Blog Archives

Oh Please Get This Iowa Crap Over With…

One day it’s Newt, the next it’s Ron Paul… then there’s a “surge” for Santorum, plus insufferable jabs at all of them from Bachmann. And, of course, Romney still polls in the 25% range and can’t seem to get major Conservatives behind him. Huntsman might as well be invisible and you wish Perry would be.

And without Herman Cain we no longer have the kind of comic entertainment which lets us ignore the rest of these clowns.

Add to all of this the need of all the news stations (and Fox) to keep all of this brouhaha on the air all the time without even making the least amount of difference. Not one candidate shows any sign of being able to serve all of America.

They all seem to have a view of the Constitution as a document defined by one or two articles… it’s easy to ignore the ones you don’t believe in. No matter how they comment on Obama (or in many cases each other), none of these folks would know a real Socialist if they tripped over one at a Karl Marx picnic on May Day.

And, hey, we still have New Hampshire, South Carolina and all the rest to look forward to.

Defending a Blog from Spam…

Since I put it in 3 years ago, my spam preventing software, Akismet, has kept 9,454 people from getting their comments or pingbacks on Under the LobsterScope. It’s accuracy rate has been 98.31%, and of the 1.69% it has removed by accident, I have been able to check through them and put them all back. This is a pretty good record and I’m very happy with Akismet.

For the most part, the spammers we have intercepted were people trying to use comment areas for free advertising. Obviously, they ignore the warning I put at the top of column 2 of the blog. I am glad to promote much advertising, but not for free and not in the comments. And since it is easy to get ahold of me, I’m surprised that none of these yoyos do it.

I also cut out sex sites, comments on politics which don’t take a fair and honest look at either side ( I quickly cut comments that use expletives to describe most politicians and especially Democrats and Liberals… although I have been known to apply this protection to Conservatives as well) and comments that have nothing to do with the post it is commenting on.

All in all, it has not effected the 356,000+ readers who have visited  Under The LobsterScope over the same period… many of whom have left comments that often educated me on various issues, and for that I am grateful.

– Bill

Conservative Canadian Govt. Brought Down Yesterday…

The Parliamentary System is so practical. Too bad w can’t do it here…at least in the states with Tea Party Governors.

This from HuffPo:

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
TORONTO — Canadian opposition parties brought down the Conservative government in a no confidence vote Friday, triggering an election that polls show the Conservatives will win.
The opposition parties held Prime Minister Stephen Harper‘s government in contempt of Parliament in a 156-145 vote for failing to disclose the full financial details of his tougher crime legislation, corporate tax cuts and plans to purchase stealth fighter jets
Opinion polls expect Harper’s Conservative Party to win re-election but not a majority, meaning he likely will continue to govern with a minority in Parliament, dependent on opposition votes to stay afloat.
But in the latest twist, there is a chance the left-of-center parties might join forces in a coalition if Harper wins another minority government on the expected election date of May 2.
Harper, 51, is a career politician who has spent the last five years emphasizing a more conservative Canadian identity and moving Canada incrementally to the right.
blog it

For the second year in a row the CPAC Straw Poll gives the Presidency-hope to Ron Paul…

Ron Paul, member of the United States House of...

Ron Paul

… and this is why the CPAC will NOT have an influence on the overall American eclectorate.

Ron Paul has got literally no chance of being nominated, much less elected President and CPAC calls attention to the real problems that Conservatives and, especially, Libertarians, have in relating to the American People. They do nothing to support the poor, nor do they have an ability to give us the kind of health care or social equality that we need.

It’s time to get on and find ways to support Obama‘s presidency and get him away from the military problems we have been strapped with… then apply that money to strengthening and improving the lot of ALL citizens.

Who owns the most of U.S. Debt?

The Chinese? After all, that’s what all the politicians, especially the Conservatives, are telling us. The fear that we will be taken over by the Chinese… or that the Chinese will no longer buy our bonds… or that the Dollar will no longer be the trading currency of the Chinese… such a fear is being used to keep Americans in line and ready to vote for a batch of idiots.

But it’s not true. We owe the Chinese 9.8% of our debt, according to the Christian Science Monitor. Japan has 9.6 %, England 5.1%… and other countries have much smaller chunks. In reality, foreigners own  a mere 24.7 percent of our debt.

We owe OURSELVES, however, 53% of our debt… by far the largest number. How is this broken down? As follows:

US individuals hold 12 percent of the country’s debt. Next under the domestic category comes the Federal Reserve, which holds 9 percent of US debt, then pension and retirement funds, mutual funds, and state and local governments.

So when the Congress starts filling us with the China fear, maybe we should send them OUR bill… cash in our bonds and mutual funds… get our city government to send in their invoices.

Conservatives Accuse Obama Of Lying About Giffords Opening Eyes; Her Doctors Disagree

In the midst of everyone trying to be more “Civil”, the Conservative Media have shown that they don’t know the meaning of the word.

This from Media Matters:

clipped from mediamatters.org
In one of the most cynical displays in recent memory, following the lead of Gateway Pundit Jim Hoft, several  conservative websites – including Fox Nation and MRC arm CNS News – suggested that President Obama lied last night when he said that Rep. Giffords had opened her eyes for the first time shortly after his Wednesday night visit to the hospital.
In a recently-completed press conference, Giffords’ doctor Peter Rhee explained that what Obama said last night about Giffords opening her eyes was “true.”
In response to a question from a reporter about previous statements that Giffords could open her eyes, Rhee and Dr. B Michael Lemole, Section Chief of Neurosurgery at University Medical Center in Tuscon, explained the important distinction. Namely, Giffords previously opened her eyes in response to “stimulus,” and yesterday she opened them spontaneously, which represented a “major milestone” in her recovery.While it’s depressing to have to parse this — rather than simply be happy about the good news — such is the state of the conservative media, where absolutely everything Obama says is fodder for their attacks. Instead of chalking up any potential discrepancy between what Obama said and previous statements by doctors to the complex nature of medicine, conservatives went ahead and accused the president of lying. It’s as despicable as it is predictable. 

Expect Jim Hoft to accuse Giffords’ doctors of being in on the conspiracy shortly.

blog it

… and Britt Hume said the President’s speech was too long!

At this point, I think Obama has kissed Democrats goodbye…

As of this morning it seems that Obama is ready to deal with the Right… extend the Bush tax cuts for a couple of years in exchange for one year’s extension of Unemployment funding. The tax cut deal is tentative. It hasn’t gone through Congress yet (although McConnell is probably dribbling with laughter in his office), but it probably will.

When even Conservatives like Joe Scarborough sees and comments on the fact that Obama is moving directly to the Right…
which will not increase job creation much, but will add at least a trillion new bucks to the deficit…we know it’s a lot of money.  And who is going to lend it to us? The Chinese? Are we going to listen to Obama’s financial team that extending tax cuts are going to get us out of recession?

And now we won’t be able to blame this crap on Bush anymore. Obama owns it and is most likely making himself a one-term President. And a lot of very unhappy Democrats like me will probably help him to become a one-termer. As Joe Scarborough just said: “At least they can’t call him a Socialist any more.”

I think it is up to Nancy Pelosi (certainly not Harry Reid) to try to hold this arrangement off… and, as I have said before, it would be better to have this whole arrangement with the Right flushed down the toilet and get NO tax cut extensions for ANYONE, than to do anything like what is coming out of the White House. (Steny Hoyer, however, will go along with it… miserable power seeker… and will undermine Pelosi.)

So now we have to pay for increased troops in Afghanistan where we are getting nowhere even faster than before, we have to suffer increasing rather than decreasing unemployment making our tax revenues even lower, and we can look forward to a GOP-controlled future… amazing with a Democratic White House and Senate… which will take us further from the America that was built by generations of progressive leaders from Roosevelt (FDR) through Johnson.

If the Tea Party takeover has taught us anything, it is that we need a new grass-roots progressive movement. And we have to push from the ground up. It’s going to take 30 years.

At least.

I’m losing my energy for the blog… not sure how long it will stay up…

Yesterday I had the lowest number of visitors (and by that I mean serious visitors, not quick check-ins pushed by Alphainventions, Blogitti, Blogiche or Blogsurfer) to Under The LobsterScope that I have had in the last couple of years. The number of SPAM postings that I have to look at and make a decision over has increased markedly as well. I’ll admit that yesterday I was gone most of the day getting my new old car in Silver Spring, but it is usually the evening that gives me my biggest amount of real participation.

I am now midway through my 64th year and rapidly heading to 65… tired, retired and mired in medication for diabetes, ADD, Depression and a new set of indications which they are testing for. I have the Radio Show to prepare for each week and the housework I’m now committed to as my wife is the full-time employed person. And I’m so low on physical energy that working myself up over the incessant trash dumped everywhere by the extreme right wing is becoming exercise I no longer wish to partake in. Plus, with the advances from Sustainable Shepherdstown working locally, the idea of creating a life that would mean survival if the Conservatives finally destroy our economy and and social structure now takes up a major portion of time and will only grow in the future.

I am quite depressed about the current election season, as I think, no matter what we reveal as the honest truth, America is getting ready to pull off a suicide vote this year and just the thought of John Boehner undermining health care as Speaker of the House and Rand Paul eliminating public schools for our growing population of poor children and  Mitch McConnell gleefully putting party ahead of country for the next four years until he is up for election again (not that I think Kentucky will ever wise up) makes me shiver. Politics has become a lost cause, and since this blog is about 75% politics, it is not effective enough to maintain.

I’ll be deciding what to do in the next day or so (my wife and I are celebrating 32 years of marriage this weekend and I’d rather think of her than saving the country today and tomorrow) and will probably come out on Monday with a final statement on what will happen with UTL. Meanwhile, let me know what you think… if you are out there.

-BT

PostScript:

One solution I have is to do a much smaller blog with an Arts/Theatre focus… that ties into the things that I enjoy most in life and that are worth pursuing.

I’m having a CAT scan this morning, so the Blog will get started later today…

Sorry friends… can’t deal with arguing Conservatives or unsatisfied Liberals or friendly Progressives or even family or friends until lunchtime… I’m having the last of all these medical tests this morning. Since I have to use Elly’s car, I have to leave in a few minutes to drive her to work before I go over to Robinwood Medical Center. Under The LobsterScope just has to start later and there ain’t nothin’ I can do about it.

Have a nice morning.

– Bill

Cartoon(s) of the Week: Where do Conservatives stand when it is time to extend Unemployment Benefits?

Jim Morin in the Miami Herald:

Why support our unemployed workers when there are a lot of expenses in Afghanistan?

– and –

Stuart Carlson in the Milwaukee Journal:

Of course Republicans want to make us more self-supporting and responsible…

A long Open Letter to Conservative Americans from American Dad…

Are you a Conservative Republican who has lost his or her perspective on life and the Party? Here’s the first paragraph of a terrific TPM aricle :

Dear Conservative Americans,

The years have not been kind to you. I grew up in a profoundly Republican home, so I can remember when you wore a very different face than the one we see now.  You’ve lost me and you’ve lost most of America.  Because I believe having responsible choices is important to democracy, I’d like to give you some advice and an invitation.

Now go HERE and read the rest.

Here’s a great article – Republican Party Poopers’ Revenge: Repeal Health Bill & Kill The Ill

Filmmaker Daniel Tilson had this in OpEdNews this morning.

I’ll give you a clip, but it is worth reading the whole thing:

clipped from www.opednews.com
The Republican Party, working with America’s largest private health
insurers, is willing to let your ill loved ones die in order to score
political points and protect their patrons’ profits.
It really is just that simple.
The ink isn’t dry on the new health care legislation,
and GOP leaders have already launched their campaign to repeal it. They want to repeal the newly granted right that this bill gives you and your loved ones, the right to be able to get health insurance coverage,
and never lose it, regardless of medical history, or employment status.
Republican
congressional leaders — hardcore conservatives like John Boehner and
Mitch McConnell — have shown the hand they’ll play in the months
leading up to Election Day in November. And these guys don’t bluff. They
will continue to try to take the anger and fear that so many Americans
have for so many different reasons, and direct all that negative energy
into anti-Democratic activism.
blog it

Cartoon of the Week

Clay Bennett in the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

Conservatives don’t care much AFTER you are born, do they?

And now the morning after…

Listening to the news reports and, quite predictably, the conservatives think yesterday’s Presidential Health Care Summit sowed Obama as a “bully” and the liberal press pointed out his fairness and gentlemanly attitude to the opponents of his Health Care Plan.

So, does this mean that there is ANY possibility of the two sides coming together on ANYTHING? Doubtful. Doubtful. Looks like the Congressional Dems will start the approach to a Reconciliation vote on Health Care… and the President will legitimately say he tried to bring them all together.

My final score is Obama 1, Conservatives 0.

Rubio swears he needed GOP charge card to fix family minivan, buy wine, do other stuff —

This from The Daily Caller:

Just weeks after Florida GOP Executive Director Delmar Johnson was canned for spending party money on high-class steaks and planes, the Miami Herald reports that Senate candidate Marco Rubio did much the same thing, using a GOP-issued credit card to fix his family minivan, snag booze, pay a property management group, and buy “supplies” from a “a music equipment store.” Rubio defended his actions in a statement: “There was no formal process provided by the Party regarding personal charges.” While the party may not have been clear then, it sure as hell is now, with Florida GOP spokeswoman Katie Gordon telling the Miami Herald, “The RPOF American Express card is a corporate card and is meant to be used for business expenses.”

Gee… and his goal is to be on the Senate payroll… do they give him an Amex card?

Stop Kennedy Smears

A television series on the Kennedys that is nearly a year away from official release has already spurred heated debate and aggressive pushback over its treatment of the iconic American family.

On Tuesday progressive filmmaker Robert Greenwald released a short video preemptively calling into question the accuracy of “The Kennedys,” an eight-hour miniseries which will air on the History Channel and is being produced by Joel Surnow, the creator of the series “24” and a well-known Hollywood conservative.

Please sign the petition that Greenwald’s short links to and prevent “The Kennedys” from being released.

Tea Baggers = The Know Nothings

I was reading a comment on one of the blogs I visit where someone compared the Tea Baggers to the Know Nothings of the mid-19th Century.

As Wikipedia points out:

The Know Nothing movement was a nativist American political movement of the 1840s and 1850s. It was empowered by popular fears that the country was being overwhelmed by German and Irish Catholic immigrants, who were often regarded as hostile to U.S. values and controlled by the Pope in Rome. Mainly active from 1854 to 1856, it strove to curb immigration and naturalization, though its efforts met with little success. There were few prominent leaders, and the largely middle-class and entirely Protestant membership fragmented over the issue of slavery.

Sounds familiar, no? After hearing Tancredo’s rag on Hispanic immigrants last night, you can just substitute South Americans or Mexicans for Germans and Irish… or substitute Muslims for Catholics. It’s all the same kind of garbage.

BTW – In 2006, an editorial in the The Weekly Standard by William Kristol attacked populist Republicans for not recognizing the danger of “turning the GOP into an anti-immigration, Know-Nothing party.”

I guess they didn’t listen to him.

Right-wingers divided over God’s motivations behind DC snowstorm

This is a clip from Media Matters (there’s more to it than this, but you get the idea – the motivations of God are so important to Conservatives.)

Read on, McDuff:

clipped from mediamatters.org

The right-wing noise machine is sure that a snowstorm in
December is proof of something, they’re just split on what exactly.

Newt Gingrich became the latest to play the ridiculous “it’s
snowing so global warming must be a hoax” card. Gingrich took to Twitter –
where he’s been schooled
before – on Saturday morning to share a few thoughts about the storm:

newtgingrich As
callista and i watched what dc weather says will be 12 to 22 inches of snow i
wondered if God was sending a message about copenhagen

newtgingrich After
the expanding revelations of dishonesty in climategate having a massive snow
storm as obama promises our money to the world is ironic

newtgingrich There
is something jimmy carter like about weather service upgrading frrom winter
storm to blizzard as global warming conference wants US $ 

Of course as Media
Matters
has pointed out ad infinitum, individual
storms have nothing to do with human-caused climate change.

But maybe the DC “Snowpocalypse” is a sign
of something else.
  blog it

The article will also give you the opinion of RedState.com’s Editor, Erick Erickson – whose publication says: Silly Brian Beutler, It’s God, Not Mother Nature as he responds to an article at TPM.

From Media Matters: What We’re Up Against

2009 was supposed to be different:

if this bothers you go HERE and help media Matters out.

How will the Repubs (and Blue Dogs) respond to increases in spending for Afghanistan?

… and how did they respond to other expenses? Especially, how will they
respond to comparably lower cost of Health Care? This from Truthsite.org:

Conservatives’ (including Blue Dogs’) selective concern about deficit spending

Program Cost Conservative response
War in Iraq $3 trillion “No problem!”
Bush tax cuts for the rich $1.8 – $2.5 trillion “No problem!”
Bush bailouts $9 – $24 trillion “No problem!”
Military budget $650 billion/year(about the same as the rest of the world combined) “No problem!”
“Public option” health care $1.1 trillion over 10 years* “It’s not revenue neutral!”
Single payer health care Would save money, improve care “It’s socialism!”

*According to the Congressional Budget Office, the health care reform bill passed by the House in November, 2009 actually saves $11 billion annually. See Deficit hawks attacking the wrong prey.

David Brin ponders if stupidity is leading us to another Civil War…

This long essay was found in the new Open Salon blog section. David Brin, a prolific scientist, lecturer, science fiction author and television commentator (The Universe, Life After People) has taken a view that the radical right has debased conservatism and is leading us into a very poor repeat of 1861.

Here’s a quick section:

But all right, Rush and Rupert and Sean and Glenn and Tafik. Go ahead. Push hard enough to finally wake up the real United States — the “Blue America” that seems all mushy because it always tries reason first. The citified sophisticates who have, for generations, sent vast net-flows of their taxes toward the red counties that then bit that generous hand with rants about the “decadent cities…” even though those cities have proved to be more moral, by far. (Compare rates of divorce, domestic violence, teen sex, STDs and yes, even abortion!)

Even though those cities are the front lines in the modern war on terror. Even though it was city folk who proved their courage and resilience, standing up for their country on 9/11.

Remember what finally happened almost a century and a half ago, Rush. Pushed too far, and as a last resort, those “decadent” Americans rose up. They donned that color blue and wore it proudly to defend the Union — and the dream — with their very lives.

If that has your curiosity going, you can read the whole article (and a lot of thoughtful comments) HERE.

The Right will use Kennedy’s passing to fight Health Care Reform

Watching Teddy’s Memorial Service on MSNBC while I am surfing the web and discovering that the radical right web sites are using the occasion to say some of the nastiest things about him, about liberals and about and public option health plan. I’ve been looking at blogs entitled “It Ain’t America No More!” and “The Mary Jo Kopechne Right to Life Bill” and “Gun Grabbers Rush to Exploit Ted Kennedy’s Death” and “The Ted Kennedy moral whitewash peaks today.” I could go on (and I didn’t put in links, since, if you want to read this crap, you can go find it yourself.)

A lot of right-wing writing is trying to ward off the push that Kennedy’s death is giving liberals to pass Health Care. This, I guess, is to be expected.

At least we can make fun of the right’s anti- health care reform stand, as Mark Fiore shows in this animation:

TPM has provided us with an excellent document to use when facing Right Wingers in August

It’s a good thing we have web sites like TPM to show us what’s going on when we’re competing for Health Care Reform during Congress’ August recess. Today they published the Teabaggers documentation that is being used to break up Town Hall meetings given by Democrats who support reform.

Go to http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/documents/2009/08/memo-details-co-ordinated-anti-reform-harrassment-strategy.php?page=1 and you’ll find the memo and support documents that came out of Conservatives for Patients Rights (they’re great at creating names that make you think they have the patients’ interests at heart… not the pharmaceutical and insurance giants that are funding them).

Use this to counteract them. When they say to pack the front half of the audience with their people, get there ahead of time and pack it with yours. When they hand out materials like the ones shown in the memo, have counter materials ready and make it clear you know who they are.

Most of all, support your Representatives and Senators who will strive for YOUR best interests.

Cartoon of the Week

Lee Judge in the Kansas City Star:

Lee Judge / Kansas City Star

Conservatives seem to be heading us back to American manufacturer’s solutions for illegal abortions. Are we ready for this?