Friday, July 29, 2011

John Boehner Says I'm Right

Remember a couple weeks ago, I said that some Republicans wanted the U.S. economy to crash for their own political gain?

John Boehner has confirmed it: 

Speaking on conservative radio host Laura Ingraham’s show this morning, Boehner agreed that failing to raise the limit before the deadline would be devastating, and said the “chaos” plan won’t work when asked by Ingraham what’s motivating the recalcitrant Republicans:
BOEHNER: Well, first they want more. And my goodness, I want more too. And secondly, a lot of them believe that if we get past August the second and we have enough chaos, we could force the Senate and the White House to accept a balanced budget amendment. I’m not sure that that — I don’t think that that strategy works. Because I think the closer we get to August the second, frankly, the less leverage we have vis a vis our colleagues in the Senate and the White House.

You know, you can say what you want about Nancy Pelosi, but when the time came, she could deliver the votes. She even got Dennis Kucinich on board to pass a health care bill he said he hated. 

Boehner's an empty suit who can't control the terrorists in his own caucus who want to suicide-bomb the economy. You want to know how nutty these people are? The Tea Party Jihad wants to primary Allen West 
(you know, the guy who abused a  helpless prisoner who he later admitted was probably be the wrong guy then became a Big Damn Teabagger hero for challenging a woman to a fight)  for not being conservative enough.

Meanwhile, David Frum, who I've praised here from time to time as one of the few sane conservatives, is upset because the White House released a picture of Michelle Obama barefoot--in her own house. 

"The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of a passionate intensity"-Yeats. 

We are truly fucked. -Dusty Rhoades

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Defaulting On Your Obligations: The Teabagger Way of Life

Chicago Sun-Times:

Freshman U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, a tax-bashing Tea Party champion who sharply lectures President Barack Obama and other Democrats on fiscal responsibility, owes more than $100,000 in child support to his ex-wife and three children, according to documents his ex-wife filed in their divorce case in December.

“I won’t place one more dollar of debt upon the backs of my kids and grandkids unless we structurally reform the way this town spends money!” Walsh says directly into the camera in his viral video lecturing Obama on the need to get the nation’s finances in order.

Before getting elected, he had told Laura Walsh that because he was out of work or between jobs, he could not make child support payments. So she was surprised to read in his congressional campaign disclosures that he was earning enough money to loan his campaign $35,000.

“Joe personally loaned his campaign $35,000, which, given that he failed to make any child support payments to Laura because he ‘had no money’ is surprising,” Laura Walsh’s attorneys wrote in a motion filed in December seeking $117,437 in back child support and interest. “Joe has paid himself back at least $14,200 for the loans he gave himself.”
Keith Liscio, who said Walsh hired him to be campaign manager — Walsh disputes that — has sued Walsh for $20,000 in salary he said Walsh owes him. Both sides are trying to settle that case.

Staffers learned during the campaign that Walsh was driving on a suspended license. His license was suspended twice in 2008 for his failure to appear in court, and he was cited in 2009 for driving on a suspended license, according to the Illinois Secretary of State.
Walsh’s energetic Tea Party politics are making him the darling of cable TV.

Yeah, I'll just bet they do.

Now here's my question. One of many, actually, but let's start here.

Anthony Weiner texts racy pictures of himself to consenting adults. It's the lead story for days. Shock! Horror! He must resign!

This hypocrite who beats his chest and swears he'll not let his kids have to deal with "one more dollar of debt" stiffs those same kids to the tune of 100k, not to mention not paying his staff, and oh, by the way, drives with a suspended license (which is an actual CRIME), and what we hear from the national media is...the sound of crickets chirping. The only place I've seen this story is in the Sun-Times (his local paper) and the liberal blogosphere.

Do you honestly think that if any of this stuff had come out about, say, Harry Reid, we wouldn't have Weinergate all over again? Can anyone with a remaining brain cell still claim that the media has a 'liberal' bias?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Our Hopes Once Flew So High

Latest Newspaper Column:

This past week, as the mud wrestling in the U.S. Congress over the debt ceiling continued and people began to wonder just how deep the slime pit in Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp actually goes, a couple of events seem to have gotten pushed to the back of people’s minds. The events were (1) the 42nd anniversary of man’s first walk on the moon; and (2) the landing of the final mission of Atlantis, the last space shuttle. The space shuttle’s last hurrah got some passing mentions throughout the week; it seemed the moon-walk anniversary barely got noticed at all.

That’s a shame. Maybe if we were paying a little bit more attention to these two events, they might remind us of just how far our aspirations can go and the great things we can accomplish if we try.
As I watch the old videos of the moon landing today (courtesy of YouTube), I can still remember that sense of wonder as I sat in the darkened living room of the house I grew up in and watched the grainy pictures being beamed back to us from so far away.
I remember the tension in the room as Eagle, the tiny, buglike lunar exploration module, descended toward a lunar surface that appeared to be littered with boulders the size of Volkswagens.
I remember being impressed by the cool, almost drawling way astronaut Buzz Aldrin called out altitude and velocity as mission commander Neil Armstrong guided the vehicle down, while an increasingly tense voice from Mission Control called out their rapidly dwindling fuel supply (“Sixty seconds. ...THIRTY SECONDS...”). Even at 7 years old, I knew this was huge.
Then, of course, there was that amazing moment when a ghostly figure dressed in a bulky white space suit gave a little hop off the ladder and set his feet, for the first time, on the surface of another world, saying, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
It wasn’t until years later that I realized that really didn’t make sense. Later I read that Armstrong admitted he’d blown the line, that it should have been, “one small step for [a] man.” Since he’d been up for 24 hours and was, you know, on the freakin’ moon, he can, I think, be forgiven.
The end of the space shuttle program marks the end of another amazing chapter in human history. At its initial roll-out in the late ’70s, the concept — a reusable spaceship that could take off, land on Earth, and then do it all over again — seemed both revolutionary and completely familiar, at least to us science fiction readers.
It was intended to be a cheaper and more practical way to haul humans and cargo into orbit, and it was going to be vital in the construction of the first truly international space station. Not only did the program accomplish that goal of giving us a toehold in space, but it also launched satellites that, among other things, have let us look deeper into the universe than ever before.
One unintended consequence of the shuttle program, however, was that it made space travel seem almost routine. Back in the day, we used to get pulled out of class to watch the “moon shot,” as we used to call it. Networks would cancel other programming to follow the progress of the moon missions.
Eventually, however, shuttle launches and landings got mentioned way down around the 15-minute mark on the network news and “below the fold” in most newspapers — unless something went terribly wrong, as it did on two dark days when shuttles and their entire crews were lost.
Maybe that’s why a lot of the public seems to have lost its fascination with space exploration and its own sense of wonder at the spectacle of men and women riding into the sky atop pillars of fire, on voyages of discovery that even Columbus could never have imagined.
There was a time when we looked to the stars. A time when we tried to accomplish great things, not, as President Kennedy said, because they were easy, but because they were hard. Now, it’s all about what we can’t do, what we can’t afford. Aspiration and the ambition to do great things, to take on seemingly impossible challenges as a nation, have become something to sneer at.
I hope, someday soon, we can start looking up again. We need it. Not just as a country, but as a human race.