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Friday, September 19, 2014

Uh, Yeah. We Got Nothing.
 
      The midterms in this day and age are, as the Republican Party capably proves every other year, a mere dress rehearsal for the real lunacy to come in the general elections. Every election cycle, we see the GOP trying to rebrand itself as something that it is not because the cynical Republican bean counters have some reptilian glimmer of recognition that this is what a large section of the electorate wants.
     So we hear the same ridiculous denunciations that there's a War on Women or a War on Teh Gays or on Brown People. We see the same tired, half-hearted minority outreach programs such as the one at the last clown convention at the Gaylord Hotel (aka CPAC). But a man missing an eye with an inch-thick cataract in the other can see this is the Red Riding Hood Syndrome.
     The crimson red Republican Party tries to fool the red state voters into thinking they're not the wolf but just kind old Granny who's actually moldering in the woodshed out back, with lupine bites taken out of her withered corpse. Sure, just hand over that basket filled with campaign contributions and ballots and try not to pay attention to the fact that my eyes and teeth are bigger than usual. See, I'm wearing my granny bonnet.
     Except, unlike little Red Riding Hood, these poor hapless, dumb bastards never catch on despite the fact the wolf keeps revealing its true nature time and again. To use a more modern analogy, they're like Bart Simpson who keeps getting shocked by his sister Lisa's psychology experiment because that electrified cupcake is soooo seductive.
     And like the scorpion and the frog, the GOP just can't help themselves any more than any of us can change our genetic code. And the apologies, denunciations, counter charges of partisan bias, excuses, et al sound so alike they're predictable.
     But still, the pathetic attempts at rebranding, the donning of granny's bonnet, continue while they forlornly look back on the last election and wonder where they went wrong. You don't have to be Nate Silver to know the only reason the GOP held on to the House in 2012 was because of their merciless, ridiculous gerrymandering. They lost seats in both chambers in the last General Election in which the President carried all but one battleground state. Trickery that's being disallowed in one court after another is the only reason, and I mean the only reason the GOP still holds the House.
     And now we're hearing pollsters saying that the Republicans have a great chance at not only retaining the House but also taking the Senate. These would be the same folks who told us until Election Night 2012 that Obama and Romney were running neck and neck and the same folks who told us on Election Night 2008 that Senator McCain had the edge over Senator Obama.
     The American people, by and large, are simply the stupidest, most willfully ignorant and intellectually laziest vermin that ever slithered across the face of the earth. But like the dog repeatedly fed cauliflower instead of the piece of meat tantalizingly quivered over its nose, eventually even the sheep who vote Republican are going to dimly realize that voting Republican every two, four and six years hasn't really done shit for them, that blaming liberals for everything going wrong in their lives doesn't really wash since they don't have any liberal elected officials. Eventually, they're just going to walk away from the cupcake.
     And knowing they got nothing, they keep trotting out the same old losers. Now they're trying to get Romney to run for a third time since it's guaranteed the black guy won't kick his ass again. Despite an alarmingly consistent track record of simply not catching on with the voters, we hear every four years the same old names: Romney, Santorum, Palin. Can Pawlenty and Newt be far behind?
     And the GOP establishment knows they can't do better than them and they keep gnoshing on those tired, flaccid Republican penises like an 80 year-old toothless Albanian woman gamely working on a giant marshmallow. If it wasn't for this manufactured hatred of liberals and Democrats, not a single Republican would be on Capitol Hill and they know it. People don't vote for Republicans as much as they vote against liberals and Democrats.
     A recent survey states that there are 20,000,000 or more registered Democratic voters than there are Republicans. Add to the mix the Independent voters who haven't completely lost their fucking minds and that just pumps up the wattage with which we can fry the GOP for good this election cycle. Because you can count on these psychopaths to alienate the few women, gays and minorities they have in their ranks with the occasional Twitter or Facebook post or campaign speech or TV or radio interview.
     And the bottom line is they want to drag us back to not even the 19th century but the 18th, back to when nobody but rich white men had the vote and slavery was considered necessary and children worked in sweat shops and stuffed in peoples' chimneys. But one thing they forget as they try to drag us back into the 18th century:
     The 18th century was also the age of revolution and the guillotine. And, however complacent and lazy a people may get, eventually they will wake up and realize the status quo simply isn't working for them.
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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Good Times at Pottersville, 9/13/14
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Friday, September 12, 2014

Good Times at Pottersville, 9/12/14
(A Brilliant at Breakfast exclusive.)
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Tuesday, September 09, 2014

The Fuller Brush Off
(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan. on loan from Ari.)
"I reached this difficult decision after consulting with my family, and deciding that it was in everyone's best interests to put this incident behind us." - Judge Mark Fuller, through his lawyer on his "difficult decision" to evade justice for beating his wife.

     On the same day Michael Brown was getting shot six times for Holding Up His Hands While Black, a white man was savagely beating and kicking his wife in a hotel room at the Ritz Carlton in Atlanta. According to the police report,
“Immediately upon entering the room, there was a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the room,” the officer noted. He found Fuller lying in bed. There was broken glass next to the night stand and strands of hair on the floor next to the bed. Fuller’s wife told police officers that the assault followed an argument about “issues in their marriage.” The wife explained that she accused Fuller of having an affair with his law clerk. She said Fuller pulled her hair, threw her to the ground and kicked her. She told police that Fuller dragged her around the room and struck her in the mouth several times with his hands. When police asked Fuller how his wife got her injuries, he told them that his wife attacked him after their argument about marital infidelity. He told officers he was in bed watching CNN and she came into the room making accusations. Fuller said his wife threw a glass at him. Fuller said he grabbed his wife’s hair “to defend himself.” “When asked about the lacerations on her mouth, Mr. Fuller stated that he just threw her to the ground and that was it,” the report says. Police later discovered blood in the bathroom on the tub. Fuller did not have any marks or bruises, the officer noted. After medical personnel arrived, they noted additional bruises on his wife’s legs.
     There's a lot to take away from that largely paraphrased police report. The place reeked of booze, there was broken glass everywhere. There was blood in the bathroom. And loose hair.
     Yes, I said loose hair.
     And it was all the victim's fault, according to her own assailant who was resting comfortably on the bed when police arrived.
     What makes this particular domestic violence incident noteworthy was not merely that it involved a white man but a powerful white man named Mark Fuller, a federal judge installed by George W. Bush and eight years ago was the right wing judge who'd presided over the Don Siegelman/Richard Scrushy trial that sent those two men to prison.
     Well, four days ago, Judge Fuller reached the difficult decision to opt out of being fully prosecuted for domestic violence so he could have his cases diverted while attending once a week counseling sessions for domestic violence for 24 weeks. In other words, His Honor courageously confronted his addiction to beating women during this glorified intervention by taking the Affluenza way out.
     By the way, far from being the one time offense that Fuller and his shyster are making this out to be, less than two and a half years ago, on May 10, 2012, Fuller's first wife filed for divorce, citing the following crimes:
(D)omestic abuse, extramarital affairs, driving under the influence, abuse of prescription medications, and more.
     Fuller's lawyers requested the records be sealed. The judge actually agreed, even though divorce records are generally open to the public.
     Because, you know, white.

"I'm the Victim in all this!"
     Nowhere in the countless articles I've read about the Fuller arrest that's only making national headlines one month to the day after the original incident have I heard even the slightest mention of justice for his wife, the other victim in all this. The overwhelming impression one takes away on reading these accounts is of a privileged white man in a powerful position on the federal judiciary who feels he can get away with whatever he pleases while accepting no accountability and lying to law enforcement about his crimes.
     This is a picture of a serial wife beater and philanderer, a one man crime wave who was called on infidelity by his first wife (probably involving the later second wife) and got beaten for confronting him. The second wife got beaten a month ago for calling him on his infidelity with his law clerk (wife #3?). Yet, what did Fuller's shyster Barry Ragsdale have the gall to say in court?
     "He doesn't have a drug or alcohol problem and never has."
     Note that the judge fell for it because in the pre-trial diversion, Fuller was sentenced to 24 weeks in a program for spousal abusers by a private counseling service (That's right. Not even one in the public sector but the private sector), not a treatment program for what's an established history of alcohol and drug abuse.
     It goes without saying that Fuller's a Republican since he was appointed by W to the federal judiciary. But one doesn't even need to know that to unerringly come to the conclusion that Fuller's a right wing nut job of the first magnitude for his statements to the police, to the court, to the media and his entire attitude. He attempted to minimize his crimes, blamed his wife for assaulting him and then had the chutzpah to act as if it was a supreme sacrifice and act of courage to duck the law by going into 6 months of private counseling sessions while he enjoys a paid vacation.
     No doubt, he'll be allowed to sleaze his way back on the bench after his six month paid vacation so he can dispense to others the same justice he himself has evaded time and again for the same heinous crimes and without his substance abuse problems even being seriously addressed, much less treated.

"You're all out of order!"
     One of America's, and the far right's, greatest failings is in not recognizing disturbing patterns. We tend to treat domestic violence, spousal abuse, white privilege, racial profiling and police brutality as mere isolated incidents, unconnected dots that draw no picture although the resolution of these pictures is getting clearer and clearer with each day. It's one thing to connect the dots. It's another thing when there are so many of them, they can draw a picture without conscious attempts at connectivity.
     Time and again, we hear of white people marching through stores with machine guns, even threatening people at Little League games, without even being asked to leave. Yet time and again, we hear of police gunning down unarmed black men and justifications from our most racist elements that somehow, in some vague way, they had it coming to them.
     Time and again, we hear of black men with diminished mental capacity getting put on Death Row for crimes they didn't commit while wealthy white people evade justice by agreeing to go to private counseling sessions even after murdering four people or savagely beating their wives under the influence.
     Do you think for a minute that if Fuller was a black man from the inner city in Birmingham charged with the same exact crimes he would've been given the option of going into a lazy series of private counseling sessions? I think we all know the answer to that.
     And then there are the victims who still stick by their men and blast the media on the rare occasion it does its job. When people like Janay Palmer and the wife of David Vitter (R-Huggies) insist on remaining victims and sniping at the press, such people do a disservice to other victims of domestic violence and marital infidelity. When the system insists on keeping guys like Vitter and Fuller in power and teenaged murderers out of prison for crimes for which nonwhites often pay dearly whether they commit them or not, they do a disservice and an injustice to these victims. Just because real victims refuse to justifiably embrace their victimhood doesn't and shouldn't absolve their victimizers from legal and social comeuppance.
     But, in the words of the great Al Pacino:

 
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Thursday, September 04, 2014

Good Times at Pottersville, 9/4/14
(A Brilliant @ Breakfast exclusive.)
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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Good Times at Pottersville #22
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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Good Times at Pottersville, 8/30/14

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