Friday, September 19, 2014

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Big Bird Special"

Another snappy answer to a stupid question...

Tea Party threatening voters (again)

Ooh! Threats!

Up in Wisconsin, the Tea Party has now formed its own "militia" to intimidate voters at the polls. They call theirselves the Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia. I seem to recall True the Vote doing something like this a few years back (while all their voter fraud complaints were being discredited), but the tough talk isn't scaring anyone.

The Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia's main targets are folks who signed the petition to support the recall election against fascist Gov. Scott Walker 2 years ago. On their Facebook page, this "militia" posted a message declaring, "Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia is a force that is armed. Do not approach our members by engaging in a physical hostile act because you are going to get put down like a rabid dog."

If I lived in Wisconsin, my message would be this: I dare you. They lay a finger on me, they get a bloody face. I wonder if they even carry weapons, because they're probably such wusses that they're afraid of scissors and paper airplanes.

These right-wing thugs plan to conduct "militia training" tomorrow where they will hand out "watch lists" of voters to harass.

Voter intimidation is a crime.

Bill would gag workers exposing freeloaders

The First Amendment is under attack in Michigan.

After the Wolverine State passed its hated "right-to-work" law, the Far Right still hasn't gotten its class hatred out of their system. They never do. The draconian welfare "reform" law of 1996 wasn't enough for them, and "right-to-work" isn't either. So now Tea Party State Rep. Kevin Daley has introduced a bill that would make it illegal for workers to publicize the names of scabs who refuse to pay union fees for the benefits they receive.

This bill is an unconstitutional attack on free speech. Period. Full stop. If someone won't pay their union fees, why is it wrong for someone else to point this out? This is like when "baseball" tried to silence Joe Nuxhall for pointing out that an umpire who started a fight with Pete Rose was a strikebreaker.

And so, the party of "limited government" attacks again.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Don't have a Dow, man

I believe it was Sunday that the latest mandatory round of Windows 7 updates more or less fried my old computer. One of few things I could do with my old machine after that was use it to order a new one.

So I did, and the delivery bloke brang it yesterday. Although Windows 8.1 looks like it was written for people who weren't even born yet when this blog started, I haven't had any major problems with it yet.

But one thing about Windows 8.1 just bakes my gizzard. The default desktop has an assortment of shiny apps built in, which appear automatically - and one of them is, of all things, the latest Dow Jones stock report.

I was 14 when the 1987 stock market crash occurred, and because I was young and foolish, I thought at the time that market crashes were a bad thing. But actually, Reagan had already gutted the economy. The crash was just a correction. As much as we hear that the 1929 crash kicked off the Great Depression, my grandparents were always talking about how poor they were even before the crash. Wikipedia says the 1920s before the crash "was a time of wealth and excess." Not true. They should have asked my grandparents how much wealth there was.

The 1990s and 2000s saw unprecedented growth in the stock market. But where did I fit in on this imaginary economic boom? Why didn't I see any of that prosperity that the right-wing media was always beating its chest about? This was more proof that the market is antithetical to real prosperity.

It was also around 1987 that I overheard 2 men at a Reds game complaining that the scoreboard kept showing the latest Dow Jones numbers instead of something baseball-related. These were hard-working guys who couldn't have cared less about the Dow. That's how I feel about Windows 8.1 automatically showing the Dow numbers. Windows should instead show something more useful like polling data for the upcoming election or how many pounds of shit have been produced today by animals at the zoo.

There might be a way to shut off this feature, but I don't know yet.

In 2014, having stock reports automatically appear on your computer interests very few people besides wealthy investors. In the 1990s and 2000s, Americans were much more likely to vote with their boss. That was a historic aberration. Hopefully we won't return to those bad old days.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "I Believe I Can Fly"

Tim tries to fly to Denver by flapping his arms...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Senate majority supports corporate personhood amendment

Something happened today that hadn't happened yet since a rogue Supreme Court issued the unconstitutional Citizens United ruling almost 5 years ago.

Today, the Senate voted on a proposed constitutional amendment to restore America's campaign finance laws and bring down the hammer on corporate personhood. The vote was 54 in favor and 42 opposed. It was a perfect party line vote, with Democrats voting yes and Republicans voting no.

But it didn't meet the two-thirds necessary to actually approve the amendment - or the 60 votes needed to break a Tea Party filibuster.

Nonetheless, with a majority now clearly in favor of the amendment, this is a clarion call for Congress to create a statutory remedy for Citizens United - and for the President to exercise his power to issue executive orders.

This story also highlights Republican obstructionism just in time for the midterms.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Have no fear, our September ish is here!

It was tough, but this year's Back-to-School edition of The Last Word is pub!

Our schools haven't been very funny lately - with all the racism and violent crime exposed in this issue - so I'm in a rather humorless mood. Nonetheless, there are a few amusing reminisces about my high school years in the latest edition.

So point your pooper here...

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

ACLU swings to far right

I am done with the ACLU.

The American Civil Liberties Union was founded as a defender of constitutional liberties - and lived up to this goal for decades. But now its founders must be spinning in their graves.

Right now, the Senate is debating a much-needed constitutional amendment that would restore campaign finance laws and prohibit corporations from financing political campaigns. Surveys show that over 80% of the public supports the amendment.

I'd expect the amendment to be blocked by the usual suspects like the fascist Heritage Foundation - but not by the ACLU. Nonetheless, the ACLU has written a letter to senators to oppose the amendment. The ACLU says the amendment would gut the First Amendment and "censor" political speech.

Aw, how cute, the ACLU now thinks keeping corporations from buying elections is "censorship."

This is the biggest issue in American law so far in the 21st century, and the ACLU is unabashedly on the wrong side.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Tim Takes Apart Computer"

Tim takes apart an old, broken computer he's hoarded for 3 years since he replaced it...

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Bob McDonnell convicted

Another rising Tea Party star disgraced for life.

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen have now both been found guilty of public corruption. The former governor was convicted on 11 of 13 counts; his wife was convicted of 9 of 13. They both cried like big babies when the court clerk read the verdict. They face up to 20 years in prison for each count.

(And yes, Bob McDonnell's physical resemblance to singer Glen Campbell has been noted.)

Baseball caves to police state

Major League Baseball isn't quite as bad as the NFL yet in the way it treats its fans - but it's getting there.

Many Americans agree that there's few things quite as exciting as a good, competitive ballgame, but league officials are doing their worst to put a diaper on America's national pastime. The Cincinnati Reds have announced that - starting tomorrow - they plan to implement walk-through metal detectors at their stadium. This is an effort to comply with a mandate from "baseball" requiring all 30 big league teams to do the same.

Major League Baseball's diktat results from its collaboration with the Department of Homeland Stupidity, a relic that was designed as the thuggish Bush regime's personal plaything.

All I know is this: In my day, we didn't have metal detectors at baseball games, and we survived. If "baseball" can't grasp that, that's their problem.

Since the Reds' ballpark is taxpayer-funded, the county needs to tell the Reds they can't install metal detectors. Plus, the government needs to revoke baseball's antitrust exemption.

Like I said, this isn't as bad as the NFL, which literally fondles spectators at each game. The NFL treats its fans more shittily than any other sporting league I know of, so I've boycotted the NFL for years. I hope this story isn't part of a trend that forces me to do the same to Major League Baseball. That's why our public officials need to step up to the plate and prevent it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Record Man endorses voter fraud

It's nice to know that advocating voter fraud is the Republicans' new electoral strategy.

After Tea Party favorite Scott "Records" Brown was defeated by Elizabeth Warren in his bid for reelection as a senator from Massachusetts in 2012 - when Brown ran the worst race-baiting campaign of the year - Brown moved to New Hampshire so he could now run for senator there. He's trailing badly.

But no bother! Who really cares when you can just rely on out-of-state supporters to visit your state to vote for ya? Brown is now encouraging folks in other states who support him to visit New Hampshire on Election Day to vote for him.

This is illegal, of course, but laws don't stop Republicans. This is the party that committed wire fraud earlier this year by setting up fake websites that appeared to be fundraising sites for opponents - though the money raised by the sites went straight to GOP coffers.

After Tea Party buses were seen hauling supporters to multiple polling places in our area, I have little doubt they'll take Record Man's recommendation.


PG&E should suffer for fatal blast

The California Public Utilities Commission has issued a record-smashing fine of $1.4 billion against Pacific Gas & Electric for causing a natural gas pipeline explosion in 2010 in San Bruno that killed 8 people, severely injured another 58, and leveled a whole neighborhood.

That sounds like a lot of money, but the penalty isn't nearly stiff enough. There should be strong prison terms for members of PG&E's board of directors. If a corporation wants rights like a person, then it needs to go to prison like a person.

Nonetheless, this fine shatters the previous California record of $38 million - which was also imposed on PG&E, for a similar blast in Rancho Cordova in 2008 that the company was responsible for. I guess PG&E didn't learn shit from that fine. The California Public Utilities Commission has also ruled that PG&E can't pass the cost of paying the latest fine onto customers. Plus, a federal grand jury has indicted PG&E for 12 felonies.

But in my opinion, it's still not enough - unless someone goes to prison. America puts hard-working parents in prison for minor drug offenses. It seems that every day, we read another article about police gunning down an unarmed person for no reason. But if you're a big utility company, anything goes - as we've seen countless times before.

Monday, September 1, 2014

More celeb look-alikes in the Northwest

I keep hearing more stories of celebrity look-alikes being sighted by someone on a vacation in the Northwestern U.S.

At an Idaho restaurant, an Edith Bunker look-alike was seen. A George Clooney look-alike was discovered at Olympic National Park, and an Alan Alda look-alike was sighted at the Seattle airport. On the subsequent flight, there was a sighting of a flight attendant who resembled Kentucky's Senate frontrunner Alison Lundergan Grimes.

I've also been told that a young woman bubbled on the streets of Spokane with extreme dispatch.

The "right-to-work" antidote!

It's Labor Day, but sadly, the Far Right's war against the American worker continues unchecked. The Media lately has been happy to help by spreading outright lies to promote misnamed "right-to-work" laws - which has now become the anti-worker Right's top priority, much as "free trade" was 20 years ago.

As a member of the National Writers Union, I know organized labor is a lifesaver. For me, that's literally true. I'm convinced I'd be dead by now if it wasn't for the benefits unions provide.

With the authoritarian Right chomping at the bit to enact "right-to-work" in Kentucky and other key states, what would be a good antidote? For starts, free bargaining states should extend their labor protections to residents who commute to "right-to-work" states - so that the "right-to-work" law does not apply to them. (Then again, why would a resident of a free state work in a "right-to-work" state? I don't know anyone eager to commute to Indiana these days.) But we also need something bolder.

We should pass a law that automatically unionizes corporations that have more than a certain number of employees. Under my law, workers wouldn't be required to join the union, but they'd at least have the option. And workers who choose to join would at least have union benefits they now lack. If there's no state or federal law to do this, local municipalities should act.

Hitler had the world's first "right-to-work" law. That's what the Tea Party and the Republican Right aspire to. Make no mistake: Union-busting is fascism. There's a good reason why a Kentucky legislative committee recently rejected "right-to-work" by a vote of 15 to 4.

The states targeted by the "right-to-work" Gestapo need to stand strong. Our legislators should move forward with the antidote I've proposed.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Beverage smuggling tradition continues

Know what today was? Sure. Sure you do, boys and girls.

This evening I went to the annual Labor Day fireworks that were part of Riverfest - or Rip-off-fest, as I like to call it. Once again, I smuggled a bottle of soda into the festival in my pants pocket - violating one of the event's most enduring Allowed Clouds.

Just goes to show, I can't be controlled (to use Work-for-Less Jamie's terminology)!

Since the radio soundtrack for the fireworks was supposed to be a salute to the '80s, they should have at least let us bring beverages into the festival without posting military police to try to stop us. Then it would be more like the actual, real '80s, before that arbitrary rule was enacted.

In keeping with the '80s theme, I saw a Geddy Lee look-alike. Also in keeping with the '80s theme, one hapless gent was in such a festive mood that he bubbled.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Pendleton GOP brags about vote buying


Republican leaders in one northern Kentucky county just don't know when to stop bumping their gums.

I've kept an eye on the Facebook page of the Pendleton County Republican Party - where they like to post photos of their meetings that draw all of 9 people and where they needlessly hoard ketchup. But my eyes detected something rather interesting regarding one recent post.

The post featured several photos of local residents who won prizes from a drawing that the GOP conducted at the Pendleton County Youth Fair. The prizes included such newfangled inventions as a TV set and a grill.

Uh, you do know that's a form of vote buying - don't you? And it's illegal.

The county GOP's posting said the prizes were donated by local businesses. But a photo of the TV packaging features a sign that clearly states the TV was donated by the campaign of the Republican candidate for our local Kentucky Senate seat. So the GOP lied about that too. But even if the prizes were donated by businesses, it would still be illegal for a political party to carry out such a drawing.

Whooo, man, is the Pendleton County Republican Party in trouble! Or at least they would be if The Media actually bothered to investigate this story - which they won't. So they'll carry on - embarrassing the county and the state as long as they dare.

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Bread"

A school bus monitor once gave a co-worker bread for Christmas, and hilarity ensued...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Even Oregon has celebrity look-alikes

Celeb doubles are everywhere! Even in states I've never even been to! I've just been informed that a Mitt Romney look-alike was seen at a Super 8 hotel in Roseburg, Oregon.

I've also been told that a Bobby Knight look-alike was sighted at a party - though not in Oregon.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Lawmakers must investigate right-wing media

If you're like me, you dream every day about Brit Hume being grilled and humiliated in front of the whole country by a panel of tough, progressive legislators. I hope that someday soon, members of Congress or a state legislature will have the guts to start a committee to do just that to right-wing media figures far and wide.

Once upon a time, there was something called the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Although the committee's name was quickly tarnished by lawmakers who abused it to advance their own Red-baiting agenda, the committee was actually conceived in 1938 with a noble purpose: to investigate industrialists who supported the Nazis. In fact, it had a predecessor known as the Special Committee on Un-American Activities Authorized to Investigate Nazi Propaganda and Certain Other Propaganda Activities - a name that was a bit long but was less ambiguous about its target.

To avoid being hijacked by the McCarthyist Right, a new legislative committee should have an unambiguous name that identifies it as a tool to investigate right-wing extremism. But one thing is clear: A committee like this must appear somewhere - whether in Congress or in one of the statehouses.

Despite their phony claims to patriotism, the allegiances of the right-wing media are not recognizably American. This has become clearer than ever in recent months, as they've swiftboated Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and Montana's Sen. John Walsh. America's Far Right also has a long record of supporting foreign dictatorships that hate Americans, like in the Singapore flap of 1994. And why do they support offshoring American jobs and moving corporate headquarters overseas to avoid paying American taxes?

Old Glory is made of tough stuff. But we need legislators and public officials who will stand up for the good ol' U.S. and A. instead of running it down like the right-wing media is so intent on doing.

My idea, incidentally, is not a form of McCarthyism of the left. The committee that I propose would gather facts to fight a real threat - as the House Committee on Un-American Activities was originally intended to do before the paranoid Right ruined it. That committee unfortunately went on to do some unsavory things after it was taken over - but a repeat can be avoided if the name of our new committee more clearly reflects our goals. Make no mistake: The right-wing press is a true menace to our republic - perhaps the most serious threat in modern times.

Don't hold your breath if you want to see the broken U.S. House start a committee to probe right-wing media. But that doesn't mean congressional leaders shouldn't be pestered until it happens.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "H Is For Hydrocortisone"

One Big H deserves another...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I'm home, I'm home, I'm home!

Earlier I returned home from another trip to St. Louis. This trip was strictly recreational - focusing largely on a baseball game there - and was planned weeks ago. Ongoing events in that area did not affect my plans.

Several celebrity look-alikes were seen during my trip: Elvis Presley, Falco, Moon Zappa, and Katy Perry. Best all, an LAP bunker blast was detected.

Also, during the ball game, I saw 2 spectators who were in such a basebally mood that they bubbled. This includes a young woman who blew a huge bubble with bubble gum that burst all over her face. She spent the next minute or so peeling strands of burst bubble gum off her skin. (We were due for one of these, weren't we?)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Tim Discovers Mapping Software"

Discover mapping software before mapping software discovers you...

Rick Perry indicted

Recently, I observed that there were at least 4 current Republican governors in the good ol' U.S. and A. nation who were about to be indicted - and I thought there could be 5 or 6. But I didn't think Rick Perry of Texas was among them - as much as I would've liked for him to be among them.

Well, that's all changed, because today Perry was indicted on felony charges of abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant - after he carried out a threat to veto funding for prosecution of public corruption. The ultraconservative buffoon is now the first Texas governor in 97 years to be indicted. The first charge carries 5 to 99 years in prison; the second carries 2 to 10.

Naturally, the right-wing armchair commentators are already defending Perry on newspaper websites.

Perry isn't running again, but is this a game changer for the upcoming midterms? If poo. If a Democrat had been indicted for the same thing, you know it would likely cost the Democrats the Senate - and yes, even the closely watched Kentucky House. Maybe even a Campbell County Fiscal Court seat. But the Republicans are of course held to a lower standard.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Have no fear, the August ish is here!

Did you know that the August edition of The Last Word - our long-running fanzine of freedom - is now pub? Indeedaroony!

The latest ish discusses these important topics...

• My newest battle with bad computer speakers.

• The uproarious rise of mapping software.

• Kings Island ridiculousness.

• Another funny poo-poo story.

So point your proboscis here...

Friday, August 8, 2014

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "From Paducah Down To Natchez, People Praise Mr. Patches"

Tim talks about a character on 'The Uncle Al Show' who adapted an Eastern mantra for Western viewing tastes...

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Cincinnati mayor backs voting amendment

For a city with such a conservative reputation 20 years ago, it's surprising that it would take a progressive step like endorsing a new voting rights amendment.

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley has become America's first mayor to publicly support a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution safeguarding the right to vote.

Doesn't the Constitution already protect the right to vote? By any real legal theory, yes. But this right has been chipped away at by right-wing lawmakers and activist judges. The Federalist Society terrorists on the Supreme Court even gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965!

The new amendment should be passed - quickly. But with the toilet-like miasma of obstructionism looming over Congress and state legislatures, don't count on it.

Right-wing media attacks candidate for disability?

Shame on the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, and Associated Press. Shame, shame, shame!

My optimism about the upcoming midterm elections just sank like a rock because of The Media pawing around for a scandal where none seems to exist. The big "scandal" according to Ohio's right-wing press in recent days is the discovery that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald lacked a full driver's license for 4 years of his adult life.


So that's a "scandal"? What if he didn't drive in that timeframe? If he lives along a transit line or has a family member drive for him, why drive? If you don't drive, why get a license?

What if Ed FitzGerald had active epilepsy and was therefore barred from getting a license? In some jurisdictions, if you've had even one seizure in your entire life, you can't get a license - even if the seizures have been under control ever since.

What if FitzGerald had neuropathic nerve damage? I have neuropathic nerve damage. Is that a "scandal" now?

I don't know Ed FitzGerald's medical history, but isn't it at least possible that he couldn't drive due to a disability?

The Media is like the bully in school who beat up the kid in the wheelchair.

It turns out FitzGerald did have a limited license during at least some of that timeframe. If he was "seen driving" on a valid license, who the hell cares?!

Is it possible there's more to the story? Anything is possible, since it's hard to disprove a negative. But it's no more possible than it would be if it was any other politician.

FitzGerald - a Democrat - should be held to the same standard as any Republican. If the need arises, I will. But FitzGerald isn't on the verge of being indicted for any felonies - unlike at least 4 current Republican governors across the nation.

From this story, we know The Media is intent on doubling down for the next 3 months to "elect" Republicans. Brace yourselves.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

When Tim went to Sedamsville

I almost forgot to warn the world that I've posted last month's Roads Scholaring photos for the whole wide world to see. There's 22 items, and you can bip 'em all right here...

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Weird Al takes on the Tea Party?

I've got a new favorite song, everyone! If I had a personal weekly top 10 chart, this track would be #1 this week!

"Weird Al" Yankovic is back with a new album, and among its many instant classics is an original tune titled "First World Problems." This hilarious song lampoons a spoiled rich guy who complains about minor nuisances, such as his mansion being too big for wi-fi to cover it all.

The video is even funnier...

When I was in college, I had repeated altercations with a thug who I knew only as Helmethead. I called him that because of his hairstyle. He kept harassing me in the downstairs food court at NKU. In the above video, Weird Al strongly resembles ol' Helmethead. In fact, he looks just like him!!! Which is suitable because the song reflects Helmethead's spoiled outlook on life.

Is Mr. Yankovic actually singing about the Tea Party? All the Tea Party does is bellyache about how life is so unfair because the rich have to pay taxes just like working people do. Remember when the Tea Party held a convention in Washington, D.C., and demanded that the city add a special subway route just for them? That's the sort of crybaby that Weird Al seems to be singing about.

Weird Al is fighting the Evil Empire!