part of our lives are improved with AI, computer interfaces, and more. Should we join the Tea Baggers being afraid. Probably.

Tea Baggers (being more technologically impaired, and frightened off by Microsoft’s hideous OS systems of the past, Vista included), were and are rightly afraid of change, because they have not had the chance, or more likely, do not believe that they possess the capacity to accept and involve themselves with the changes we see each day.

For the most part, their past brushes with technology proved them right. Trying to reboot after yet another blue screen of death caused an emotional response to technology, one that is extremely hard to remove. To your Tea Bagger, seeing even more advances means only one thing, they are being “left behind,” and not just in the warped sense contained in some end of times, christian  novel written by a couple of christian charlatans.

If you actually sit down and have the chance interview a Tea Bagger, (any close family member will do) you will find that much of what is driving their actions, ideas and thoughts, is fear. Fear of the future. Fear of change. And the Glenn Becks and Sarah Palins of this world cravenly combine forces to control that fear, even to instill more, directing it against their political targets, for their own personal and professional gain. Throwing fuel on the fire is precisely what they do, because the time is right for them to do it – and to get away with it.

Tea Baggers see no difference between a smooth speaking, calm Obama explaining the intricacies of financial reform, or a smooth speaking Wall Street bank exec explaining why the Bush Tax Cuts must continue. So what happens? They fear and hate both, because of their own lack of understanding and lack of knowledge. Even worse, they lack the technical means to even begin to learn about what either or both really mean.

When they sense that increases and gains technology (and the related societal changes) are accelerating,  that ratchets up their fear even more. They are truly becoming desperate. The world is speeding up, and leaving them behind. They sense no security, no semblance of stability, nothing that they can grab and hang on to.

The seductive quality of Glenn Beck cannot be ignored. He panders to the lowest common denominator, and in doing so, he makes those slightly smarter feel, well, slightly smarter. He provides easily identified villains (liberals, democrats, progressives, social nets, Obama, and anyone who reads a lot of books) and constantly harps on their foibles, true or false. He scares people non-stop, and willingly plays the fool, because by being foolish, he gives his listeners and viewers an excuse – the excuse not to think, not to take responsibility, and the excuse not to work on working on our new society.   Religion, that old time religion, banning evolution, teaching older values, changing history to erroneously call our Founding Fathers  christians, these are all deliberate, planned means of controlling the sheeple who fear our world the most.

With many exceptions, especially here, generally, the older people are, the less they like technology, and the less they like how our world is changing.

There are several solutions, only one of which will benefit me personally, so I raise it first. Send me money. Lots of money. If I deem it enough, and if you pass the Church of Ineffable Stupidity worksheets, quizzes and exams, you will be awarded Divinity Degree in the Church of Ineffable Stupidity. Diplomas will follow through snail mail.

Another solution is less obvious, but more powerful. It is best described as self-correction. When there is a need, somehow, humanity finds a way to fill the gap, either with direct or indirect action. Often, over the longer term, the indirect action is the most beneficial, and provides the best fit.

Take the iPad, for example. I have a father who hates computers, cell phones, even voice mail. Yet, he still practices law, and has been forced to use technology, despite his hatred, even self-described fear of it. (“But, I can’t, I am afraid I’ll break it.”)  But, when I got him to finally try the iPad, he took to it like a fertile, pregnant, Snakehead Carp has taken to Lake Michigan, far happier than a clam in today’s Gulf.  Not only did technology create the problem (hideous human – technology interfaces), technology became so advanced that it solved them.

Many here are immune to Glenn’s attraction. For myself, I cannot stand more than three minutes, before I want to tear my eyes out, and stuff lit firecrackers in my ears. But, we have to take note of the movement that is driving his popularity. It is real. It is substantial. It is scared as hell, mostly because they see just how fast the change is accelerating. To make things worse, Obama ran on “Change” which is precisely what they fear most.

No matter how corrosive and destructive Beck and Palin are to America, they will fail. The juggernaut of technological growth has a life of its own. Its growth is exponential. If you look back to the past and try to measure the future, you will fail, just as Kurzwell described. It is incredibly hard to focus on the future. For one thing, it is too high up the slope. For another, we concentrate on failures and errors, on roadblocks, just as other means and methods, other systems and discoveries lead to leapfrogging over the spot where we thought we were stuck.

That is why I view this idea of net neutrality is a false issue. Technologies are growing so fast, that should a company or three decide to limit access and charge more for archaic  “premium” internet access, they will have created the very means of their own destruction. By pressing on technology in one place, (by monopolizing the internet), technology will pop up and skip that blockage elsewhere. What will replace the internet, I do not know. But the days of wired connectivity will soon be at an end. Much like the singing telegram, cables, and semaphore from ship to shore, we live in a very unbrave new world.

So, sign up for my classes and earn your degree in your spare time! Send a check for 19.95 by February 30, 2011, and you will get a free surprise gift!


Reading list:

  1. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Sir Adams)
  1. The Singularity is Near (Kurzwell)

Read these bibles carefully. There will be a test next week on content, imagery, and philosophical impact of each.


List three ineffable stupid things that belong in a church sermon, that you personally viewed or experienced. (Personal experiences earn extra credit!)
Write down two ways that Tea Baggers’ faith can be used to keep them non-violent.
Boycott your local Target, if you have more spare time.

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A “Uni-Tea,” Bi-Lateral, Tri-Sermon

1619 – First African slaves arrive in Jamestown, Virginia. They look forward to becoming 3/5s of a real person.

1967 – Israel annexes East Jerusalem. Indigenous Palestinians look forward to becoming 3/5s of a real person.


“Make no mistake about it. These are not ‘kookie’ birds. Right now the greatest player, the big tent on the political scene in America, is called the Tea Party movement.”
Dick the Armey

“I think one of the great problems we have in the Republican Party is that we don’t encourage you to be nasty. We encourage you to be neat, obedient, loyal and faithful and all those Boy Scout words, which would be great around a campfire but are lousy in politics.”
Newt Gingrich


Methinks political hysterians and historians will look back to this point in time, here and now,  and declare the demise of Caribou Barbie’s Tea Baggers.

Yesterday, in what was billed as the largest gathering of gaggling geese, Tea Baggers combined farces with the likes of Matt Drudge’s personal rectal thermometer, Andrew Breitbart and held an immense, successful,  huge Uni Tea conference. According to two intrepid TPM reporters, the number of iced water bottles stacked up for conference attendees, greatly outnumbered the actual conference members. If 500 people showed up, the Tea Baggers should be proud.

What happened?

A couple of things. First, try organizing a disorganized set of people whose only similarities include an utter ignorance about government policies, history, grammar and spelling. Just like the roulette wheels in Vegas, if at first you do succeed, trying and trying again may not bring you the same result.

Next, provide secret seed money from some incredibly rich and unbelievably conservative GOP underwriters. (See generally, Koch Bros, Cato Institute, Heritage Foundation,  Wyly Bros, Freedumb Works, Americans for Prosperity,  and more) Then, when you sufficiently scare people with ideas like Death Panels, or Black Muslims from  Kenya taking over America and forcing kids to attend mosques, gather them up with misdirection, lies, deceit, and by underwriting fleets of buses, bring them together. Next step? Declare victory, declare the creation of a new and powerful grass roots movement, and watch the MSM trip over its own feet, trying to get the story.

Those first meetings were something else, weren’t they? Lots of bodies, a sense of “being,” and a wonderment at how it all happened. A real grass roots movement? In the day of remote control HDTV? Amazing.

So far, so good. But then reality begins to set in. Despite the best washing of brains that a wayward, lazy MSM and an evil Koch Foundation can buy, having the likes of Newt the Gingrich, Dick the Armey, C. Boyton Gray, and other NeoCons, and ultraconservatives start talking about the People’s movement as though it was their own, can shock and awe people in unexpected ways.  Sarah Palin, the people’s refudiated twit on twitter, Michele Bachmann, Rand Paul and Sharron Angle added fools to the fire, in their own special way.

Political genius P.T. Barnum had several observations about humanity, especially today’s GOP: “Without promotion something terrible happens… Nothing!” followed by the ever popular “There’s a sucker born every minute” and of course, “More persons, on the whole, are humbugged by believing in nothing, than by believing too much.” Even those who once had an affinity for Tea Bagging, began to see more clearly into the roots and sources of the Tea Bagger organization. Once that happened, even those with the most convictions began to sour on the whole Tea Bagger movement.

A couple of truths are now born out:

a) Tea Baggers are a dying breed.
The campaign leading up to yesterday’s conference began in November. They expected thousands, they bragged about hundreds of thousands, they gathered, at most, 500. Of those, no less than 75 were news media types looking for a story, then, in embarrassment, slinking away before the ugly spectacle of CNN interviewing ABC filming CBS, which was trying to gather a notable quote from FOX, which was earnestly searching for a way to attack MSNBC, which was preparing for a live report on PBS’s presence. .  .  .    you get the idea.

To be sure, there were many thousands who came to the first rally. It was new. It was entertaining. It was fun. And the hand made signs were fabullious. . . fibulous . . . fibrous . . . or something.

But as time went on, people were bound to learn a few things, like there are no Death Panels, Obama is not some Fascist Communist Nazi Kenyan Muslin bent on attacking the Murican Weigh of Life, and that neocon assholes are really and truly neocon assholes. The closer Dick’s Armey came to the Tea Baggers, and the more often Sarah and Michelle claimed TBers as their own spawn, the more likely people were willing to drop kick the party.

Sure, people are unhappy, people are scared, and people don’t trust government. But one thing that is emerging slowly, people trust the GOP and their trained Tea Bagger pets even less than they trust Obama.  Word to Rahm and other folks who keep the real Obama bubbled up. Tea Baggers are nowhere’sville.

b) Tea Baggers are racists.
Calling a farm implement a farm implement is one thing. But when tea baggers use the term “spade,” it is for an entirely different and less wholesome reason. The presence of Breitbart alone as a keynote speaker should be enough to tip off Americans that Tea Baggers consist of nothing but a doughy, overweight, pale-skinned, ardent watchers of Billo and Sean, whose average age is pretty close to their average IQ.

Change scares them. Old age scares them. Death Panels scare them. People of color scare them. Books contain too many words. Newspapers are too tough to understand. Educated folks intimidate and scare them. Big words confuse them.

New ideas terrify them more than the Soviet Missile gap (1957-1960)  (which they remember like it was yesterday). 9/11 reminded them of Pearl Harbor, an event which led to most of their births. Actually, these people are not to be scorned, but pitied. When they see a group of black males together, their first thought is Rape, their second is the NBA. When someone tells them  of a “public option,” they hear “death panels.” What scares them the most is that the feds may somehow get involved in Medicare, taking away one of their most greatly cherished private enterprises. Worst of all, Obama is a black man. Oh, the horror!

c) Sarah Palin is the kiss of death.
Tea Baggers still have one heroin (see generally,  Big H, brown sugar, dope, golden girl, H, horse, junk, poison, skag, smack, sweet dreams, tar), Sister Sarah, aka Bible Spice, Caribou Barbie, etc. Addictions involving this grizzled mama are worse than any street drug, and withdrawals are more painful than any identity theft your bank account ever experienced.

Even Tea Baggers realize that all that glitters is not gold. A common grifter, with a level of self importance and ego rarely seen, Sarah’s endorsement in favor of a candidate has two immediate impacts. 1) Money from various incredibly rich extremists pours in, and 2) Support for the candidate begins to wane.

Even now, fund raisers with Sarah are running on empty. Ticket sales for her appearances are down to nothing. Her Midas touch (as Fox called it some months ago) is all tarnish and no magic.  Frankly, it took longer than I expected, but even a refutiated twit’s fame has faded. The more that Newt and others call her presidential caliber, the more their guns will jam.

d) Michelle Bachmann is insane.
What can anyone add to that?

e) Newt Gingrich is a fat, corpulent, self-aggrandizing, immoral pig.
Actually, he and Sarah make quite the dynamic duo. Even we agnostics and atheists should hope and pray for one thing – that these two combine their sterling qualities and make a run for higher office. Of course, both of them will speak of the other in the most glowing terms, at least when they refrain from calling for invasions of North Korea and Iran. But rust and tarnish have a lot in common – they both consist of oxidized waste product.

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The “Cheney has no pulse” Sermon

I was tempted to add “breaking”,  but, given his behavior over the decades, a lack of pulse seems to be the norm, not the exception.

Anyway, Cheney had massive heart surgery last week. Three points:

1. He apparently had some heart tissue remaining in his chest cavity prior to his most recent trouble.

2. His treatment involved new, TEMPORARY technology that uses an impeller to bypass his heart completely. He has no pulse.

3. His plans to run for president will find him in a super sophisticated, Star Trek like powered chair, that follows his every command, mimic’ing critical body functions, perhaps even supplementing his brain with  Information gathered by the NSA.

– – – – – – – –

1798 – the Sedition Act makes it a crime to make malicious statements against the US government.

2003 – Under Patriot Act II, The government would no longer disclose the identity of anyone, including US citizens, detained in connection with a terror investigation – until criminal charges are filed, no matter how long it takes.


– – – – – – – –


A. Cheney’s Got A Pump

30 some years following his first heart attack, some new technology was installed in Dick Cheney’s chest, effectively bypassing his entire heart. The impeller blades, spinning at several thousand RPM, now move what purports to be human blood throughout his body and brain, without any beat at all.

Somehow that seems fitting.

When I was in the third grade, I had an epiphany. I clearly remember the circumstances. Each day, the school I attended would barricade the street in front, at either end of the block, giving us an asphalt playground after lunch.  One day, some “moran” decided to avoid the barricades, and drive her car on that street. A friend of mine was going after a ball, and bam, the next instant, she was laying on the street, out cold. Blood flowed from her face. Most kids were laughing, mainly because her undies were visible to all. But, in the span of a pico-second, I switched places with her, trying to see what she was feeling. I sensed the pain, the agony, the fear, and even more the embarrassment because so many students were pointing and laughing. As I said, it was an epiphany.

From that moment, I frequently found myself thinking about how others felt and how they sensed issues and processed information. It was weird, because for years to come, no one else my age would do that. It even freaked out the parental units. Even today, I am constantly surprised that others deliberately ignore, or are incapable of putting themselves in other people’s shoes.

Being a male of 53 young years, being happily involved with Honey, and doing a job that involves much pain, strife, and other people’s troubles, I still shed tears when I see injuries, emotional pain, death or the suffering of animals.  Yet, either through major mental callouses, regression of my emotional condition, or perhaps, a higher evolution of it, I feel absolutely nothing when it comes to Dick Cheney.

If he felt pain, I would not care. If he felt fear of his upcoming demise, I would ignore it. If he was regretful of all the death and destruction he personally caused to this country, this world, and to humanity’s future, I would find myself in utter disbelief, greeting his regretful words with sneering curmudgeonly sarcasm, and salted with asides containing many four letter words.

Could it be that I suffer from an Empathy Deficit Disorder? Or could my internal mechanism suffer such disgust and revulsion about Cheney and some of his spawn, that empathy simply has no place when the topic is Cheney?

– – – – – – –

B. Financial Regulation  – The Little Train that Couldn’t

Amazingly, Senator Reid found 60 votes for a pathetic shadow of a bill, one which makes most corrupt financial institutions on Wall jump for joy.

Of course, the shadow of reform has not kept the GOP house puppies quiet. Already, they seek its repeal, right after they repeal Health Insurance  Reform.

President Obama will sign this bill into law early next week. I suggest he use either invisible ink, or a gray tone so slight, so inconsequential, that future presidential historians will wonder what all the fuss was about.  Pyrrhic victory, indeed.

– – –  – – –

C. Sarah’s Got a PAC

That which we call a  hippo-crite, by any other name would smell as rat-tish.

“No word yet on wardrobe costs, but Politico is reporting that Sarah Palin’s political action committee, Sarah PAC, garnered more in fund-raising cash, $866,000, in the second quarter of 2010 than it had in any three-month period since Sarah Barracuda formed the PAC in early 2009. Sarah PAC had revved up its fund-raising efforts as of late. Its expenditures were nearly double those of previous quarters, and were used to mostly to bolster her base via list-building and direct-email campaigns. The committee also contributed more than it ever had in campaign donations to other candidates, a cool $87,500. Her various national speaking engagements and her requisite $17,000 private jet bumped up her travel costs as well. This sophistication is a marked shift from her PAC’s previous m.o., and, as Politico speculates, is more akin to that of a political figure gearing up for a Presidential bid.”

The Daily Beast took a look into her investments in other races. Tea Baggers, ultra conservatives, and conservative christian types are happy, giddy recipients of her rather small largesse.

Despite Bible Spice’s verbal, if not financial,  support of Tea Baggers across our country,  the shine is definitely off. Candidates across the country find themselves failing, falling, faltering, and floundering.  Even Caribou Barbie can’t help.

The future of the Tea Baggers, perhaps even the GOP’s future (at least in its current ultra-conservative, “Just Say No,”  christian based, existence) really revolves on two November races, perhaps three. If Democrats win two, or all three of these races, today’s GOP will have a lot of soul searching to do. Even the cheapest meat thermometer will tell you that they are toast.

Sharron Angle (somewhat ill in NV)
Harry Reid may be no slouch.  I often rag on him for failing to stand up to and pressure DINOs and the 2-3 potentially moderate people in the GOP. But, he is in the middle of this cultural war, and so far, he appears to be winning. At least within the Bloatway.

Back in Nevada? Who knows?

The best thing that could happen to Reid’s campaign is that Angle keeps opening her mouth. Unless all that nuclear testing has created some strange hallucinogenic bacteria to thrive in Nevada’s water supply, the chances that an entire state has collectively lost its mind, and would even consider a nutcase like Angle is simply unthinkable.

Yet, poll numbers are showing a tight race, which itself is a somewhat disturbing idea. A future Senator “41 to Angle” would have one good result – once America saw her in action, not one other Tea Bagger would ever come close to winning any other election. We may be a strange country, but we are not suicidal.

Rand Paul (quite ill in KY)

Ayn’s illegitimate son is even weirder than Angle. Just how weird he is may be impossible to fathom. His positions are so far out of the mainstream, that even conservative GOPers have been privately counseling him to shut up and sit down. It won’t last. The debate he had against his democratic opponent did not go well, and with his libertarian lobotomized mindset, combined with his contention that he is on a crusade, means that we will have Paul to kick around until November.

We just hope that this red state goes purple – for the health and future of our country, that is.

Mark Kirk (ill)

Captain Kirk has been caught in so many lies, that even the Federation would expel him if they had the chance. If he were a Democrat, his serial lying would have been the fodder for months of political hack reporting, talk show hosts, and the source of bets in Vegas, wondering when he would withdraw. Luckily, MSM and others have a double standard when it comes to blatant misbehavior and lying by GOPers. (Vitter? Gingrich? Delay? Issa? McCain? The list is too long.)  Even though MSM tries its best to protect and coddle this Romulan agent, there is some chance that he will prevail. What most Ill in noisyans don’t know or don’t remember, is just how ultra-conservative he is. The neocons would have a stalwart soldier in the senate, should he win.

Right now, the Democrat is losing the money war. As Huffpo reports,

On May 31, footage surfaced of his opponent, Republican Mark Kirk, making the false claim that he won the Navy Intelligence Officer of the Year Award, an award that doesn’t exist. Kirk spent much of the next month weathering a long string of revelations about exaggerations and embellishments of all kinds on his resume.

But despite the lambasting Kirk took in the media, the one thing in politics that talks louder than pundits is money–and the money had harsh words for the Giannoulias campaign this past quarter.

In the fundraising period from April 1 to June 30, Alexi Giannoulias took in just over $900,000, and he ended the period with over $1 million in hand. These numbers pale in comparison to Kirk’s take, $2.3 million during the quarter, and his cash on hand, $3.9 million.

Alexi, come on. Get a move on it. How many openings can you expect even from a serial liar like Captain Kirk? Especially since he put his media deflector screens up, and hides from any reporter. Seriously, Alexi, his engines can’t take anymore.

– – – –

D. Argentina insults God

Watch for America’s doltish conservative preacher crowd to start attacking all things Argentinian. And no, the utter lack of a defense, the complete lack of a coaching plan, and the embarrassingly quick exit from the Whirled Cup has nothing to do with it.

Rather, Argentina voted to completely erase all laws against same sex marriage. What seems to natural, so logical to them, remains an alien notion to much of America. Luckily, this appears to be our Christian Reich’s last gasp, and over time, this issue will disappear from our political framework. Just how many hetero marriages in America have been damaged or destroyed by Mass’ gay marriage legislation? One?  None? Any one at all? How a loving couple in Vermont can somehow destroy a South Carolina couple’s marriage, simply because both happen to be the same sex has always escaped me.

Consider this: Argentina’s life expectancy is 75.38 and rising. US has 78.4 and is stagnant or falling.   Argentina spends 1/4 per capita of what the US spends on health care. Argentina’s health care infrastructure is improving. Ours? not so much.

And most of all, Argentina has fantastic soccer fans, especially the female ones who make great offers.

We have Glenn Beck.


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A Kiss of Death for Vaughn Ward and the GOP Young Guns

1938 – The House Un-American Activities Committee begins its first session.

2004 – The New York Times publishes an admission of journalistic failings, claiming that its flawed reporting and lack of skepticism towards sources during the buildup to the 2003 war in Iraq helped promote the belief that Iraq possessed large stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.


“Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.” – – – – Sir Calvin N. Hobbes

“As for that VP talk all the time, I’ll tell you, I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day?” – – – –  Sarah Palin



Some might call it the kiss of death (The strong pre-election endorsement by Bible Spice), others may call it the GOP’s Shock and Awe.

I call it natural, from a Barnum and Bailey point of view. After all, today’s GOP is little more than a circus, but without the animals (Until the next family values congressman is found in bed with his favorite sheep).

Vaughn Ward was one of the annointed  GOP YOUNG GUNS (a group of 23 young über conservatives carefully culled, selected, vetted, and funded to be the future leaders of the GOP) when he first declared his candidacy for a congressional seat in Idaho. (A word of warning,  only Screeching Sarah is as annoying as Rep. Cantor’s voice on  the Young Gun website)

Vaughn Ward had everything going for him. Money, looks, decorated Iraqi vet status, massive GOP support, including the coveted American Conservative Union endorsement, TeaBagger excitement, even Wassilly Sarah’s personal endorsement and a touchie feelie campaign appearance with the Toddster.

After taking an early lead,  this Tea Bagger looked like he had this election in the bag. Instead, he kept finding himself dunking up and down in really hot water.

Maybe it was the 2004 speech he stole from Barack Obama. Maybe it was the word for word lifting of other conservative GOP position papers. Maybe it was his campaign manager being fired just two weeks before the election. Or, maybe it was Sarah Palin’s personal endorsement (known in some circles as the Kiss of the Locust, whose natural mating sounds are indistinguishable from the Quittah from Wassillah’s normal speech patterns).

Personally, I suspect that something else is at work here. As cute as their signage may be, (home skuling does have its rewards), the biggest worry about the Tea Baggers is that people are starting to listen to their actual message. Part of the problem is best described as Buyer’s Remorse. (A deep regret and repentance for a wrong committed; a compunction, the wrong being making an important choice or purchase.)  Another part is that  the Tea Bagger party is crazier than your average loon, under a fool moon, with all psychotropic drugs withheld. In years past, there was a a famous mental affliction called theStockholm Syndrome.

a term used to describe a paradoxical psychological phenomenon wherein hostages express adulation and have positive feelings towards their captors that appear irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims.

In recent times, it has been replaced by the newly discovered RAND PAUL Syndrome.

Rand Paul’s amazing meltdown in his first week as the GOP Senate nominee in Kentucky raises serious questions about media conspiracies – not because the network talking heads decided to ask him tough questions, but because they waited to pose those challenges until after he’d won his primary and the Republicans were stuck with him.

When the Tea Baggers were just a nascent political movement, (The Armey of Dick),  many desperate and suffering Americans felt that the movement also represented “change”, especially as an ever more moderate and conciliatory president managed to appear weak, despite a growing number of legislative victories. Maybe not the sanest kind of change, but change nevertheless. Like a new shiny toy, the Tea Baggers attracted plenty of media coverage (including a deliberate campaign by Fox News to promote and fund it). Now the wrappings are remove and the glitter has worn off,  people are finally taking notice of their actual positions and policy stances.  In other words, they see the Tea Baggers for who and what they really are. A collection of crazies. A boatload of leaks. A ripe, low-hanging bunch of conservative zealots who will never let reality interfere with their thought patterns.

At the forefront of this movement are the irrepressible and verbally incontinent Michelle Bachmann and the schreechie changie Momma of the Deep Oil Rig, Sarah Palin. By supporting Vaughn Ward, Sarah’s endorsement did little other than to highlight just how out of touch and unready Young Gun Ward really was:

He (Vaughn Ward) was accused of using position statements on his website that were identical to those posted on websites of Republican candidates in other states. Ward pulled the statements, but the flub led to the resignation of his campaign manager less than two weeks before the election.

He came under fire again last weekend for allegedly using statements in his campaign kickoff announcement in January that were similar to passages in the keynote address Barack Obama gave at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

“He was the front-runner, here we are, his empire starts crumbling. It’s kind of embarrassing,” said state Sen. Monte Pearce, a New Plymouth Republican and one of his chamber’s most conservative members.

It’s kind of embarrassing. Indeed.

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Two women have been arrested for allegedly attempting to smuggle crystal methamphetamine inside a Bible to a Walker man jailed in the Livingston Parish Detention Center. Sheriff’s deputies told The Advocate that a 28-year-old woman allegedly delivered a Bible containing methamphetamine to the detention center on May 12. They said a 35-year-old woman allegedly gave the drug-containing Bible to the jailed man.

The intended recipient, a 30-year-old man, has been in jail since October on a variety of drug-related arrests.

The jailed man was booked with entering contraband into a penal institution, and the 35-year-old woman was booked with being a principal to entering contraband into a penal institution.

Read more:…

Heh. Within these words lays salvation.  Indeed.

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C. The EPA finally finds its voice.

The Environmental Protection Agency moved Tuesday to end a long-running dispute with Texas over how the state regulates emissions, including cancer-causing toxins such as benzene and butadiene, from dozens of refineries that produce a third of the nation’s gasoline and billions of dollars of petrochemicals.

Change we can believe in. Finally. Texas refinery permits violate Clean Air Act.

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D. Mineral Management Service: “PARTY ON!”

Today’s sAINTS are not the Alaska MMS staff who held an office party with cake (the icing spelled out, “DRILL BABY DRILL!”  Rather, today’s heros were in both DC and Louisiana.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Staff members at an agency that oversees offshore drilling accepted tickets to sports events, lunches and other gifts from oil and gas companies and used government computers to view pornography, according to an Interior Department report alleging a culture of cronyism between regulators and the industry.

In at least one case, an inspector for the Minerals Management Service admitted using crystal methamphetamine and said he might have been under the influence of the drug the next day at work, according to the report by the acting inspector general of the Interior Department.

The report cites a variety of violations of federal regulations and ethics rules at the agency’s Louisiana office. Previous inspector general investigations have focused on inappropriate behavior by the royalty-collection staff in the agency’s Denver office.

The report adds to the climate of frustration and criticism facing the Obama administration in the monthlong oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, although it covers actions before the spill. Millions of gallons of oil are gushing into the Gulf, endangering wildlife and the livelihoods of fishermen, as scrutiny intensifies on a lax regulatory climate.

A LAX regulatory climate? With the hookers and parties arranged for MMS staff and top leaders, shouldn’t that read “climax” instead?

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E. Obama’s capitulation

I like this guy. I really do. And I plan to vote for him early and often in 2012. He comes from my state, and I think he is really trying. Burdened as he is with the infamous Chinese Curse (May you live in exciting times), he has repeatedly tried to reach across the aisle, to bring in GOP support for popular or necessary programs, and he has repeatedly failed in the process. Many on the left are angry because he is all too willing to cave in, even before the demand is made. (See generally, Health Care Reform).

But really, Mr. President. Look at the facts. Violence at the Arizona border has never been lower. If anything, there is no influx of Mexicans, but rather, a return by Mexicans to their homeland, because our economy is in such a shitter.

When Arizona passed into law its hideous, unconstitutional DWB (driving while brown) law, the initial reaction from the WH was appropriate. They called it what it was. Shortsighted, stupid, and doomed to fail. It also pissed off so many people of color, that the GOP’s future nickname will be The Albino Party.

Sending 1500 troops to “secure” the Arizona border is exactly the wrong approach. It lends credence to those who drafted and passed that stupid law. It makes it appear as though you support the theory behind the AZ statute, factually wrong as it is.

Mr. President, if you want to have a positive public impact, don’t do it by making a bad Arizona situation worse. And better yet, don’t send your EPA chief to New York, while you head to San Fran, both attending fund raisers. I have to tell you, that really looks bad, as though you really don’t care about the Gulf Coast. Actually, by being so oblivious to your image, you remind people of George W., as he flew over Louisiana, observing things at 30,000 feet.

Mr. President, you are a smart man. You have many talents. But your closest staff is not serving you well. You had better open up that bubble, and let others access your inner circle, otherwise, you will be doomed to one term in office. It is not too late, but damn. Two huge missteps in one day?

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