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WilliamPitt

Profile Information

Name: William Rivers Pitt
Gender: Male
Hometown: Boston
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 56,994

Journal Archives

Alive Inside: Behold the POWER of Music

Social worker Dan Cohen creates personalized iPod playlists for the residents of a nursing home in an attempt to bring some joy to them. The reaction of an elderly resident, Henry, was filmed as a part of the documentary, Alive Inside.

Bound to a wheelchair, Henry is unresponsive and depressed. But something magical happens when he listens to music from his era (Cab Calloway!). His eyes glisten with joy and he gently rocks his frail body as he enjoys the music. People at the nursing home were amazed at the changes in him. After just a few minutes of listening to his favorite songs, Henry is restored in some ways to the fun-loving man he once was.



Just watch.

Holy hot damn.

100+ Scientists and Economists Urge President Obama and Secretary Kerry to Reject Keystone XL



100+ Scientists and Economists Urge President Obama and Secretary Kerry to Reject Keystone XL
By The National Resources Defense Council
EcoWatch.com

More than 100 leading scientists and economists are calling on the Obama Administration to deny the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline because it will trigger massive development of the world’s dirtiest oil, and escalate climate change. They include Nobel Prize winners in physics and economics, and lead authors of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports.

“We urge you to reject the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline as a project that will contribute to climate change at a time when we should be doing all we can to put clean energy alternatives in place,” the scientists and economists write in a letter sent today to President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. “The Keystone XL pipeline will drive expansion of the energy-intensive strip-mining and drilling of tar sands from under Canada’s Boreal forest, increasing global carbon emissions. Keystone XL is a step in the wrong direction.”

The letter’s timing is critical. In January, the U.S. State Department released a final Environmental Impact Statement on Keystone XL. Now the administration is formally considering whether the pipeline, aiming to pump tar sands oil from Canada mainly for export through the Gulf of Mexico, is in America’s national interest. A decision could be made in the next couple of months.

In their letter, the scientists and economists commend President Obama and Secretary Kerry for making strong commitments to fighting climate change. They call on them to turn down the proposed Keystone XL project because the incremental emissions alone could boost annual carbon pollution emissions by more than the output of seven coal-fired power plants. That would worsen climate change, making the project clearly not in the national interest, they write. The total emissions are far greater, and, as they write, are “emissions that can and should be avoided with a transition to clean energy.”

The rest: http://ecowatch.com/2014/04/07/100-scientists-urge-obama-kerry-reject-keystone-xl/

Explain to me why the Keystone XL pipeline is a good thing. I'll wait.

The Endless Chronicles of Stupid, Childbirth Edition



New York Mets Daniel Murphy attends the Aces, Inc.
All Star party at Marquee on July 14, 2013 in New York City.
(Image: via Shutterstock)


The Endless Chronicles of Stupid, Childbirth Edition
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Friday 04 April 2014

(snip)

Daniel Murphy, the second baseman for the New York Mets, took some leave time to be with his wife for the birth of their first child just as this year's MLB season was beginning. Because this is America, where everything that really sucks gets all the air-time it wants, Murphy's decision to be with his family at the beginning of the season elicited an avalanche of scorn and derision.

WFAN radio host Mike Francesa led the way with profundities like, "What are you going to do, sit there and look at your wife in the hospital bed for three days? You're a major-league baseball player. You can hire a nurse."

Sit and look at your wife for three days? Hire a nurse?

The really nifty part of this highly elevated discourse, however, was what former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason, who never won anything worthy of note but played just well enough to become a sportscasting talking head, said regarding Daniel Murphy's decision to be with his wife for the birth of their first child. Murphy, according to Boomer, should have required his wife "to have a C-section before the season starts." So, yeah, Murphy's wife's abdomen should be sliced open down to the womb for no medical reason so he could be there to field any hot liners batted his way, because that's sane.

As it happens, my daughter turned one year old just this past April 1st, making me, again, the greatest April Fool of all time. She was born on Opening Day last year, after 19 hours of labor and a barrage of indescribably tense moments before the deal went down. Her heart rate and blood pressure were being monitored by the devices attached to my wife's belly, and at one point all of a sudden they plummeted, and the room was immediately filled with doctors and nurses, and they put an oxygen mask on my wife, and the lead doctor told everyone, "Get ready to do a C-section!"

My daughter, prankster that she is, recovered from her deep-dip measurements and was born in blood and screaming pain...and when it was over, when she was out and in the world, howling at the indignity of it all, when I cleaned the blood off of myself and cut the cord, when the doctor handed her to my wife and I saw the single most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life, which was my two favorite people on the skin of this Earth meeting each other for the first time and falling in love immediately, I realized something.

I had sweated through my clothes. All of my clothes, from my shirt to my jeans to my socks to my sneakers. I looked like I'd just jumped into a lake. I was literally dripping on the floor. Not one whit of my experience compares to what my wife endured, but it wrung me out like an old, dirty sponge all the same.

Because birth is dangerous. My wife gave birth to our daughter in maybe the best hospital in the city of Boston, which means she gave birth in maybe the best hospital in the world...with the best-trained staff, and all the best equipment...and, in the end, all of that counts for nothing when the deal goes down. It mitigates the danger, to be sure, but it does not end it. Birth is dangerous, for the baby and the mother, and all the training and technology there is to be had cannot do anything about anything when the baby is stuck in the birth canal, and pushing isn't getting it done.

It was awesomely scary, especially when it seemed like it was going wrong. My wife was frightened when they put the oxygen mask on her face, and I had to hold her hands and ignore the frantic beeping of the machines and tell her everything was going to be fine, even though I was so terrified that I was soaking my clothes. Birth is dangerous, friends and neighbors, and it's something that technology and education can't mitigate. Birth, the moment of birth, is where the rubber meets the road, and it works out or it doesn't. The doctor is Johnny Bench at the moment of truth, just hoping to play catch.

I have a job, just like Daniel Murphy. I am expected to perform, just like Daniel Murphy. My wife gave birth to our daughter in peril, and all I wanted in the world was to be with the both of them when it was happening. Once it was over, I did not "sit and look at my wife for three days." I comforted my wife, and cradled my daughter, on the first day. On the second day, I snatched a wheelchair and took my wife outside for some fresh air, because the hospital windows didn't open on the maternity floor and she was going stir-crazy. Half a dozen times, I ran out to get her food, whatever my wife wanted, because she had just broken herself in half to give us a daughter after spending nine months carrying the girl to term. On the third day, I took them home, and cared for them, and did everything that needed doing, because one was just a baby and the other just had a baby, and it was the greatest privilege of my life to be at their beck and call.

The idea that this experience is scorned and demeaned, even in the glory of this 21st century, is disgraceful. Yeah, sure, Boomer Esiason and his radio friends are throwbacks, but gods be good, maybe it's time to throw them back. Maybe it's time to throw the whole idea of diminishing what a woman endures when bearing a child, the idea that says the man is separated from that experience, out the damned window.

The birth of my daughter, and the first week of her existence, were the most extraordinary and satisfying and terrifying times of my life. It was not "woman's work," as these radio cretins would oh-so-subtly have us believe. It was a man's work, too. It was our work, my wife and I. I am so glad Daniel Murphy chose to experience and enjoy that work, chose to be there for his wife when the dangerous and frightening work of childbirth was done, and it drives me crazy to know, even in this day and age, that there are still people out there who disdain the idea of active, engaged fatherhood in favor of some idealized macho-man baloney that leaves the woman holding the bag.

The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/22890-william-rivers-pitt-the-endless-chronicles-of-stupid-childbirth-edition

The Rude Pundit: And God Trusts in You, Sweet, Dumb Mississippi

Filling in for meegbear. - wrp



Look at that motherfucker. That's an eagle with a stars-and-stripes shield and an olive branch and arrows in its claws. It's so goddamned American that you could picture Uncle Sam jacking off to it. That's the Great Seal of the State of Mississippi, which you can read in all caps around the bird. But the governor and the legislature in Mississippi took a gander at that seal and thought, "Well, fuck us. It don't mention 'God.' How's God gonna know we believe everything comes from him if we don't say it?"

So they voted for it, and yesterday Governor Phil Bryant signed a bill that reads, in part, "it shall be the duty of the Secretary of State to procure the seal of this state, the inscription of which shall be, 'THE GREAT SEAL OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI,' around the margin, and in the center an eagle, with the olive branch and quiver of arrows in his claws and below the eagle in the margin shall be the phrase 'IN GOD WE TRUST'." Yeah, "In God We Trust," in all capital letters, crammed in there in under the balls of the eagle.

This way, if God is sitting on the toilet, taking a dump and wondering, "Huh. Does the state of Mississippi trust in me?" an angel secretary can hand him a copy of the state seal. God can look at it and say, "Welp, there it is in capital letters. Guess they do" before wiping his ass with it.

By the way, the bill also was the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act," which allows people to ignore pesky things like state laws if they interfere with their religious beliefs. So no cake for gays, you can assume. The sponsor of the bill, Baptist minister and Senator Phillip Gandy of the toothless yahoo shithole of Waynesboro, said that he hasn't heard of any cases of anyone being forced to violate their religious beliefs by baking gay wedding cakes, but, you know, just in case.

The nutzoid right is thrilled that Bryant didn't punk out and veto it, like that traitor Jan Brewer in Arizona. The signing ceremony was attended by Baptist church lobbyists and Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council (motto: "You're free to believe what we believe and that's about it"). Interestingly, it wasn't attended by anyone who works on issues related to free speech. Or any Muslims, Buddhists, or Jews because why would they. This law wasn't meant for them. In a crowing blog post, Perkins wrote, "There is absolutely no aspect of our lives that should be beyond the guiding light of Scripture."

Although "How should I burn this Bible?" might be.

http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/2014/04/and-god-trusts-in-you-sweet-dumb.html

The Rude Pundit: Random Observations on McCutcheon v. FEC

Substituting for meegbear. I am not, actually, here. - not wrp

1. It's not often that the game is given away so easily as it is in the judgment on the McCutcheon v FEC case at the Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Roberts writes, in his plurality opinion overturning aggregate campaign limits on donations to candidates and parties, "In a series of cases over the past 40 years, we have spelled out how to draw the constitutional line between the permissible goal of avoiding corruption in the political process and the impermissible desire simply to limit political speech. We have said that government regulation may not target the general gratitude a candidate may feel toward those who support him or his allies, or the political access such support may afford."

You got that? When Congressman Cashhumper decides to support a bill that says oil companies can murder and crush kittens because it might extract a little natural gas, it's cool, even if Amalgamated Greedy Bastard Oil and Gas donated shit tons of money to the Cashhumper campaign and millions more to sponsor a SuperPAC saying voters should only vote for the kitty-crushing candidate, not Mary Treehugger, who wants to stop you from getting all those blood-soaked jobs. According to the majority in McCutcheon, that's not graft. It's gratitude.

Then Roberts cites a case to support this truly warped, truly fucked-beyond-fucked idea, a precedent that helps with judgment in this case. He cites Citizens United, the truly warped, truly fucked-beyond-fucked decision that ripped the nipple off the baby bottle of campaign cash. Why does Roberts use that case? Because what the fuck else does he have? The McCutcheon decision tosses out other precedents onto the stare decisis dung heap that the Roberts court shits on with regularity. Indeed, Roberts cites Citizens United about a half-dozen times with masturbatory glee, like a toddler showing how he can grab his tiny boner. Except it's all done in the creepy, rationalizing tone of a serial killer explaining why he just has to eat your ear while you watch. Roberts' long game, as others have described it, is to make sure power stays where the powerful want it: with them.

2. The Rude Pundit is pretty sure that Roberts and the majority don't have a reasonable understanding of the word "corruption." The plurality opinion goes out of its way to state that unless someone hands a politician a wad of cash and says, "That is specifically to ensure that you vote for kitten crushing," it ain't corruption. If it ain't quid pro quo, it's cool. Roberts writes, "hile preventing corruption or its appearance is a legitimate objective, Congress may target only a specific type of corruption-'quid pro quo' corruption...The line between quid pro quo corruption and general influence may seem vague at times, but the distinction must be respected in order to safeguard basic First Amendment rights."

Joining Roberts was Justice Antonin "Eyebrows of Doom" Scalia. Scalia went hunting and dined with then-Vice President Dick Cheney after the Supreme Court had accepted a 2004 case to decide whether or not Cheney had to disclose documents from his energy task force meetings. Scalia refused to recuse himself from the case because fuck you. Scalia saw no conflict of interest in palling around with a plaintiff in a case before him. So, yeah, they don't have a fucking clue what corruption is.

3. The second the Supreme Court said, as it did in Citizens United and other cases, that money equals speech, it said that some people have more speech than others. It codified oligarchy. It created a free speech caste system. You can have more speech if you have more money. In fact, in doing so, the court said that, by birth, there are people who have more speech and more ability to gain the gratitude of elected officials. You gotta wonder what the writers of the Constitution would think about that, about the creation of royalty by default. 'Cause, see, the Rude Pundit ain't no Cato Institute "scholar," but he's pretty sure that the Constitution didn't guarantee the chance to have free speech. It guaranteed free speech.

So when Roberts writes, "No matter how desirable it may seem, it is not an acceptable governmental objective to 'level the playing field,' or to 'level electoral opportunities,' or to 'equaliz the financial resources of candidates,'" he is utterly, evilly wrong. Actually, that would specifically be an objective of government because a level playing field is the only way rights for all are guaranteed.

However, there is something Robert wrote that the Rude Pundit does agree with: "(U)nder the dissent's view, it is perfectly fine to contribute $5,200 to nine candidates but somehow corrupt to give the same amount to a tenth." That's not actually what Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in the dissent. It was more of a "for fuck's sake, can we have just a slight bit of moderation in our campaign finance laws?" But Roberts is right: it shouldn't be perfectly fine to contribute to nine candidates. It shouldn't be perfectly fine to contribute to any.

4. Clarence Thomas wrote something. Fuck that guy.

5. The solution here is simple: It's time to target wealthy conservatives and their businesses. It's time to use what little speech we have and make their lives as miserable as possible. Whenever they attempt to actually speak with voices instead of money, they should be shouted down. Wherever they go, they should be harassed about their beliefs. We should attempt to boycott their businesses. The Rude Pundit just deleted Firefox. It'd be pretty easy to turn that thing into the next Netscape. They need to be fucked with and fucked with until they're begging for a constitutional amendment to outlaw cash in politics.

There's far more dollars than people in this nation. What else do we have, we of the lesser speech? What do we have but volume and bodies?

http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/2014/04/random-observations-on-mccutcheon-v-fec.html

The Rude Pundit: U.N. Climate Panel: "We're Fucked. Hello? Is Anyone Listening? We. Are. Fucked."

When I said I was taking a break from DU last night, I'd forgotten that I promised meegbear I'd do the Rude One Posts for him while he's on vacation...so this isn't me...I'm not here...this is not actually happening... - not wrp

You wanna shit yourself on a Tuesday? Just look at what the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said it has "high" or "very high" confidence will happen or is happening as a result of the world's governments being filled with greedy motherfuckers who are doing nearly nothing to deal with the causes of global climate change:

"Impacts from recent climate-related extremes, such as heat waves, droughts, floods, cyclones, and wildfires, reveal significant vulnerability and exposure of some ecosystems and many human systems to current climate variability." That scary sentence was given with very high confidence. It's followed by this scary sentence: "For countries at all levels of development, these impacts are consistent with a significant lack of preparedness for current climate variability in some sectors." You get it? We're not prepared for what's going on, let alone for what's coming. That's because too many of our putative leaders get their science from the Bible and Rush Limbaugh, not necessarily in that order.

At best, the report says, the globe is at the beginning of adaptation to a new reality. It's fascinating that, while pretty much every other continent is moving ahead with planning for the fucked new world, "in North America, governments are engaging in incremental adaptation assessment and planning, particularly at the municipal level." So while Asia is "mainstreaming climate adaptation action into subnational development planning, early warning systems, integrated water resources management, agroforestry, and coastal reforestation of mangroves," we're sitting on our assessing asses and hoping Jesus bails us out at the last second like Bruce Willis swinging in on a firehose.

Let's just catalog the horrors occurring now due to climate change, shall we?

Glaciers shrinking? High confidence. Animal and plant extinctions? High confidence. Food insecurity? Reduction in crop yields? Higher food prices? High confidence. Disruption of food and water supplies? Very high confidence.

And, hey, here's some shit that's probably gonna occur (remember: "high" or "very high" confidence) at some point, maybe even in our lifetimes, so no weaseling out and passing it on to the kids:

"A large fraction of both terrestrial and freshwater species faces increased extinction risk under projected climate change during and beyond the 21st century, especially as climate change interacts with other stressors, such as habitat modification, over-exploitation, pollution, and invasive species." That's a rich gumbo of ways we're dicking over nature until nature decides to bite us hard on our fat asses.

"Due to sea-level rise projected throughout the 21st century and beyond, coastal systems and low-lying areas will increasingly experience adverse impacts such as submergence, coastal flooding, and coastal erosion." Submergence? That means, um, underwater. It doesn't matter how many guns you own, Florida. You can't stand your ground against the fuckin' ocean.

"All aspects of food security are potentially affected by climate change, including food access, utilization, and price stability...Heat stress, extreme precipitation, inland and coastal flooding, landslides, air pollution, drought, and water scarcity pose risks in urban areas for people, assets, economies, and ecosystems." These two together pretty much mean we're gonna be eating each other by the end of the century, no zombie apocalypse needed.

And then there's the disease and starvation and death: "Until mid-century, projected climate change will impact human health mainly by exacerbating health problems that already exist. Throughout the 21st century, climate change is expected to lead to increases in ill-health in many regions and especially in developing countries with low income, as compared to a baseline without climate change. Examples include greater likelihood of injury, disease, and death due to more intense heat waves and fires; increased likelihood of under-nutrition resulting from diminished food production in poor regions; risks from lost work capacity and reduced labor productivity in vulnerable populations; and increased risks from food- and water-borne diseases."

Let us say, and why not, that you're playing on some train tracks in the dark with another person. You hear a train horn in the distance. You might say, "Hey, we should step off these tracks." The other person says, "That train is so far away. Who cares?" So you stay until you hear the horn again, quite a bit closer. You say, "That's close enough. C'mon, we can play elsewhere." But the other person says, "We're not going anywhere. That train is probably not even coming this way." Then you see the front light of the train and the tracks are vibrating. "That's it," you say. "We're leaving." The other person scoffs, "No, I know all about this train. It's gonna switch tracks right up there" and points to where you don't see any other tracks or switches. "In fact," the other person says, "I'm so sure that I'm going to tie us to the track just to prove I'm right." You respond, "What the fuck? How about we step off the track and see if I'm right?" The other one says, "Because then we'd stop playing" and ties you both up so you can see if you get run over by the quickly approaching train that is obviously on your track.

That's not a terrible analogy, but it's incomplete. Let's add this: To distract you from even thinking about or talking about the train, the other person takes out an iPhone and turns on CNN where you see absolutely nothing about the train, only about floating plastic bits in the ocean and a missing plane. Ahh. Now you won't even notice when the locomotive wipes you the fuck out.

Compared to every other minor story or internet meme covered by our media, the IPCC report is pretty much a tree falling in a forest where it might make a sound, but everything around it is extinct, so it can't be heard.

http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/2014/04/un-climate-panel-were-fucked-hello-is.html

An Apology to DU

I hope you will forgive one last me-me-me-me thread, but I owe this community an apology:

To everyone who was offended by my vulgar use of language toward President Obama, I am sorry.

To everyone who felt compelled to rise to my defense after my use of that vulgar language, thank you, and I am sorry for the hassle.

And to everyone caught in the middle, who really didn’t give a crud one way or another but had their experience here disrupted and dismayed by thread after stupid thread spawned by my vulgar language, I am sorry.

For the record, and one last time: I went to the exchange. They delivered me to Anthem BCBS in New Hampshire. I signed up for the Super-Extra-Ultra-Gold plan (which I am now paying more than $800 a month for) because it allegedly covers everything my wife’s MS needs…

…but before we signed on the dotted line, the very first question I asked was, “Will you cover my wife’s medication?” Her medication was not on the formulary, so we needed to find out if they would accept a drug that wasn’t on the list. They said, “Yes, we will, just get her doctor to approve it in a peer-to-peer review,” which her doctor did, twice. Then they strung us along for weeks, refusing to refill the scrip, before finally turning us down altogether on coverage for that medication.

They lied to us, period…and I snapped. Out loud. This was President Obama’s Big Thing, and it screwed my family, because the friends he chose to make – the insurance industry his legislation delivered us to – lied to me, took my money, and then turned us down on medication my wife needs. It’s as simple as that. It is not the president’s fault that Anthem decided to be a bastard, but to say that the president’s signature legislation had nothing to do with my experience is to deny the existence of gravity.

Skinner said, in one of those monster threads, that I would never apologize for my use of language because it would make me appear weak. That’s not the reason for the duration between the incident and this apology. When I posted the “Obama go f%$& yourself thread,” I was on fire. I still am, but asshole though I may be, my blood pressure has settled enough to recognize that I acted like a damned fool by using the language I did, especially in this place.

Note well: I am still pissed about this law that delivered us into the warm embrace of the health insurance industry. 7 million new enrollees, many of whom are about to have the same experience I had, and mark my words, the so-called “horror stories” we’ve heard about the government will very soon shift to horror stories about insurance companies granting coverage (for a fee) while denying coverage for necessary treatments and medications.

Maybe that’s a good thing, in the long run. Drag their practices into the light and shame them into actually helping people instead of scalping them. Regardless, a bill that basically lets the insurance companies run wild doesn’t strike me as the yippee! event we’re supposed to take it for, but that’s just my experience. Your mileage may (hopefully) vary.

While we’re on the subject, I’ve come to believe that the reason my family got so bollixed up is because, when we signed up, pretty much only people with pre-existing conditions were signing up as well. That was a huge hit to the insurance industry’s bottom line, so of course they’d trim where they could. They didn’t have to lie to us to get that first check from me, though. If they had said “We will never cover this” instead of “Sure, come on in,” we would have pursued other options…so I devoutly hope the fact that 7 million people have signed on will mitigate their greed.

In any event, I apologize to this community for the language I used, and for the disruption it caused. I do not in any way, shape or form apologize for my feelings and opinions on the matter…but it was my wife. OK? It was my wife, in deep distress. I hope you can understand that.

I have aggravated a large number of people here, to the point that I can’t post a thread stating the sky is up there without getting an avalanche of anger in response. That is deserved, so I think it best if I take a little break and let cooler heads prevail. This is not a GBCW post – I’m a DU addict, just like you – but a little space is for the best.

Once more, so we’re clear: For what I said and how I said it, and for the trouble it caused, I am sorry.

Cheers. See you in a bit.

The Rude Pundit: GOP Strippers in Vegas

Note: meegbear is on vacation, and asked me to do his Rude One posts in his absence. - wrp

Whether its super-rich Jews in Vegas, super-rich Christians in Virginia Beach, or super-rich Muslims in Buffalo, there's just something crazy creepy about gatherings of religion-based political groups. Fuck, it's creepy that this is what politics has come to in the United States: pleasing the oligarchs. It's even creepier when the aforementioned Jews in Vegas, the Republican Jewish Coalition, met this past weekend because essentially the event was all just a chance for potential presidential candidates to do a shimmying striptease in front of gratuitously wealthy billionaire, Sheldon "Poster Child for Everything Wrong in America" Adelson.

Adelson is the owner of the Venetian Hotel and Casino, the Sands Convention Center, and loads of other shit. His money is made from gambling and the availability of legal whores, so, of course, he is the Uncle Sugar of the Republican Party. And he's a Jew. That's significant because he bankrolls the RJC and the RJC, while also concerned about general Republican nonsense (which mostly is "Fuck that Obama"), it is mega-concerned with Israel. The RJC has an Israel dildo so far up its ass that they yell, "Bibi!" when they ejaculate. This means, of course, that if you're a Republican, you better say that you will stone cold murder anyone who throws the stink eye at Israel. You better shut that shit about giving rights to Palestinians. You better be willing to bomb the fuck out of Iran. Otherwise, if you just blow Israel's circumcised cock and neglect the balls, like Obama, you are not a "friend" to the Jewish state.

So it was at the RJC's Spring Leadership Meeting, and what a time it was. What with war criminal and former VP Dick Cheney defending the NSA at the Gala Dinner, a poker tournament where the buy-in was probably more than most of us make in a year, and a chance to watch madman John Bolton talk about what a pussy President Obama is, it was like a bar mitzvah on top of a Gaza missile strike of a party.

The big event was, of course, watching the current and former governors take their clothes off to audition for lead stripper in the GOP. First up was Wisconsin's Scott Walker, who went for an oldie but a goodie: the feather fan dance. His delicate little prance was all tease and no real show, except for the top of his ass when he turned his back and winked at Adelson, saying, "It's a sad commentary where we're at in American society that sometimes I get called courageous just because I kept my word." He gave his room key to Adelson when he said that he put up a menorah on Hanukkah. Adelson handed it off to a flunky because he gets one erection a cycle, and he wasn't gonna waste it on Walker.

Then New Jersey's Chris Christie came out like a meth-craving slut at a South Amboy truck stop/all-nude club. He was down to a g-string about two minutes into his 40-minute speech, tossing out incomprehensible-but-tough-sounding bullshit like "I am not in this business to win the argument. I am in this business to win elections." Then he ripped off the g-string and bent over to present his puckered asshole to Adelson when he talked about meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin "The Greatest, Bravest Living Man Living" Netanyahu: "I was extraordinarily taken by his strength and resolve under circumstances that none of us can imagine." Except, oops, looks like while he was standing there, Christie ended up farting. He said, "I took a helicopter ride from the occupied territories," and those last two words are apparently the worst thing you can say ever because Christie had to let Adelson's personal assistant fuck his ass later while Adelson giggled and clapped and threw hundreds at them both.

It just gets even sadder and creepier. Ohio's John Kasich tried to spin his nipple tassels in opposite directions by mentioning how he was installing a Holocaust memorial at the statehouse. The day before, Jeb Bush, at a VIP dinner for him (code for "Sheldon wants you so he doesn't have to remember a new president's name"), twerked it up as he talked about immigration and chided Obama for what he called "American passivity" in the world, despite all the drone murder and NSA surveillance.

Adelson will determine who will be the nominee at some point in the near future because he believes in, what do you call it, democracy? Sure. Let's go with that.

(Note: The Rude Pundit is Jewish. This ain't hatred of people because they're Jewish. It's hatred of them because they're assholes.)

http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/2014/03/gop-strippers-in-vegas.html

So, let's see now...

...we deposed Mossadeq in favor of the Shah and got the Iranian Revolution and the Ayatollah Khomeni...

...we sold missiles to the Ayatollah and got 241 dead Marines at the Beirut airport...

...we armed and trained the mujeheddin in Afghanistan and got the Taliban, al Qaeda and a crater in New York where two tall buildings used to be...

...we supported Saddam Hussein to the knife and got two wars (or one big, long war depending on your perspective), millions of casualties, a shattered military, a shattered economy and theater-wide depleted uranium poisoning out of it...

...and the Syrian opposition, for the most part, makes Osama bin Laden look like a Sunday School teacher from Nebraska by comparison...

Fuck it. What could possibly go wrong?

JUST BE SURE TO KEEP QUIET ABOUT OUR SECRET PLAN.

Obama ready to expand covert aid to Syrian opposition - report
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/03/28/uk-syria-crisis-covert-idUKBREA2R15I20140328

The used car salesman strikes again

"Moreover, Russia has pointed to America’s decision to go into Iraq as an example of Western hypocrisy. Now, it is true that the Iraq War was a subject of vigorous debate not just around the world, but in the United States as well. I participated in that debate and I opposed our military intervention there. But even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system. We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain. Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people and a fully sovereign Iraqi state that could make decisions about its own future."

- Obama, in Brussells, yesterday

An amazing amount of bullshit in one paragraph. We ran roughshod over the international community to get that war going. If an invasion and ten-year occupation isn't annexation, then nothing is. We totally, totally grabbed their resources, because the oil was supposed to "pay for the war," as I recall...and there were gas lines in Iraq for years after the invasion, because we were sitting on their oil like it was our own private piggy bank. And as for the state we left Iraq in, thousands upon thousands of people have been killed in the sectarian strife we left behind. They aren't making decisions about their future. They're running for their damned lives.

The used car salesman is trying to sell the lemon that was the Iraq war in order to avoid sounding like a hypocrite about Russia.

Utterly nauseating.
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