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A Song for Washington

Cus that’s what all this “debt ceiling” “austerity” bullshit is all about: it’s about fucking the poor (and the working class and the middle class) so the rich don’t have to pay higher taxes.

Here’s another song for Washington (the official video has a great intro, but bleeps out the swear words, so here’s an unofficial with better sound):

I say cook them slowly, Texas barbeque style. Low heat, over a matter of hours, mopping regularly. Some would suggest skinning, but if long pig is anything like the rest of the pork family of meats, I would bet on a deliciously crispy, oh-so-greasy crust like you get with pork shoulder. Or not, as the site suggests. Either way, I’ll bet it’s a nice change from Friskies.

A Planned Parenthood office firebombed.

A Molotov cocktail was lobbed at the front door on Tuesday night.

Planned Parenthood said this is the first time one of its 21 health centers in North Texas has been attacked with some kind of incendiary device and called it “alarming.”

The McKinney clinic provides women’s health and reproductive services, but does not perform abortions, according to Planned Parenthood.

The clinic opened in June 2008 and frequently draws anti-abortion protesters who have demonstrated without incident.

We All Fall Down

Susie posted this on Facebook earlier today. I hope I’m not stealing a post: How America Could Collapse. It’s really too big to excerpt, but here’s the gist: we don’t make anything anymore, and our supply chains are so long that when something goes wrong at the manufacturing end you get a major impact on the consuming end. Think about the japanese tsunami, which negatively impacted car manufacturers, or the 1999 earthquake in Taiwan that crashed the computer industry. Then imagine exponentially worse:

It was in the 1990s that American multinationals, spurred by government policy, began outsourcing operations to China. At the same time, the Clinton administration steadily relaxed antitrust enforcement, leading to massive corporate consolidation and the creation of the virtual firm. By the early parts of the last decade, the ideal American multinational made its profits by using its market power to gut labor and supply prices and by using its political power to eliminate taxation. All of this turned giant American institutions against making things. This is why we rely on a British factory to make our flu vaccine, why global videotape production was knocked offline by a tsunami and why that same event slowed the gigantic auto industry. US corporate leaders now see the idea of making things as a cost of doing business, one best left to others. What has happened as a result is that much of the production for critical products and services that make our economy run is constructed by a patchwork global network of suppliers all over the world in unstable regions, over which we have very little control. An accident or political problem in any number of countries may deny us not just iPhones but food, medicine or critical machinery.

Read the whole thing, and hen read Dimitri Orlov’s “Social Collapse Best Practices”. While I don’t encourage panicking, it’s always wise to have a lot of dried beans and water in your pantry. Dehydrate those tomatoes in the backyard. Stockpile some propane tanks if you have a grill. Make friends with your neighbors. And yeah, maybe buy a gun and learn how to use it, just in case.

This is RICH:

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.

The whole article is a hoot. While steadfastly avoiding his child support obligations candidate Walsh, the very model of financial rectitude and responsibility, was able to loan his own campaign $35,000. Seriously!

court documents examined this week by the Chicago Sun-Times during research for a profile on the increasingly visible congressman showed his financial issues also included a nine-year child support battle with his ex-wife.

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.”

He also found time to go on vacation with his girlfriend. In Mexico.

In 2004, Laura Walsh complained in a motion that despite her ex-husband’s claims of poverty, he took a vacation to Mexico with his girlfriend and another to Italy. The following year, he complained in a court filing that his ex-wife mailed him a motion while she knew he was in Nicaragua doing charitable work with one of their children.

In her December filing, Laura Walsh’s attorneys wrote, “The apparent availability of large sums of money from either his employment, his family or his campaign has allowed him to live quite a comfortable lifestyle, while at the same time, due to his failure to pay child support or any of his share of the education costs or medical expenses, Laura and his children were denied any of these advantages.”

I’d LOVE to go to Mexico, Italy, and Nicaragua with my girlfriend too, but not if it means stiffing my kid on the child support.

And that’s kind of what’s fascinating to me about this whole story. Yeah, the hypocrisy of the tea bag “get out financial affairs in order” politician is funny. But really gets me is that Walsh seems to think that refusing to pay is a way to fuck with his ex-wife: you can see it in the letters that go back and forth, the claims of poverty, the one-time attempt to claim his wife was mentally ill, etc.

But that’s not who’s on the receiving end of his fuckery: it’s his KIDS who take the hit. They not only suffer from less money in the primary household, they get to watch their father act like a complete and royal jackass to their mother. And yeah, maybe she’s a bitch,, but you know what? You put away your hatred for your ex, because your love for the kids means a lot more than petty vengeance.

And there you have a tea bagger, in a nutshell: driven by nothing more than petty vengeance. That’s what you’ve been seeing play out for the past three years on the right. Petty vengeance and temper tantrums.

Quittin’ time

Mary Chapin:

Photo from Susie.

Sandy (4th of July, Asbury Park)

Bruce live at the Main Point, 1975:

From Susie’s phone.

Cult Following

Krugthulu on the Cult that’s Destroying America:

[T]he cult that I see as reflecting a true moral failure is the cult of balance, of centrism.

Think about what’s happening right now. We have a crisis in which the right is making insane demands, while the president and Democrats in Congress are bending over backward to be accommodating — offering plans that are all spending cuts and no taxes, plans that are far to the right of public opinion.

So what do most news reports say? They portray it as a situation in which both sides are equally partisan, equally intransigent — because news reports always do that. And we have influential pundits calling out for a new centrist party, a new centrist president, to get us away from the evils of partisanship.

The reality, of course, is that we already have a centrist president — actually a moderate conservative president. Once again, health reform — his only major change to government — was modeled on Republican plans, indeed plans coming from the Heritage Foundation. And everything else — including the wrongheaded emphasis on austerity in the face of high unemployment — is according to the conservative playbook.

What all this means is that there is no penalty for extremism…

Days of swine and roses, indeed.

Media a big help to debt-limit loonies

Interesting blog yesterday by Paul Krugman, a bit edgier than his op-ed columns, sparked by his gloomy conclusion that “the cult of balance, of centrism” is hurting the country more than the cult of right-wing loonies pushing for default on the national debt:

Think about what’s happening right now. We have a crisis in which the right is making insane demands, while the president and Democrats in Congress are bending over backward to be accommodating — offering plans that are all spending cuts and no taxes, plans that are far to the right of public opinion.

So what do most news reports say? They portray it as a situation in which both sides are equally partisan, equally intransigent — because news reports always do that. And we have influential pundits calling out for a new centrist party, a new centrist president, to get us away from the evils of partisanship.

The reality, of course, is that we already have a centrist president — actually a moderate conservative president…

You have to ask, what would it take for these news organizations and pundits to actually break with the convention that both sides are equally at fault? This is the clearest, starkest situation one can imagine short of civil war. If this won’t do it, nothing will.

I suspect Krugman, in denouncing faux centrism, was thinking of his colleague Thomas Friedman, a jack-ass of the first order whose latest pipe dream involves a Washington, D.C. “political start-up” called Americans Elect that wants to hold an “internet convention” to select a centrist third-party presidential candidate for 2012.

And how would this third-party force obtain the multimillions of dollars needed to develop an infrastructure that would get out the vote? Friedman doesn’t address this and many other questions, just as he never addressed the devastating downside of globalization in The World Is Flat, his wet dream about our glorious future in a world run by multinational corporations.

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