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Jeb Bush in tony NE prep school: A hash-smoking bully

Now that Jeb Bush appears to be the anointed GOP 2016 presidential candidate, it's time we take a look at his formative years . . .  because those years tell us a lot about the man.

Let's start by talking with those who knew him at the exclusive Phillips Academy in Andover, MA.

 Classmates said he smoked a notable amount of pot — as many did — and sometimes bullied smaller students.
Meanwhile, his grades were so poor that he was in danger of being expelled, which would have been a huge embarrassment to his father, a member of Congress and of the school’s board of trustees.

Now -- some may argue that what he did back in his high school days is unrelated to today.  So, if that's the case, then, why are Republicans all cranked up about the fact that young Barack Obama puffed a little weed while in high school in Hawaii?  If it's relevant for Obama, it's relevant for Bush.

Of course, when asked about his misadventures, Bush replied in typical arrogant spoiled-brat fashion:  "Who? Me?"

“I don’t believe that is true,” he told the Globe. “It was 44 years ago and it is not possible for me to remember.”

With apologies to Shakespeare: "Cry 'Drop out' and unleash the Dogs of Crazy!!!"

I know.  The title of this blog entry is strange.  Before noon, 30 January 2015, Mitt Romney (AKA:  Willard Romney, Mitt RMoney) announced in a conference call to big-money supporters that he is dropping out of the 2016 Presidential race.  With Mitt out of the way, the Dogs of Crazy are now unleashed.

Let's review the GOP 2016 Presidential candidate field.

-- Ben Carson
-- Rick Santorum
-- Michele Bachman
-- Sarah Palin
-- Pete King
-- Rand Paul

-- Ben Carson
-- Rick Santorum
-- Piyush "Call Me Bobby" Jindal
-- Sarah Palin (who is not running no matter what she says)
-- Ted Cruz
-- Scott Walker
-- Mike Huckabee
-- Rick Perry
-- Rick Scott

-- Ben Carson
-- Rick Santorum
-- Piyush "Call Me Bobby" Jindal
-- Ted Cruz
-- Mike Huckabee

-- John Bolton's Mustache
-- Donald Trumps Hairpiece
-- Herman Cain

-- Jeb Bush
-- Chris Christie
-- Scott Walker
-- JOhn Kasich
-- Mike Pence

-- Lindsey Graham
-- Sarah Palin
-- Mike Huckabee

-- George Pataki
-- Carly "Devil Sheep" Fiorina
-- Bob Ehrlich
-- Susana Martinez

Hmmmm.  Now that I review this list, Ol' Mitt looks pretty good.

Loretta Lynch confirmation hearings brings out the wackadoodle, loon, nutcase Republican "witnesses"

The witness list for the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing on Loretta Lynch, the highly regarded nominee for attorney general, indicates the process will be a forum for right-wing media favorites and myths but will have little to do with her qualifications.

Lynch, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, has long been praised across the political spectrum as a model federal prosecutor. Lynch has been confirmed twice as a U.S. attorney -- including by some of the same Republican senators now in control of the Judiciary Committee -- and news of her nomination in November brought a new round of support, including from conservative law enforcement sources.

Current New York Police Department Commissioner William Bratton called Lynch "a remarkable prosecutor with a clear sense of justice without fear or favor." Former FBI director Louis Freeh wrote in a letter to Judiciary Committee leadership that he couldn't think of "a more qualified nominee" and was "happy to give Ms. Lynch my highest personal and professional recommendation." Freeh also wrote that he had spoken with "several of my former judicial colleagues who echo this support, and note that Ms. Lynch has gained a terrific reputation for effectively, fairly and independently enforcing the law." Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who worked with Lynch on an infamous police brutality case, has said "if I were in the Senate, I would confirm her."

Fringe right-wing media outlets and figures initially ignored this broad support and attacked Lynch anyway. The effort was spectacularly unsuccessful, as they mixed up the nominee with an entirely different Loretta Lynchand then claimed that her membership in Delta Sigma Theta, one of the country's leading African-American sororities, was "controversial."

Leading Fox News figures were better informed about the New York nominee, most notably News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch, who immediately noted Lynch had a "reputation for fairness and strict legality." In an O'Reilly Factor segment with Megyn Kelly on November 10, Bill O'Reilly said he was "heartened" she would be the new attorney general. In response, Kelly praised Lynch:
KELLY: I have to say that I think this is the person who should be the most acceptable to the right wing or the Republicans in this country of anybody who President Obama was considering. She is a straight shooter. First of all, she would be the first black female attorney general, right? I mean, that in and of itself is a pretty amazing accomplishment. Went to Harvard undergrad, went to Harvard Law School. She has no close ties to the White House. She is not some firm ideologue or partisan. She has prosecuted Democrats and Republicans. She's been a hero on gang crime, on terrorism.
Republican senators have been similarly honest about Lynch's record, admitting that she "seems to be a solid choice" and will instead use her hearing as a forum for grievances they have with the administration and outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder. The new chairman of the committee, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), toldPolitico: "All I can tell you is that immigration is going to be a big part of it. ... Not because of her views on immigration, but of the president's action on immigration and the extent of what she feels he's acted in a legal way."

Unfortunately, a review of the newly released witness list reveals that the Republican choices for this "proxy war of sorts" rely heavily on right-wing media favorites who frequently spread debunked smears and myths:
Sharyl Attkisson, now a contributor for a conservative news website run by the Heritage Foundation, is currently suing Holder and the Justice Department, alleging that federal agents unlawfully hacked into her computers and phones. Attkisson has become a vocal critic of the Obama administration in recent years, producing shoddy reporting on its culpability for the casualties resulting from the 2012 attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya. Attkisson was also one the primary media figures raising the profile of a failed gun-running operation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) known as Operation Fast and Furious. Attkisson accused Holder of lying about his knowledge of the program -- claims that were contradicted by a Justice Department inspector general's report in 2012.

Catherine Engelbrecht is the head of a Tea Party group called True the Vote that bills itself as an election watchdog. Engelbrecht has similarly been a favorite in the right-wing media for her willingness to level smears against the Obama administration, particularly with regard to the Justice Department's investigations into discriminatory voter-ID laws. Engelbrecht described DOJ efforts to prevent the disenfranchisement of minority voters as a "radical, racialist assault on voting rights." Engelbrecht and True the Vote have consistently misinformed the public about the prevalence of voter fraud. And in 2010, True the Vote was accused of voter intimidation at polling places in Harris County, Texas -- allegations that sparked a Justice Department investigation.

Jonathan Turley is a law professor at George Washington University who, like Attkisson, has been a particularly vocal critic of what he sees as repeated executive overreach on the part of the Obama administration. While apparently not as extreme as some of his co-panelists, Turley has nevertheless staked out minority legal positions attacking the administration, frequently on Fox News. He previously appeared before the House Rules Committee to express support for a lawsuit that would alter the ability of the president to implement and enforce laws related to health care reform and immigration. After the two previous attorneys hired by House Republicans to litigate the case quit, Speaker John Boehner retained Turley. Turley also called for Holder to be fired in 2013, labeling him a "sin eater" for reasons such as justifying Obama's push to "expand secret and warrantless surveillance" and for defending the drone program.

Also testifying is Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke, who has been widely praised by conservative media and the National Rifle Association. Clarke often engages in inflammatory rhetoric and has been honored as sheriff of the year by far-right fringe group Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA). In 2013, Clarke made an appearance on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' radio show in which he addressed Jones' claim that "analysts" he talks to "think that the Obama Marxist types want to start a civil war in this country" by confiscating guns. Clarke responded, in part, "I believe that if somebody tried to enforce something of that magnitude, you would see the second coming of an American Revolution, the likes of which would make the first revolution pale by comparison." Clarke has been a critic of involvement by Obama and Holder in the aftermath of the police shooting of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Missouri. While appearing on Fox News, Clarke claimed that Obama had encouraged violence in Ferguson by calling for calm "with a wink and a nod."

It is as yet unclear what information -- if any -- these witnesses have to offer about Lynch's record.

Let us all now gather to say "Good-Bye" to Sarah Palin

As we bid good-bye to the most worthless, over-rated person to ever burst on the American political scene, I am reminded of these Shakespearean lines from Macbeth that describe her perfectly:

" . . . a poor playerThat struts and frets his hour upon the stageAnd then is heard no more: it is a taleTold by an idiot, full of sound and fury,Signifying nothing."

Here's your handy guide to the dumbest, most incoherent Sarah Palin speech EVER.

The worst parts of Sarah's speech.

Even the rightwingers who worshiped at her feet now say Sarah is last week's newspaper, fit only for wrapping the garbage or the cat litter.

Sarah Palin's Political Career
B. 2008
D. 2008

Sarah Palin's 15 minutes are over

By now everyone has heard of Sarah Palin's disastrous performance at a gathering in Iowa of GOP 2016 Presidential aspirants.  If you haven't heard, Google is your friend -- search for Sarah Palin Iowa Freedom Summit.

Meanwhile, here is what serious Republican commentators had to say about her rambling, incoherent "speech."

"Calling Gov. Palin's remarks bizarre and disjointed would be charitable," said a well-connected Iowa Republican. "Her shelf-life, even with the most conservative voters in our party, seems to be near the end. In a day filled with strong performances from likely candidates ranging from Scott Walker to Ted Cruz, her remarks were a distraction." 
"It was a long and incoherent speech," added Craig Robinson, of the Iowa Republican blog. "At best, there were a few good one-liners." Robinson continued: 
Of all the people I talked to about Palin's speech, only one person didn't have a negative reaction. That person basically said it was a typical Sarah Palin speech. It was received poorly by everyone else I spoke with. I'm not comfortable sharing everything I heard about the speech — it was that bad, 
No offense to Gov. Palin, but I do think it is problematic to have someone give a speech like that in the midst of a string of serious speeches by people who are seriously thinking about running for president. Palin made a guy like Trump look like a serious presidential candidate today. Incredible.

Face it -- Sarah Palin now looks like the rodeo clown sent out at the start of the show to warm up the crowd for the real cowboys.

Say "Good-Bye," Sarah.

"Yes, I am thinking about running for President."

Thanks for the warning.

Iowa to host gathering of the nuttiest people in the universe

Oh Sweet Jesus!!!  This weekend (24-25 January 2015), Rep. Steve King (R, Another Planet) will host, in his home state of Iowa, the "Iowa Freedom Summit" where a veritable clown car of loons will gather.  Here's a photo of the lineup of luminaries who will be there.

The level of Stupid displayed here takes my breath away.

Republican response to the State of the Union address shows a lot about just how evil they are

During the President's State of the Union speech, we expect his party to applaud wildly for almost anything he says while we expect the other party to applaud mildly, if at all. 

Let's review the comments by the President in tonight's speech for which Republicans DID NOT APPLAUD.  In other words, these are the things Republicans are AGAINST.
  • An improving economy
  • A soaring stock market
  • Americans getting health insurance
  • Mention of "solar power"
  • Tax cuts for working families (A tax cut Republicans don't like?)"
  • Affordable childcare
  • Tax cuts for families with children (Another one?)
  • Equal pay for women
  • "America has put more people back to work than Europe, Japan, and all advanced economies combined."
  • A "free and open internet"
  • Rewarding companies that "invest in America" 
  • "Working Americans"
  • A resolution for the use of the force against ISIL
  • "Trying something new" with Cuba
  • Acknowledging that climate change exists
  • Prohibiting Torture
  • Not persecuting "people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender."
  • Closing Gitmo
  • Making "voting easier for every single American"

And there you have it, folks.  A list of what the Republicans are against.

The Europeans landed a survey robot on a comet . . . meanwhile . . .

While European scientists landed a robot on a comet, Republicans have elevated two scientifically-illiterate jackasses to head the Congressional science committees.

Are you tired of annoying phone calls???

As happens with a lot of people, I get lots and lots of unwanted phone calls -- politicians or political parties begging for money; "You have won a free Caribbean cruise;" "You qualify for a (hearing aid, knee brace, back brace, some other piece of junk);" "Your computer is infected with viruses and we can fix it for you;" and on and on and on.

A long time ago I added my phone number to the federal Do Not Call list.  Big Deal.  They call anyway.

For years I have looked and looked for a way to block unwanted calls.  Most phone companies advertise a call-blocking service.  However, these are very limited -- they block only a few numbers and they only block numbers in your area code.

In early November 2014, I discovered the Digitone Digital Call Blocker.  I read all I could find about it, read some more, thought about it, and bought one.  I was wary about the purchase because it sounded too good to be true.  Well, that was two months ago and I am DELIGHTED with the Digitone device.

It's a little white plastic thing, about the size of two packs of cigarettes, with a few green buttons, a red LED that flashes from time to time, a power supply that plugs into a wall electrical outlet, and two jacks for telephone line in and out.

I have Metrocast digital phone service.  The phone service comes into my house on the same cable as my Internet service.  That cable runs into a modem in my office; the modem splits out the Internet service to my router and the phone service to my house phone wiring.  I connected the call blocker between the Metrocast modem and my house phone wiring -- that is, there is a phone wire running from the Metrocast modem to one of the phone outlets in the wall.  I disconnected that and ran the phone line from the Metrocast modem to the call blocker input, then, ran a phone wire from the call blocker output to the wall phone jack.

Incoming phone calls go through the call blocker and it either passes them or blocks them.

The call blocker is set up to automatically block all calls with the caller ID suppressed -- that is, the calls that show on your caller ID as "Unknown Name," "Unknown Number," or similar suppressed caller ID.

You can program the caller to block up to 140 numbers.  Now, that 140 limit is a bit misleading, because, you tell the call blocker which numbers to block and it has a "wild card" feature.  For example:

-- if you program the call blocker to block number 423-865-1234, it will block that number.
-- it you program the call blocker to block number 423-865-####, it will block ALL numbers from area code 423, exchange 865.
-- if you program the call blocker to block number 877-###-####, it will block all calls from area code 877 (a toll-free prefix used by telemarketers, etc.)

Some of the annoying calls I receive come from spoofed numbers with the same area code and exchange but different last four digits.  So -- I program the call blocker to block XXX-YYY-####, where XXX and YYY are the area code and exchange from which the annoying calls are coming.

If you receive a call you want to block, wait until the call is ended, then, scroll through the call history on the call blocker.  When you come to the offending number, press the BLOCK button twice and that number is forever blocked.

If you catch an incoming call that you want to block, just press the BLOCK button twice while the phone is ringing and that number is blocked.

To program the call blocker:

-- press the PROGRAM button.
-- watch the screen; it will tell you to RELEASE BUTTON; it will show a couple of alerts, then the display will show PICK UP PHONE.
-- pick up any phone connected to the line.
-- using the phone keypad, enter 40 (the command to block a number) then the number to be blocked, then the * key (* tells the call blocker that you just entered a number to be blocked).

For example, to block all 800 numbers:  press the PROGRAM button; release the button when the display tells you to; wait; the display will tell you to pick up the phone; pick up a phone and enter 40 800 ### #### *.  You have just programmed the call blocker to block all calls from area code 800.

I don't get a commission or anything else for telling folks about the call blocker.  It worked for me -- in the 6-8 weeks it's been operating, the telemarketing and fund raising calls have stopped completely.

Let's see if I understand this

If a Muslim shoots and kills one or more people, the entire Muslim world is a bunch of rabid mad dog killers.

If a black guy shoots and kills someone, every black man is a rabid mad dog killer.

If a white guy shoots and kills someone, he's a lone wolf killer with mental problems.

Does that about sum it up?

99th District Tea Party meeting features lying, batshit-crazy "terrorism expert"

Now comes news that the 13 January meeting of the 99th District Tea Party (Virginia's Northern Neck) will feature a talk by one John Guandolo.  According to the announcement on the Tea Party's website:
The 99th District Tea Party-Lively will meet on Tuesday, January 13 at 7:00 p.m. at the Upper Ruritan Club, 3989 White Chapel Rd, Lively. The speaker will be John Guandolo, founder of  an organization dedicated to providing strategic and operational threat-focused consultation, education, and training for federal, state, and local leadership and agencies, and designing strategies at all levels of the community to defeat the enemy.

In fact, Guandolo is just another charlatan who, after failing at real jobs, now is making a fine living as an "expert" on such matters as the Muslim Brotherhood threat to America and other fantasies.

Guandolo served a few years in the Marine Corps then went with the FBI -- which raises the question of why he left the Marines.

We know why he left the FBI.  Guandolo says he was fired from the Bureau after Eric Holder became Attorney General because Holder was putting Muslim sympathizers in the Bureau and he (Guandolo) was fired because he is not a Muslim sympathizer.  IN FACT Guandolo was fired from the FBI because: (1) he was having a sexual relationship with a confidential source; (2) he tried to get the same confidential source to donate $75,000 to his private business; and (3) he was married and was having an extra-marital affair with a female FBI agent.

Guandolo offers his services to various law enforcement agencies to train their officers in the "Muslim threat."  However, things aren't going so well for him now that police agencies are learning about what a dirtbag he is.

Among his more outrageous claims are these:

CIA Director John Brennan is a Muslim, having secretly converted during a trip to the Middle East.

President Obama is assisting Al Qaeda in taking over America.

 because it is being taken over by sharia law.

Obama committed treason by saying ISIS is not Islamic and he should be removed from office.

So, there you have it, folks.  Virginia's 99th District Tea Party -- a collection of half-wits, senile nutcases, and old, fat white people has invited into their midst a failed Marine officer who was fired from the FBI because he can't keep his pants on and who now makes a good living trotting out lies, bullshit, and nonsense about the "Muslim threat."  They deserve each other.