Friday, January 31, 2014

Double-Naught Spies . . .



WTF??

Google Glass has raised privacy concerns in many countries. It now appears that it is being monitored as a potential aid to copyright infringement.
A man who wore Google Glass to a movie theater in Ohio was detained and interrogated by officials of the Department of Homeland Security, highlighting concerns that the device may be used by people to illegally record movies at a theater.
A spokesman for the Motion Picture Association of America, which works closely with theaters all over the U.S. to curb camcording and “theater-originated piracy,” said Tuesday that no such activity was discovered in the particular case.
The DHS’ Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed that agents of its Homeland Security Investigations interviewed the man, but did not take action after it was found that the recording device, suspected of being used to record a film at the theater, was also a pair of prescription eye glasses in which the recording function had been inactive.
http://www.pcworld.com/article/2090140/google-glass-user-questioned-in-ohio-theater-for-suspected-piracy.html


Apparently there is a vast army of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) undercover operatives hanging out near our local movie theaters waiting to trounce on unsuspecting film pirates.

The Gadfly is just ecstatic to know that his tax dollars are being so patriotically utilized to keep America safe from weapons of mass destruction -- you know -- copies of grainy, jittery, poor audio quality, bootlegged Hollywood flicks.

Jeebus . . . . . .



----TFG



And The Rats Begin Their Inevitable Exodus from The Doomed Ship . . . .



The Gadfly is somewhat baffled as to what exactly it was that Chris Christie believed he was accomplishing by so swiftly and nonchalantly throwing his aides under the bus in the NJ bridge closing scandal.  For as we are now seeing - with the subpoenas flying left and right and the targets of those subpoenas rushing to lawyer up - it looks like Governor Big Chicken is a dead man walking:

A former top aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) says that the governor was aware of the lane closings on the George Washington Bridge and claimed that “he had the evidence to prove it,” the New York Times reports. Christie has repeatedly denied having any knowledge of his administration’s involvement in the closures before incriminating emails surfaced in early January.
Former Port Authority official David Wildstein — the former director of interstate capital projects — said in a letter released by his lawyer that the Christie administration ordered the closure of the traffic lanes and said “evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference” three weeks ago.
“Mr. Wildstein contests the accuracy of various statements that the governor made about him and he can prove the inaccuracy of some,” the letter added. The letter is sent from the law offices of Alan L. Zegas to the general counsel at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey challenging the Authority’s decision not to pay the former official’s legal bills.

http://thinkprogress.org/home/2014/01/31/3236191/christie-aide-says-governor-aware-lane-closures/


Yikes!  That ear-piercing hissing sound you hear dear readers is the hot, steamy air escaping from the gaping and jagged hole that has been torn open in the external skin of the Airship SS Christie.  And by all accounts it appears that a crash landing impact with the earth (and Karma) isn't very far off in the future.



----TFG



When Losing Equates to Salvation . . . .

[ click pic to enlarge ]


Wow.  Just wow.

Ann Romney has a message for the country that rejected her husband: Your loss, America!
The Romney family postmortem/movie promotion continued Friday with Ann reflecting on Mitt's defeat in the 2012 presidential election.
"I really believe this, you know, we lost, but truly the country lost by not having Mitt as president," Ann said during an interview on Fox News.
She opted to be "polite and nice" and not comment on President Obama's second term, but said she comes across people all the time who are "still really sad" about the outcome of the 2012 race.
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/ann-romney-country-lost-mitt-obama


The snobbish sense of aristocratic self-entitlement just oozes from every pore of this woman's body.  Keep in mind dear readers, this statement is coming from someone who had a single tax write-off of nearly $80,000 for a thoroughbred show horse.

The Gadfly will acknowledge however, that Queen Ann of Equestriana was undoubtedly speaking the truth when she stated that she "comes across people all the time who are still really sad " that she and her noble Prince of a hubby, the Mittster, are not ruling over the nation's unwashed masses of indentured serfs from astride their gilded thrones.  For it stands to reason that the kind of people whom the Romney royal family hobnobs with, you know -- Wall Street hedge fund managers, vulture capitalists, bankers, corporate CEO's, 1% investor tycoons, etc., etc. -- quite likely are feeling somewhat butt-hurt that their chosen nobleman didn't meet with majority approval from the ungrateful peasantry.

Perhaps Queen Ann can assuage her heartbreak by hooking up with and sharing her privileged misery with Tom Perkins, the billionaire vulture capitalist douchebag who was crying tears in to his cognac snifter last week about how the mean old progressives are picking on him and his poor widdoe rich friends, and how it's just like the Nazis sending Jews to the gas chambers and it's really, really, really scary, and somebody please make them stop - BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!

It's just The Gadfly's not-so-humble opinion, but he is convinced more than ever that America dodged a tawdry bullet by disallowing such an ungracious, self aggrandizing, narcissistic bunch of snivelers like this Romney bunch to rule over us.

Yessir -- dodged a bullet indeed.




----TFG



Thursday, January 30, 2014

Would You Care For Some Factual News with Your Humor Sir? . . . . .

Jon Stewart calls utter bullshit on the GOP's sudden calls for "bipartisanship" along with claims that they want to "work with" Obama in the wake of the SOTU address.

Stewart correctly points out that the Republicans had calculated plans in place from the very first day of Obama's initial inauguration to not participate in their elected and taxpayer funded job of co-governing the country, and in fact, were determined to simply obstruct for obstruction's sake:





Once again, it speaks dispiriting volumes that information like this has to be disseminated to the public from a cable comedy show instead of our national "news" outlets.


----TFG



Hey Lunch Ladies! Leave Them Kids Alone! . . . . . . .



Jeebus . . . .

Honestly -- what the fuck is happening to this country that people consider this an acceptable way of dealing with such an easily resolvable issue?:

By Lisa Schencker | The Salt Lake Tribune
Jan 29 2014 05:29 pm
Up to 40 kids at Uintah Elementary in Salt Lake City picked up their lunches Tuesday, then watched as the meals were taken and thrown away because of outstanding balances on their accounts — a move that shocked and angered parents.
"It was pretty traumatic and humiliating," said Erica Lukes, whose 11-year-old daughter had her cafeteria lunch taken from her as she stood in line Tuesday at Uintah Elementary School, 1571 E. 1300 South.
Lukes said as far as she knew, she was all paid up. "I think it’s despicable," she said. "These are young children that shouldn’t be punished or humiliated for something the parents obviously need to clear up."
Jason Olsen, a Salt Lake City District spokesman, said the district’s child-nutrition department became aware that Uintah had a large number of students who owed money for lunches.
As a result, the child-nutrition manager visited the school and decided to withhold lunches to deal with the issue, he said.
But cafeteria workers weren’t able to see which children owed money until they had already received lunches, Olsen explained.
The workers then took those lunches from the students and threw them away, he said, because once food is served to one student it can’t be served to another.
http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57468293-78/lunches-olsen-district-parents.html.csp


Literally yanking food out of a child's hands and then, in full view of the child, tossing it in to the trash, based on a mere suspicion that the child's lunch money account was in arrears, has to be one of the sickest things The Gadfly has heard of in quite some time.  No doubt Rush Limbaugh developed an instant erection upon reading this story.

The Gadfly will not beat around the bush.  Behavior like this is a classic pathological symptom of a society that has fallen under the spell of the selfish callousness and perverted values system of the modern day, right wing conservative movement.  Actions like this have Tea Party conservatism written all over it.

As alluded to in the previous post, Americans have some very deep soul searching to do in deciding who to hand power to in the next election.  While The Gadfly acknowledges that the choices are depressing, it is also very clear that one of the competing ideologies has jumped the rails on the crazy train express and their way of governing only lies misery, and eventual doom for the country.



----TFG



Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Never Send an Android to do A Human's Job . . . . .


Charlie Pierce does a drive-by analysis of the Republican response to Obama's fairly innocuous and non-confrontational State of the Union Address.  As usual, he nails it:

I'm going to miss Barack Obama's presidency, if only for the fact that his State of the Union address has become an occasion for Republicans to proudly let their freak flags fly. Let us see what we had last night. We had Randy Weber, tweeting about his fear of our tyrannical kommander-in-chef. We had Tim Huelskamp hearing the echoes of the jackboots in every syllable every uttered by kindly Doc Maddow. (Huelskamp had a nutty on the Twitter machine, too.) And then we had Michael Grimm's threatening to throw a reporter off the balcony and probably making Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks say, "What the fk, dude?" out loud in his hotel room.
(By the way, I think I have it now. A signing statement that allows the United States torture people = good. An executive order that gets a Capitol janitor a raise = bad. Constitution, baby!)
And then there was Cathy McMorris Rogers, who was not nutty, but who, I believe, was attempting to sell me a dinette set. Also, can I just say to the nice furniture lady that I'm happy that she and her retired Naval commander husband both had that sweet government health-care so that their newborn son's pre-existing condition wasn't the kind of hardship it is for parents who are only now, through the Affordable Care Act, able to stave off financial disaster in similar circumstances.
http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/republican-responses-to-state-of-the-union-012914


The Gadfly concurs with Pierce's observation of McMorris Rodgers' near comatose delivery.  As he was listening to her drone on with her folksy, specifics barren generalities, The Gadfly temporarily lost all cerebral connection to the reality-based world and found himself ethereally trapped -- very like Malcolm McDowell's incarcerated character in 'A Clockwork Orange' . . .





. . . endlessly viewing what can only be described as the combination of the creepy movie The Stepford Wives and a horribly and amateurishly made IKEA commercial.

Thankfully The Gadfly was able to tear his eyes away from the train-wreck stupor of Mrs. Cleaver's speechifying long enough to allow himself to rejoin the non-Borg world of earthbound existence.

Frankly, in The Gadfly's not-so-humble view, the GOP would be just as well off hiring Pixar Studios to create an animated character for them to deliver all future GOP responses to the SOTU.  The animators at Pixar could quite easily craft an onscreen character that displays more human life-like qualities and empathy than the soulless drones that the Republicans keep trotting out.



----TFG



Hmm...Decisions, Decisions . . . Vote For the Party of Craven Politicians, or the Party of Craven Politicians Who also Happen to be one Goose-Step short of Totalitarianism?



Others who ply their blogging trade on the intertoobs have already pointed this out today, but here are a few policy issues that, in his SOTU, The President pledged to address to some extent or another in the remainder of his term.  Quite tellingly, not a single one of these proposals received so much as even a smattering of polite applause from the Republicans.  On the contrary -- every one was instead met with snide grimaces from the party of values spouting patriots:

  • That America will be the better off in seeing a final, ignominious end to the 12 year long war in Afghanistan.
  • That Congress should not play games of chicken with the full faith and credit of the United States.
  • Congress needs to act to put more Americans to work in the tech manufacturing sector
  • The President will use executive power to protect our currently protected natural resources.
  • The Oil conglomerates do not need tax breaks.
  • Congress should restore unemployment insurance that it allowed to expire at the end of the year.
  • Women deserve equal pay for equal work.
  • Americans who work full time should not have to raise a family in poverty, so Congress should raise the minimum wage to $10.10
  • Congress should not attempt to repeal the ACA 40 more times.
  • Individual citizens votes, and not big money donations, should drive democracy.
  • America does not need any more Sandy Hook Elementary shooting tragedies.

And the GOP could not find it within themselves to openly approve of a single one of those policy proposals -- not one.  Therefore, as far as The Gadfly is concerned then, that is a clear signal that they unambiguously take the following opposing positions:

  • Everlasting war and death in Afghanistan.  Hoorah!!
  • Who gives a rat's ass about the nation's credit rating?
  • Jobs?  Fuck jobs.  Obstruction to the end!
  • If Obama even tries to use executive privilege (just once) even though George W. Bush invoked it 7 times during his Presidency, we the GOP will impeach!! **
  • Oil Conglomerates are people too!
  • Fuck the extension of unemployment benefits.  Tell the lazy moochers to get a job!
  • Women and men are not equal - women have vaginas and men have penises - and the penis is mightier than the vagina -- and that is why dudes get paid more for the same type of work.
  • More whining about poverty wages.  Fuck the poor!  The Koch Brothers need more tax breaks!
  • Americans don't need no stinking affordable health care!  We're going to double our wasteful efforts and the number of attempts to repeal Obamacare - never give up!
  • Only land owning white males deserve the right to vote.
  • The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of toddlers.  Therefore - a gun in every waistband - because --- Freeeeeeeeeeedom!


If, and it's a mighty tenuous if, the Democrats were even the least bit forward looking, somebody would be diligently working on a political television ad based on this glaring disparity in ideological pursuits between the parties.  It really does delineate quite clearly where each side stands on some very major issues which directly affect most of the people in the country.

Be that as it may, The Gadfly will not be holding his breath in hopes that the jackass party is quite that cunning.



----TFG


**Update:  While the "executive privilege" count noted above is correct, "executive orders" are a separate category.  However, even in that category, the Obama administration has had the lowest rate of issuing executive orders in the history of the U.S. Presidency - far lower than the rates of GW Bush I and II and Ronald Reagan.  But why allow facts to ruin a good impeachment rant by the wingnuts eh?



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Texass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . hole.



They simply are unable to contain their assholery.

With around 50 minutes until President Barack Obama was scheduled to deliver his State of the Union address, freshman Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas) took to Twitter to let everyone know that he was getting impatient, while simultaneously becoming the first GOP congressman on Tuesday to call the president a "socialistic dictator":



Not surprising it's one of the reps from Texas -- that state appears to have cornered the market on politicians who excel at the pre-pubescent art of being just plain dumb and misinformed on practically every subject known to mankind, while simultaneously projecting a level of smug assholery that has most sane and reasonable people inexplicably overwhelmed with an innate desire to kick them in the balls.

It does not pain The Gadfly's conscience in any sense when he occasionally wonders if perhaps things might have turned out better for America had the Mexicans fought harder for that chunk of sage brush and scrub cactus.


----TFG


The Brave Charge of The Incontinent Brigade . . . . .



Oy Jeebus . . . .

A retired Army general and Fox News analyst told a Tea Party group that he would lead a military coup against the U.S. government, if only reluctantly.
Paul Vallely, a retired major general and senior military analyst for the conservative news channel, told the Surprise, Arizona, Tea Party Patriots during a Dec. 3 speech that other retired military personnel and veterans groups had contacted him about the possibility.
“I had a call this afternoon from Idaho, the gentleman said, ‘If I give you 250,000 Marines to go to Washington, will you lead them?’” Vallely said as the group laughed and gasped. “I said, ‘Yes, I will, I’ll surround the White House and I’ll surround the Capitol building, but it’s going to take physical presence to do things.”
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/01/27/fox-news-analyst-tells-tea-party-group-he-can-lead-a-military-coup-against-obama/




The Gadfly was going to post a very indignant, quite likely profanity-laced observation about this idiocy, but thankfully one of the user comments caught his eye and it effectively disarmed The Gadfly's distemper with some good old fashioned, snarky humor:

sneakerup • 2 hours ago −
Yeah OK, let's see your army of senile old cranks in their hoverrounds, gramps. Be sure to bring the applesauce for their meds. The nice nurse will tuck you in now.

And lest you feel that comment to be a cheap shot, fret not, for the audience demographics eggheads pretty much concur:

A key data point from Frank Rich's profile of Fox News:
Fox News is losing younger viewers at an even faster rate than its competitors. With a median viewer age now at 68 according to Nielsen data through mid-January (compared with 60 for MSNBC and CNN, and 62 to 64 for the broadcast networks), Fox is in essence a retirement community ... If it is actuarially possible, its median viewer age will keep creeping upward. (It rose by two years over the course of 2013.)
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/01/half-of-fox-news-viewers-are-68-and-older/283385/


So essentially - Fox is the cable "news" network for the old, rural, cranky white guys screaming "get off my lawn you meddling kids!"

While it may be true that a xenophobic, conservative, overtly biased political propaganda outfit masquerading as a "news" organization might make for a winning formula in the ratings wars, it is decidedly a losing formula in the trust and integrity arena. Outside of the worldly knowledge bubble of Fox's average white, bigoted, homophobic, 68 year old neanderthal viewer, the network is actually a laughing stock to the rest of the world, at home and abroad.

Anyhow, if the old Army General loon can actually gather a quarter million retired U.S. Marines (providing they are ambulatory enough to make the trek) and surround Obama's White House, if nothing else it will make for a damn entertaining Geritol commercial.



----TFG


Monday, January 27, 2014

From The Industrialists Bible - King Koch version: "Blessed are the Robber Barons, For They Shall Inherit the Earth" . . .

[ click pic to enlarge ]


They truly do view themselves as humanity's demigod, savior, gladiator, philanthropists :

Erik Prince—ex-Navy SEAL, ex-CIA spy, ex-CEO of private-security firm Blackwater—calls himself an “accidental tourist” whose modest business boomed after 9/11, expanded into Iraq and Afghanistan, and then was “blowtorched by politics.” To critics and conspiracy theorists, he is a mercenary war-profiteer. To admirers, he’s a patriot who has repeatedly answered America’s call with bravery and creativity.
Now, sitting in a boardroom above Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, he explains his newest title, acquired this month: chairman of Frontier Services Group, an Africa-focused security and logistics company with intimate ties to China’s largest state-owned conglomerate, Citic Group. Beijing has titanic ambitions to tap Africa’s resources—including $1 trillion in planned spending on roads, railways and airports by 2025—and Mr. Prince wants in.
With a public listing in Hong Kong, and with Citic as its second-largest shareholder (a 15% stake) and Citic executives sitting on its board, Frontier Services Group is a long way from Blackwater’s CIA ties and $2 billion in U.S. government contracts. For that, Mr. Prince is relieved.
“I would rather deal with the vagaries of investing in Africa than in figuring out what the hell else Washington is going to do to the entrepreneur next,” says the crew-cut 44-year-old.
http://m.us.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303465004579324650302912522?mobile=y


Only in the deluded and twisted mind of your modern-day conservative industrialist class could one construe the act of hooking up with a security firm that is controlled by China's communist government in preparation for Chinese state ambitions to "tap Africa's resources," as being a business "investment."

The Gadfly does not know who Erik Prince believes he is bullshitting, but when the Chinese government says it needs security firms to help them "invest" in Africa, it does not, by any stretch of the imagination, mean that they need unarmed rent-a-cops to stand guard over their supplies and shipments of Stinky Tofu and Peking Duck.

It means they need the exact same type of service that Prince's former company, Blackwater, provided during the disastrous, albeit profitable, Iraq clusterfuck -- namely a private, unaccountable mercenary army that can, and will be, employed by the Chinese to "assist" whatever poor bastard Africans who happen to be squatting on whatever natural resources the Chinese are after, to meekly relinquish those lands and resources -- for a "fair" price of course.

And the fact that Erik Prince made the transformation from patriotic American security company honcho to hired thug for the Chinese communists in a manner as unassuming and smooth as a K Street lobbyist bouncing between the highest bidding, majority political party, truly tells the tale of a man who would just as soon sell his best friend down the river providing the stack of cash to do so was just the right height.

And it's no surprise as well that Prince is a darling of the right wing industrialists (his family is of Amway wealth), as well as the crayon scribblers who ply their trade on the pages of Rupert Murdoch's dead tree rag the Wall Street Journal.  To these people, America is nothing more than an abstract vehicle for generating profit, and as long as they can continue to make profit from that vehicle, they'll hang around, but the minute that profit margin begins to shrink, they are shopping around for a new sugar daddy nation state to suckle off the teat from -- and being that China is the world's fastest growing economy -- voila! -- "hello new sugar daddy!"

And that is why The Gadfly maintains a healthy and vigilant distrust of American industrialists. For the reality is that if they had absolutely no compunction to considering the instigating of a coup to overthrow Franklin Delano Roosevelt's presidency (bet you didn't know about that huh kids?) in the early 1930's, then what makes you think their loyalty to America today is any the more stalwart?

Just something to think about dear readers, as unpleasant as it may be.



----TFG



He Was Just Standing His Ground -- Sniper Style . . . . . .

[ click pic to enlarge ]

Good lord . . . . .

UPDATE 1/27/14 @ 10:15 a.m. 
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Details of a shooting that left two men dead in Barboursville on Saturday have been released in the criminal complaint.
Rodney Bruce Black, 62, of Barboursville, has been charged with two counts of 1st degree murder.
Cabell County Sheriff Tom McComas says Garrick Hopkins, 60, of Milton and his brother, Carl Hopkins Jr., 61, of Oak Hill, W.Va. died after being shot by Black.
The shooting happened outside Black’s home at 12 Lane Drive about 2:30 p.m Saturday.
According to the criminal complaint, Black told detectives in his statement that he saw two men “shaking the door on his tool shed in his backyard.” He said he then “reached and got his .243 and loaded the gun and pointed the gun out of his window and the shot the first male and then pulled the bolt action back and fired another shot and hit the other male.”
Black also told deputies in his statement that the “did not warn them nor did he call 911 when saw them.”
He also advised that “no first aid was given after the incident.”
Sheriff McComas said in a release on Sunday that Garrick Hopkins had recently purchased the lot adjacent to #12 Lane Drive.
McComas says he took his brother to the property Saturday to show him where he and his family were planning to build their new home in the coming weeks.
The Sheriff says the outbuilding in question was on the Hopkins property and contained no belonging of Mr. Black’s.
Inside Black's home, McComas says detectives seized a large number of weapons and ammunition.
http://www.wsaz.com/home/headlines/UPDATE-Two-Men-Shot-to-Death-by-Homeowner-in-Barboursville-241973841.html?device=phone


So basically, Mr. Paranoid gun nut guy who lives with an arsenal of his "little friends" sees a couple of elderly men, in the middle of the afternoon, in broad daylight, trying to open the door of a storage shed that, turns out, is not even on Mr. Paranoid gun nut guy's property, and so Mr. Paranoid gun nut guy nonchalantly reaches for his .243 varmint hunting rifle, loads it, then methodically and carefully aims it out the window of his home, entirely unbeknownst to the "varmints" he was gunning for, and shoots one of them dead.  He then reloads the bolt action, and fires a second time, killing the other elderly man.

West Virginia is one of 24 states that have a Florida-style stand your ground gun law on it's books.  Do not think for one moment dear readers that Mr. Paranoid gun nut guy is not going to try and use that law as the primary defense strategy for his murderous actions, and if he does, also do not be surprised if a jury of his peers sets him free accordingly.

And once again, The Gadfly will proclaim with unrepentant disdain -- stand your ground is a law of cowards, for cowards and by cowards.  And cowardly is a word that pretty much describes the entire leadership infrastructure of the NRA, it's public pimps like Ted Nugent and the bought and paid for politicians who they have corrupted and employed to carry their legislative dirty water in the halls of Congress.

It is just one more glaring example of how the conservative movement is slowly transforming this country in to a backwater, third world shithole where the day is coming when it will only be a decent and safe place to live work and play solely for those who can afford to do so behind closed and privately guarded walls, gates and fence lines.


----TFG



Sunday, January 26, 2014

The March of The Plutocrats . . .

[ click pic to enlarge ]

Jeebus.  The march toward transforming America in to the world's largest third world oligarchy continues briskly apace:

Anyone who has ever struggled to get her landlord to fix a broken appliance can imagine how much worse it could have been if she were paying rent to a faceless hedge fund based thousands of miles away. That tenant’s nightmare may be on its way to reality for hundreds of thousands of Americans, as Wall Street firms have snapped up 200,000 family houses with the intention of renting them out.
Banks, hedge funds, and private equity firms have been amassing those real estate holdings for a few years now, but their plan for wringing profit out of the rental market is just starting to draw real scrutiny. The New York-based hedge fund Blackstone Group is now the nation’s largest landlord after purchasing over 40,000 foreclosed family homes for the purpose of renting them out.
While firms like Blackstone often farm out the day-to-day management of the rental properties to third-party companies, those intermediaries are often also based in faraway states. Some have a track record of being unresponsive to basic things like broken sewer pipes, as the Huffington Post has reported. The banks and their intermediaries may neglect basic upkeep of these properties. In that worst-case scenario for renters, local and attentive property managers and building supers will get replaced with “Wall Street-based absentee slumlords,” in David Dayen’s phrase.
On-the-ground concerns for communities and renters go beyond neglect, however. The rising influence of financial titans turned local landlords could threaten all sorts of public services. In the case of Huber Heights, OH, the hedge fund Magnetar Capital has become the largest landlord in the whole town and is using that influence to try to extract lower property tax charges from the town — a change that would undermine funding for schools and other public services for locals, but boost the bottom line of the Illinois-based financial giant.
http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/01/24/3203471/wall-street-landlord/


Hmmm . . . let us analyze this for a moment:

Artificially inflate the housing bubble, make a killing on mortgages and mortgage-backed securities, then tank the housing market and the world economy along with it, get a $750 billion dollar taxpayer funded bailout, foreclose (illegally quite often) on many of those properties because the economy you helped crash resulted in people losing jobs and subsequently their homes, then buy those foreclosed homes back for pennies on the dollar, and finally to bring it all full circle and rent out those homes at premium rates.

It is The Gadfly's not-so humble view that this is nothing less than diabolically genius.  And The Gadfly would be absolutely shocked if it wasn't a significant chapter of the bankster's and the Wall Street wolves' business plan all along.

Telling ya' --- hangman's nooses.  It is looking more and more like that is the only thing that will fix it.


----TFG



Right Wing: If You Let The Weird Kid Play in The Sandbox, We're Going to Shit in it So That Nobody Can Play in It . . .

The magnitude of hatred and vindictiveness coursing through someone's mind and heart that would prompt this type of reaction is nothing short of ghastly:

In response to a federal court ruling that Oklahoma’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional discrimination, a state lawmaker says he wants to skirt the equal protection argument by banning all marriages in the state.
“[My constituents are] willing to have that discussion about whether marriage needs to be regulated by the state at all,” Rep. Mike Turner (R) told News 9. He said the idea has the backing of other conservative lawmakers, and could be achieved through a shell bill he filed in the state legislature, intended to adapt to any court rulings on same-sex marriage.
http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/01/25/3205541/oklahoma-lawmaker-ban-marriages-revival-jim-crow-tactic/


So essentially, and no matter how one tries to spin it as a state's right to regulate pile of balderdash, it pretty much amounts to a declaration of, "if we can't get our way then we're going to fucking ruin it for everyone" type of deal.

It is the same juvenile mindset that showed it's ugly and spiteful face in the government shutdown debacle, which had the Teabaggers, enabled by the gutless GOP establishment, basically shutting down the people's government because they couldn't accomplish their political goals through the normal and authoritative legislative process.  And what was the result of that tantrum other than their predictably and utterly complete capitulation?  This:

The financial ratings agency Standard & Poor's said Wednesday the shutdown “to date has taken $24 billion out of the economy,” equaling $1.5 billion dollars a day and “shaved at least 0.6 percent off annualized fourth-quarter 2013 GDP growth.”
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/10/the-costs-of-the-government-shutdown/


That $24 billion could have paid for a full year of the extended federal unemployment benefits which the GOP cut off at the end of this past December and which basically has pulled the economic lifeline rug out from under 1.5 million Americans.  And yet The Gadfly has yet to hear a single one of these Tea Party jerks acknowledge, much less ask forgiveness for their childish behavior, that is provably causing needless misery in a great many of their fellow American's lives.

Here is a picture of the Oklahoma lawmaker twerp who is pushing the blanket marriage ban proposal:




In The Gadfly's not-so humble view, this little snot personifies that supremely smug look of your typical, right wing dick head.  In fact, just looking at this little boy's picture makes The Gadfly think of this song:




The Gadfly decided to do a little research on this dweeb's background and unsurprisingly he's one of these "Jesus only loves me and those who think like me," "family values" spouting jagoffs, who also predictably, wants even lower taxes for the 1% folks, no 'gubmint meddling in health care, wants his religion taught in classrooms, and actually does not believe in public education at all, and is a big, big fan of throwing as many of our citizens in prison for non-violent drug offenses, and keeping them there for as long as possible, that we can.  In other words --- even at that baby-faced young age of his, he is a major league fucking right wing nutcase asshole (they indoctrinate them early in life).

Well Shit! The Gadfly ruminates -- who needs to be fearful of a handful of lunatic, fundamentalist religious, America hating nutjobs, hiding out in caves on the other side of the world, when we have our very own homegrown Taliban populating and procreating right here across the fruited plains of good ol' middle America?

Avoid standing up to these people at the peril of the future of your own democracy dear readers.



----TFG



Saturday, January 25, 2014

Spending The Sweat, and The Genius, and The Hopes . . . . and for what?

Good.  It's negligible in the grand scheme of things, but it's a start:


http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/congress-cuts-us-military-and-development-aid-for-afghanistan/2014/01/24/3d4cb818-8531-11e3-bbe5-6a2a3141e3a9_story.html?hpid=z1


While we're at it, let's also begin the process of shutting down and withdrawing our troops from all of these overseas military bases that we have peppered across the various continents, and specifically in stable NATO ally countries such as Germany, France, Spain, the UK, Italy, Turkey, the Netherlands, Norway, and Belgium.  And that is just the European theater.  The old Soviet Union has dissolved and can barely handle the internal strife from the few remaining satellite regions it controls.  China is too busy becoming the world's most powerful economy to give a shit about invading any one.

Think about this for a moment dear readers -- America still has almost 60,000 American troops stationed at 265 military bases in Germany for holy shit's sake!!  G-E-R-M-A-N-Y!!  Somebody forgot to tell the grand poobahs of our military industrial complex that World War 2 ended almost 70 years ago!  Adolf Hitler is dead and we fucking won man!  Germany is presently the most stable and most wealthy democracy in western Europe and there is no rationale coherent enough that can justify the amount of money that America expends to keep that many military installations open and that many military personnel assigned there.  The same can be said with the UK, France, Spain and Italy -- they are all major economy nations who have their own military infrastructures along with their own sovereign wealth, and collectively they are more than able to defend their own homelands.

Shut those bases down, bring those troops home.  Use the billions, likely trillions, in savings to instead invest in America's own crumbling infrastructure and putting our own citizenry back to work.  Use that money to address the issues of chronic poverty and to improve public education by building newer, modern schools, pay competent educators what they are worth, and to provide more access for the economically disadvantaged to higher education opportunities.  Use that money to institute a national single payer healthcare plan so that a major illness no longer can result in someone being bankrupted and economically crippled for life.  Use that money to shore up the social security and unemployment benefits programs.  Use that money to invest in the alternative energy solutions.  Use that money to invest in medical research and development.  Use that money to improve our nation's border and port security.  Use that money to seriously tackle the deleterious effects of campaign financing, corporate lobbying and our embarrassingly incompetent voting system.

Are you beginning to get The Gadfly's drift here dear readers?  Do you see how simple it would be to address many, if not most, of the major issues facing this country today if we simply performed a serious, honest cost/benefit analysis of the money (OUR tax money) that our obscenely bloated military industrial complex is gluttonously scarfing up, and reapportion those funds more intelligently and equitably?

It is long past time we do so.





President Eisenhower's vision was right back then, and even more so today.


----TFG


Lord - Be Thou Truly Almighty - We Beseech Thee to Save us From These Self-indulgent Bastards . . . . .



ROFL.  This has got to be the funniest shit The Gadfly has heard emanating from the gaping maw of the conservative noise machine in quite some time.  Essentially - some uber wealthy venture/vulture (no difference these days) capitalist went whining to Rupert Murdoch about how the mean and nasty old unwashed masses are treating him and his fellow parasite billionaires and so being the sympathetic, charitable demigod that he is, ol' Uncle Rupert granted the poor, aggrieved fellow some chicken-scratching space on the editorial pages of his rag the Wall Street Journal.

Predictably, paranoid/delusional hilarity ensues:

Thomas Perkins is a hyper-wealthy venture capitalist. Beyond his enormous success in business, he may be best known as the man who was profiled by “60 Minutes” for owning The Maltese Falcon, one of the largest privately owned sailing yachts in the world (he’s since sold it). He’s the former husband of Danielle Steel, one of the most successful authors ever, and he owns many mansions all over the world. All in all, it’s pretty good to be Tom Perkins.
Or so you would think! Yet according to a letter to the editor he wrote to the Wall Street Journal, the reality of being Tom Perkins isn’t so much defined by extravagant wealth, luxury, comfort, and power, but rather a growing sense of fear and dread. It’s so bad, Perkins says, that being a member of the American 1% today is actually comparable to being a Jew in Nazi Germany.
Seriously. He wrote this:
Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its “one percent,” namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the “rich.”
From the Occupy movement to the demonization of the rich embedded in virtually every word of our local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent. There is outraged public reaction to the Google buses carrying technology workers from the city to the peninsula high-tech companies which employ them. We have outrage over the rising real-estate prices which these “techno geeks” can pay. We have, for example, libelous and cruel attacks in the Chronicle on our number-one celebrity, the author Danielle Steel, alleging that she is a “snob” despite the millions she has spent on our city’s homeless and mentally ill over the past decades.
This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent “progressive” radicalism unthinkable now?
http://www.salon.com/2014/01/25/wealthy_venture_capitalist_tom_perkins_says_the_1_in_america_are_treated_like_jews_in_nazi_germany/


For those of you dear readers who are not up to speed on your history of how Adolph Hitler and the Nazi party came to power in pre-WWII Germany, "Kristallnacht" was a series of vicious and coordinated attacks carried out over a few days period in late 1938 (he couldn't even get the date correct) Germany.  It was perpetrated by Nazi party paramilitary groups and civilian fascists and targeted at Jewish citizens and their properties.  It was, arguably, also the genesis of the Nazi's final solution of rounding up and slaughtering Jews, liberals, academia, artists, journalists, and anyone else who didn't fit in their new world order of Aryan purity and blind devotion to Der Fuhrer and his demented Nazi vision.

So basically what this drama queen vulture capitalist is saying is that anyone daring to speak publicly about issues such as ever expanding income inequality, undeserved tax cuts for the wealthy, offshore tax havens, corporate welfare, lobbying and campaign finance reform, Wall Street excess and criminality, etc., are the equivalent of Hitler's Stormtroopers dragging Jews out of their shops, burning the shops down and throwing those Jews on to trains to be shipped off to concentration camps and eventual mass slaughter by poison gas.

And The Gadfly is awed even further that this gutless little pecker had the nerve to name-drop his former wife, author Danielle Steele, as an example of a wealthy elitist who is upset at being picked on by the dirty hippie 99%ers, especially since she apparently is a prolific donor to charity.

The Gadfly is awed, because a recent CBO report shows that the largest portion of charitable money given by the 1% crowd, actually are donations to "culture palaces" -- namely to operas, art museums, symphonies and theaters -- in other words to organizations where they themselves spend a good deal of time hobnobbing with other wealthy elitists just like themselves.  To put it bluntly, most of their donations go not to the downtrodden, the unemployed, the sick and impoverished children, but right back in to the wealth bubble that they inhabit with the other parasite plutocrats of the world.

LOL!

The Gadfly is just constantly amused by the pathetic mewling and whimpering of these privileged assholes -- think about it dear readers -- they fucking own everything, even our democracy - and yet it just never is enough for them.  Just 85 of them own as much wealth as half of the entire fucking planet's population for God's sake!! And yet they are constantly wallowing in their own self-constructed persecution complex, and quite frankly if you ask The Gadfly's opinion, it is becoming pretty goddamn irritating.

In The Gadfly's not-so humble view, it sounds like what is bothering Mr. Vulture Capitalist more than anything are the barely measurable gasps of guilt that reside deep inside of his own frail conscience.  Because really - how can anyone honestly and morally justify and defend just 85 individuals possessing half of the planet's wealth?  And The Gadfly swears, the first jackass that says "they earned it" is going to get a size 10, steel-toed motorcycle boot planted upside your gluteus-maximus.

As such, The Gadfly would humbly advise the Mr. Vulture Capitalist, instead of crying crocodile tears and wringing his well manicured, never worked a day in his life hands on the pages of the Wall Street Journal, he could be actually doing something a bit more productive - you know - like perhaps helping to relieve the unemployment crisis, or the child hunger and poverty situation, or environmental issues, or, god forbid, even the health care debacle that has nearly a third of his fellow countrymen lacking access to basic, affordable health care.

But that would require one to spend some of that "earned" wealth on something other than personal pleasure and luxury items - wouldn't it?  It would entail actually having to meet with and possibly even having to touch the scary flesh of the dirty unwashed masses and listen to their plights. It very well could require one to experience feelings of empathy and sadness and perhaps even outrage over the unnecessary suffering of others.

It basically would require one to be - - - you know - a decent human being.  Imagine that huh?



----TFG


Friday, January 24, 2014

WTF? Meet the GOP's New Hero . . . . (this is not a parody)



Interesting . . . .

In a jarring break from the George W. Bush era, the Republican National Committee voted Friday to adopt a resolution demanding an investigation into the National Security Agency’s spy programs.
According to the resolution, the NSA metadata program revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is deemed “an invasion into the personal lives of American citizens that violates the right of free speech and association afforded by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.” In addition, “the mass collection and retention of personal data is in itself contrary to the right of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.”
Titled a Resolution To Renounce The National Security Agency’s Surveillance Program,” it was passed by a voice vote as part of a package of RNC proposals. Not a single member rose to object or call for further debate, as occurred for other resolutions.

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/rnc-condemns-nsa-spying-shock-turnaround-0


. . . so does this mean then, since a demand that Congress investigate mass spying on average American's electronic communications is precisely what Edward Snowden has been asking for, that the Republicans were for Mr. Snowden's execution before they were against it??

And The Gadfly also wonders, now that the GOP is siding with the Snowden, how America's professional spooks feel about it, considering that they have made it clear as to exactly what they would like to do to him:

“In a world where I would not be restricted from killing an American, I personally would go and kill him myself,” a current NSA analyst told BuzzFeed. “A lot of people share this sentiment.”
“I would love to put a bullet in his head,” one Pentagon official, a former special forces officer, said bluntly.
http://www.buzzfeed.com/bennyjohnson/americas-spies-want-edward-snowden-dead


My - what tangled webs of lunacy and hypocrisy we do weave eh?


----TFG



What's Even Worse is that They are Fucking Proud of It . . . . .



The Gadfly feels that it is long past time to unceremoniously anoint the Republican party as the official political party of vindictive assholes:

Observe:

Indiana is the latest state to decide that poor people need to be punished and humiliated for the crime of being poorThe bill that would force people to pull down their pants and pee in exchange for state assistance was only withdrawn after it was changed to include drug testing for the legislators..
Drug testing people who are poor enough to apply for state assistance has already proven to be an abject failure.
Remember Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) idea of mandating drug tests for welfare applicants? As we’ve discussed before, the Republican governor had a theory: the state could save money by forcing drug users to withdraw from the public-assistance system.
At least, that was the idea. In practice, the policy failed spectacularly – only about 2 percent of applicants tested positive, and Florida lost money when it was forced to reimburse everyone else for the cost of the drug test, plus pay for staff and administrative costs for the program.
Drug testing people who apply for assistance is a waste of time and money. It's also been struck down as unconstitutional.
A federal judge on Tuesday struck down as unconstitutional a Florida law that required welfare applicants to undergo mandatory drug testing, setting the stage for a legal battle that could affect similar efforts nationwide.
Never ones to let an unfair issue die, the Republicans are trying again in another state. They've merely "tweaked" the law this time, hoping they'll be able get around the unconstitutional bits. Issues of fairness or privacy do not concern them. If you're poor, everything is fair game.
http://crooksandliars.com/2014/01/indianas-misplaced-priorities-0


So basically, if you're destitute and need a helping hand up out of your impoverished circumstances, the Republicans think you should have to deposit some clean piss with the nanny state first before you get any help.

Except what happened in this case was, some enterprising (probably dirty hippie liberal) stuck a provision in the bill that included all legislators in the piss testing scheme and VOILA! -- the Republicons immediately pull the bill off the floor.  Gee The Gadfly ponders -- what possible reason could they have for not wanting their own piss tested for illegal substances?  Hmmmmmmm??

The party of vindictive assholes -- for sure -- unfortunately, and lamentably, there are a great many of them in this country and it's to the detriment of making any productive progress at moving America forward and putting us back on the path to national economic prosperity.



----TFG




Sunday, January 19, 2014

Honey -- Prepare the Morning After Recipe . . . . . . . . . . .


What better way to clear your head than a song about nuzzling up to a she-man in a London bar.... LOL>





----TFG



???





What?  You want some fucking political opinions? Really?  Well that shit isn't fucking automatic.

Lol .... I'm full of them, don't you worry --- but right now it's play time .... endure the intermission ...



----TFG

Hey -- some Hot Girls Love this song ........ :)

Hmmmm ..... The Gadfly feels  . . that there's something in the air tonight .....






lol.



----TFG



Fire is Burning . . . . . .


This song is for Chris Christie . . . .  have fun Governor dealing with all the people you've fucked over . . . .






Hehe . . .



----TFG









C'mon People Now . . . . .


Sure -- The Gadfly knows it's idealistic, and even unrealistic, but you know what? The Gadfly does not give a grasshoppers puckered sphincter what the haters think.  The Gadfly lives his life the way he wants to ...

Right now . . . .





----TFG



Wha? Wanna Bitch About Ozzy? . . . . . Sheesh . . . . .

?
Generals gathered in their massesJust like witches at black massesEvil minds that plot destructionSorcerer of death's constructionIn the fields the bodies burningAs the war machine keeps turningDeath and hatred to mankindPoisoning their brainwashed minds, oh lord yeah!





If that doesn't make you use your fucking brain for something other than deciding to watch Spongebob or Duck Dynasty, than The Gadfly not only can't help you, he actually wishes you a future fit for a drone.



----TFG








We Can Bomb The Shit Out of Your Country Alright . . . . . .

George Carlin wonders what the fuck America is good for anymore . . . . and he found something ..






Best line:  "I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."




----TFG



Play Time . . . . . .

A few years ago, when The Gadfly had a Facebook account, he posted a music video that immediately garnered him several responses from old time friends who were astonished that, not only had The Gadfly remembered this totally forgetful song from his 70's era, but had actually found a video of it.  That was probably The Gadfly's most treasured moment from his Facebook years .... the rest was all pure bullshit.

Here's the famous video:






And a cookie to the first dear reader who can tell The Gadfly who Nigel Olsson was drummer for.

Big cookie!


----TFG



Snot Running Down His Nose . . . . .

This has absolutely nothing to do with anything but if you dear reader like it, then The Gadfly considers his mission accomplished . . .







----TFG



Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!



Apparently some NFL football games took place today.  As The Gadfly's team was sadly not part of the crowning process, he did not take too much heed, other than to note the winners and losers.

Congrats to Denver and Seattle.

Now we have to look forward to -- two fucking interminable weeks of Super Bowl media asshattery.  Oh joy.



----TFG

Ode to a Hypocrite and an Abuser . . . .


Oxycontin, familiarly known as hillbilly heroin, was the drug of choice of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh.

And so The Gadfly has a song to dedicate to the old, flabby gut, brain-addled addict:






Ol' El Rushbo will know what the lyrics of this song are referring to . . . hehe.



----TFG