Author Archive for Beat Grylls


michael lerner wants to create a liberal tea party

While this blog is usually reserved to air out my own personal bile towards blowhards and evil dicks, every once and a while I actually do read things that I like and/or agree with. In dark days such as these, I usually don’t see it coming, but I’m proud to say that Michael Lerner’s recent op ed for the Washington Post is one such occasion.

Through extensive research I have determined that Michael Lerner the op ed contributor is not the actor who played Mel Horowitz on the first season of Clueless, the late, great TGIF show; but rather a super sweet progressive rabbi/lawn gnome:

This diminutive forest dweller of British lore is the first progressive thinker that I’ve read who has had the demented genius/huevos to stand up and say: the problem with the Democrat Party isn’t that it’s too much of a circus, but that it’s not a circus so psychotic that you could imagine Dennis Kucinich manically humping an axe bass guitar while dripping blood from his extended three foot tongue onto the House Floor while a politically reanimated Alan Greyson, in three foot tall silver platform boots, wails on about his “Love Gun.” It’s fucking genius, and about fucking time.

Michael Lerner is looking for any progressive with a head full of good ideas and some spare capital to quixotically run against Obama in 2012 to his left. The results just might knock the man at least a little bit back to the left, where he should have been all along. Check out this thesis:

But there is a real way to save the Obama presidency: by challenging him in the 2012 presidential primaries with a candidate who would unambiguously commit to a well-defined progressive agenda and contrast it with the Obama administration’s policies. Such a candidacy would be pooh-poohed by the media, but if it gathered enough popular support – as is likely given the level of alienation among many who were the backbone of Obama’s 2008 success – this campaign would pressure Obama toward much more progressive positions and make him a more viable 2012 candidate.

This statement goes directly up against the prevailing logic that the Democrat Party’s big tent scheme of kumbaya inclusive politics has failed and that they need to consolidate ideologically in order to move forward on a unified front. That prevailing notion is bullshit.

When the Republican Party got their asses handed to them in two national election cycles, they rebounded with an astro-turf movement of thoroughly disagreeable nut-bags, fatties, red-necks and hacks masquerading as a libertarian uprising: the TEA Party. A group so insane that professional old lesbian impersonator, and Republican vanguard member Lindsey Graham has joined a chorus of like minded wrinkley people in blaming them for the limited gains in the 2010 election.

Regardless of that kerfluffle, much ado has been made about conflict between the super-right wing nut-baggery of the TEA Party, and the everyday corrupt villainy of the GOP. This conflict has been going on as far back as 2009, where a likely Republican Rep. seat went to a Democrat because the TEA baggers bucked an establishment Repub in favor of a certified nincompoop in upstate New York.

Since then, well you know the story: the turf got greener, and the nuts got… nuttier, and the Republican Party moved so far to the right that there’s no center in sight anymore. I mean these TEA Party twits have managed to hold the entire party hostage while at the same time purging themselves of any moderate impulses that might slip by the party. Even the “thinking man’s conservative,” political tumor Newt Gingrich, has been forced to throw the barking seals a sardine or two of hateful anti-Obama rhetoric to keep his slim presidential nod chances dancing.

From a certain perspective, the Conservative movement is a mess in this country and yet the view from reality shows a front of unified opposition to common sense. In short, if you’re a few blog posts away from being a fascist, this is the golden age of your kind of lunacy.

Lerner dementedly (and correctly) points out that we can do the same! We’ve got no shortage of wing-nuts and we’ve got no shortage of legitimate lefties to throw up our own obnoxious insurgency to further polarize the political landscape! Listen to this:

[The hard liberal candidate’s] policy platform must be matched with a willingness to talk clearly about the spiritual and ethical need for a new bottom line – one of love, kindness and generosity. We need a progressive push for a new New Deal, which in the 21st century could be the Caring Society: “Caring for Each Other and the Earth.”

Somebody get this man a drink, he’s on fire! Yes, the “Caring Society,” it’s no “Death Panels,” but hey, it’s a start! This is exactly the kind of fire-under-the-nuts thinking we need from progressives to get the Democrats their groove back. Michael Lerner seems to be the only man in the house who fully understands what it means to have a totally gonzo opposition that will not negotiate on any terms but their own.

Until someone over at the Party to Retain America’s Last Remaining Shred of Dignity wakes up and realizes we are in a post-Hope political ecosphere, maybe Michael Lerner and I can stand outside of Tim Kaine’s office and play this on repeat:

(Read the whole piece at the Washington Post)


Nile Gardiner, Ph.D. has the intellect of a gurgling infant

Nile Gardiner is a university educated man who boasts a doctorate in shit eating grins; he’s also a widely read columnist in the UK and a pundit on Fox News and NPR (a fair and balanced resume if I’ve ever seen one!). He is also, apparently, a blithering idiot.

On Thursday, Paul Krugman unleashed his righteous liberal fury at the Obama administration’s latest struggle with intestinal fortitude over the Bush Tax Cuts and the new-fangled freeze on federal pay raises. As a tribute to the man’s continued relevance, Krugman’s lament reverberated throughout the online echo chamber with liberal bloggers struggling to come to terms with it and conservative bloggers salivating at the prospect of further dividing and conquering the failing liberal tide

No conservative critic drooled more than Britain’s Dr. Gardener who managed to shout through the slobber proclaiming Krugman’s critique a watershed moment in the “liberal civil war.” His post, which is short on substance and long on Brit-con gusto simply points out that the American Left is engaged in escalating infighting because everyone is suddenly figuring out that Obama is not the ideologue that the Right always wanted him to be.

Of course, Paul Krugman, who’s intelligence and straight forwardness cannot be overstated, has been on to the dichotomy between Obama’s political image and his policy substance since, well, forever. Still, this is news to Dr. Nile, who is apparently as much an op-ed junky as I am:

There have been some scathing attacks on the president from high-profile traditional supporters. Recently New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote of “a spineless spiral” in reference to the Obama White House, while over at The Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson spoke of an “uninspired and uninspiring president”. But it is today’s piece in The New York Times by Paul Krugman which is by far the most damning.

There are a number of issues I have to take up with this fluffy piece of armchair analysis: One, in what universe is Maureen Dowd a “liberal” voice?  What sorry excuse for an analyst tries to claim that MoDo doubting Obama’s cajones qualify as news (even that lovable dunce Matt Drudge is in on it.)? I know he’s an ocean away and it must be tough getting access to our free press while he toils under the Queen’s yoke of tyranny, but did he just neglect to read every op ed written during the “Summer of Discontent?”

The reality of the situation is that Nile wrote a blog post that says nothing, which would be plenty milk toasty if it wasn’t wrapped in the sort of insufferable douche-baggery we’re used to reading from his pasty ilk. Observe the thesis of a genius:

While US conservatives are focusing on cutting the budget deficit, creating jobs, winning the War on Terror, and protecting the United States from dangerous treaties such as New START, America’s liberal elites are investing a great deal of energy fighting each other, and blaming the White House for, incredibly, not being Left-wing enough.

I won’t even bother to go through this business line by line and expose the brilliance of this sentiment; so let’s just remind ourselves that at this point in the Bush administration the conservative government had enacted massive, unfunded tax cuts for the wealthy, and America was still sifting through the rubble of the worst terrorist attack in world history. This attitude that conservatives are somehow more serious about either the deficit or the war on terror is laughable, even more chuckles spring forth from the concept that Republicans have introduced a single substantive measure to bring the jobs back since the housing bubble burst.

Maybe Dr. Nile could benefit from reading more dispatches from Dr. Paul.

(Via The Telegraph)


even john boehner aknowledges the republican party is full of shit

You have to take what you can get these days, folks. To have a top Republican like future House Speaker John Boehner acknowledge reality (even if only for a second) should give every Democrat strategist a raging boehner.

The Republican rallying cry behind extending the Bush Tax Cuts to the super-wealthy has so far been that the $200,000/$250,000 cap on tax cut extensions will seriously fuck with small business. This is, of course, ludicrous. Every economist in the world has touted the figure that only 3% of small businesses would be effected by the necessary tax hike; the Republican response to this reality: just don’t mention in that much.

That may have changed with this (sort of) concession from the tan man from Ohio in a conversation with Bob Schieffer:

BOB SCHIEFFER: Do you quarrel with that figure [3% of small businesses being effected]? Is that a right figure or a wrong figure?

BOEHNER: Well, it may be three percent, but it’s half of small business income. Because, obviously, the top three percent have half of the gross income.

Last quarter, American corporations boasted record profits, while the most recent job report found that only 39,000 jobs trickled down to the masses, raising the funemployment rate to 9.8%. At some point we have have an adult conversation about how insane it is to argue that giving money the government doesn’t have to wealthy dicks in the blind hope that they’d spend it on employing folks is, as Rahm Emanuel might say: fucking retarded.

While Michael Steele and John Boehner have continued to roll back from that comment, the substance of their acknowledgment should (keyword: should) provide for some nice fodder for the Good Guys in this debate. I mean for chrissakes even the wealthy are telling us that they’re not using that saved money on employing people.

(Story via The Plum Line)


I would go gay for Barney Frank

To the blubbering gastropods that make up the silent majority in flyover country, Nancy Pelosi may be the second coming of Satan in snazzy pant suits; but the vile bile relegated to her is nothing compared to the special circle of online comment hell withheld for Barney Frank.

That cantankerous teddy bear from the Socialist Republic of the American Nativity has proven over the course of his lengthy career to be one of the funniest and most politically honest of the major players on the Hill. His consistent willingness to say and do whatever the fuck he thinks is the right thing in the most blustery and outrageous ways may not make for great publicity, but man oh man does it make for great CSPAN.

Today on MSNBC the Barney Frank Straight Talk Express ran a truth train on… Barry Obama’s seemingly spineless posturing on the Bush Tax Cuts. Providing probably the most concise and persuasive argument for the right move for the country and for the party politics, Frank laid it out like Charlie Rangle at his beach villa:

I think [the Republican hard line stance on the Bush tax cuts] so undercuts their argument against unemployment compensation and their pretense that they care a lot about the deficit, they put deficit production behind helping wealthy people…

Well, it might not be the 11 dimension chess that Obama’s playing, but dammit it sounds like a great start to revising how we’re going to deal with the cackle of rads that just waltzed into the House…

(Story via The Hill)



ya bettah than that!

I thought that comparing adversaries to Hitler represented a pretty big faux pas post Summer 2010, I was wrong. Yes, a blog I would normally peruse as a pleasingly outraged liberal sycophant outlet dropped the H-bomb for the umpteenth million time since November 8, 2008.

We’ve been over this DownWithTyranny, it doesn’t stop being stupid when the point you’re trying to make is valid. C’mon!

(Via DownWithTyranny)



Hugh Hewitt and the Oblivion Mandate

Okay, so the country saw that the Democrat’s 2006 and 2008 big tent circus was more dysfunctional than Larry Craig’s marriage, and so they handed the Republican’s one half of the legislative branch. It’s true folks, the Dems were indeed handed a half pound tough burger by Middle-America, apparently giving conservatives a schizoid mandate to go back to doing whatever the fuck they want to do all the time.

All of the lily white cherubs of the conservative blogosphere have trumpeted the oncoming age of obstruction as dictated by the Great Unwashed with eager anticipation. As America stumbles ‘n’ fumbles her way into a century she is wholly unprepared for, the dingus cognoscenti have declared that blocking everything is the key to retaining the righteousness of their Exceptionalist rhetoric on the campaign trail.

None of this is news, anyone who thought that somehow the Republican Party could elect throngs of drooling dilettantes to political office and become a functioning part of government is either crazier or dumber than myself. Just because these fools neglected to elect Sharron Angle does not mean they are serious about curbing their turd flinging ways and take a serious approach to governing.

Any quick glance into the conservative online echo chamber in the past few days shows the usual scores of demagogues and mean spirited nutbags going off about this new Oblivion Mandate and how the war to take-everything-back-and-give-it-to-the-rich-folks starts by holding the lame-duck congress hostage until they can squeeze out a few more billion dollars of deficit spending and hand it over directly to the wealthiest folks in the land. You know populist stuff.

One of these sinister boobs is Hugh Hewitt. Hugh’s a professor of Constitutional Law and a super-conservative Christian talk radio host, so conventional wisdom would put him in the Really Smart People caste of society.

Hugh Hewitt a member of the Men Who Look Like Old Lesbians While Impersonating Stephen King faction of the conservative blogosphere.

But of course in the conservative alternate universe conventional wisdom isn’t worth its weight in pig-shit, and Hugh Hewitt is either a dullard or genuinely insane. Here’s Hugh the straight shooter outlining the bare bones of the new conservative mandate:

The GOP needs to honor the people’s overwhelming vote that says “Stop!”

Stop the tax hikes, and not for a year or two or three, but permanently until some future Congress decides to raise rates.


Stop the rush to repeal DADT until the Pentagon’s study is received, disseminated and understood.

Stop the Dream Act.

Stop the funding of ridiculous projects like this $715 million bit of pork detailed by the Sacramento Bee’s Dan Walters, and unnecessary agencies like NPR and CPB [Corporation for Public Broadcasting].

Yes, this is real. When the American people flexed their god given democratic right to kick the bums out in November, their chief concerns must have been scrapping a very moderate rollback of Russia and America’s Cold War nuclear arsenal (START II), keeping the gays out of the military, and making sure that ‘illegals’ who graduate college and/or serve our nation in the military have to move back home.

Folks may not like paying taxes and they might not like the bespectacled eggheads employed by NPR, but do they really compare to the significantly greater hunk of shit clogging up the fiscal arteries of the American government: the unfunded Bush tax cuts? Even the most deranged interpretation of the Oblivion Mandate reads that the American people saw that the liberals in Washington were out of control with their spending, and so they voted in a bunch of knuckle dragging warmongers to finally reel it in.

If America really listened intently to the deficit hawks in November, why would they support keeping the burden of the Bush tax cuts (which, if kept intact, would add $3 trillion to the national debt in ten years)? Judging by Hugh’s hatred of pork and PBS, he’s undoubtedly pretty serious about reining in government spending. Wouldn’t a dyed in the wool fiscal-conservative want these massive, unfunded tax cuts to expire and then move to reinstate them with funding through things like cuts in government services? I mean isn’t that the kind of common sense conservativism that the Oblivion Mandate handed the batshits?

Of course Hugh Hewitt is no Cato Institute scholar, he’s just another two faced demagogue currently jacking up the volume of the national discourse to intolerable levels.

He may not want to admit it, but Americans today are less afraid of educated brown people being able to contribute positively to American society than they are of Wall Street firms gambling away the value of their homes so they can take Scrooge McDuck style money-baths. The Great Recession American is similarly less worried about gay people looking to sign up to die for their country in pointless wars so much as they are worried that America will be foreclosed upon by the Chinese when we finally default on our bloated corporate welfare system. That’s why they voted in these blithering idiots: because these are scary times where people are worried about real, complex things. Americans were hoping for a functional government to make togh decisions and deal with these things, not this shit. But of course, the American people chose wrong, because time and time again it is proven that there are only three kinds of conservative in this country: wrongheaded, evil or a terrible concoction of both.

Everyday I wake up I, like so many other political junkies and amateur opinion-makers,  skim memeorandum hoping that some reasonable right winger will stop acting like a myopic dick and start meaning what they say. Today, just like the last, the one before that, etc. proves that day may never come.

10 So close, yet still so stupid, that conservative blogging juggernaut responsible for unleashing that rabidly misogynistic Viking Beserker onto the unsuspecting lamestream media may have finally touched base with reality for a moment earlier today… only glance the ground and bounce back into it’s far out orbit once more. 

That glancing blow to the surface of the planet Earth came in the form of a post provocatively titled: The Racism Race from contributor Caleb Howe. Yes, I know, I don’t know who the fuck that is either, but judging by a quick glance at his Twitter and a very light read through of his posts at RedState, I can see why: he’s a pretty milk toasty character over there. It would appear as though he trades in the usual batshit reality-bating skullduggery that his team is so fond of, but with that special dose of hard-sci fi loving nerd that sometimes makes RedState posts somewhat palatable, despite the Vegemite flavored lies its content so often carries.

That being said, Mr. Howe has grabbed himself a pretty good thesis, floating the very real idea that the lazy act of labeling a person or organization as “racist” doesn’t really mean much but belittlement in the national discourse. The very word breeds thoughtless reactionary stuff from even the best and brightest organizations (see; Shirley Sherrod-gate), and the NAACP’s condemnation of “racist elements” in the Tea Party movement is a prime example of how such an accusation does little but ratchet up the tension in the great worthless stalemate that is our “great national conversation.”

But of course, reality proved to be a bit too much for Caleb to stomach. As he tugs away at the roots his thesis laid, he winds up losing the plot and falling into tired partisan practices that lazy pseudo-journalists like he (and folks like myself) seem so fond of.

After a lengthy exposition, he lays bare the meat of his critique and comes up with this:

Now, let us be clear, class warfare is also an ugly thing. But Sherrod wasn’t forced to step down from her position at the USDA because she spoke on helping poor people regardless of race. No, she was forced out because it was perceived that she was racist. Because she was being spun as being a racist.

When charges of racism are so casually set upon the world so routinely, this is what happens. Sherrod was arguably speaking out against racism, and yet was forced out of her job overnight by an administration with no moral courage, and was condemned by the NAACP, apparently absent even the barest investigation of the facts on their part. The same NAACP that casually slandered the entire Tea Party movement as racist.

This is where things start to fall apart. After acknowledging that Sherrod is being “spun” as a racist, he condemns the Obama administration, and the NAACP’s populist sentiment bating “racist” declaration… all while leaving out a direct critique of Matt Drudge’s bitch, Andy Breitbart, or his website, which not only broke the story, but jacked the volume to deafening levels to discredit the NAACP as “racist” by grasping at straws.

But of course, these fools are often thick as thieves, and not criticizing one of their own is no terribly wacky act; but then the wheels come off and we’re left with this ridiculousness:

Racism and race in general are big topics these last few weeks. The New Black Panther party wants to kill white babies, but you know, only in the right context. The reporting on that story has been abysmal. In fact, for the left the story isn’t voter intimidation, or DOJ corruption, or even, you know, baby murder. No, for them the story is that Fox News reported on the story, and must therefore be trying to exploit racial antagonism to hurt President Obama or something. Whatever. Glenn Beck!!

While I offer points for the attempt at sarcasm, it’s probably worth pointing out that the whole “New Black Panther” meme is as tiredly false and as guilty of transparent race baiting as the worst of ’em. Granted, this also isn’t surprising, given Erick Erickson’s insistence that that lunacy is actually a story.

I knew I couldn’t make it through a full post on conservative blog without finding some outrageous hypocrisy.