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Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 02:26 PM PDT

The World According to "Duck Dynasty"

by gravlax

First of all, thanks A&E for unleashing these guys on us. No, really thank you. I mean it. They're like a right wing Kardashian clan. I needed that in my life. I really, really really did.

Now that these folks are "famous" the Robertson clan has been using their "celebrity" until it disappears ubiquitous in the media. I don't even have cable television and I know about these yahoos from Louisiana. They are apparently quite conservative and Christian. They are a perfect fit for Fox News.

I don't know their names. I think one is called "Uncle Brother"? I could make a bunch of poor white trash comments about them but that would be racist and prejudiced.

I try not to judge without knowing all the facts. Its just that, in this case, I don't care to know the facts.

Except that I believe this one to be true. I don't care what you say!

This just has to be what they looked like before getting all bearded up for the teevee for whatever reason.

Anyway, these loons appear on my news radar with alarming frequency lately.

I thought I would take a look at what the Robertons are doing as of late. Just cuz, yanno, I have the time to reflect and write a diary.

So, here goes nuthin'.

(This is totally pieced together from a patchwork of sources and is almost certainly a biased left-wing loon's account)



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Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 11:35 AM PDT

True Tales of "Customer Rage"

by gravlax

Life in the service industry is rough. But hey, we live in the service economy so whaddyagonnado?

See the "Customer Rage" survey as reported in USA Today for how we deal with customer service workers. People are fed up and they're taking it out on each other.

The number of households experiencing "customer rage" — they were very or extremely upset about the company response when they complained — jumped to 68% from 60% in the last survey, in 2011.

More of us are expressing that rage by yelling and cursing at customer-service representatives than two years ago. Yelling rose to 36% from 25% of the time, while cursing jumped to 13% from 7%.

Pity the poor flight attendant, locked in a metal tube 35,000 feet above the earth and forced to deal with some of the worst of humanity.

Pity the poor server who works for tips while earning the tip wage who is forced to deal with surly diners.

Pity the airline pilot who has to deal with drunken passengers who don't like that their flight is delayed and get fightin' mad about it.

Sure, we all have our own horror stories of bad service (Comcast anyone?) but please take a minute to see it from our side of the table.

Follow the maitre'd by the silly little squigglies to your table while we serve up some more tales of service industry woe.

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Reposted from PostHuffPost: Connection-Conversation-Community by HoundDog

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G, Mish-Mish, Kashi, Yeti and I are just six days away from our drive from Massachusetts to Florida so I've been reading up on dreadful tropical diseases that are creeping up from the Mexico and Caribbean as our global temperatures rise. Just to relax after a long day of packing, fixing the car, arguing about what we should keep or throw out, and carrying off many of my valuable lifetime possessions to the dump, I learned this bit of news.  

Rob Garver of The Fiscal Times reports Chikungunya, and Other Diseases You Now Have to Worry About

Last week, Florida health officials confirmed the first cases of the tropical disease chikungunya acquired in the United States. Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne virus native to Africa and South Asia that, until now, has never been endemic to the United States. It causes debilitating fever, and intense joint pain, and though it is seldom fatal, is very dangerous for people whose health is already compromised and can cause long-term arthritis-like symptoms.

The arrival of this new disease comes on top of the increasing frequency in the U.S. of Dengue fever, a condition similar in its effects to chikungunya, and is also not native to the United States.

So far this year the U.S has experience 497 cases of the the tropical disease caused by the Chikungunya virus so far in 2014 - much higher than our historical average yearly rate of 28 cases per year. Kitty Appel, of HuffPost Healthy Living reports 9 Must-Know Facts About The Chikungunya Virus, for which there is no vaccination, nor cure. The World Health Organization report the Carribbean and rest of the America experiences 436,586 suspected cases a year.  

Onset of symptoms usually starts three to seven days after the mosquito bite.
The symptoms can include headache, joint swelling, rash and muscle pain, with fever and joint pain being the most common symptoms, according to the CDC. Symptoms usually only last two to three days. ... The disease does not usually kill. Most people will feel better within a week, though some are never relieved of the debilitating joint pain.

Like we are learning with shingles, hepatitis, HPV, and Epstein Barre many of the viruses that cause short term diseases like the measles, herpes, mononucleosis, never really leave our body, but either simmer at a low level, or wait - lurking like a coiled jungle tiger (apologies to Woody Allen), for a moment when our defenses are down to come back and strike with a vengeance.

Recent cases reported in Florida included two locally acquired cases among patients who had not left the country. There have been 10 cases reported throughout North Carolina, just this week and three cases recently reported on Long Island, NY, though both the North Carolina and New York patients acquired the disease from mosquitoes they encountered in other countries.

Humans contract the virus through mosquito bites, according to the World Health Organization. The Aedes species of mosquito, particularly Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, transmits the virus. It's not spread human to human, though, in rare cases, it can be spread from mother to newborn; it can also theoretically be spread via blood transfusion, though this has never happened before, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If an infected person is bitten by a mosquito, they can spread it to others. (They = mosquito, not the person bitten. We need some creative Sci Fi writers to create a new kind of Zombie to describe what happens if an infected person bites you. Although it is probably generally good health advice not to let people infected with things to bite you, even for fun.) (Humor alert!)

Chikungunya is one of those ailments where all we can do is rest, drink lots of fluids and take pain relievers. As they say "smoke em if ya got em."

It is sometimes misdiagnosed as dengue which has many of the same symptoms but dengue also causes bleeding from odd places, which is another unpleasant new tropical disease that is common in the tropics but is now showing up in North America as well. More on that another day.

Your best bet is to protect yourself against mosquitoes which you should already be doing anyway due to Eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, West Nile virus, Western equine encephalitis, Dengue Fever. And in other parts of the world Malaria, Japanese encephalitis, and La Crosse encephalitis,

 photo ebola-suit-1_slide-361a142046f38abb5fe36da77883619cbb68fd2d-s5-c85_zpsd7551d1d.jpgHere's a picture of me getting ready to water our garden and check the mailbox at our new place in Florida.

The best way to protect ourselves from becoming life-long brew kettles for dreadful virus is to never go outdoors, unless absolutely necessary, and then bath our skin with DEET, wear long-sleeve shirts, pant, and hats with mosquito netting. I wash my clothes in industrial strength DEET to create an atmospheric bubble around me, but experts don't usually advise going this far. (Humor alert.)

Heck after reading the WHO and CDC sites all week for my Ebola, SARS, MERS, Avian Flu, and PDS articles, if I dare ventures outdoors I'm going to make my own Personal Protective Equipment, PPE, and use duck tape around my pant legs, and shirt sleeves, and make myself a mosquito hat with some of that transparent black hanging stuff Betty Davis used to wear to look dramatic. Oh yeah, also don't bite people, or allow yourself to be bitten by people with dreadful diseases, or ghastly skin rashes, and boils no matter how much fun it may seem at the time. For some, this may mean cutting back on intoxicants and hallucinogens, or at least use a "buddy system."

Well, have fun this Friday night. I'm going to go back to the dump and see if I can sneak some of my valuable lifetime possessions back into the moving truck while G is asleep.

Cheers and Woof, woof!

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Reposted from cassandracarolina's fossil record by cassandracarolina

FW: Dino

Something's afoot in the land of GOPasaurs, those crass, craven  creatures who rumble across the craton, roaring and wreaking havoc, stealing our resources, despoiling our environment, threatening the young, the sick, the weak, the differently-colored, differently oriented, and differently-abled with all manner of anguish, and generally consuming oxygen better spent on others. Despite their long dominance, some of this Mesozoic miscreants are showing serious signs of mortality. With millions of clever little mammals waiting in the wings, this could indeed be the Summer Of Discontent for some life-forms whose extinction is long overdue.

Here are just some of the entries on the Grim Reaper's list. As always, dear reader, your own contributions to the list are most welcome, as the Reaper clearly has his hands full with this Mesozoic mess.

Brontosaurus romneii, who should be basking on Caymanian shores on a substrate of cash, is instead roaming the craton, vocalizing his discontent with Obamasaurus rex. Still licking his wounds (a task he could easily afford to outsource), the always tiresome B. romneii, having avoided the miasmas of the Indochinese peninsula comfortably ensconced en France, has re-emerged as a military strategist par excellence. Or perhaps par excresance. Given his unparalleled wealth and dynastic brood, B. romneii can wait out the most patient of predators. One simply hopes he could do so in silence.

Behemasaurus christii: Time has not been kind to this former top predator, who was set to leave the New Jersey shores for the rarified air of the White Cave. Interference with land bridge migrations triggered his sudden decline to extinction, despite B. christii's insistence that Lower Life Forms in his basin were at fault for these Mesozoic misdeeds. An apparent paleo-pay-to-play scheme has also attracted the attention of Prosecutosaurs who smell blood in the water. These saurian scandals have eroded what clout remained, and this once powerful carnivore may soon be worth little more than his BTu value.

GetOffMyLawnASaurus mccainii: What? Still not extinct? Thousands of paleontologists shake their head, setting off fracking-induced-like quakes across the subcontinent. No, this gazilliagenarian, who unleashed the vile Griftasaurus palinii (q.v.) upon us, still bellowing his dismay with the Current State Of Affairs. The possibility of a re-engagement in the Tigris-Euphrates basin has re-animated this fossil, who cannot wait to send your offspring in search of the seven barrels of fossil fuel that will remain after ISIS torches the place.

Also eluding extinction with the help of Mesozoic medical miracles is the despised Cheneysaurus dickii, now joined by his satanic spawn, Cheneysaurus lizii. C. dickii and his Halliburtonian Hadrosaurs created a fabrication so convincing that thousands of Americasaurs headed to the Tigris-Euphrates basin and laid down their lives. The limbic-brained Cheneysaurs, despite their billions in fossil-fuel wealth, their tiny forelimbs dripping the blood of patriots, cannot wait to double down on their bet. Since their previous foray, however, the North American craton has become populated by clever little mammals who will not fall for this shit again.

Kochasaurus scottywalker: This witless puppet of the Kleptocracy has found himself mired in the Tar Pits of Malfeasance, leaving behind him a trail of electronic evidence that even the most mentally challenged saurian cretin could unravel. Will the Jurassic judicial system - a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Kochasaurs - be able to save little K. scottywalker from his half-witted hijinks, or will his fall into the abyss delight the schadenfreude-craving mammals? Paleo-economists suggest investing in popcorn futures.

Griftasaurus palinii: Unleashed upon the continent by the spiteful G. mccainii, this shrill harpy is the grift that keeps on giving. Prone to incomprehensible vocalizations, G. palinii has attached herself to such paleo-luminaries as Corposaurus tednugentii (q.v.) in a last gasp of relevance, utterly unaware that the continent has drifted out from beneath her Christian Louboutin-clad feet. Attempts by G. palinii's offspring to capitalize on her notoriety and establish a dino-dynasty have fallen short of laughable.

Archeopteryx bachmanii, another sad casualty of the Logic Wars, appears to have retreated to the cave she shares with the curious Marcusaur, emerging occasionally to splatter the unwitting forest inhabitants with another verbal "gift". One recalls with no small degree of uneasiness that this creature served as parent and role model to her own brood and many other offspring in an environment rife with disturbing phobias and beliefs. The fossil record will tell, but one has one's suspicions.

Lachrymosaurus boehnerii: Proof(!) positive that fermented liquids can preserve the long dead, this orange-skinned throwback to Triassic times is still among us. One can only wonder, "why"? Despite its vaunted position in the GOPasaur food chain, its entire existence appears focused on obstruction of any forward progress, hardly a sustainable plan for survival as those pesky little mammals are eating your lunch.

Coprosaurus tednugentii: The late Cretaceous has seen more than its share of disturbing mutations and unusual biological alliances. Both phenomena combine in this vile specimen, who wallowed in his own excrement to avoid combat and sought out extremely young females for sexual predation. For reasons too sickening to fathom, these behaviors endeared him to many GOPasaurs who saw in him... Who the hell knows what.

Velociraptor cantorii: Score one for the Grim Reaper! The beady-eyed schemer, known for his cold blood and quick reflexes, has Left The Building. V. cantorii, despite adjusting his gait to lurch ever further to the Right, was cruelly eviscerated by one of his own kind. Well, to be fair, an extreme version of his own kind. Shock waves rocked the craton with the news of the Clammy One's demise, for never did one reptile so completely embody the GOPasaur philosophy of self-preservation and self-advancement as did V. cantorii. Rest well, Clammy One. We've got this.

Finally, a special saurian shout-out to the rest of the GOPasaur governors, those Jurassic jackasses so obsessed with obstruction of Obamasaurus Rex that they let their own people go extinct rather than provide them with life-giving care. It takes a special kind of reptilian cold-bloodedness to doom your own species. Give yourselves a pat on the back, jackasses. Oh, sorry. Forgot you had those dinky little forelimbs. My bad.

Reposted from And Now for Something Completely Different by HoundDog

"Marking" tonight's premier return of the fifth season of "My Cat From Hell" on "Animal Planet," HuffPost reporter Lauren Duca speaks with Jackson Galaxy, whom she calls "the most famous cat behaviorist in the world, to learn that "basically everything we think we know about cats is wrong." Duca shows off her newly learned Pavlovian behavioral tricks and perspective by loading up her article Everything You Think You Know About Cats Is Wrong, with irresistibly cute dynamic gif photos of cats being so cute you will feel compelled to watch Jackson Galaxy's premier by unconscious forces beyond your control.

No disclosures have been made if Animal Planet or Jackson were involved in the production of these dynamic gifs clearly designed to induced readers to recommend Lauren Duca's posts, follow her writings, (and probably anyone else who uses them, what sneaks these behaviorist are!), and watch the season premier of "My Cat From Hell."  

As an example of what cat behaviorists have learned from closely watching our feline friends, please consider our first video. While the naive observer may might think that when cats blink slowly, they are sleepy and are nodding off. They would be totally wrong, as Lauren explains:

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When cats blink, they're basically saying "I love you" ...
For cats, communicating love is the equivalent of communicating vulnerability. As a prey animal, a long blink is actually a very important feline gesture, because it surrenders the animal to harm and sends up a message of trust. "When a cat shuts their eyes to you for an extended period, it's a grand gesture," Galaxy explained. "It is to say to a potential predator, 'Go ahead, I trust that you won't kill me.'"
As scientists we should test all hypotheses. We have three cats, in my household - or should I say "cat's lair?" If our cats are too tense, getting each other riled up, and starting to rip the place apart, I can indeed calm them down by looking at them and slowly and calmly blinking. Empirically, I've found that very slow lion like exhalations calm them even more, almost instantly. Sometimes, I even provide a reassuring roar of a self-confident, relaxed, alpha-male lion, which causes my girlfriend, Gina to shake her head, in disbelief, but all the cat's smile appreciatively, relaxing furthere with understanding tracing back to our common ancestory in the wild jungles filled with dangers primates evolved from treetop dwellers can only imagine.

Thirty nine years ago, I read Gregory Bateson's "Step to an Ecology of Mind," in a coffee house in the Kresge building at MIT, (I don't know why I remember it so vividly.)  which included one chapter on his theory of why dogs use a "soft bite" to communicate affection. Bateson proposed that because dogs have no abstract logical way to communicate a negative such a "not" as in I will not hurt you, by acting out, "a soft mouthing of your arm in their mouth" they illustrate to the other, "hey, look, if I were hostile I could bite the shit out of you right now, but I'm not, so you can infer that I like you a whole bunch."

Apparently, cats are doing the same with this blink, by demonstrating the opposite of the "hyper-alert" state their nervous system would be in if they were preparing for an attack. But, Jackson Galaxy seems to have it backwards, or only half of it. It's the blinking cats that is signalling, he isn't about to attack the other as well. Wow, these cats are a lot smarter than "we" realized. Who would have thought?  (Humor alert!)

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Umm, well, perhaps, we spoke to soon, and should have observed instead, "some cats may be a lot smarter than we thought." Here we seem to have one of the easily amused varieties whose owners project various imagined meanings into the behavior that tells us more about the owners than the poor cat who is probably just doing her morning Tai Chi exercises. (See Rorschach Ink Blot Test under Wikipedia for discussion of diagnostic use of projection highly relevant for LOL Cat communities. (Humor Alert! )  

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Lauren explains the hidden meaning of this gif:

... and rolling over on their back doesn't just mean they want a belly rub.
As Galaxy knows all too well, most people think of a cat rolling over as "an invitation to go and pet their tummy," but it goes back to that idea of being vulnerable -- what he considers the "highest compliment" a cat can give you. "What they are showing you, by exposing their midline, is 'This is my most vulnerable spot, if you were a predator, you could eviscerate me right now. Just like the blink is the cat I-love-you, this is the cat version of a hug," said Galaxy.

As if one needs to be an advanced cat behaviorist to know these two cats are "up to something." Those guilty expressions when caught tell us pretty much everything we need to know to understand what is going on here.

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Reposted from HoundDog by HoundDog Editor's Note: Even thought this article is completely true, HoundDogs subtle sarcastic undertones of a progressive leftist nature had sufficient humor to this new articles the Editorial Boards deems it worth of publication in Hydrant. -- HoundDog

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David De Jong, of announces the news that the Koch Brothers Net Worth Tops $100 Billion as TV Warfare Escalates.

"Spread the word! Billionaires of lessor means take heart. Hope exists that if you too just work harder, and apply yourself with more discipline, your net worth could top $100 billion, as well. Or, as it happens in this case, the Koch brothers picked up a couple of extra billion dollars  due to a one quarter surge in industrial production because several hundreds of millions of other Americans worked harder boosting GDP more than expected.

Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers who run Wichita, Kansas-based Koch Industries Inc., added $1.3 billion to their collective fortune yesterday on reports that U.S. industrial production gained more than forecast. The surge elevated their net worth to more than $100 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire's Index.

The Koch brothers don't actually work, but rather contribute by being  role models for poor people, to remind us of what their our lives could be like if we only were not so selfish, slovenly, and rife with character flaws, as to continue our selfish choices to be be poor, and thereby burdening the morally superior, hard working rich people with our upkeep. By a combination of virtuous living, and having the good sense to chose to be rich, rather than poor, they set fine examples for all of us by their sheer existence.

I wonder if there is any chance we could convince them to establish an educational foundation to fund a new reality channel so we could follow them around 24 hours a day, seven days a week so we could witness the level of virtue that must be involved in generating this magnitude of wealth. We might have a solution for the problem right here, folks. Perhaps, poor people can't even imagine it because some of us just haven't seen it before. I'd like to watch them sleep to see what it looks like to make $5 million while you are sleeping for six hours. This might be the very thing that would make me want to work harder to support such a wonderful system as such as we have that could create such an astonishing feat. (Sarcastic undertones alert!)

Oh, yes I forgot to tell you one of the other ways the Koch brothers help our America, so I shouldn't be saying they aren't actually working. They also give out vast sums of money to convert democracy to oligarchy. Sorry, I sort of drifted off for a moment while suckling on the tits of the vast welfare state that is America. (Double Metaphorical Allusion Alert: "You'll have to pry my cold dead fingers of my guns," - Charelton Heston, and "Suckling on the Welfare "teets" - Paul Ryan: Caution: This is only a Metaphor Kids - Responsible progressive writers like The HoundDog do not Write Under he Influence, WUI, Also, do not try Double Mixed Metaphors at home or in school - HoundDog is a trained professional.) Back to our story, dang, this working can be so distracting for us poor, bad people. Why are we like this?  


The Koch’s ascent comes as Freedom Partners, one of their fundraising networks, last week aired its first batch of television ads targeted at this year’s U.S. Senate races, including commercials knocking Democratic Senator Mark Udall of Colorado and Representative Bruce Braley of Iowa for supporting President Barack Obama’s health-care law.

“The Koch brothers are pouring millions into this,” Chris Harris, a campaign spokesman for Senator Udall, said in an e-mail yesterday. “They’re only fighting for their own interests, not Coloradans’. Mark Udall has a long record of fighting for the middle class and stops at nothing to protect Colorado’s special way of life.”

And, one of the most important aspects of Colorado's "special way of life," would seem to be having 46 million plus poor and middle class Americans, and their children, not have health insurance.

The Koch brothers are funding a large and escalating TV ad war intervening in the Iowa and Colorado political contests to throw out Democrats, and those left leaning RINO Republicans who don't fully embrace the true conservative agenda. One of their political action groups called Americans for Prosperity is specially targeting Democratic candidates who supported the Affordable Care Act.

To understand more about the messages these billions are buying, let's watch as James Davis, a spokesperson for Freedom Partners ays.

“These professional politicians claim to be standing up against health insurance companies while pocketing money from their political action committees and company executives ... It’s hypocritical -- while health insurance companies stand to see massive financial gains from the health-care law, the rest of America is left paying the bill.”

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Dang, we're going to have to work harder fellow Democrats. Now that Governor Chris Christie true character has been successful exposed to the American people and we can put aside any more talk of his possibly beating Hillary Clinton, Senators Elizabeth Warren, or Bernie Sanders or whomever should turn out to be Democratic nominee, I was planning to go back on vacation which I haven't really fully enjoyed after burning myself out on the 2012 election.

In fact, my plan had been to take off until 2016 and let some of you younger Democrat pick up the torch and burden of fighting these eternal election battles. After a quick pre-departure survey of the landscape, however, my fear is we may need all the troops we have on the front line fighting what almost be a lost stand for the America values and constitutional form of government that we have evolved, and that once was such an inspiration to so many around the world.

Maybe it still is, I haven't really heard a whole lot from my friends around the world once word got out that the NSA has been recording every single word of every single phone call, text message, and email. I've known this for a very long time. The CIA has had this responsibility since I can remember, but they used to be discrete about it.

Whatever that's a different story. I hate to say this but some of us who were hoping to be lazy may just have to look to these Koch brothers as inspiration for why we should choose to be hard working, good rich people, rather than lazy, bad, poor people.  (Humor alert.)

Time to get to work folks. The party is over. You've had your fun. Election time is coming and our opposition is already in high gear spending the big bucks. What are we going to do to respond?  


Does this article about the Koch brothers earning an extra $1.2 billion last quarter due to an unexpected surge in industrial production inspire you to stop being selfish and continuing to chose to be poor, lazy, and bad?

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Huffington Post deserves the hat tip for noticing the new cover of The New Yorker is going to drive the Republicans absolutely bonko. Let me be the first to predict a "subscription cancellation" campaign. New Yorker Shows Obama Getting His Health Care Revenge On Republicans

I didn't even notice until I was adding the Joy Behar video that he kids getting Obama's "medicine" are the Republican congressional leaders, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz etc.

Bwa, ha, ha, ha.

Since this is a little thin for a post by my standards I'm going to use this an an opportunity to post a few fun graphics and videos I've been storing up, including Joy Behar's toast of Chris Christie last night, and some funny dog cartoon, and cute dog pictures. Readers are welcome to post or comment on anything funny, or anything that might be on your mind. I'll get these other cartoons, and vids up in a few minutes.


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This morning, someone mentioned Governor Chris Christie was "toast" inspiring  Remediator to bring us this  funny video of Joy Behar ambush roasting Chris Christie in  FUNNY: Joy Behar to Chris Christie 'Don't Bully Me'

While relaxing after dinner, thumbing through the latest issue of Canine Quarterly this cartoon caught my eye.  The caption is blurry. One dog says to the other dog, "I had my own blog for a while at Daily Kos but I decided to go back to just pointless incessant barking."

I had my own blog for a while at Daily Kos but I decided to go back to just pointless incessant barking.

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Every now an then a book comes along that not just changes your thinking about politics, but also the way you think about politics. Crashing The Estates: The Rise of Corporate Powered Politics and The Founding of The Daily Kochs," by David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch is such a book.

Crashing the Estate is a shot across the bow of the political establishment in Washington, DC and a call to oligarchy in politics in America.

This book lays bare, with passion and precision, how ineffective, incompetent, and antiquated democracy in America has become, and how it has failed to adapt and respond to new realities and challenges and how it needs to be replaced with a corporate based oligarchy. The authors save their sharpest knives to go for the jugular in their critique of liberals, Democrats, progressives, leftists, woman, homosexuals, people of color, Hispanics, other minorities, and the transsexual menace who they say are now running--and ruining--our country.

Written by two of the most popular and inspiring corporate heroes in America, the book hails the new movement--of the grassroots, the unorthodox entrepreneurs , the maverick big donors--that is the antidote to old-school politics as usual. Fueled by advances in technology and a hunger for a more authentic and populist oligarchy, this broad-based movement is changing the way political campaigns are waged and managed.

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The authors have founded an innovative website called The Daily Kochs to inspire grass root participation by other billionaires who feel isolated by liberal America to band together and make their voices heard. For example Donald Trump says. "I'm tired of being a lurker in American politics. Daily Kochs has finally given me a chance to find my voice and be heard. I've finally found a place where I can be taken with the degree of seriousness I deserve. I don't know what I would do without it. "  

A few quotes from their first chapter might give readers here a sense of the electric excitement this sensational book creates:

We have a Republican Party that can't govern, a Democratic Party that can't get elected, and little doubt that a great nation is suffering as a result.

We cannot wait any longer for the traditional Parties to reform themselves  and lead us into a new era of electoral success. Those of us who have proven our capabilities and worthiness by merit of our wealth must act now to take back our party and our country. They may view us in D.C. as barbarians at the gate, but we are not armed with pitchforks and torches. Technology has opened up the previously closed realm of activist politics to the likes us. Whether the stagnant liberal  establishment wants it or not, the new movement of oligarchy will reclaim the Republican Party as the party of the corporations. Our message is simple: You can get out of the way or work with us. Trying to stop us is a losing proposition.

If only we could say, "To hell with the Democratic Party!" But part of the present American reality is that we live in a two-party system, and the Democratic Party is our only enemy. It's efficient-and expedient-to reform the existing Republican, much as the liberals, homosexuals, minorities and women's movement took over the Democratic Party in the 1970s and converted it into the electoral powerhouse it is today."

Time is of the essence. America is going to hell in a hand-basket under a morally and economically bankrupt democratic constitutional government and Democratic leadership. We need an authentic, corporate, oligarchy movement run by billionaires to crash the gate and save our nation.

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For those of you not familiar with the Koch brother Wikipedia tells us these two philanthropists are famous for their charitable works helping the poor, donating to educational projects, and encouraging participation of Americans in our political systems.

David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch — the two brothers still with Koch Industries — are affiliated with the Koch family foundations. Annual revenues for Koch Industries have been "estimated to be one hundred billion dollars".[5]

The Koch family foundations are a related group of non-profit organizations that began with the establishment of the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation in 1953, and now includes the Charles Koch Foundation, the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation and the Koch Cultural Trust. The organizations collectively have a stated goal of "advancing liberty and freedom" through the support of various causes which "further social progress and sustainable prosperity."[11]

This is must-read book for anyone with an interest in the future of American oligarchy.

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With April Fools apologies, credits, and appreciation to 'Crashing the Gate' by Jerome Armstrong and Markos Moulitsas Zuniga,and book review of Amazon books

If you'd like to read more snarky humor and late night comedy gold make sure to follow and join Hydrant, DailyKos' premier comedy group, and HoundDog, one of our top snarksters other than Bob Johnson and Meteor Blades, and well, only about 200 others. Woof, Woof. Happy April Fools Day.

PS For those of you looking for the Snark Tag, when you see the Hydrant icon of the dog peeing on the hydrant that is the top deluxe highest automatic snark tag you can get here! Everything in Hydrant in snark. So don't even bother to write in about it! Sheesh, do we have to spell every thing out?

Reposted from SciTech by HoundDog


Breaking! -- Scientists have developed a theory that might explain the mysterious 35 million year extinction cycle that may have killed off the dinosaurs. According to a publication in Nature, "Dark Matter Disk Could Have Killed Dinosaurs, Scientists Say. Our whole galaxy might be oscillating around a thin disk of dark matter in the center of the galaxy that provides enough disruption of gravity to send meteorites out of the Oort cloud bombarding the earth every 35 million years.  

 photo fornicatingdinosslide_235982_1167383_free_zpsc609712a.jpg

In the latest paper, theoretical physicists Lisa Randall and Matthew Reece, of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, reignite another proposal, which puts the supposed periodicity down to the way the Sun — and the Solar System with it — move inside the Milky Way. As the Sun follows the swirling motion of the Galaxy's arms, circling around the galactic centre, it also moves up and down, periodically crossing the plane that cuts the Galaxy into a top and a bottom half like the two bread slices in a sandwich. The authors suggest that as the Sun oscillates up and down, it crosses a denser layer of dark matter — like the ham in the middle — causing a gravitational push and pull that disturbs comets in the Oort cloud.

Previous models could not account for a gravitational force strong enough to cause the effect. But Randall and Reece show that a thin disk of dark matter at the centre of the Galaxy could do exactly that, causing comet storms with a periodicity of about 35 million years. This would match some weak statistical evidence found in recent surveys of impact craters. Their paper is due to appear in Physical Review Letters

Dark matter is usually thought to be very weakly interacting and thus unable to settle into such a disk. But the authors suggest that a small fraction of dark matter could behave very differently. Last year, they developed a theory of 'dissipative dark matter' in an attempt to explain dark-matter-like signals from the Galaxy's centre seen by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. Their model yields a dark disk about 35 light years (10 parsecs) thick, with a density of about 1 solar mass per square light year (10 solar masses per square parsec) — dense enough to trigger periodic comet showers.

The statistical evidence is borderline, if not very weak, but how could I resist starting a article based on a 250 million timeline with "Breaking?"

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Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 05:20 PM PDT

#mcconnelling - palooza

by gravlax

So ...

I'm not new to this #mcconnelling thing. Jon Stewart's crew did a pretty bang up job of introducing the concept, and I have seen some pretty awesome ones already shared here at the Great Orange Satan. But, you know me. I had to get in on the action too.

So, without further ado ...

#mcconnelling my way

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 photo article_inset_macgillis_1_zpsa8a54468.jpgCredit: Photo Illustration by Jacqueline Mellow/The New Republic  --- Dats a nice house ya got dare Christie, what a shame if something were to happen to it. - The HoundDogio, aka The Daawwggster

The New Republic has created a few chuckles and now a tiff with Jacqueline Mellow's satirical depiction of Governor Christie on top of a famous scene of Tony Soprano checking his mail in a bathrobe, with gold chain, in front of his gorgeous mansion. Eddie Scarry, who runs a blogs site affiliated with Glen Beck called The Blade, asks Is this ‘Sopranos’-like photo illustration of Chris Christie racial?

And, I've seen many Kossacks ask "is it wrong that I am smiling?"

The New Republic it out with an exhaustive report on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie‘s (R) career, painting an unflattering portrait of a man who got to the top of Jersey politics by navigating his career like a mobster, punishing his enemies, rewarding his allies, and with a cunningness to appear clean handed. ...

There is something overtly Italian-American stereotypical about it, markedly a reference to fictional crime boss Tony Soprano.

“Christie is half Sicilian,” remarked one person on Twitter who saw the image. “If someone portrayed a black politician as a gangsta I know exactly how The New Republic would react.”

While Governor Christie's office declined to comment, Stephen Silver, of TechnologyTell answers "No, it’s not racist to compare Chris Christie to Tony Soprano:

Ready to re-litigate that whole “is The Sopranos guilty of stereotyping Italian-Americans?” fight, combined with the Chris Christie/George Washington Bridge scandal, along with right-wing attempts to play the left-wing identity politics game? ...

The photo isn’t just “overtly Italian-American stereotypical.” It’s Tony Soprano. The house is Tony Soprano’s house. The bathrobe is Tony Soprano’s bathrobe, and the necklace is Tony Soprano’s necklace. The photo is almost certainly an official image from a Sopranos episode, with Christie’s head photo shopped onto James Gandolfini’s body.

For the first several Sopranos seasons, it was a tradition in the season premiere for Tony to go down his driveway in a bathrobe to get the newspaper- Sopranos recapper Alan Sepinwall always used to beam with pride that the paper he picked up was the Newark Star-Ledger, which employed Sepinwall at the time. It’s an iconic image that I imagine most people reading the TNR article recognized immediately. ... Political observers have been comparing Chris Christie to Tony Soprano for his entire career, mostly because Christie is a large man from Northern New Jersey in a position of power who’s known for behaving aggressively.

The "Silverado Slammer" adds that most people don't even know that Governor Christie is half Sicilian, and no one has implied that Christie has any times to the actual mafia. If any stereotyping is going on it is about Republicans, and as Glenn Beck and Eddie Scary very well know, this is considered perfectly O.K. in modern media

Oh, did I mention that it is Friday Night Silly Time. Readership drops off so much Friday night I declare this a lonely hearts open thread. Hope you are having fun.

But, just in case The Slammer is wrong, I'd like to apologize to any members of the real mafia that may have been offended by comparisons of Governor Christie's thug-like behavior, abuse-of-power, and bullying.  


Do you think comparing Governor Chris Christie to Tony Soprano is insensitive to mafiosos?

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| 111 votes | Vote | Results

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------ Satire Alert: Posts in Hydrant are intended to be humorous and sometimes sarcastic. Some parts of this post contain good natured self-deprecatory humor as a literary device and longer story line. It may not be suitable for all audiences and does not necessary reflect the thought of opinions of the blog character named HoundDog, his artificial intelligence programming, or of his creator, Sue Do Nimm, and other programmers. --------

For the last four decades, every time a president of the United States of America concludes the State of the Union speech, with "And may God Bless America," I always gasp when they leave out "and all the rest of the country's and people's of the world."

Can you imagine having a big community Thanksgiving dinner celebration and then with the opening prayer ask God to bless your family, but not all the others present? Guests, strangers and loved ones, equally worthy of God's blessing? It would seem not just to be socially clumsy, but down right unfriendly to all the other folks assembled.  

I fully recognize this is my own fault and take full responsibility for it.  After every speech,  I always declare to myself that I'm going to write into the the President to suggest it for next time. But, then I never do, and then when the next SOTU speech comes up, I remember it too late, like this time. Damn, I hate it when I let down America, God, and the well being of all the peoples of the world, over and over again, as if that's not important enough to float up to the top of my daily to do list after well over more than 40 years of complaining about it frequently to others. As said, I am sorry about this and take full responsibility. In fact, I'm sad about this as well.

Yes, I am sorry and sad, just like Governor Chris Christie. If I had only cultivated a higher caliber of friends and acquaintances they would have taken down notes and gone ahead and done this for me.  I'm sorry I do not have more diligent friends, fellow Kossacks. But rest assured that I have fired all of my previous friends and will find much better ones so something like this never happens again.

And, although I never asked any of my previous friends how they could have let this happen, I am so concerned about it that I've started an investigation to get to he bottom of this. Please don't ask me any questions about this investigation. I'll let you know if anything is worth reporting.  

In the meantime, could one of you please write to suggest this to President Obama for next year, as it could be a major breakthrough for all of us. President Obama could symbolize a new transformation of America coming out of our shell and taking an interest in the rest of the world. And, when our pundits keep saying that the President of the United States of America is also the leader of the free world, the rest of the people should get a happy feeling, and just one of the reasons being that we care enough about them to ask for their blessing and are even thinking of them when we form our common vision of our plans for our and their futures.

And even if some of you don't actually feel this way, imagine the advantages of appearing to be the kind of people who are so generous that they ask for this common blessing freely and naturally, from the bottom of our hearts. Consider how strategic it would be to give the rest of the world the impression that we cared enough about them to do this, even though it is not legally required?  

Maybe it would encourage some of the other people of the world to imagine there still may be hope for us. Perhaps, they might even be so encouraged they might recommend other ways we could more effectively interact with them, improve our  foreign policy,  and more effectively participate in vital and urgent world discussions about our collective futures with regard to global warming, international peace, security, world health, infectious diseases, science, international rule of law, etc.

In fact, I should probably apologize for the sad state of these affairs as well, as I haven't sent out any previous memos suggesting that everyone around the world improve their behavior in all of these areas.

We should ask for God to bless all of us, whether we like it or not, just on the possibility that it might improve things all around.

Whatever,  but, I would like to conclude by asking "May God bless America, and all other countries, or peoples of the world.  

P.S. And, for secular humanists I would add that I mean this as a metaphor for general good wishes, without regard to whether any actual deity, or other spiritual energies may, or may not be involved.  


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