See Our Best

Well, it looks like the Republicans are putting together another unexciting field of candidates. According to a recent poll, the candidate that Republican voters were most excited about, by 67%, was “None.” In honor of the Republican Candidates for president, I present this song, based on another Disney classic, “Be Our Guest”, from “Beauty and the Beast.” (Another of my personal favorites.)

See Our Best
Original words and music “Be Our Guest” by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken
Additional lyrics by Wayne A. Schneider, 2011

Ladies and gentlemen, it is with deepest pride and greatest pleasure that we welcome you tonight. And now we invite you to relax, let us pull up a chair as the GOP proudly presents…

Your winner!

See our best! See our best!
Put our viewpoints to the test.
Tie a mike around our neck, and see
That we are not in jest.
Kooks for sure, anti-gay,
Anti-anything you say
Try the hate stuff, it’s malicious,
So deceiving and so vicious
We’re right wing in our stance
After all, this isn’t France!
And a winner here is never second-guessed
Go on, behold our venue
Crap your pants and then you’ll
See our best!
Gee, our best?
See our best!

Big snafu, what we say
Goes unhidden on display

You’ll despair our nerve to dare
What luminaries have to say
We alone can be paired
With the news that’s kept you scared
No one’s booming or just gaining
While the tax rates have been reigning
We tell folks we get kicks
From our business bag of tricks

Und they march in perfect step
That you can bet

Come on, our grasping class
Just wants its own free pass
To be our best

If we’re pressed,
It’s fine whining we express

See our best!
See our best!
See our best!

Lies are not perturbing to a person so disturbing
There’s a hole within his soul to call upon
Ah, those “good old days” when we were truthful
Happily those good old days are gone
For years we’ve been trying
Seeding so much doubt with lying
Needing expert thieves to help us write our bills
Most days we don’t bother with the hassle
Crabby, batshit crazy
You looked in and oops-a-daisy!

It’s their best, it’s their best
Sakes of Christ, they think they’re blessed
I’m so bored but thank the Lord
They’re with their flag pins neatly dressed
With debate, you can see
That they’re blind as blind can be
While we Dems do our boo-hooin’
There’ll be trouble in what they’re doing
They’ll do harm, stoke ‘em hot
Heaven’s sakes, was that a shot?
Listen up, they want the country in distress
They’re not a lot that’s new
Is it one chump or two?
For it’s their best!

They’re our best!

It’s their best!

They’re our best
See our best
See our best
Our right hand is on our breast
For ten years now we made lots of money here
And we’re obsessed
With our zeal, with our sleaze
Yes, indeed, the Kochs we please
While the campaign fight’s still going
We can’t help our ugly showing

Coarse, of course, and no fun
‘Til you shout, “Enough you’ve won!”
Then we’ll bring you up to speed on our success
Our fights we know you’ll eat up
While ourselves we beat up
See our best!
See our best!
See our best!
Please, see our best!

Cross posted at Pick Wayne’s Brain

The Watering Hole: June 30 – The Pied Piper

Earliest Drawing of the Pied Piper - painted in 1592 by Freiherr Augustin von Moersperg

The Pied Piper of Hamelin lead the children after the elders of the city failed to pay his price for getting rid of vermin. Now place this story in a modern setting:

As roles:

  • The Koch brothers take on the role of the Piper because they are trying to take on a perceived problem at a price
  • Republicans represent the town elders because they want to have a problem solved, at a cost.
  • Liberals are the children of the town because they the innocents
  • Teabaggers are those vermin that live off the work of others, and truly believe that they would never be deprived of anything.

Now the story sequence:

  • The Piper makes a pact with the elders to direct the rodents from the town.
  • The Piper leads the rats to what they think is a better place.
  • The Piper tries to exact his price which the elders refuse to pay.
  • The Piper exacts his fee by taking the children.
  • The elders are left with nothing.

The Republicans (elders) have not thought this through to the final step and they will see what is happening only when it is too late.

This is our Open Thread. Please present your thoughts on any topic that comes to mind, rearrange the analogy or come up with another using one of Grimms’ Fairy Tales, Aesop’s Fables or any tale with a moral.

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, June 29, 2011: Hump Day

Hot coffee. The lawsuit that became the poster child of the “Tort Reform” movement. And by “Tort Reform” I mean “Protect the Culprit” movement.

For that is what “Tort Reform” is all about. It is about preventing a jury from awarding full damages to the victim of someone else’s wrong-doing. It is about limiting the damages insurance companies have to pay, with absolutly no requirement they pass any savings on to their policyholders.

We, the people, have voted in favor of “Tort Reform.” In California, the voters passed an initiative capping medical malpractice claims. In various states, voters have elected representatives committed to capping damages.

Capping damages. Limiting the amount the wrong-doer has to pay, regardless of the harm s/he causes. Their victims are left without sufficient means to pay for needed medical care and necessary services. Victims are forced to turn to Medicaid, placing the burden on taxpayers. On taxpayers – not on the person who caused the harm.

Why? Because corporations spend millions to convince us to vote the way they want us to. And they succeed.

Watch “Hot Coffee.” Be informed. Spread the word.

This is our Open Thread. Feel free to comment on this, or anything else that’s on your mind. And be advised, there may be brand new threads below this one during the day. You’ll miss them if you don’t go look.

Love That Socialism

This will be brief.

Last week, my mother-in-law broke her hip.  She had to spend some time in the hospital and after three days, she would be moved to a skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation.  When presenting the list of facilities, the case manager asked this question, “Does she have regular government Medicare?”  The answer was, “Yes”.  We were then informed that all the facilities accepted Medicare and that only a few accepted Medicare Advantage (private insurance) and even then, there needed to be a pre-approval by the insurer before the patient can enter the treatment facility.

Medicare Advantage was created for the benefit of the insurance companies.  Sarah Palin was confused when she said that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would create death panels.  These death panels have been in place since 1997 with the creation of Medicare Advantage.

If my mother-in-law wasn’t enrolled in the socialist program known as Medicare, she would not be getting the care that she needs to “get back on her feet” again.

Score 1 for socialism and 0 for privatization.

The Watering Hole: June 28, Jackassery

This is by special request of my younger son, nicknamed “butwi”. Being 13 years old (almost, that is one week to go) and male, he is a fan of “Jackass – The Movie” and is really mourning the loss of his hero Ryan Dunn. He is fully aware that Dunn has made a horrible choice when he decided to drive that car under the influence of alcohol and got himself killed in the process as well as another young man, Zachary Hartwell.

Nevertheless. I admit I really enjoy some of the pranks and courage tests the Jackass crew does (I don’t care for the gross ones, though). And, I admit, I haven’t been all that smart when I was younger. Just more lucky:

I remember being on the road coming home from a carnival ball. Someone else was driving the car. It was winter and the driver I had hitched a ride with was way above the legal alcohol limit. He was speeding and when I nervously asked him if the roads were icy, he opened the door put out his foot, let it slide over the road and said: “Yep, icy.” And sped on.

This could have gone horribly wrong, too.

So, son. Test yourself, test your limits, have fun in life. But, seriously, do your best to use your brains first. I love you.

This is our Open Thread. Why don’t you share your pranks and idiocies from your youth, or anything else that’s on your mind. And beware, there may be brand new threads below this one during the day. You’ll miss them if you don’t go look.

Watering Hole – June 27, 2011 – Teach Our Children Well

Words of wisdom from a great Native American;

~Chief Seattle
You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children that we have taught our children that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.

What values are we teaching?

This is our Open Thread.  Speak Up!

Sunday Roast: Hey, have you heard the news…?

(image: Newseum)

In an action that brings this country one step closer to equal rights for all citizens, the New York state Senate passed their marriage equality bill Friday night, 33-29. Celebrations abound!

Oh look…the sun came up this morning, plagues of locusts nowhere to be seen (at least in my neighborhood), and I haven’t been forced to get “gay married.”  Maybe tomorrow…

Congratulations, New York!  We’re proud of you!

This is our daily open thread — Grab a mimosa and have a chat

The Watering Hole: June 25 – It’s My Ball

On Thursday, Republicans walked out of budget negations. Eric Cantor basically said that it was his ball and you can’t play if you don’t do it his way. At stake was a government shutdown in August.

One reason for disagreement centered around whether or not the final legislative language would include restructuring the way federal money is dispersed to family planning services. Republicans insisted that the system be amended so that funds would be sent through state governments instead of directly to organizations. Democrats, insisted that the former would result in the denial of routine testing for women’s problems; I.e., pap smears, breast exams, etc.. Added to the mix was Republican refusal to narrow the budget gap by allowing tax increases for the wealthy and the removal of subsidies for business and big oil. Also on the table was a tax holiday for corporations that could transfer profits being kept overseas.

Isn’t it about time for Democrats to grow some balls?

This is our Open Thread. Please feel free to present your thoughts on any topic that comes to mind.

Breaking News: New York State’s Marriage Equality Act – Almost There? PASSED!

Tonight, the New York State Senate passed the religious exemptions amendment to Governor Cuomo’s Marriage Equality Act, 36-26. This is an exciting and important step forward, bringing the MEA much closer to becoming a reality.

State Senator Steve Saland (R-Poughkeepsie) made the all-important move from undecided to ‘Yes’.

Watch the live feed from the New York State Senate here, as Senator Saland is going to speak shortly.

Also, Rachel Maddow is covering this live.

10:30pm UPDATE!!! By a vote of 33-29, the New York State Senate becomes the first Republican-controlled legislative body to pass a Marriage Equality Bill.

“Calloo, Callay, O Frabjous Day!

Music Night, June 24, 2011

Feel free to skip the diatribe.

I believe we’ve reached the point where even young people can look back and say, “Music was better then.” Other than not being dead, one of the few advantages of being old has been the opportunity to experience, year after year, musicians who actually play music. I know they are out there today, playing clubs and garages but they are no longer the face of music and no longer omnipresent on the radio. I mean, who even listens to the radio?

This is from 1977. Check out the backup singers.

The Watering Hole: June 24 – Dancing Mania

On this date in 1374, a sudden outbreak of St. Vitus’ Dance causes people in the streets of Aachen, Germany, to experience hallucinations and begin to jump and twitch uncontrollably until they collapse from exhaustion.

This is our Open Thread. Please feel free to present your thoughts on any topic that comes to mind.

Ever feel like you work harder and harder, but you’re just not getting anywhere?

This might be why:

Mother Jones

The blue line represents the average overall wages of the bottom 99% — you, me, neighbors, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Tea Partiers, etc.

The green line represents how productive we are.  If we’re lucky enough to have a job, our work load has tremendously increased, as in we’re doing enough work for two or three employees AND we’re not being paid more for the privilege.  Wages have been flat for over thirty years, and that’s insane!

The red line represents the average income of the top 1% in this country.  You know, the “job creators.”  Except what they’re really good at is buying political representation, whining for tax cuts (so they can create those mythical jobs), dodging taxes, checking the bank balance for their latest dividend payment, and TURNING THE REST OF US AGAINST EACH OTHER.

Sure, we have our ideological differences: abortion, gay marriage, religion in schools, social programs, racial issues, etc., but the one thing all of us in the bottom 99% have in common is the fact that we are hanging on by our fingernails (to one degree or another), hoping that our jobs don’t disappear, hoping we don’t get sick, hoping the car doesn’t break down, and on and on…

Our problem today is not Republican vs Democrat vs Tea Party; our problem is that the top 1% is waging a class war against the bottom 99%, and since they’ve managed to get us at each other’s throats over ideological issues (aka shiny objects), they are fucking winning!

We’re either going to find a way to work together to get things back in balance, or we can continue to fight among ourselves for the amusement of the super rich, while they continue to suck this country dry.

Frankly, it’s difficult to be optimistic…

The Watering Hole: June 23 – Defense

From evolutionary forbears, the human organism has been protected by mechanisms that prevent invasion from the outside or inside from the immune system. The four most prominent blood borne defense mechanisms are the blood-placental barrier (BPB, the blood-brain barrier (BBB), the blood-testis barrier (BTB) and the blood-retinal barrier (BRB). Each of these mechanisms functions as a shield against a specific threat either from within or without the body. For example the sperm cells in the testis would be killed early in puberty if lymphocytes were allowed to enter the testis or the embryo’s immune system could conflict with that of the mother if the two systems were allowed to come within direct fusion. I intend to dwell on the BBB. The other systems are easily available from Wikipedia.

First let us define the term ‘blood-brain barrier‘:

Noun: blood-brain barrier – a mechanism that creates a barrier between brain tissues and circulating blood; serves to protect the central nervous system; “the brain was protected from the large molecules of the virus by the BBB – anything serving to maintain separation by obstructing vision or access.

All Vertebrates have the BBB in their physiology. Some invertebrates have one as well. The general dividing characteristic seems to rest with animals possessing an immune system for Invertebrates.

The BBB is a separation of circulating blood and the brain extracellular fluid (BECF) in the central nervous system (CNS). It occurs along all capillaries and consists of tight junctions around the capillaries that do not exist in normal circulation. Endothelial cells restrict the diffusion of microscopic objects (e.g. bacteria) and large or hydrophilic molecules into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), while allowing the diffusion of small hydrophobic molecules (O2, hormones, CO2). Cells of the BBB actively transport metabolic products such as glucose across the BBB with specific proteins. This barrier also includes a thick basement membrane and astrocytic endfeet.

The BBB can be broken down by:

Hypertension (high blood pressure): high blood pressure opens the BBB.
Development: the BBB is not fully formed at birth.
Hyperosmolitity: a high concentration of a substance in the blood can open the BBB.
Microwaves: exposure to microwaves can open the BBB.
Radiation: exposure to radiation can open the BBB.
Infection: exposure to infectious agents can open the BBB.
Trauma, Ischemia, Inflammation, Pressure: injury to the brain can open the BBB. Injuries to any extremities is not a problem because the only connection to the central nervous system is via synapses.

Diseases involving the BBB include Meningitis, Epilepsy, Multiple sclerosis (MS), Neuromyelitis optica, Sleeping sickness, Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), De Vivo disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and Encephalitis{Including HIV and Rabies). Each of these diseases affects a weak spot in the BBB. Typical bacteria and lymphocytes can only cross the BBB only if a weakness develops. MS in particular is an attack on the spinal cord or central nervous system by an individual’s immune system.

This is our Open Thread. Please feel free to present your thoughts on any topic that comes to mind.

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, June 22, 2011: Hump Day

All hail the Queen!

It is high time we repealed this portion of Article 1, Section 9 of the United States Constitution:

“No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States”

We have our de facto ruling class, all they lack are the Titles so that we may more easily recognize who owns our fiefdoms.

We already have Palin and Bachman vieing for Queen, while Gingrich and Romney would be King, if given the opportunity.

There is an added benefit to having royalty: those in the lines of succession would constantly be bumping each other off to gain a higher position: and royalty leads to inbreeding – to keep the bloodlines “pure”, which, in turn, guarantees that within a few generations, the offspring of the ruling class will be imbeciles.

This is our daily open thread. So, open up!