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March 08, 2012


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Now THIS is the Mr. Talton I've come to know and love.

Inserted American penis into Afghanistan. No baby democracy born there.

Inserted American penis into Iraq. No baby democracy born there.

Inserted American penis into Egypt. No baby democracy born there.

Inserted American penis into Libya. No baby democracy born there.

Inserted American penis into Yemen. No baby democracy born there.

Weekend coming up. No date? Damn. Hey, Syria, what's cooking baby? Wanna go have a drink?

(P.S. Obama was given one of the greatest opportunities in history to make things right after W. He wussed out.)

There's an argument to be made for wishing Republicans well this November. Republicans can apply their tax-cuts/deregulation magic wand to the economy, giving citizens one more opportunity to see how well voodoo works. Democrats would probably cooperate with a President Romney in ways Republicans would never do with Obama. Energy policy will be rape, drill, and subsidize. And deficits would no longer be an issue because the Republican Scream Machine won't be there demagoguing the issue with low-information teabaggers. Health care reform will be reversed, meaning the contradictions of for-profit medicine may break through the mental fog of the average American.

Time is a curse because as much as we know we still can't see around corners. Maybe Republicans would finally catch an unlucky break. The economy would worsen and voters would finally understand the empty pleasure of voting their cultural identity instead of their economic interests. Maybe Democrats would finally be emboldened to advocate social democracy in a country driven mad with free-market propaganda. Maybe, maybe.

I wish we could be clever about this but we can't. Republicans promise fairy tales and social Darwinism. Take them at their word. Vote as if your life depended on it because with this wrecking crew, it probably does.

Those who ignore gravity and Darwinism, do so at their own risk.

The days of protecting the stupid from themselves is coming to an end. We're running out of time, money and patience. Or should I say, we're running out of money and patience. They're running out of time.

Told ya so, . . . . told ya so.

New healthcare cost comparison study (23 countries): must see


Jon: pray tell what is a "Brewer Moment"? I'm stumped!

A "Brewer moment" is when a not-so-bright water carrier for the extremist agenda is suddenly elected and in charge.

If Obama thinks requiring people to buy health insurance counts as health care reform, perhaps he can tackle the problem of homelessness by requiring people to rent apartments. "Let them eat cake..."

OK! Now I know what a Brewer Moment is but fail to grasp how this applies to Romney as a candidate, for example. He's plenty bright enough but saddled by a trainload of whackadoodles who'll attach themselves like barnacles, should he be elected.

By contrast, Brewer, on her most lucid days, is still dull normal and barely intelligible. Many of my Republican friends are embarassed by her witch-on-the-broomstick visage!

Law of diminishing return - Human civilization style.

If you have a group of four people and they work two hours to create a one page document outlining a project, there is a 75% chance that the project will be completed correctly.

If you have a group of twelve people and they work two days to create a six page document outlining a project, there is a 50% chance that the project will be completed correctly.

(You know where I'm going with this)

If 500+ people work one year to create a 2,300 page document outlining a project, there is a .0000001% chance the project will be completed correctly.

If you're the project leader (POTUS) of that project (Obamacare), you should be ashamed of yourself for losing control of the office you occupy.

Talking 2016, mca

The Asterisk President:

I repeat the Republicans can’t beat Obama unless they cheat.
But if Obama is re-elected and performs similarly the next four years as he did his first four then he has cheated us all.

I ask what are the alternatives? An American Spring? More Occupy Wall street?

I agree with most of the above but I was opposed to the financial bail outs by Bush and Obama. But as you point out if you are going to do it, do it big and spend it a lot differently than occurred. Obama’s efforts to rein in the financial community looked more like bankers as pimps and the government as the whore. Shades of the Robber Barons. They all should have joined Bernie.

The health care act was in the end a crime against the America public. Once again the stockholders move there profit shares upward.

Only late in the game has Obama and Salazar moved on environmental issues. Too little too late. They should have made a huge effort to enlarge road less wildernesses.

And they were inhumane in protecting animal rights.

He was cowardly when it came to moving legalizing marijuana. (A real capitalist would legalize it all.)

I never believed in Iraq or Afghanistan military actions and think Obama should have moved the withdrawals along, quicker. But then maybe it’s true that he was threatened by the CIA/Military industrial community.

So will the current GOP cheat? Today’s Republican Party leaders may identify themselves as Republicans but quite frankly I believe they are dangerous kooks. At this late stage of my life I am not changing my voting registration from republican.

So maybe I will just write in Julian Assange for president.

pSf: Great news about the old VNB building.

I'm going for Rocky Anderson:


Never will I waste my vote on Kooks ('publins) or Kowards ('ocrats) again -- they exist purely as corporate/rich lapdogs and as fodder for TV/radio entertainment.

There's also a series of "ass-to-risk aspects" of a Republican resurgence in the White House.
We risk defunding the EPA and gutting most all air quality legislation. That, to me, would be almost criminal in its disregard for the millions who suffer from respiratory ailments in this great country of ours.

So, for me, I see HUGE differences like this between the dysfunctional Reps and the feckless Dems. Better the doofus friend than the rapacious enemy!

Well, some on the right continue to insist that Obama is a secret radical. So there's hope.

Rocky Anderson sounds good!I am surprised Rocky survived living in Utah?
President of the Utah ACLU and mayor of Salt Lake City.

Make that 3 for Rocky.

Here's a follow-up on Klein's health-care article, responding to reader objections (mostly conservatives'):


Comrade Emilskovich, your link was a communist trick to lock up our computers. Bad trick, you red devil.

Soleri wrote:

"Republicans promise fairy tales and social Darwinism. Take them at their word. Vote as if your life depended on it because with this wrecking crew, it probably does."

I agree with Soleri. One of the problems after Democrats came into power, aside from monumental economic difficulties, was the amount of work necessary just to catch up with, much less undo, all the mischief that Republican administrations have done -- in the Executive, in the Legislature, and in the Judiciary.

Now, just as the economy may be stumbling to its feet, the Republicans have the prospect of electing a president to take credit for the improvement and to cast into disrepute all that the previous administration accomplished. Even if and when the political winds shift back to the Democrats, I don't envy the work that will be necessary just to regain some semblance of progressivity.

Hercules may have cleaned the Augean stables singlehandedly, but in modern politics that just isn't possible. Unfortunately, the Obama administration seems to lack the Republicans' sense of realpolitik: like Stalin, they understand that "cadres are everything": if you control the personnel, you control the organization and consolidate power; Trotsky may have raised an army using the power of ideological platitudes, but that model no longer counted once the Party became the State.

Cal Lash says that he might write-in Julian Assange, seeming to suggest that this is a good way to express dissatisfaction with Obama and the Democrats without actually voting Republican. This and anything else that siphons off votes from Obama is only going to help elect a Republican (which Cal admits he is and intends to remain).

Obama already faces big problems (largely of his own making, admittedly) among young and Hispanic voters and some independents who are disenchanted by his rightward slide, his unfulfilled and reneged upon promises, his waffling, and his insistence on "compromise" with an opposition party whose very doctrine views compromise as a sign of weakness and a dilution of political purity.

So, as Mr. Talton suggests, hold your noses and vote Obama, and encourage others to do the same.

Anderson says, “There are many high-quality systems of health care we can replicate. We can learn a great deal from the very best health care programs throughout the world. We should be getting to work on a just, more efficient, less expensive system that provides the very best health care for our citizens.”

I agree with this except for one thing: it's probably not going to happen without either a revolution or an utterly breathtaking resurgence of liberalism. So, in the meantime, what do we do?

ACA is a crappy compromise but then, so is life. We start out by creating a regulatory framework and build from there. When Social Security was passed, it didn't include farm workers, domestics, the self-employed, etc. But the system was tweaked over time until it became a central feature of the safety net. Incrementalism doesn't make good bumper stickers but it's better than holding our breath waiting for political perfection.

The problem with liberalism isn't the absence of good liberals. It's the absence of its necessary subsets - organized labor chiefly, but also communities of interest like most of the new poor. We're not going to ride boutique candidates like Anderson to some new political realignment. That's an inversion of the process. We have to organize the factions of a liberal coalition before we can ever think of moving the political discourse in our direction.

I hate sounding like a scold about these things. I know most of you mean very well. But politics isn't therapy. It's not going to make you sexier or happier. It's not about how good you are. If we're doing it right, it's about how effective we are.

If you want to see how the country might go if a Republican is elected to the presidency, and especially if they manage to take control of the Senate as well, just look at the agenda of state legislatures in places like Arizona. Not only have many states opted out of Obama administration reforms in many cases, they have also opted in when this means state rather than federal control of policy implementation.

If you think Arizona's handling of Medicaid and education has been exemplary, then vote Republican in November. Bills that eliminate collective bargaining, reduce the minimum wage, break unions by preventing paycheck deduction of dues, make judicial appointments political by having judges run for election, and reduce the number of judges without reducing the workload, are also in the works.

Nor is Arizona alone in these and similar policy positions, which are replicated in Republican controlled legislatures across the country, coordinated by the American Legislative Exchange Committee (ALEC) and similar lobbyist groups, who often write the legislation actually introduced.

Soleri, I agree, "We're not going to ride boutique candidates like Anderson to some new political realignment."
So I will skip any serious thoughts I had about voting for Emil or Julian.
Excellent article, Jon.

AzRebel, it isn't my fault if The Washington Post is so overloaded with ad links and scripts that it slows the page feed to a crawl. A little patience may work wonders, and I think you will find that after an interval, you'll be able to read the article linked to.

It also isn't my fault that in order to read the whole article, you must sign-up. At least the latter is free, it's easy to opt-out of the countless newsletters and emails they want to send, and nothing requires you to use your real name or provide accurate personal information, if you are inclined to retain anonymity. Yahoo makes it easy to create disposable email boxes in case the spam piles up too high.

I respectfully suggest that the two articles in question are well worth the trouble: that said, they may just be mirrored online at other websites without the associated red-tape. (No pun intended, and the fact that a huge private media conglomerate like WaPo places its advertisers' needs above its readers' convenience, suggests what some on the Left have been saying all along: don't look to private corporations for accountability, transparency, or efficiency -- that is a conservative myth.)

Another overlooked possibility: even if Republicans gain control of Congress and Obama is reduced to near figurehead status, he will still wield veto power. Like former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, he could at least curb the worst excesses of a Republican controlled legislation.

The U.S. Chamber of Congress has already begun funding attack ads on vulnerable Democratic senators and representatives. As the year progresses, they'll be ratcheting up their attacks. Other well-funded conservative organizations, including the new superpacs, will surely follow suit.


"The days of protecting the stupid from themselves is coming to an end. We're running out of time, money and patience. Or should I say, we're running out of money and patience. They're running out of time."

Where, exactly, do you assign yourself?

"If Obama thinks requiring people to buy health insurance counts as health care reform, perhaps he can tackle the problem of homelessness by requiring people to rent apartments."

Or, we can continue to carry the costs of the segment of our society that remains uninsured, leaving both prevention and suffering unattended, so that private companies can generate profits for those few who are fortunate enough to have the resources to invest.

"If you have a group"

And then we witness what your 'group' of one just produced: the counter evidence and the obvious invalidation of your blundering theory.

Mr. Too Stupid,

Where do I assign myself ??

Since I was the one who carried extra water hiking Camelback to share with the "stupids" who brought no water.

Since I had the 4 wheel drive with tow straps to pull the "stupids" out of the mud and snow in Arizona.

I could go on and on.

Where in the equation are you??

Mick I found u a job moving dildos with Amalgamated Product Giant Shipping World Wide Inc. Read about your working conditions in this months issue of Mother Jones. Reads like a bad scene from the movie Outland.

The Republicans lost the 2008 presidential election but won the war.

Obama's number one legislative victory was the passage of healthcare reform. Big winners are the large health care providers. The nominal beneficiaries, health care consumers with preexisting medical conditions and the uninsured, will see these short-term benefits eroded by health industry lobbying and legislation. Power to the powerful.

On the wars, energy consumption and budgetary matters, Obama was little different than his predecessor Bush.

The difference between Obama and Romney is small. Romney is the devil we don't know and Obama the one we now know.

Obama arguably doesn't deserve a second term but the Republicans deserve the presidency far less.

It is still to early to accurately predict a Romney or Obama presidential victory.

Victory is a poor choice of words in this case

I tried finding an address or a web page for that company and could not find it. I don't know how to send an application.

If Romney gets elected, we all know what will happen..............

Fewer jobs, more outsourcing, more layoffs, tax cuts for rich people, cuts in government services, layoffs of government workers, the death of the Post Office......

Obama stinks but Romney would be worse.

I'm going to vote for Bernie Sanders.

Oh, I almost forgot.

There are no jobs. ;-)

Emil-thanks for your links.Hard facts are so much better than most opinions on any blog.Of course,many are too lazy to study the facts,but I'm sure this doesn't apply to anyone here.

We pay way too much attention to the President.Almost any of the other 550 members of the Congress and Senate can sabotage his(or her's)efforts.That is the real enemy of progress in this country and I don't think there is any answer to that.

Oh, I almost forgot.

There are no jobs. ;-)

Whew. Scared me there for a minute, Mick.

I'm beginning to resent even-numbered years. The whole country takes its eyes off the ball with this election year spectacle. And that's all it is at this point: A spectacle.

On the other hand, if the absurdity of the Republican primaries bleeds over into the general (seriously, are you not expecting further inanity in those debates as well? I am), perhaps some revulsion will help fuel this grassroots rebellion we call #Occupy, which is even now shaking off the uneasy slumber of its winter hibernation.

"If Obama thinks requiring people to buy health insurance counts as health care reform, perhaps he can tackle the problem of homelessness by requiring people to rent apartments."

That was tried already. It's HUD vouchers, where the feds subsidize rents paid for housing in the private market. Except the feds don't require it -- homeless folk flock into the housing anyway.

I'm in agreement about even numbered years, but the odd ones don't satisfy either -- much like our two-party political system. I'm also with Chris Hedges in that I can't morally vote for the wretches of either party. I don't think things will be better under Obama the Romney -- the police state will increase, our civil liberties will decrease, the rich will get richer, and corporations will have wider profit margins thanks to subsidies, no matter who is elected. Social Security is already under attack via the Payroll tax cut and that is promoted by the President. Hoping the Dems will throw us a bone every now and then is no reason to vote for them.

On Topic Interview:


I honestly visit Rouge Columnist for the Opinions. The facts are good but they do not provide me with the same pleasure level as many of the opinions posted on this blog.

The communication system on earth is loaded with facts, many that are likely factoids. I always look forward to Jon’s opinions mostly supported by facts. Then I look forward to the suave but at times the acidic voice of Soleri. And how could one not look forward to the singing poetic Petro.

But I must admit at seventy (no country for old men) and some I can’t get to serious about all this and I look forward to the sublime to the ridiculous. Consequently I sign on for the enjoyment.

For students of Occupy there is a good article on the woman called “Professor Occupy” by Josh Harkinson in this issue of Mother Jones. For you Russian followers a good article in Vanity Fair called “The Wrath of Putin.” The KGB is still alive and in Russia but it looks more like the Russian Mafia. Maybe it’s the KGB gone steroid capitalistic?

Hoping the Dems will throw us a bone every now and then is no reason to vote for them.

Liberals get outplayed by the right partly because we believe in the process. The right is more than willing to sabotage the process in order to win. Nihilism is a great asset when you think government itself is the problem. You're free to think of every policy battle as Armageddon since it pits socialist heathens against freedom-loving Real Americans.

Democrats, largely, believe in compromise, Republicans, for the most part, don't. Compromise is how things get done. If you don't want things to get done because you hate government, then it's very easy to be an absolutist. Democrats are struggling to get things done in a nation half-crazy with the idea that government can't do anything right. Democrats wheedle, they plead, they concede, they capitulate not because they're feckless but because they're usually looking for something - or anything - to arrive at a magic 50+1 number (US Senate: 59+1). For better or worse, that's the process.

If it was up to me, we'd have single-payer health care, a sharp imperial rollback, greater progressivity in taxes, much tougher environmental rules, alternative energy, etc. Guess what? In this political environment, I'm a wacked-out leftist loon.

We practice politics in a nation of Homer Simpsons easily bamboozled into voting for the economic interests of Montgomery Burns. We have a lot of work to do to get Homer to see reality. Blaming the Democrats for practicing real-world politics largely misses the point. Democrats are only a symptom of the problem. The real problem is, dare I say, ourselves. We believe many stupid things because the right has enormous media advantages. Staking out purist positions in this political landscape is not only futile, it will only serve to make things worse. In a nation delusional with fantasies of individual autonomy, we are still enjoined to be responsible.

Cal, I understand how the collegiality of this site is frequently violated with my gasbag opinions. I'm impatient, contentious, often uncharitable, and too often dismissive of viewpoints different from my own. For some reason, that's how my passions gets expressed. I was raised on this verbal jousting and it shows up here with words too sharp for the modest community that would consider them.

I comment on other sites that have much larger traffic but this one is my favorite since I get to think with my whole person. My obsessions overlap Talton's better than anyone else. I don't comment on Kunstler's site because the passion level in his readership is too intense. As much as I admire Kunstler's stunning posts, the acid in them disables thoughtful exchange.

This helps to explain why I don't pretend to be a blogger. I'm not equipped to prove things. I'm not wonkish like Emil because rigorous logic is not my forte. Commenters will, of course, pretend to understand reality in word clouds that are entirely vaporous. But that's how people think and sometimes even change their minds. It's the alchemy of language that sometimes allows deeper truths to emerge.

We all have our gifts. Yours is a great spirit that shows in courtly regard for the gifts of others. That's rare, gracious, and at times, amazing.

Voter turn out in Presidential erection years is in the 55% range.

Voter turn out in non-erection years is in the 35% range.

So, during a Presidential year, 27.6% of the voting age populace elect a person to rule over the other 72.4% of the populace, whether they like it or not.

During a non-viagra year, 17.6% of the electorate pick the congressional yahoos who will write all the nutty legislation which will impact the lives of the other 82.4% of the populace.

With all due respect to pSf, if the other 82.4%, the "SILENT MAJORITY" were to ever get off their butts and vote, this country might actually get headed in the right direction.

Of course, that's in a vacuum of theory.

Reality is much, much uglier.

It is said by some that 400 families rule the world. If that is so, they will pay no attention to less than 100% of the disenfranchised masses, much less 17% of them.

Once again Obama is out of step and acting like a moralistic fool. As is his agent St Janet. I only hope he is not foolish enough to consider her a 2012 running mate.


By now U all know I think Organized Religion and organized crime are one and the same. Try this.

VATICAN CITY, March 8 (Reuters) - The Vatican has for the first time appeared on the U.S. State Department's list of money-laundering centres but the tiny city-state is not rated as a high-risk country.

Oh my goodness cal. What a vision.

Good ole Nappy traveling around Central and South America making outlandish claims that the drug war is working, while all the officials she/he meets are whispering to themselves, "What the hell, is that a dude or a girl?"

AZREBEL: Men don't like me!
Interesting article I liked the ending statement.
"The worst prohibition, it must be said, is a prohibition on thinking -- and that, sadly, is what the U.S. government is guilty of today."

Jon thanks for the Salon Post. Confirmed what I have observed since I left the "community" in 91.

The cost of America’s police state
Hundreds of billions have been spent to militarize our nation against a terrorism threat that barely exists

"The Community. For god sakes what is it with you people. The Community???" Robert Redford in "Three Days of The Condor. An old movie right on target for today's gas prices and high cost of living.

Re Mr. Obama's performance up till now. If we're generous and 'optimistic' it depends on the viewpoint.

Or (if your name is Andrew Sullivan etc.) it could be this:

* Re-elected on the slogan, "Chains We Can't Be Leavin'"

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