Monday, December 15, 2014

Santa's Drunk and Rudolph Just Shit on My Roof

     It looks as if Santa's driving drunk and the only indication I've gotten that he's flown over Casa de Pottersville is reindeer shit on my roof. Ole St. Nick's so far off course even fucking NORAD can't find him and the only yule logs I've seen are the ones Popeye leaves in his cat litter box.
     So, in light of Santa's empty sack, yours truly had to break down and buy a brand new battery from AAA when I found myself needing to use my booster pack literally every time I wanted to start the nearly 17 year-old Ford Taurus. Triple A was nickle and diming me to death, insisting my battery was fine according to the hasty diagnostics done by one of their local contractors. So, despite the old one still having four years left on the warranty, it was either pulling out the booster pack every time I wanted to start the car or shell out nearly $120 for a new one.
     Right around this time, I was obliged to finally break down and turn on the gas heat, meaning my NStar bills will no longer feature those quaint bills in double digits. Earlier this month, I had to shell out $100 to have my turn signals fixed. Shorter version:
     I've had to make significant outlays of cash of late and at the worst time of the year when I'm trying to do my shopping. And I still haven't gotten anything for Number One and Number Two sons, not to mention Number One Son's girlfriend.
     Yesterday I was once again forced to do something I hate doing and appealed for help directly to over 170 people who'd helped out in the past. After a small but encouraging spate of donations within the first hour or so, they petered out to nothing. We haven't gotten a single one all day.
     Because of our always pecuniary state, Christmas will be thinner this year than usual. I refuse to forgo getting presents for my loved ones but Christmas here always involves doing some financial triage and deciding what bills can wait and which ones get paid first. To exacerbate things, the damned Department of Transitional Assistance is dicking us around again regarding our SNAP benefits as they struggle to adjust to this new business model they've been implementing since last October, making me fork out money for food as they did last fall.
     Next month will involve more uncommon but foreseen expenses such as the annual inspection and possibly an even more expensive repair job to one of the tie rods so it won't get slapped with a reject sticker. Anyone that's ever owned an old car should sympathize with my plight: Making constant or near-constant repairs because it's still cheaper than getting a new car.
     You don't know, unless you've been there, how much it galls me to have to remain in nearly constant fundraising mode, something I've somehow managed to avoid doing for more than two months. But despite my inability to find meaningful work that will actually pay all the bills, insisting on remaining alive demands one meet their obligations in a timely manner and I take my fiduciary responsibilities very seriously.
     If you have any spare cash, then please find the Paypal button at the top of the page or at the end of this post. Nearly 170 people have ignored my recent plea for assistance but perhaps you're one of the ones who've yet to contribute. I have a lot of weight on my shoulders and the less money I have, the heavier the burden gets. So if you can help even in the slightest, please do. You know you'll be in our warmest thoughts on Christmas day.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Good Times at Pottersville, #29



Thursday, December 11, 2014

Congressional Cassandras

     This shouldn't have come as any surprise to anyone who knows anything about the GOP.
     The nanosecond the "party of personal responsibility" found out they were going to dominate the entire legislative branch, the racism, insane demands and draconian legislation proposals began streaming out as raw sewage from a busted sewer line.
     The Republicans have shown they have about as much respect for democracy as the Nazis did the Weimar Republic that got them elected to power in 1933.
     No sooner than the votes were tallied in all their gerrymandered districts, we began hearing the President wouldn't be invited to the House chamber to deliver the State of the Union, a presidential tradition since 1790. We began hearing other rumors the GOP would then forbid President Obama from using Air Force One. And if they get their way, before poor Mr. Obama's public service career ends the Republicans will have him running the fucking country out of a broom closet in the Naval Observatory.
     But it can't be said the Democrats have been any great shakes, either. The looming budget bill, called a "chromnibus" by my senior Senator Elizabeth Warren, is not only a naked giveaway and massive Christmas present to Wall Street, it's being negotiated by so-called Democrats working in collusion with Republican lawmakers. It reads as if it was crafted by a multiply-cloned Max Baucus come back from the weeds with a vengeance.
     To give you just a few bullet points regarding this steaming pile of shit charitably referred to as a "spending bill", the bill in its present state would consist of this:
     Essentially a repeal of much of Dodd-Frank, a tepid, watered down replacement for Glass-Steagall at best, that would allow Wall Street banks to continue in risky and pre-doomed derivative speculation that Glass Steagall had forbade. It would also put the American taxpayer on the hook for the inevitable bailout. The 2008 and 2009 TARP bailout has already been estimated by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (pdf) to have cost the American taxpayer between six and 14 trillion dollars, which could come out to $120,000 per household. To put it in its simplest terms, it would once again reward Wall Street for criminal behavior.
     It would ramp up Citizen's United to the point where it would allow oligarchs to spend $777,000 or more on political campaigns and PACs.
     Oh and it would raid the pension funds of up to 1.5 million retirees. It would also, according to the WaPo, slash the budget for the IRS, always a favorite target of Republicans, to the point where they wouldn't be able to go after their tax-dodging billionaire bosses (not that the IRS is much invested in doing so, to begin with). That's right. This so-called "spending bill" would do exactly the opposite where the IRS and other perennial right wing targets are concerned.
     In other words, bloated and flushed with their newfound majority, Republicans plan on presenting the bottom 99% with a giant stocking filled with coal and not even the mythical clean-burning coal, at that. And all with the help of Democrats who are more concerned with submissively showing their belly to the Republicans than actually doing what's right.
     This can be viewed as a microcosm of what's wrong with today's Democrats in general, a telling synecdoche of why more of us don't turn out for elections and especially midterms. They are weak and fractured at best even when they have the majority in one or both houses of Congress. They are constantly infested with Blue Dogs who all but caucus with Republicans. At worst, they are seditious and collusive, showing their complete lack of a spinal column when the GOP gets the upper hand in one chamber or the other.
     And I don't want to hear any shit from people who cherry pick tiny nuggets of so-called progressivism and say, "I don't want to hear any shit about there being no difference between the parties."
     Because they all work for the same Wall Street banks and Fortune 500 companies. Freelance journalist Michael Collins calls both sides of the aisle "The Money Party." This is why I don't always vote Democrat and refuse to even listen to those who rail about my doing so making me a Fifth Columnist that empowers the Republicans.
     They don't need my help because the current crop DINO douchebags is already doing that.
     Elizabeth Warren (except regards her troubling support for Israel) usually finds herself on the right side of an argument. And when she comes out swinging in favor of Joe Lunchpail, one can tell it's not merely the empty, populist soaring rhetoric we hear from time to time from the asshole in the Oval Office. And until we begin electing real Democrats like Elizabeth Warren and fewer glassy-eyed lunatics such as Joni Ernst and corporate meat puppets like David Perdue, registered Democrats and progressive Independents will continue avoiding the polls in droves on Election Day. Until that day comes, Senators such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren will continue to be Congressional Cassandras, doomed to be ignored in spite of the truth of their words.

Good Times at Pottersville, 12/11/14

Sunday, December 7, 2014

We Were Had (Revised)

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)
(Editor's note: When Monkeyfister told me on Twitter last month that he'd front page this on Crooks and Liars in the week of December 7th, I asked Mikey to revise and expand this post that was originally put out in November. Since that time, Gruber is no longer in the news and with typical rapidity we've already absorbed our outrage over his arrogance and admission of disingenuousness. I'm unsure this post retains its original topical power. However, I'd like to think the facts as well as the linkage helping to assert the claims therein are empirical. And whether or not you agree with Mikey's editorializing, I hope you won't forget the Paypal button. I've just made a significant outlay of cash to get my 16 year-old car fixed and inspection-ready, Christmas is taking a big bite out of whatever meager savings I have and, with winter upon us, the gas bills are going to get much higher. So if you can please spare a few sheckels during the silly season, we here at Casa De Pottersville would immensely appreciate it. Remember, I do not and will not take on ads with which to distract and bother you and your generosity is all that's keeping us afloat. Thank you and happy holidays to all.)
     ObamaCare, to put it simply, is a snake venom that nonetheless somewhat succeeds in counteracting an even more pernicious malady. It's the red-hot poker that cauterizes a bleeding wound.
     It was never, ever intended to be anything more than that.
     It is a position, often a lonely and adversarial one, that had been consistently taken by yours truly in this very byline since the mislabeled Affordable Care Act was first being debated by no less than five Congressional committees starting in the spring of 2009. Yet, conservatives and truly enlightened liberals such as me cannot and should not succumb to the siren lure of schadenfreude in light of the strangely delayed revelations regarding Jonathan Gruber.
     Beginning in March of 2010, a week before Congress finally ratified the ACA and put it on Mr. Obama's desk to sign into law, Gruber had openly, brazenly and, until now, seemingly without impunity was crowing about how "lack of transparency and the stupidity of the American voter, whatever" was responsible for the bill's success. Then emerged a fifth video (and, no doubt, counting) of a now-infamous testy and condescending exchange between Gruber and a Vermont voter who was concerned about the ACA's ramifications.
     Predictably, wingnuts on Twitchy, Hot Air, Breitbart and other right wing convection ovens have been crowing about ObamaCare's inherent dishonesty, of which most us were already aware. But now they have in Gruber their smoking gun. Five, in fact. And among their talking points is how liberal elitists lied to the American public about the health care bill. But liberals had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the bill's crafting, creation or ratification.
     ObamaCare was passed in first the House, then the Senate then put on the president's desk to be signed into law as with countless other bills. It was not put on a national referendum and not one American voted for it. None of us little people had any say as to what it would contain or not.
     And now, "leaders" such as Nancy Pelosi are playing the predictably scummy, craven political game of distancing herself from someone she'd quoted and mentioned countless times five years ago who has now been exposed as the Most Hated Man in America. Democrats are running from Gruber as if he has Ebola, Obama and everyone associated with the bill who's still on the Hill are in full spin mode and right wingers who were told to hate the ACA by the Koch Brothers and Dick Armey's Freedomwerx now have their health care Willie Horton.

The Triple Whammy

     Regarding the Affordable Care Act, the series of Gruber gaffes is the third whammy that may have finally sunk ObamaCare. First was the clusterfuck of a rollout. The government literally had several years to set up a workable website with adequate server space. State-run partners, through their own exchanges, had the same amount of time. But ObamaCare's website immediately crashed like a soggy house of cards because the Obama administration, hardly to the surprise of yours truly, decided to outsource its set-up and implementation to a private corporation (and not even an American one).
     Secondly, there was Obama's palpable lie of, "If you like your present health care plan, you can keep it," which proved to be as honest and prescient as Obama pledging to close Guantanamo Bay or loopholes for corporations headquartered overseas.
     Thirdly, there's Gruber's arrogant, condescending and out of touch comments about the American people and his pride in the lack of transparency of the government that had paid him so handsomely to mislead the public.
     And last year while conservatives jeered, liberals struggled to put on a happy face and bombed Twitter and Facebook with memes about how Bush killed hundreds of thousands (a place they seriously do not want to go) while Obama had a slow website. Now it's almost entertaining watching these liberals who think everything Obama does is in some way miraculous on a Biblical level struggling even more mightily to keep on their O faces after ample evidence has been avalancheing out of the past at warp speed 10 that its architect called them "stupid."
     It's impossible to estimate the embarrassment this has visited on the Obama administration, which paid this man over $400,000 to craft a bill that was mislabeled as almost all about health care (hence the inevitably sarcastic name of the bill). It ought to be embarrassing to the mainstream media for letting these explosive revelations languish for better than four and a half years. And it should be embarrassing to any Democrat still in Congress who'd voted for such a steaming pile of horse shit.
     Most of all, it should be embarrassing to so-called liberals such as Esquire's Charles Pierce (who seemed to love it simply because it helped his ailing wife) who thought the tepid reforms and it being just a giant gateway to the free market was the greatest thing since Medicare (which in 1965 LBJ signed into law without him or Congress having to mislead the American public). In short, anyone who hated the bill or opposed it with such virulence should be stripped of their voting rights and undergo a mandatory psychological evaluation. Because it seems no one save for Gruber, the President and several people on the five committees that had refined and crafted it knew exactly what it contained.

The Three Blind Chinese Men and the Republican Mascot
   
       I'm sure we all know the story of the three blind Chinese men and the elephant. One blind man felt the tail and thought it was a rope. Another at the other end felt the trunk and thought it was a snake. The third in the middle felt the stomach and thought it was a wall. The parable shows that, without the proper context, individual parties can be completely wrong about what they think they perceive.
     This perfectly describes the second-hand experience of the American voter who had no say in the bill's crafting and had foisted off on them like a pile of flaming dog shit on Cabbage Night. It was a testament, albeit a sad one, of the persistent cheerfulness and glass-half-full optimism of your typical Obama voter.
     But the fact remains that out of all the bills signed into law by the nearly six year-old Obama administration. the ACA is easily the most misunderstood one of all. And that's not completely their fault. The administration's and Democratic Congress's explanations of it were largely incoherent, almost as much as the Teabaggers' screaming oppositions to it during Town Halls in the summer of 2009. And Gruber did, after all, lie to not just us but the nonpartisan CBO over how the ACA should be packaged and sold (90% cost control and 10% mandatory health care instead of the opposite). The ACA was largely funded through tax hikes on the 1% yet Gruber, inanely, disregarded the populist appeal of raising taxes on the wealthy and (under the assumption we "stupid voters" didn't know how to read), deliberately suppressed any hint it was a tax hike.
     Yet it wasn't as if there was a complete media blackout of the bill's contents.
     However, liberals chose to ignore the back room deal struck by Rahm Immanuel (whose very name ought to be, if it already isn't, synonymous with arrogant, Democratic elitism) and Big Pharma to cap drug reimbursements at $80,000,000,000. Dig hole in sand, insert head. Repeat as necessary.
     Liberals also stuck their fingers in their ears when Max Baucus, then chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, refused to hear testimony from universal single-payer advocates who were arrested for speaking up and even made a joke about running out of cops to Republican Chuck Grassley. Liberals were also nonplussed that the ACA was never, ever intended (despite Obama's immediately-broken campaign promises) to be anything more or less than a gateway to the very same health insurance companies that have been bilking the American taxpayer, and government, for decades, turning our health care system into the rest of the world's punchline.
     And Gruber's abominable and infuriating comments about the "stupidity" of the American people that he nonetheless willfully mislead and even lied to show just how much of an out-of-touch elitist he truly is. His comments back on March 10, 2010, when the bill was still being hashed out, that Americans care much more about health care costs and far less about insuring the uninsured are so wrongheaded and ignorant it's beyond laughter.

One Shade of Grayson


     I guess he forgot all about Alan Grayson constantly hammering home the fact on the floor of the House that 48,000,000 Americans were uninsured and that 45,000 of them die each year for lack of health coverage. I suppose Gruber also forgot about liberals (the real ones) screaming about universal single payer and not allowing red states to opt out of Medicare expansion out of a misguided and futile attempt to respect "states' rights" (a sop thrown to the GOP that got exactly two Republican votes in the Senate and has not done a thing to keep Republicans from voting no less than 52 consecutive times to repeal ObamaCare).
     I also suppose Gruber forgot about Congressman Grayson's Medicare Expansion bill, all three and a half streamlined pages of it, that he'd drafted out nearly five years ago and attracted over 70 co-sponsors.
     Limousine liberals and the Obama administration (as I'd said here several times) made the colossal mistake of investing so much political capital on one piece of domestic legislation so early in its history. With the Iraq War, Afghanistan, terrorism, Gitmo, immigration, environmental issues, gay rights and too many others to name, the Obama administration should've dispersed its political capital more evenly instead of putting all its eggs in one basket.
     And so-called liberals, happily following that disastrous meme, acted as if the success of the rest of the Obama administration rested with ratification of the ACA, a bloated and more unwieldy version of the equally disastrous RomneyCare here in Massachusetts.
     Liberals had it only half right as were spittle-flecked teabaggers who didn't, couldn't or wouldn't understand it any better than we: ObamaCare has undoubtedly saved lives and over 10,000 fewer Americans are dying every year through lack of coverage. It has driven down premiums, deductibles and co-pays as well as abolishing the prejudice against those with preexisting conditions. And your child can remain on your health care plan until they're 26.
     But it was, at best, a vastly flawed work in progress in desperate need of improvement. Liberals made the mistake of seeing it, hairy warts and all, with the peculiar beer goggles with which lonely horny men see the sole remaining barfly at last call. If it was to be so popular, then why enforce "compliance" through two bylaws in the federal tax code? Conservatives hoarsely screamed as they were told to that it was a Commie takeover of 1/6 of our national economy while Sarah Palin sneeringly claimed to see death panels from her house.
     It was neither. It was a single, staggering step in the right direction, with muddy bootprints. But with Gruber's astoundingly stupid confessions these past four to five years, this may be the monkey wrench the newly-empowered Republicans have been looking for to finally repeal the ACA and put us right back to the Dark Ages we were in prior to the bill's passage. Liberals and conservatives ought to stop pointing the finger at each other and pointing it, instead, at elitist assholes such as Gruber and Obama. We were all had.

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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Good Times at Pottersville, 12/6/14






Thursday, December 4, 2014

Recycling Day

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Good Times at Pottersville, 12/2/14

Friday, November 28, 2014

Two Dead, Two to Go in Ohio

     This is the security video capturing the last few seconds of 12 year-old Tamir Rice's life. Note how fast the Cleveland cops shoot him dead. We're talking two seconds or less. This video plainly belies their official story that they told the kid three times to drop the gun. They even had the nerve to circle in red the kid's hand as it supposedly reached for the gun. Maybe his final thought was to hand it to them. He never even had the chance to put his hands up.
     Since we've established the child was 12 and that he had just a toy gun, we don't need any further context. The video shows us everything we need to know. The cop shot the child dead 2 seconds or less after they arrived then the craven cunt hid behind the cruiser. This shows the fascist, paranoid mindset of white cops in heavily black communities, the Us vs Them mentality. It also shows how badly these men and women are trained, that they don't take into account the difference between a man and a child or a toy gun and a real gun.
     And all because some old white woman thought she saw a gang banger. With no context other than her saying she thought the gun might be a toy, that was good enough for two white cops who went there with premeditated murder on their minds.
     Let's keep one other thing in mind: In Ohio, Open Carry is legal and white men openly parade their ordnance with complete impunity. But this is the second case this year of a black male getting gunned down in Ohio for carrying a toy gun (The second being John Crawford III, who looked eerily like my older son and is the same age) because some paranoid white asshole suffering from Angry Black Man syndrome called the cops.
     It's open season on black people, always has been and always will be until some radical changes are made (and, no, shooting cops and ramping up their already radical militarizartion is NOT the answer). We saw it during the antebellum era, we saw it during the Civil Rights era, we saw it in Algiers Point in the wake of Katrina and we're seeing it now. And the Ferguson nondecision sets a very, very dangerous precedent for African Americans. Because, as sure as redneck states began passing voter suppression bills in the wake of the SCOTUS' gutting of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, this horrendous exoneration of Darren Wilson will tell white cops once and for all, "Yes, it's perfectly permissible to gun down black people in cold blood. Don't worry, we'll find some rationale for it even if we have to manufacture it."
     Want to kill a black person you don't like? Just call the cops have them do your dirty work for you. You'll even make your hit man rich and famous in the process.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

     From left to right, clockwise: Pork gravy, broccoli, cranberry sauce, butternut squash, homemade mashed potatoes, Charlene's Cheesy Potatoes, pork loin with cherry preserve topping, Bell's stuffing and a fine but inexpensive bottle of Riesling. Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours. Please have a safe, happy holiday.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tweets From the Edge: Ferguson edition

  













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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Good Times at Pottersville, #27


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Tweets From the Edge

     Tatterdemalion's third line edit is racing to a finish but it looks as if your porcine powerhouse will have to do a fourth after Thanksgiving to meet his goal of getting it to under 200,000 words. So, as always, time's at a premium. In the meantime, please accept this dubious substitute for wit and wisdom over the last week from my Twitter feed.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Good Times at Pottersville, 11/19/14


Monday, November 17, 2014

Good Times at Pottersville, 11/17/14


Friday, November 14, 2014

Good Times at Pottersville, 11/14/14


All Time Classics

  • Our Worse Half: The 25 Most Embarrassing States.
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  • Top Ten Conservative Books
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  • The Ten Worst Music Videos of all Time
  • Assclowns of the Week

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  • #99: Dr. Strangehate edition
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  • #92: Akin to a Fool edition.
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  • #90: Keep Your Gubmint Hands Off My High Pre'mums and Deductibles! edition.
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  • #85: The Top 50 Assclowns of 2010 edition.
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  • #77: ...And Justice For Once edition.
  • #76: Reading Tea Leaves/Labor Day edition.
  • #75: Diamond Jubilee/Inaugural Edition
  • #74: Dropping the Crystal Ball Edition
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  • #72: Trick or Treat Election Day Edition
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  • #70: Soulless Corporations and the Politicians Who Love Them Edition
  • Top 10 Secret Service Security Breaches
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  • Top Ten Ways Pope Francis is Deviating From Convention
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  • Top 10 Emails Hacked From the Bush Family's Email Accounts
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  • Top 10 Examples of How Hard the Campaign Trail is on Ann D. Romney.
  • Top 10 Ways to Tell The Boston Red Sox Are Finished.
  • Top 10 Things Mitt May be Hiding in His Tax Returns.
  • Top 10 Events at the Romney Olympics.
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  • Top Ten Reasons Why Dick Cheney Got a Heart Transplant.
  • Top 10 Facts About Tonight's New England/Denver Game.
  • My Top 10 Resolutions.
  • Top 10 Rejected Slogans of the Romney Campaign.
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  • Top 10 Trending Topics on Twitter During #OWS Eviction.
  • Top 10 Herman Cain Pickup Lines.
  • Top 10 Changes Since Anthony Weiner Decided to Resign.
  • Top 10 Inaccuracies re bin Laden's Death.
  • Top 10 Ways to Prevent a TSA Patdown.
  • Top Ten Things Not to Say When You're Pulled Over.
  • Top 10 Reasons Why Donald Trump Bowed Out of the Presidential Race.
  • Top 10 Ways Evangelicals Will Prepare for the Rapture II.
  • Top 10 Revelations in Today's Parliament Inquiry into News Corp.
  • Top 10 Reasons Why There Was No Vote on the Debt Ceiling Last Night.
  • Top 10 Revelations in Dick Cheney's Upcoming Memoir.
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  • Top Ten Inaccuracies in Bill O'Reilly's Book About Lincoln.
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  • Top Ten Reasons Terry Jones Postponed His Koran Burning
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  • Top Ten Bizarre Promos Offered by the New Jersey Nets
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  • Boolean Bozoism

  • #19
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  • Empire Of The Senseless.
  • Christwire.org: Conservative Values for an Unsaved World.
  • Esquire's Charles Pierce.
  • Brilliant @ Breakfast.
  • The Burning Platform.
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  • Mock, Paper, Scissors.
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  • Avedon's Sideshow (the new site).
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  • Driftglass.
  • Newshounds.
  • William Grigg, a great find.
  • Brad Blog.
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  • Wayne's World. Party time! Excellent!
  • Busted Knuckles, aka Ornery Bastard.
  • Mills River Progressive.
  • Right Wing Watch.
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  • Anosognosia.
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  • Outtake Online, Emmy-winner Charlotte Robinson's site.
  • The artist formerly known as Politits. The politics are still liberal.
  • Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo
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  • Wikileaks.
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  • Tom Tomorrow's hilarious strip.
  • Babelfish, an instant, online translator. I love to translate Ann Coulter's site into German.
  • Newsmeat: Find out who's donating to whom.
  • Wikipedia.
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