Saturday, May 21, 2011

It's The End Of The World — Preakness RAPTURE Edition

In case you haven't heard, an octogenarian evangelist and Christian radio personality has predicted the End of The World, also known as The Rapture, for this Saturday. Aside from it placing a crimp on most people's weekend plans ... there's a little matter of the 136th running of the Preakness Stakes that just happens to coincide with the RAPTURE.

According to evangelical preacher Harold Camping, the end of the world BEGINS today at around 6 p.m. (is that Eastern, Central, Mountain or Pacific?) with some earthquakes. BUT — and this is really good self-promotion for Camping — the total end of the world will not actually occur until October 21. C'mon, Pastor Camping. That's a whole lotta latitude. You cannot respectably handicap the APOCALYPSE and say, "Well ... it's between now and the next six months ..."

Is it only coincidence that the Rapture kicks off at roughly the same time the Preakness does? And is this a sign the Apocalypse is at hand? Behold, KEGASUS, the half-man half-beast holding court AT THE SITE OF THE GREAT RACE!

And now, for the apocalyptic moment our readers have awaited, THE THINKER's Preakness selections. Can lightning strike twice? All I can say is, I've given this race careful thought and consideration to give you the very best of my handicapping skills. So let's proceed and LET IT RIDE:

1. #11 - ANIMAL KINGDOM. Naturally. No self-respecting handicapper of the Triple Crown would get off his inspired pick after it roared home to win the Kerntucky Derby at 20-1. But even if he weren't my pick for the Derby, THE PRINCE would be IT today. ANIMAL KINGDOM is the class of this field. Curiously, the naysayers whose pockets are lighter because of him, still do not give him his due respect even though he looks every bit his daddy's son — "he looks like a KING out there," said one analyst. LEROIDESANIMAUX never got the respect he deserved in his day, as a super-horse, either, probably because he's got that "(BRZ)" after his name. ANIMAL KINGDOM is the best horse in this race. In my opinion, he will prove to be a great one when the dust settles. But even the greatest of them all, SECRETARIAT, lost to a horse named ONION ... Which proved the inspiration for the satirical political publication of the same name. (I made that part up, but it sounds plausible.)

2.#9 - MUCHO MACHO MAN. This horse is a warrior, as are all stakes horses who carry the HOLY BULL bloodline. Some analysts argue he's on a downward glide, form-wise. I would argue the opposite, that the really good horses only get better under trials by fire. He's clipped heels, been hard bumped, blocked and forced wide in past races, and he always seems to get there. Kathy Ritvo, like Graham Motion, the classy and unassuming Brit who trains ANIMAL KINGDOM, is one trainer with a compelling personal story coming back from a heart transplant, who steers clear of the trash talking and imperious orbit of Zito-Pletcher-Baffert-Assmussen. It's time for some other good guys to bask in the spotlight of training a great horse. I think this race may develop as an exciting grudge match between ANIMAL KINGDOM and hard-luck 3rd place finisher MUCHO MACHO MAN.

3. #4 - FLASHPOINT. Of the new arrivals to the Triple Crown wars this lightly raced and freshened Wesley Ward trainee looms as one of the most dangerous to the top choices. In a race which promises a hot pace, this horse will be a pressing pace factor with lots of upside and pure speed. Look out.

4. #10 - DIALED IN. A lukewarm choice. This Nick Zito trainee has a $6 MILLION BONUS incentive for its connections to win the race. Still, it's ultimately up to the horse, whose best chance is to close into a hot pace with his late kick and pick up the pieces of an ANIMAL KINGDOM duel with MUCHO MACHO MAN or FLASHPOINT. One GOOD outcome if the RAPTURE is at hand is we won't have to put up with Zito's God-speak about his horses, as he'll surely be one of the chosen 200 million (how did they aarrive at that figure ... polling?) to take that RAPTURE escalator to HEAVEN.

Also consider for your exactas and trifectas, MR. COMMONS (#14), a 40-1 bomb who ships in from California as a true contender and pace factor; ASTROLOGY (#1), another upset possibility from the 1-hole, royally bred and fit for Steve Asmussen; and SWAY AWAY (#6), another dangerous closer from the Seattle Slew line, with speed that belongs and plenty of upside.

FINALLY, make sure to keep an eye out for this guy, Pastor Camping's FIRST AND ONLY choice:

Friday, May 20, 2011

HANDS OFF MY MEDICA-a-a-re ... Paul Ryan Takes Granny For A Stroll

Apparently, this ad is too harsh even for the sensibilities of most MSNBC hosts. (Except for Big Eddie, but he's a radio guy.) But it's an apt and truthful metaphor. Remember when Republicans were saying that the Democrats' Affordable Health Act was going to "pull the plug on Grandma" when it actually strengthened Medicare over the long term? That was a Republican LIE concocted as a talking point by Frank Luntz. Now Paul Ryan is spreading more Orwellian doublespeak LIES with his "radical social engineering" to end Medicare and turn it into a voucher plan. As if the voucher could ever pay for hip replacements, cancer treatments, chronic illnesses, and nursing home care for Alzheimer's patients; the universe of serious health issues afflicting the elderly.

Ryan, the Objectivist ideologue, who went to college on the government's largesse — Social Security survivor benefits — and has never had to care for an elderly relative, says he wants to "empower" seniors. As if our seniors, who worked their entire lives, contributing to their guaranteed retirement under Social Security and Medicare, rather than living out their golden years in secure and dignified retirement, many no longer ambulatory, many suffering from serious illnesses, are now "empowered" to go searching the private market for healthcare from the same shysters who currently rob them of their Social Security checks.

The consequence of Republican cuts to Medicare and the social safety net this nation has ALWAYS honored through Democratic and Republican administrations since the DEMOCRATIC PARTY enacted Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid is that PEOPLE WILL DIE AS A DIRECT RESULT OF THESE DRACONIAN MEASURES.

Meanwhile, in New York's 26th district, a special election is being held for the seat of that shirtless congressman (was he Paul Ryan's workout buddy? Seems like the type ...) cruising Craigslist for transsexuals to satisfy his repressed Republican sexual appetites. As it turns out, this is one of the MOST REPUBLICAN districts in the nation, and the Democratic candidate is running even with the Republican. Guess what the ONLY issue is: Paul Ryan's plan to kill Medicare. Guess who they've brought in to do robo-calls on the Republican candidate's behalf. This guy (see below). The GOP's disdain for the voters' intelligence is boundless. Watch:

WEST: I don’t think it destroys Medicare.

[Audience groans]

CONSTITUENTS: Hands off Medicare! Hands off Medicare! Hands off Medicare!

WEST: I will take my hands off Medicare and when there is no Medicare, then I will come see you sir. Next slide.

CONSTITUENTS: Hands off Medicare!
Yep. This radical Ryanite (a new definition for fascist) is one of the Republicans tapped to make robo-calls to NY-26 voters with fake assurances the GOP will not kill Medicare.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


A New Jersey woman shot this AMAZING iPhone photo of the shuttle liftoff from an airliner. WOW.

Rachel has the perfect follow-up in her really cool series, "Best New Thing In The World":

From Rep. Gabbie Giffords, a thumbs-up and, "GOOD DEAL."

I'm already getting Shuttle-space-liftoff-some kind of awesome withdrawal ... How 'bout you?

What's Wrong With This Picture?

By all accounts, David Gregory is a good guy. But he's not a very good journalist. Set aside the over-the-top superlatives from his colleagues for his cheshire cat grin gotcha of Newt's slipup in supporting the "Obamacare" mandate. Any half-connected journalism student would have gotten that one. So what's wrong with this picture?

Here it is:
GINGRICH: I have never said anything about President Obama which is racist.

GREGORY: But what did you mean?


There are two rules for good journalistic interviews: First, be prepared; ask the right questions. Gregory is always very well prepared. The second, and most important rule for me (and any informed consumer of news) is, ask the FUCKING FOLLOW-UP QUESTION!

Oh sure, the good MSNBC political shows were all over it the next day. But the "echo chamber" concept works both ways. The fact is, the viewer demographic for Meet The Press includes a broader, less political audience, those "independents" the pundits say decide elections. Why is David Gregory holding out on his audience?

There is a reason Newt Gingrich was the most popular guest on Meet The Press in 2009 (a little-known fact); perhaps not in 2010, after Gregory was busted. That reason is not that David Gregory is the "adversarial" interviewer claimed by Gingrich — in full damage control the next day.

It's the same reason the right wing Beltway darlings are lining up to be on Gregory's show: David Gregory is a right wing propaganda "policy" enabler. The show is structured such that these people are provided an open platform to spout their propaganda, uncontested except in a very tea-parlor-raised-pinky kind of way. Even if the questions aren't vetted in advance, you've got to be a "profoundly stupid" politician (Mama Grizzly) not to know what the ever polite and obsequious Gregory is going to ask you.

David Gregory isn't an idiot, but he's a card-carrying member of the Idiot Punditocracy. They're not idiots, but they think we, the audience, are. With good reason. The MTP demographic is easily fooled, steered, influenced, in the direction of the corporatist, elitist, conservative Beltway Media narrative; not toward the truth. Why? Figure it out.

David Gregory, Marbles Mouth's annointed one, is a Beltway Media luminary. But he's not a very good journalist. Here's how a REAL JOURNALIST would have followed up —

GREGORY [Interrupting FILIBUSTER FILLER]: "But you also said this regarding an article on President Obama by Dinesh D'Souza:"
You said D’Souza made a “stunning insight” into Obama’s behavior — the “most profound insight I have read in the last six years about Barack Obama.”

“What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece [his actions]?” You ask. “That is the most accurate, predicative model for his behavior.”

And then you said, “This is a person who is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works, who happened to have played a wonderful con, as a result of which he is now president.” What about that, Mr. Gingrich ... isn't that racist?"
What about that, David Gregory ... Hmmm?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Premature Crowing Over The "End" Of Newt's Political Career

In the often hilarious two-day flameout of Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign, in which we learn the "king of bling:" owes Tiffany's between $250,000 and ONE and ONE HALF MILLION DOLLARS (gee, here I thought it was Trump's wife, not Callista Gingrich's mother of all shopping sprees ... they must be rounding off the bill to the nearest dollar); supports President Obama's healthcare mandate, i.e., "Obamacare;" and considers Paul Ryan's Medicare privatization plan "radical right wing social engineering"— why should progressives be so eager to "dance on his political grave"?

Amid all the political chatter surrounding the Gingrich Grand Mal faux pas (plural?), Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post managed the most prescient observation above all the excited din: We forget that Newt Gingrich — in slamming Paul Ryan and the entire GOP Congress, violating Reagan's "11th Comandment"— has taken a popular position. Gingrich has already done incalculable damage to Republican electoral prospects and GOP political schemes to destroy Medicare. So why turn off the spigot? Kudos to Gene Robinson, who gave David Gregory a lesson in journalism with much, much less material to work with. And, of course, Rachel's context was right on target.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Quotable: Britt Hume On Newt Gingrich ... If Britt Weren't A Wingnut

"Newt Gingrich is a provocative PROMISCUOUS thinker, but a promiscuous PROVOCATIVE talker."

Preakness Notes: Animal Kingdom Was No Fluke

It's all in the pedigree.

There's no doubt that the top choice ANIMAL KINGDOM is the one to beat this Saturday in the second leg of the Triple Crown. He may be our best chance at breaking the Triple Crown drought since AFFIRMED last won it in 1978. I'll post my Preakness picks on Friday, for whoever is most likely to finish behind ANIMAL KINGDOM. There are some new characters in the mix all aiming to beat him, the distance is shorter — one mile and one-eight — and the track is faster, speed-favoring. ANIMAL KINGDOM will be tested to the limits of his class, but I have faith.

Lauren Stich, the Racing Form's undisputed pedigree expert, also picked ANIMAL KINGDOM to win the Derby, based on the strength of his sire, LEROIDESANIMAUX. Amazingly, this horse was overlooked as a sire despite having broken three track records (two in America and one in Canada) during his relatively brief racing career. Here he is, shattering the Atto Mile at Woobbine, Canada, in 2005. Note of interest — Johnny V. Was aboard for this win, so he has ridden father and son to stakes victories:

And here is LEROIDESANIMAUX as a totally adorable baby foal in Brazil, his great days still ahead but already with the bearing of a champion:

Okay, I'm Taking A Stand Against Lawrence ...

AND conservative/wingnut pundit George Will. Neither Tim Pawlenti NOR Mitch Daniels will be the Republican nominees for president. PERIOD.

Lawrence is banking on the premise that early polls are to be ignored to keep up his Pawlenti drumbeat. True. At least in part ... the only poll/cliché that counts, as the politicians say, is the one on election day, etc, etc. And when that day comes, Pawlenti and Daniels will be nowhere. Because the election, like the race, must still be held!

Just a hunch. But my informed political hunches are as good as my Derby-selecting skills. See you at the finish line, Lawrence. Hopefully, sans that odious Dana Milbank, the singular and inexplicable MSNBC "pundit" who is a categorical channelchanger. Only the toe-sucker at Fox surpasses him in the slime-creep factor.

I don't get it, unless MSNBC has a booking office infested with wingnuts, libertarians, and assorted progressive and liberal haters.

Couldn't Stand The Heat: The Donald And The History Huckster Drop Out

I, for one, am sad to see Donald Trump pull a reality check on his fake presidential campaign and quit the race before he is further humiliated and drops in the polls lower than Michele Bachmann and, more importantly, his show continues sliding in the ratings. NBC's president is already envisioning a "Celebrity Apprentice" without Trump, which must have terrified him. After his humiliating sendup on the White House Correspondents Dinner — a double-whammy from President Obama and SNL's Seth Meyers — which even made me wince (empathetically, I am loathe to admit) for Trump, his pretensions were over.

Then the final nail in the coffin was President Obama cutting into the grand finale of "Celebrity Apprentice" to announce the killing of bin Laden, also satirized by SNL — it was not bin Laden's but Trump's political grave they were dancing on. Donald Trump was completely humiliated, mocked and shown to be out of his depth. He may never recover from it in whatever he does going forward. Once exposed as a fraud and a clown, it's hard to recover, no matter how many fake millions Trump has.

Good riddance. It serves Trump right for glomming onto racism and birtherism. Didn't he say something about Karma? Bad Karma eventually catches up with you. Now he knows. Jason Linkins of the Huff Post gives him a fine sendoff. And Lawrence is sharpening his knives in the wings ... stay tuned.

In related news, Mike Huckabee the History Huckster announced he would not be running for president, even though he was leading in every early poll and was probably a cinch to win Iowa, with its social conservative religious caucus voters on the Right. Instead, Huckabee turned into a self-styled American history huckster, unveiling a bizarre fake history wingnut cartoon view of American history, in which Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, presided over an America whose values were sliding (hmm ... a mere 12 years after Democratic President Johnson signed the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, extending the full benefits of citizenship to our African American residents) and scary black urban dwellers wearing "DISCO" T-shirts mugged you.

Then along comes Ronald Reagan and we have an enduring nightmare that has crippled our greatness and economy — a nightmare called "morning in America." Along the way, he talks about American exceptionalism when we defeated the Germans and the Japanese in World War II, without once mentioning the salient omission that it was under a Democratic president and administration that we vanquished not only the Great Depression but nazism and fascism.

But here's the good part; the silver lining. All those morons in the Huckster's employ who put together this crude, cartoonish revisionism/propaganda phony history of America failed to notice they had been PUNKED BIG-TIME by the hero cartoonist. If anything, this artist is the anti-Leni Riefenstahl. I was particularly taken with the grotesque depiction of their hero, nay GOD, Ronald Reagan as a cross between a toothless hillbilly and Frankenstein.

Your move, Huckster.

Rhambo Storms Chi-Town: A Musical Tribute

Mayor Rham "Rhambo" Emanuel was sworn in today as Chicago's new mayor replacing our irreplaceable legend, Richie Daley, the ONE AND ONLY TRUE AMERICA'S MAYOR! So, to commemorate Rhambo's new kickass post, where the four-letter F- and S- words are just Chicago figures of speech, here's a musical tribute to Mayor Rahm FUCKING Emanuel:

The Emanuel HOPE song:

And as the CHICAGO BULLS crushed the lukewarm Miami Heat in GAME ONE of the playoffs, here's HOPING Mayor Rahm FUCKING Emanuel can be a LUCKY talisman ...

From One “Nice Guy” To Another: The Wingnut “Problem” With Women

Bill-O The Clown’s pro forma scolding of Glenn Beck for Beck’s repulsive mockery of Meghan McCain on his radio show is like watching a PSA by IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on how to treat female subordinates and the hired help. In yet another of his desperate attention-seeking gutter antics, Beck verbally and visually assaulted Meghan McCain for her faux nude appearance on a PSA aimed at alerting young people — about the age of Beck’s daughters — to the dangers of skin cancer.

Meghan’s mother, Cindy, fired off this classy tweet at the guttersnipe Beck:

And her father reverting back to the old John McCain for the second time in as many days said, “I now think I can relate more closely to Harry Truman who took some umbrage at a critic that criticized his daughter’s singing … I don’t think I should dignify that kind of behavior with a comment.” He was referring to a 1950 Truman letter to Washington Post critic Paul Hume who had caustically criticized Truman’s daughter for her singing. Truman wrote:
“Some day, I hope to meet you. When that happens, you will need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes and perhaps a supporter below.”
Unlike the wingnut chickenshit chickenhawks, John McCain served in combat and endured years of torture from his North Vietnamese captors. I’d pay to see him rearrange Beck’s face, wouldn't you? Although I suspect McCain's makeover of Beck's face would undoubtedly improve the sicko's evil Piglet appearance.

But it was Meghan herself who slammed the scumbag good in her column for the Daily Beast, in which she said:
While we’re on the subject of you vomiting on air, maybe we should have a little talk. Clearly you have a problem with me, and possibly women in general, but the truth is, it’s 2011 and I heard your show on Fox was canceled. Isn’t that an indication that the era of the shock-jock pundit is over? Don’t you think that’s a sign you should be pulling it back a little? I mean, if you’re too conservative and outrageous for Fox, that should tell you something. There really is no need to make something like my participation in a skin-cancer PSA into a sexist rant about my weight and physical appearance, because I’m going to let you in on a little secret, Glenn: you are the only one who looks bad in this scenario, and at the end of the day you have helped me generate publicity for my skin-cancer PSA, a cause that I feel quite passionate about.

You’re a full-grown man with teenage daughters who are probably dealing with the sexist, body-obsessed media environment that is difficult for all women. Is this really the legacy you want to be leaving for yourself?

As a person who is known for his hot body, you must find it easy to judge the weight fluctuations of others, especially young women. [Don't you love her sarcasm here ...] If any of your daughters are ever faced with some kind of criticism of their physical appearance or weight, they should call me, because women’s body image is another issue I feel passionate about, and have become accustomed to dealing with and speaking with young women about on my college tours. [More urgently, encourage them to call social services if they are being mentally or physically abused by their psychopath father.]

So thanks for spreading the word, Glenn. And next time, instead of jumping straight to the “Meghan McCain fat jokes,” maybe try out some new material. Because the fat-joke thing, it’s been done so many times, I know a creative intellect such as yourself can do better than that. [Edit: ... a sick, psychotic scumsucker such as yourself can do nothing else. Good riddance at Fox and with your incredibly shrinking radio audience/market and advertiser flight. We're keeping a running list of your commercial advertisers.] (Comments, edits mine.)
Have you noticed how Rightwingville's problem with women isn't (obviously) just confined to Glenn Beck, but more broadly, seems amazingly homogeneous? The pitiful sexual pathology of the wingnut male is drawn to vapid, unthreatening, leggy women, with skirts pulled up to their tailbones (is that a Fox "News" dress code?), and to a queen bee of sorts, their blonde fraulein dominatrix goddess, Megyn Kelly, with her eager beaver "I'm an anchor!" posture.

Wingnuts have a problem dealing with women as regular human beings. In my observation of these freakazoids, they were social outcasts incapable of connecting with women (must have something to do with their early upbringing), and frequently joined fraternities where they learned to conform and to reinforce antisocial behavior that objectifies women — because they're terrified of them.

You can see a window into the sick wingnut mind in our favorite wingnut rag, The Daily Caller. (I pity the wingnut women who must endure psychological bondage in order to fit in with this weird fraternity of sexual deviants.) The depravity starts right at the top. Tucker Swanson Carlson (who's funding your little operation, Swannie?) whom Rachel Maddow recently called a "friend" had no problem allowing his wanking subordinates to dredge up an old high school picture of Rachel — published eons ago by the Huff Post — and gratuitously posting before and after photos of Rachel to make some weird, specious wingnut point about her appearance: What, she's no longer blonde? ... Oh, the humanity!

I suspect it all comes down to an undersized equipment malfunction. Here's a prime example of the grandiose, overcompensating wingnut, the lecherous "manly man" who seems to think being Irish and a sexual predator are one and the same: