Still Calling

oh bullsh*t

“Nobody Knew”

Yesterday, President Trump said, 'Nobody ever knew health care could be so complicated.' Well, some of us had an idea. — Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) February 28, 2017 Orange Shitstain speaks: If there’s one thing almost everybody across the political spectrum knows about health-care reform, it’s that it’s really hard. People who study the issue…

Jesus’s disciples: “They were all Donald Trump.”

So there’s this guy, Rick Joyner, a right wing Christian nutball who’s so nutty even other right wing Christian nutballs think he’s loopy, that says that Christ’s disciples were all proto-Donald Trumps.

This filthy little atheist took a look at that claim…

Baby do you understand me now?

I got into it with a friend of a friend on Facebook the other day over, what else, Trump. The catalyst was my friend’s recommendation the recent Vox article, Research says there are ways to reduce racial bias. Calling people racist isn’t one of them. The article made me want to tear my eyeballs out,…

Contempt. Utter contempt.

You’re a sucker/you forgot to think You’re a sucker/you embraced a fink You’re a sucker/that was a big mistake You’re a sucker/you shouldn’t trust a snake I don’t want to share my world with a bunch of fools. The contempt I feel right now for my fellow Americans is palpable and painful. I’m having trouble…

Stop Trying to Scare People

In general, I find it easy to ignore and filter out the obnoxious self-serving political memes -both from the left and the right- that pervade Facebook. I blame Upworthy, frankly, and their brand of test-marketed headlines that aim for the most emotional response they can get. There’s one going around right now about the status…

Weights and Measures

News item:

A U.S. Senate staffer allegedly dabbled in drug importation, according to law enforcement. Fred W. Pagan, a staffer for U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) allegedly told law enforcement agents that he imported drugs from China in a plan to exchange them for sexual favors, according to new documents filed in U.S. District Court.

Yesterday, officers from Homeland Security and the Metropolitan Police Department raided Pagan’s home on the 5700 block of Colorado Ave. NW. Inside, they allegedly found 181.5 grams of meth, which Pagan allegedly told officers he received on behalf of “his distributor.”

A gram weighs about as much as a paper clip, a very tiny little thing that barely registers on a scale:
paper clip

So assessing Pagan’s haul in grams… well, it kind of minimizes the seriousness of the crime, at least to me. I mean, how bad can it be, 181 paper clips?

But when we put it into a more appropriate measure, we learn Pagan got popped with a nearly half a pound of meth. Kinda changes things, doesn’t it?

The Inky Goes to Bat for Bill Green

The Inky gives me a headache.


[T]he governor’s “vision” seems to be a bit muddled. By demoting Green, he has rebuffed a potential ally in the battle to improve Pennsylvania’s funding of education statewide. Green has filed suit in Commonwealth Court challenging Wolf’s authority to remove him from the chairmanship.

That Wolf took such a harsh step suggests a reluctance to compromise when compromise is needed – and not just when it comes to expanding charter schools. With more willingness to compromise, the months of negotiations over a new contract between the district and teachers might finally come to an end.

First of all, the Inky owes me a new monitor because I just spit out my coffee laughing so hard at this steaming pile of whatever. More importantly, these notions of “compromise” and “respect” when talking about the SRC are risible and laughable. This is the same SRC that voted in secret to rip up teachers contracts, that locked out parents and students from meetings, and whose commissioner Sylvia Simms notoriously got in the faces of protesting school children and screamed “y’all must go to failing schools”

But let’s look at who owns the Inky (and the Daily news for that matter), from Philly for Change‘s Sam Durso who weighed in with this on Facebook:

The Lenfest family owns both Philly newspapers and bankrolls Mastery charter schools. They’re longtime major players in the group of wealthy families and organizations trying to privatize the School District via backroom deals. Gerry Lenfest personally stepped in to fill a $250K funding gap for the Boston Consulting Group project that closed 23 public schools; Lenfest was Tom Corbett’s #2 donor; despite Corbett’s mistreatment of Philadelphia and its schools that made international media, despite representing the state’s biggest and most Democratic town, the Inquirer failed to endorse Wolf over Corbett, in a move many thought represented Lenfest’s shadow over the editorial page.

Durso goes on to add:

Tom Wolf — who didn’t need the privatizers help to get elected — comes in and makes a simple, moderate request of the SRC: don’t fund any new projects because the District currently isn’t providing sufficient funds to its existing projects. It’s a perfectly reasonable position after 14 years of crazy. But Philly media portrays the request as immoderate. I think political handlers of the privatization group — they lay out a lot for consultants — want to forward the notion that Bill Green is the moderate, that somehow he acted in a moderate way when he defied the governor; to be moderate in Philly on education right now is to be in between crazy and reasonable. I imagine there are those who want to keep Green as a Plan B for mayor, should their well-funded Plan A, Tony Williams, screw up.

As someone who’s been watching this not-so-slow-motion trainwreck since Corbett’s disastrous single term unfolded, I couldn’t agree more. But if anyone’s qualified to talk about disrespect, it’s the Inky’s editorial board who this morning disrespected every public school family in the city.

Siren Song of the Libertarian

And you sang
Sail to me, sail to me
Let me enfold you
Here I am, here I am
Waiting to hold you

Did I dream you dreamed about me ?
Were you hare when I was fox ?
Now my foolish boat is leaning
Broken lovelorn on your rocks

The Daily Beast has one of those articles you can almost get behind

f nothing happens before Friday, the mighty Department of Homeland Security (DHS)—every bit as much a WTF legacy of George W. Bush as those surreal White House Christmas videos that featured Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson talking to Barney “the First Dog” like the Son of Sam killer—will lose its funding due to a budget fight between congressional Republicans and President Barack Obama.

And when DHS funding ends, then…well, nothing much, actually, it turns out.

…and then you see that the Coast Guard, FEMA, US Customs and Border Patrol, and the Secret Service are rolled into DHS, and you wonder what kind of noodlebrain could so thoroughly and quickly undermine his own case. And then you scroll back up to the byline and realize it’s Nick Gillespie, the Fonzi of Freedom.

As usual, Gillespie does a stalwart job of cherry-picking to make the case that “federal employment is essentially a form of workfare”, with bold statements that are, frankly, hard to disagree with:

Created in 2002 in the mad crush of panic, paranoia, and patriotic pants-wetting after the 9/11 attacks, DHS has always been a stupid idea. Even at the time, creating a new cabinet-level department responsible for 22 different agencies and services was suspect. Exactly how was adding a new layer of bureaucracy supposed to make us safer (and that’s leaving aside the question of just what the hell “homeland security” actually means)? DHS leaders answer to no fewer than 90 congressional committees and subcommittees that oversee the department’s various functions. Good luck with all that.

That’s hard for me to argue with, considering I’ve said as much myself. But because I’m NOT a noodlebrain, and can put my utter hatred for the stupid shit DHS does aside for a second and remember that we’re talking about the Coast Guard, FEMA, US Customs and Border Patrol, and the Secret Service.

Now, I’m sure Gillespie has fever dreams about FEMA camps like the rest of his ilk -funny how those camps have been rumored since George HW Bush but no one ever seems to wind up there- but here in what we call “REALITY” FEMA actually serves a purpose, like when oil trains blow up in your community.

I’m not sure what color the sky is in Gillespie’s world, but here on Earth, the Coast Guard is definitely a little more substantial than “workfare”, like when they keep shipping channels open in the frozen Great Lakes, or like when they saved my friend’s life a couple of years ago.

Gillespie may have no use for the Border Patrol or US Customs, but I kind of like the fact that we have something official in place to deal with the Mexican drug cartels, however imperfectly. And while I know right wingers REALLY hate the US President, it’s a little much to argue that “opening White House doors for knife-wielding psychos and cheating whores down South America” is all they do, when the President receives death threats on a regular basis (as all presidents do, which is why we have a Secret Service to begin with).

And finally, yeah: when you lay off or furlough 240,000 people, most of who make a decent living wage, you DO impact the economy. In a big way.

And that’s the thing about the so-called Libertarian take: it seems sensible enough until you start to look behind the curtain, and you find a confidence artist running a Rube Goldberg machine. Look, I don’t like DHS either: but Gillespie’s proposal is nothing more than the posturing of a buffoon.