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Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 03:36 PM PST

It Sucks to Be a Texan

by Thousandwatts

I have never written that out because I am proud to be a native Texan.
Texas is a different biosphere depending on what part of the state one's in.

I was born in West Texas, desert and flat; went to high school in Houston, oil money, big city, close enough to Louisiana that Cajun, Zydeco and etouffee ain't strangers to us.
Always in a pissing match with Big D up there in the High Plains (Southern Oklahoma), and you got East Texas Piney Woods which might as well be Arkansas or Kentucky (please take insult if necessary).
Slightly different political biosphere as well, though, like many states in our great Union, the "Haves" like to make the Big Lottery seem possible, so lots of folks vote against their best interests; regular people vote for Richie Rich and not for the Cadillac Welfare Scammers.
So, for now, at least, the state stays red.

The rant continues below the Burnt Orange sawed off twisted Longhorn - Gig 'em

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The radio show that's "storytime for grown-ups", aspiring writers, determined readers, all love it. It's been a tradition in my household for over twenty years- that's two houses, a wife, three dogs and growing up two babies into young men.
A cerebral glue of connection in this social media infused rapidly changing world.
I turned it on tonight, or the radio, which remains perpetually on NPR particularly on Sundays, evolved into Selected Shorts, and a woman's voice gave the brief rundown of Isaiah Sheffer's life and contribution to the show, as he had passed earlier this month.
I hadn't heard.
I stop my usual making dinner flow, ears perked and realize the voice is doing the post-mortem celebrating his passing and how he has been the voice of the show, etc.
For real.
And it really hits me in a funny way- not funny ha-ha, but in a strange, disconcerting way- I had seen the show once, live, here in Austin years ago, it was neat, but better for me on the radio where the imagination does the work.
I realized that the reassuring clockwork voice was gone, another signpost of my existence and my routine- my routine existence- was gone.
Without intentional maudlin or over the top "celebrity" adoration- I hate that- I found myself with that lump in my throat and the moisture filled my eyes.
So, a little "shout out" to a gentleman who affected me and my family in very real ways, and I am sure we aren't alone.  

I searched Dkos and saw no mention- if this diary is redundant or a repeat, forgive my lack of current events, and please let it go.


Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:25 AM PST

Obstructionism is the GOP Way

by Thousandwatts

I have made attempts in past diaries to better understand the relationship between the media and its reporting or perhaps; its selective reporting and how that selectivity is decidedly friendly to the GOP.
Through the distinct focus by the media on the shiny momentary shrill noise chosen by the GOP Bat light, the events that matter and are the real effects, remain largely unreported.

Take Benghazi and the squeals and foot stompings of McCain and company, who, every time he makes an utterance, reminds me more and more of a bitter, sour grapes loser. The media, however, in its never ceasing sloth, hangs on his every move as though his most memorable achievement of late hasn't been the creation of Sarah Palin, a deed for which he should never be forgiven, and eternally, directly associated.  

Here's an article in Media Matters that clarifies and more accurately reflects my previous flailing attempts.
This particular quote:

Even more shocking with regards to Susan Rice was the threat this week from Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) that she would try to block any secretary of state nominee, whether it's Rice or someone else, unless the White House provides more answers about Benghazi. (The White House has been providing Benghazi answers for 10 weeks now.)
(my emphasis)  underscores a contention of my previous diary.
(Not diary pimping, just making a point)

One would expect the "someone else" to which the Senator refers may include Senator Kerry?

The GOP has never quit campaigning and the media is in lockstep not missing a beat.
Susan Rice's handling of the announcement of the Benghazi tragedy has been made into her Waterloo for which her qualification for Sec of State is to be judged, by the shrill, loser-Palin laced shrieks of McCain and the echo chamber (horse-race, horse race-oopsie) of the media, drowning out any and all that observe that she hasn't been selected and there was a hell of a lot more going on in the entire episode that was completely outside her control, not the picture the media and McCain have chosen to portray.

The open, considerable, kabuki collaboration of the media and the GOP taken as a given, gets a little stale.

The article in full:
source Media Matters


Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 06:55 PM PST

I am So Sick of Republicans

by Thousandwatts

They have prattled on, inventing controversy where none exists, to "create" the political dialogue; with the cooperation of the shiny object obsessed, lack of Fourth Estate awareness, modern Corporate Media, they have succeeded.
Healthcare reform turns into killing grandma, a new President of color becomes a never ending "story" about his citizenship, birthplace, how he got his education, etc.
And the media leading the parade until hacks like Donald Trump, of all people,  blow another dog whistle, or political losers like John McCain want some air time and create another "controversy". Thank you for your service sir, but somewhere around Sarah Palin-ville, that card expired.

And the media keeps on playing the game, never mind that Obama has the most politically diverse cabinet in a very long time, actually incorporating the "enemy" into his decisions. That would never get close to happening on a Republican's watch.
That isn't constantly brought up when the watch words were "bi-partisan cooperation". The previous GOP candidate, whose name I care not to ever type again, was making bi-partisanship sound like something he and Karl Rove thought up having drinks with the Koch brothers, rather than Obama's exhausted path of semi- effective action- so much that those of us with Liberal minion status are saying "screw bipartisanship" cram it through and make it stick.
One thing Reagan was right about, it's easier doing it and then apologizing, rather than trying to get consensus and approval beforehand.
Now the GOP and the media- (I include the media in almost every shape and size, they are an unofficial adjunct of the GOP ("it's a horse race, it's a horse race" was no accident)- Fox is just the most glaringly obvious) are lining up with do-nothing, know nothing Republicans as they build the momentum and "create" the story of Benghazi and why Susan Rice isn't qualified. Never mind that in reality anyone that Obama nominates isn't qualified- unless he chooses Paul Ryan, and that's a definite maybe,

There was confusion after Benghazi, but more importantly, it was confusion that primarily result was to NOT aide and assist the enemy.
All we, the American people need to know right then, was that a tragedy had occurred at an American consulate and angry anti-Americans did it. That way, we are not advertising that al-quaedi struck the American Satan or some such. I still remember the Iran hostage crisis and every thing said or done turned into fuel for the extremists and points for screwing the Great American Satan.  No one knows how many similar incidents on the anniversary of Nine-Eleven, giving al-quaedi public props, could have incited.
When things settle out, as they did, cooler heads would see that absolute transparency was not in the nation's best interest at the time.
But cooler heads amongst the GOP, -especially with their candidate going down in flames at the same moment, were not to be found.
So the echo-chamber and the McCain start generating the whirlwind that it was the bearer of the new, not the creator of the news, who should bear full responsibility for the "travesty to the American people, blah, blah"  Even after the President said he accepted responsibility for the entire thing, the slathering pitch-forkers ignored that.
That Susan Rice, because of this "travesty  to the blah, blah" was not qualified to replace Clinton, despite her extreme qualifications. In fact, it was a done deal and they would not vote for any replacement (sound familiar?) until this "travesty" is resolved. The one they made up and turned into chaos, non-jobs distraction, sound bite city with the media happily recording and echoing every statement as though it had merit.
Why the big deal, why this candidate- as the Norquist mandate starts to crumble?
I asked myself that question as I listened to the whole thing unfolding on NPR and BBC, why such a big deal?
So, I web searched it, hoping against hope that my hunch was not accurate, and I saw a picture of Susan Rice, and it confirmed my suspicions, once again.
My hunch was based on their past behavior -Sotomayor, among others, leaps to mind.

In an abbreviated way, that's why I am so sick of Republicans.

At least they aren't requesting Rice's birth certificate; yet.


Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 03:40 AM PST

November Twenty-Second

by Thousandwatts

For many of us, hearing that date, the year fills in itself.
For younger folks, it doesn't.

I work in a call center and take and see customers' birth dates in the course of my routine. Being a lover of history, when their birth date is on a significant day, or they share a birthday with someone famous, I might mention it to them and they are pleased and it adds to the "customer experience" and it's usually something only they and their family share.
I was gathering information on one occasion, and a gentleman born in the early fifties told me that his wife's birthday was November twenty-second, nineteen sixty-three.
I reacted automatically and quietly "wow" in passing; there was a brief silent pause and he said, "I know."
Another few seconds of silence and I continued with my next question, both of us seeming to mentally go somewhere else for a brief instant, before we resumed the routine task at hand.  

I can't tell you exactly where I was on that specific day, as I was only three years old,  but I do remember, what must have been days later, being frustrated when my afternoon cartoons on the black and white television were replaced by a somber parade with horses, a flag draped caisson and what seemed to be endless, monotonous voice-over. That is one of my first independent memories unaided by parental reinforcement.
Strangely though, I remember feeling something beyond mere inconvenience at the program change- I knew in my child's way of understanding that something very sad and tragic had happened and the memory remains.

November twenty-second always sticks out to me, like December seventh did for my grandmother and father and September eleventh does for my sons; each one a watershed for a particular generation. Where something changed, all at once, for the entire country, at the same time.

I have gotten in the habit of flying the flag on these memorable dates and certain holidays, in general. Not so much out of old-style patriotism with what I see as slightly jingoistic overtones, but as a reminder to all who pass to honor the men and women overseas in what has become truly endless wars.

As I noticed the date, and having spent the day anticipating the bounty of Thanksgiving tomorrow, the feelings collided and I was struck by a strange feeling of profound realization; not just for the blessings of family and health that normally accompany the Thanksgiving meal, but at the fact that we are truly living in extraordinary times marked by a background of amazing sacrifice that has tragically become almost routine in its exercise.

This Thanksgiving, coincidentally on this historic date, I would like to give special thanks for the freedoms we enjoy and honor those who made, and continue to make,  them possible.
To allow these freedoms to be undermined and eroded under the guise of our "protection" is an insult to their collective sacrifice.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, everywhere.




Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 07:36 PM PST

Same As It Ever Was?

by Thousandwatts

So we had an election and the President was re-elected.

During the election, we heard a lot of promises about making the better-off amongst us pay their fair share and the general notion was one of unyielding tenacity as opposed to the "compromises" that seemed to largely characterize negotiations during the previous term i.e. starting from a position of appeasement and then calling whatever resulted, a "victory".
All the while never using the word "pyrrhic"

And the other side called the resulting watered down version of what had been planned, an immoral, absolute affront to all things basic to humanity as the civilized world knows it.
And their side rallied around the dog whistles, and presented a Norquist mandated, Limbaugh orchestrated, unified front of outraged proportions.
   And they created issues and conversations, where none truly existed. They created positions of contention through the repetition of lies until everyone forgot that we were responding to shit they made up, mostly on fox noise. And it worked.

And Our side splintered into various factions of "satisfied" "less-than-satisfied" etc as we spoke of victory and loss and the need to reach across the aisle and compromise.
They spoke of their "victories" and we spoke of bi-partisan compromise.

As the election wrapped up and the mandate we had won was deemed a "non-mandate" by their side and the five minutes of cooperation came and went in less than a news cycle. Boehner's comments of cooperation and negotiation were muffled and withdrawn and re-written as quickly as those of Rmoney's had been each time they leaked out during the election.  
The tbagging voices and Norquist resumed their position of steadfast non-cooperation as though nothing had changed.
And Our side started reworking our positions and falling into the old postures, so we could once again call whatever resulted a "victory".
Maybe not that completely but I didn't hear much in the "like hell you will" department.

But, I am admittedly slightly jaded.
Ever hopeful, but slightly jaded.

I expect the relief of being a lame-duck to free the President to just-get-it-done, and if there are some broken tbaggers, so be it. In fact, it's a good thing. Make a few examples and see how the people of this broken nation react.
I think smacking down the rethugs loudly would be met with a resounding "hell, yeah" by the majority of the country.
Remember the insults and lack of respect the the Other side showed the President during his first term. The racially motivated slurs on his character- "race?- you mean he isn't a White Christian?- I had never even noticed" - they say when called on their bullshit.  
These are not civil, respectful politicians- these are people (in their case, I use the term loosely) who hate the President and everything he stands for; there is no room for compromise with these guys. They need to be summarily shown for what they are and then dismissed- made irrelevant, unworthy of consideration so the rest of us can get on with rescuing the Middle Class, indeed, the country, from the broken situation that their lame-ass hero Dubya drove us into, with fox noise providing the soundtrack.
Fox proved it's irrelevance, so has the GOP, we cannot, through appeasement, allow them to frame the conversation otherwise.

Fuck bitter pills; I think of the bitter pill from Aunt Pearl in Greater Tuna.
It was strychnine-laced and she used it to eliminate neighborhood dogs that bothered her chickens.
We don't need bitter pills in any way, shape, or form. The ninety-nine percent has been passing those out for thirty years. Basta! Enough is enough.  

The stakes are high, we all knew it coming into this election. That's why folks turned out to save ourselves from the Right.

Just because the media and the echo chamber and the Right say it wasn't a mandate, doesn't take away from the fact that it was a mandate.
Don't need to see the numbers on this one, just need to know what is at stake:
The Middle Class, the character of this nation- the same character that re-elected the President on the promise of a life preserver in this ocean filled with banksters and one percenters whose single common trait is that they worship avarice as gospel.

We need jobs, single payer health coverage, expanded and more complete help for homeowners, among other things; and the focus to not get distracted from these goals by wolf cries of "deficit"- no one worried when Dubya financed the wars and created this mess.
I often wonder since he truly believed it was "divine will" to invade Iraq, if the means of financing the invasion was revealed to him in the same way?

We have to spend on the right things and without fear- secure in our knowledge that it will work out.
Because it will work out, and just as the the election results came as a surprise to those bubbled in self-delusion, those sworn to Norquist will get the wake up call that will end them as a political force in this country.

And bring our Troops home from the endless wars.

Unplanned rant's over, I suppose.

Just sayin'


Edit:removed title reference to "pills", returned to original title to avoid "redundancy" for those counting and it's more accurate to subject matter; removed any indentations because, obviously how one says it is far more important than what one says. tyvm.


The President is going to accept the mandate and use the Other side's fallen bodies for traction to get stuff done?

37%3 votes
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62%5 votes
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| 8 votes | Vote | Results


Sweet Jebuz, I hate to beat this dead horse and I know I have diaried about it before, but after Mittens conceded, Mara spent three minutes talking about what a classy guy Mitt is.
I seriously think the woman gets confused about which network she is on.
Or she is making statements that either network can use for sound bites.
Saving her employers overhead costs, what a deal.

Now she is marveling how this election is going to require the President to do some soul searching about how he approaches the Republicans regarding entitlements and revenue enhancements.
As though Obama has just been too darn rigid in his approach to negotiations with the absolutely-willing-to-bend-over-backwards Disciples of Norquist.
Those fluffy bunny idiots who have trademarked Brinkmanship as their single mantra.
And goddamned Boehner announcing that his re-election means the nation wants Him and His to continue their rigid defiance of raising taxes on the rich.
F*ck me to tears.

I guess my fixation on the Mara situation is I can remember years ago when she was actually a cool kid and I thought she was so cool. A combination of unique names and neat voice and liberal politics yielded- dare I admit it- a slight crush. Now this.

But I digress.

I am thinking that Mara is trying to slide the whole fox noise entertainment and opinion,  not news, into NPR- they don't need help with that, but they sure as hell don't need Mara Liasson hurrying their journey to irrelevance along any faster.

Mara needs to pick a side and stay there instead of pretending that working for fox is like working for any other news source.
On second thought, Mara has tainted her ability to be taken as a serious journalist- it's just time to go work for The Noise full time.

Thank the radio gods there is Brooke Gladstone and the On The Media gang to fill the vacancy left since Mara went cra-cra and Bob Edwards was shooed away.  


This isn't a diary- it's a semi-rant and I know that going in.

Ever heard the joke about the Southern belle who was sent to charm school where she learned to say "Well how nice?" instead of "Who gives a fuck?"
That's the "well how nice" in the title.
I am working on my car, think I got a blown head gasket, so I am not happy, but the radio machine and NPR just made my mood go further south.

They are doing a story on recalling Scott Walker and it bleeds over to how important this is as a precursor to the general election...

And after talking with the GOP candidate for VA governor and he predicts if Walker is recalled, it's pretty much the end of life as we all know it, Western civilization will end (really, he made it sound that dire- I had to double take that I wasn't listening to some Fox channel) they put Mara on and she announces that between Walker looking like he will triumph and the "bad" unemployment numbers, Obama is in deep trouble in the upcoming election- just doesn't look good for the President's re-election.

Fox News would have been proud- it was a hatchet job, hit job, lousy, lousy pure opinion presented as a news report I have heard in a long time.

WTF?? I can't find the link to post, but it's the weekend edition NPR whatever it's called who cares because it might as well be Faux NPR. UGH-

I am going to go throw shit around the garage- probably the radio.


Tue May 08, 2012 at 11:12 AM PDT

I don't do Facebook

by Thousandwatts

And it's all those reasons that have been re-iterated and alternately poo poo-ed a thousand times.
Giving my information for some rich frat kid to get rich off of, doing the Government's work for them, just a little too lack of control and voluntarily invasive, etc. I know I am missing out on one of the greatest social interactions of the 21st century, but I'll try and get over it. Call me old school and Black Helicopter (my sons do) but that's cool, I believe the Feds should have to do the legwork themselves.

That said, this is more a PSA for Fb users (I know how the privacy rules are quietly changed and the user is the last to know) than a diary, so the "that's not a diary" police can stand down and go back to flagging offenders on Craigslist- though I seriously appreciate your diligence at keeping the short diary barbarians at the gates to the Orange Serfdom.

I just came across this from Consumers Reports and it seemed useful and simple and if not please ignore it and it will fall below the edge of the screen out of sight on its own, probably by dinner time.

peace ya'll.


Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 04:38 PM PDT

Between Light and Shadow

by Thousandwatts

  I am not a believer in Numerology, per se, but I have become a believer, especially as I have gotten older, in an order to things that transcends what we consider to be our normal methods of perception.
This notion fits perfectly between the realms of science and pure mysticism. In fact, I see this as a sort of middle ground between the two dimensions; the place where just because we don't "see it", doesn't mean "it", doesn't exist.
(Cue the "dee-dee-dom-dom-dee dee-dom-dom dee-dee-dom-dom-dee-dee-dom-domPhotobucket with Rod Serling's shadowy cigarette smoke silhouette.
   "Quantifiable evidence is only as good as the devices doing the measuring; the yardstick stopping at three feet doesn't mean that's all there is to measure."

   I love pure science; I am a passionate believer in its beauty and intricate perfection.  I don't want to get in a rocket based on "a pretty good feeling this is going to work" anymore than I want to blatantly deny the existence of something I can directly perceive with my senses.
   The late Bill Hicks describes it perfectly here, in his rant on alternate perception, as only he could.
   Language, illicit drugs and hilarity warning; as well as a couple of extra minutes of some truly refreshing thoughts from a sorely missed genius.  

Please join me on the other side of the Orange Cloven Hoofprint.

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Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 10:36 PM PDT

I made a mortgage payment.

by Thousandwatts

thats not that amazing to you but the last time I made one was November 2009. And I am still in the house and not under a bridge.
That's a good thing and I am thankful. So much talk about all the problems with the banking and the FHA and every entity involved (HAMP, EHLP) just mind boggling.
But for me on the ground, it's a good thing. Like I said, I have a home and for the immediate (two years) I have assistance through a government program to supplement my payment.
   I was out of work for a year and a half and I qualified for an assistance program that helps me make my payment, in full, to the bank each month for two years.
After that, it's up to me to figure it out.

And that's when it hit me that this is another bank bailout wrapped in homeowner bailout clothing.
Over the Orange Cloven Hoofprint

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Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 09:41 PM PST


by Thousandwatts

"Townes Van Zandt, best damn songwriter ever and I'll say that standing on Bob Dylan's coffee table in my cowboy boots."
Steve Earle was reputed to have said something like that; he has since admitted he might not have said it, but he stands by the sentiment. He named his son after Townes; that says where Townes rates in his eyes.

Townes Van Zandt was an amazing songwriter of epic proportions. That sounds trite and hackneyed as I type it, but it's the truth. His songs read like poetry because they are. He was a true wordsmith who burned bright and flew crazy like a bottle rocket, sparks trailing with a tail of smoke.

I walked into Soap Creek Saloon, a little bar/musical venue in Austin, about 1982.
I guess I was looking for something and though I wasn't sure exactly what it was, or even was quite aware that I was looking; somehow I knew it when I found it.
That night, Townes got up and played a mix of traditional blues, some Lightnin' Hopkins songs and his own originals and I had found it.

 "There's two kinds of music: the blues and zip-a-dee-doo-dah."- Townes Van Zandt

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