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End times

Yes, our leaders really are this venal and stupid.


You know what ruminating actually is, right? It’s hacking up stuff you’ve already chewed and swallowed, so you can chew it all again.

I’ve been ruminating a lot lately, I guess because I’m scared and angry. We all know that “if onlys” are not only lacking in nutrition, they’re bad for the soul. But there we are. One bad week, and I tumble back down the rabbit hole.

It starts with my health problems, because IF ONLY I hadn’t pissed away more than a decade on a shitty, self-destructive relationship, I wouldn’t be so physically wrung out right now. I can tell you for a fact that the sheer stress destroyed my health – and of course it’s my own damned fault. For that, I could kick myself. IF ONLY I hadn’t ignored the hundreds of clues “because hey, everyone has flaws!” IF ONLY I’d taken my then-thin, cute and well-employed self out onto the market then, instead of hanging around waiting for this asshole to have his Eureka moment and see what a prize I was, maybe I’d be with some nice decent guy right now – a guy with a good job and really good insurance.

Or maybe not. Maybe the really nice guy would have lost his really good job and the insurance, but still. At least we wouldn’t be going through this alone. Unless he died. Whatever.

IF ONLY I hadn’t taken jobs that interested me instead of sticking to some nebulous “career path”, I wouldn’t get these questions about my spotty resume and I’d have a job right now. IF ONLY I wasn’t so disorganized, I’d have written three books by now. IF ONLY I’d caused a scene, and made my parents let me take that college scholarship, I’d be on a stronger financial footing right now.

IF ONLY I hadn’t sprained my ankle. IF ONLY the doctors hadn’t been so incompetent, for so long. IF ONLY I didn’t read so much, I’d be happier. IF ONLY I didn’t need to be right.

IF ONLY I wasn’t me, I’d have more friends. I’d fit in. I’d be more successful. And rich. Instead of alone, anxious and poor.

Of course

This was what he wanted! Duh. Now he has his professional wingnut bona fides!

The latest

From Scrapple News:


Let’s just say I relate.

We’re supposed to be scared

Ho boy. This guy’s either a shameless liar, or just that dumb. I tend to think it’s the former, but congress critters are probably dumb enough to believe him:

Computer hackers are on the bleeding edge of the class war, and they’re finally cutting deep enough that the leader of the National Security Agency (NSA) is making an active push for some major congressional action.

That’s why NSA chief, Gen. Keith Alexander, told the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute on Monday that the costs associated with responding to computer hacking represents “the greatest transfer of wealth in history.”

Of course, deregulation, mortgage derivatives, theft by Libor, Bush tax cuts, etc. – just a drop in the bucket! Yeah, cybercrimes are the real economic problem!

“Symantec placed the costs of [intellectual property] theft to United States companies at $250 billion a year, global cyber crime at $114 billion annually — $388 billion when you factor in downtime — and McAfee estimates that $1 trillion was spent globally on remediation,” he said. “That’s our future disappearing in front of us.”

His talk was meant to support passage of a bill to firm up the nation’s cyber defenses. And while he wasn’t specifically supporting any piece of legislation, he seemed to indicate support for some of the more invasive measures within the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).

That bill, approved by the House but still pending in the Senate, would put the NSA in charge of cyber security for the whole nation, permitting companies like AT&T, Google and Comacst to share private user data with the agency under the auspice of protecting Americans from foreign threats.

Critics of the bill, like Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), have suggested that it will create a “cyber-industrial complex” that feeds on Americans’ closely held details. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), normally ideologically opposed to anything Wyden would be interested in, agreed, saying that CISPA will let corporations “act as government spies.”

“We don’t do that,” Alexander said, responding to agency whistleblowers and journalistswho say the NSA is keeping a massive store of Americans’ electronic communications. “We need the American people to know that is not true,” he insisted.

Uh huh. Because y’all have been so protective of our rights up til now.

(h/t Ron K.)

Poll tax

What most people don’t seem to realize is just how many IDs aren’t accepted under these laws – like student IDs, for instance. No photo ID that doesn’t have an expiration date is accepted.

The rest of the people who insist it’s not big deal? Many of them are racists, and some of them are just contrarians who have their heads stuck up their ass:

HOUSTON — Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday he opposes a new photo ID requirement in Texas elections because it would be harmful to minority voters.

In remarks to the NAACP in Houston, the attorney general said the Justice Department “will not allow political pretexts to disenfranchise American citizens of their most precious right.”

Under the law passed in Texas, Holder said that “many of those without IDs would have to travel great distances to get them – and some would struggle to pay for the documents they might need to obtain them.”

“We call those poll taxes,” Holder added spontaneously, drawing applause as he moved away from the original text of his speech with a reference to a fee used in some Southern states after slavery’s abolition to disenfranchise black people.

The 24th amendment to the constitution made that type of tax illegal.

Holder spoke a day after a trial started in federal court in Washington over the 2011 law passed by Texas’ GOP-dominated Legislature that requires voters to show photo identification when they get to the polls.

Under Texas’ law, Holder noted, a concealed handgun license would serve as acceptable ID to vote, but a student ID would not. He went on to say that while only 8 percent of white people do not have government-issued photo IDs, about 25 percent of black people lack such identification.

H/t to attorney Maria Aspiazu for the link.

A hopeful sign

I had to drop off my car this morning to get inspected (naturally, I can’t find the insurance card). The owner’s son drove me home and he started talking about the Occupy people who’d marched past their shop this week.

He said they were planning to sue JPMorgan and “the rest of those banks,” and he was pretty happy about it. “I could copy what they gave to me if you’re interested,” he said. “I hope they can get something done.”

My favorite unindicted co-conspirator

Ralph Reed and his plans to get out the fundie base is the focus of an in-depth piece by Alternet’s Addie Stan, who knows these people better than anyone.

Love in vain

Mick and the boys:

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