Thursday, August 30, 2012

Like Others In 'GOP,' 'Ayn' Ryan Is Shameless Liar

By Manifesto Joe

No sooner did U.S. Rep. Paul "Ayn" Ryan have his big chance to "introduce" himself to much of the American public than he was already spouting gross lies, and just as shamelessly as many other Republicans.

During his speech to the "GOP" National Convention on Wednesday night, Ayn blamed President Obama for the closing of a General Motors plant in his hometown of Janesville, Wis.

He seemed to have conveniently forgotten that the closing was announced while his good buddy Il Doofus (Bush 43) was president. Where was he during this convention, by the way?

Ryan also slammed Obama for ignoring the advice of the so-called bipartisan debt-reduction panel -- "the cat food commission" -- neglecting to mention that he himself opposed its recommendations.

Not that much of this is surprising. Slick Willard Scumney has been telling the voters that money has been absconded from the Medicare trust fund, when in reality no such thing has happened.

Meanwhile, Ayn, his running mate, is the author of a plan to convert Medicare into a private voucher system. It's estimated that if this is done, it could end up costing U.S. seniors as much as $6,400 more per year.

Ayn repeated the stale rhetoric that the Democrats are all out of "ideas" and have nothing left but promoting fear and division.

I suppose there's truth in the suggestion that Democrats' "ideas" basically all hark back to the New Deal in the 1930s. But there's certainly nothing "new" in the Republicans' "ideas." One can read an 1873 satirical novel, The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today, co-authored by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner, and get an idea of how old their notions are.

What's most pathetic is that, even though reporters for big media outlets like the Los Angeles Times have little trouble finding the inaccuracies in Ayn's speech, lockstep Republicans and Tea Party cretins will swallow it all whole. As Mr. Twain phrased it, a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

'Family Values' Republicans Spend Three Times As Much As Dems At Titty Bars

By Manifesto Joe

That's according to a study by the Association of Club Executives, an organization that represents the 4,000 "gentlemen's club" owners in the U.S.

Here's a link to a story on the subject from

The survey found that Republicans typically spend $150 per person at strip clubs, compared with $50 per person for Democrats.

I find this a bit confusing, that the sexually repressed "family values" crowd would go ape in titty bars, and it's reported that there are 50,000 people who are about to descend on Tampa, Fla., for the Republican National Convention.

Tampa has a rep for being the strip club capital of America. I suppose I shouldn't use the term "bar" regarding Tampa, because even with that rep, I understand that you can't order booze in one of that city's strip clubs.

Even so, just imagine all those Todd Aiken types, prowling the city at night for a chance to drool at pole dancers.

As far as the amount of money they spend in these establishments, perhaps it's simply that Republicans usually have a lot more dinero to throw around, and tuck under garters, than Democrats have.

Regarding the very actions themselves, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. A man who used to collect Dumpster trash outside a popular North Texas hotel told me that the empties of vodka and gin would increase as much as tenfold when Southern Baptists would come to town for a convention. The rationale is that vodka and gin are harder to detect on someone's breath than other alcoholic beverages. And of course, Southern Baptists are supposed to be teetotalers.

Back in Tampa for this week's shenanigans, I read that one strip club has hired a Sarah Palin lookalike just in time for the GOP Convention. That's right -- she comes complete with the glasses, the hairdo, and everything else. Here's a link to that story on

That ought to bring a bulge to many a pair of right-wing trousers.

Personally, I'm not much of a fan of titty bars. A friend of mine used to like going to them, so I've seen the inside of several. Although the young women are said to be well-paid, it's a very exploitative situation, plus a sad amount of the earnings go up the dancers' noses. I eventually decided that I'd rather not exploit nubile young women, or subsidize their cocaine habits.

But hey, since I'm considered a Democrat, they don't make that much quid off of me, anyway. It's the right-wingers who are the big spenders in such places. Get ready, Tampa -- there'll be no calm after the tropical storm.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Incredibly, Missouri GOP Has A Senate Candidate Even Crazier Than The One In Texas

By Manifesto Joe

Rep. Todd Aiken, a Republican, represents Missouri's 2nd congressional district in the U.S. House. I didn't think it possible, but he's even more of a kook than former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz, who's likely to be this state's next U.S. senator.

Aiken, 65, suggested during a TV interview Sunday that women who are victims of "legitimate rape" are biologically unlikely to become pregnant -- attributing this ludicrous "science" to "doctors." A lot of top Republicans have called on the congressman to withdraw from his challenge against U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat.

Akin has apologized for his remarks, but he insists that he'll stay in the race. The deadline for him to drop out passed on Tuesday.

It's a close call, but I'd say Aiken's foolishness has exceeded that of Cruz, 41, who's on record as saying a good many insane things. To quote Tarrant County (Texas) Democratic Party Chairman Steve Maxwell:

Cruz is on the record saying there is a conspiracy to eliminate golf courses, unemployment benefits lead to more unemployment and that Sharia law is a "enormous" problem.

None of the above is very surprising, as the Texas Republican Party came under the control of psychopaths long ago. More from Maxwell:

Similarly, the Texas Republican Party Platform ranges from the silly to downright frightening –- doing away with minimum wage, repealing the Voting Rights Act, promoting corporal punishment in schools, but eliminating critical thinking (which makes sense, based on the fact that it is now clear, Republicans have done away with all thinking).

But I would say that Aiken, with his pronouncement that a "legitimate" rape victim can shut down the advance of an unwelcome sperm through sheer biological will, has Cruz bested in the category of mental illness.

Scumney's attempt at distancing

I suppose it can be marked just a bit to his credit that Slick Willard Scumney immediately realized what an appallingly stupid thing this was to say. But his struggle to distance himself from kooks like this rings hollow.

The problem is that Scumney chose Rep. Paul "Ayn" Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate. And Ayn has worked closely with Todd Aiken in the past, as recently as 2011.

Ayn and Aiken co-sponsored a bill that would ban abortions in the case of "forcible" rape. These two have co-sponsored quite a few anti-abortion bills, including the proposed "Sanctity of Life Act," which says that "every human being shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood." And by that, they mean that a "person" exists from the very moment that an egg is fertilized.

Ayn's public positions on abortion are no different from Aiken's. But now, of course, he wants to be vice president, so we're not hearing much from him on this issue.

This gaffe needs to be kept alive through the first week of November. The Republican Party has been hijacked by lunatics, and now it's across the nation, not just in Texas (where that happened long ago).

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Back To The Roots: Here's The Flamin' Groovies, Live In 1972

I thought it would be well to give the old band their shot. I think Webb's cover is "tighter." But, hindsight is always 20/20. The Groovies were a gas, and I'd say that Mick, Keith & the Stones were actually no better at the time.

Unheralded stars! -- MJ

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Webb Wilder's Most Excellent Cover Of 'Slow Death'

I had been waiting for someone to download this wonderful cover. You may notice that, along with pictures of Webb, 58, and his veteran Nashville band, that there are stills of the Flamin' Groovies, who did this song back in the early 1970s.

One thing that I think hampered all of them, including the old band the Flamin' Groovies, is that they all played this pretty tongue-in-cheek, even this explicitly anti-drug song. Webb has always played everything for laughs. I don't know why that should limit anyone. All should be stars now! -- MJ

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Movie That Sucked So Horribly, Nobody Wants To Remember It Except Me

By Manifesto Joe

I don't know how many people got their money taken from them during the winter of 1976-77, by paying to sit through the movie called The Way He Was, an attempt at a parody of Dick Nixon and his assorted Watergate buffoons.

I thought of this movie recently, as one of very few in which I've seriously considered going to the box office and demanding my money back.

Their headliner for this incredible schlock was Al Lewis, better-known as Grandpa in The Munsters. I won't go so far as to speculate that he had gambling debts, but his retirement couldn't have been too cushy if he was willing to take a paycheck for this excrement. And, to be honest, I don't even remember which role he played. I was pretty disgusted halfway through the flick.

They actually had a dude in a Nixon mask playing the lead role. And, Mitchell, Haldeman and Ehrlichman were depicted as The Three Stooges. It had lots of "funny" lines, like when somebody has an appointment with the president, and under the mask, a Nixon impersonator who's no better at it than I am responds in Nixonesque accent, "Well, tell 'em to fuck off!"

The thing is, I tried to find some kind of reference to it online. Internet Movie Database, which prides itself on having something about damn near everything, had nada, nothing, on this one. Rotten Tomatoes had an entry, but no reviewers would touch it.

I remembered this as being one of the most truly, incredibly BAD movies I've ever seen, including things like Wrestling Women Vs. the Aztec Mummy. Of course, at this particular time, everybody left and right was kicking the shit out of Nixon, who's now remembered as one of America's most intelligent -- and craziest -- presidents. The paranoia factor there just was too much for the rest of the package to justify.

His interviews with David Frost came soon after that. Nixon kicked Frost's inexperienced candy ass in their first encounter, but didn't fare well after that. He'd done too many bad things, and Frost got better in the succeeding faceoffs.

Anyway, we've come such a long, long way since those primitive 1970s. Nixon would be regarded as a liberal now. And movies are better than ever!

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Rand, Paul Ayn's Idol, Was Hypocrite Who Took Social Security, Medicare

By Manifesto Joe

Republican vice presidential pick Paul Ayn has gotten by with some prospective voters by flashing them that shit-eating grin. But not everybody has forgotten about his past pronouncements of admiration for the garrulous swill of would-be novelist Ayn Rand.

"The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand," said Rep. Ayn at a D.C. event honoring the so-called author. On another occasion, he proclaimed, "Rand makes the best case for the morality of democratic capitalism."

Let us recall that this demented slut Rand, who characterized those who take government payments as "moochers" and "parasites," took Social Security herself, and Medicare, too, when the inveterate chain smoker was confronted with self-inflicted lung cancer at the age of 69. She had previously proclaimed scientific warnings about smoking to be a hoax.

Here's a link to an article on the subject.

Just in passing, let us note that despite a cult of mentally ill admirers, Rand is generally regarded by serious critics as a vapid purveyor of nonliterature. Her seemingly endless railings were so awful that Whittaker Chambers, a darling of the far right after he was a witness against Alger Hiss, was essentially exiled from much of the right-wing twit "movement" after he wrote a scathingly negative review of Atlas Shrugged for the National Review in 1957.

As a novelist, she just plain sucked. OK, we'll put that aside for a moment. The horrific effect that her toxic, selfish ideas have had on generations of American pseudo-intellectuals is yet another issue. And now, with a likely vice presidential candidate who's a "disciple" of this ugly slattern, we've seen the poison of her influence come to full fruition.

I suppose it can be argued that, since Rand was the ultimate spokesperson for selfish opportunism, it shouldn't be surprising that she'd be a hypocrite who would cash in on the welfare state when she got the chance. She would just characterize something like that as her good luck, and somebody else's bad luck in a less prosperous and charitable time.

Slick Willard Scumney does his best to project himself as the captain of his own vessel, but make no mistake -- his choice of Paul Ayn as a running mate is a clear overture to the "GOP's" powerful far right wing. For a while he didn't seem like one of them, but he's made clear that he's telling the "I've got mine, so fuck you" wing of the Republican Party that he'll generally do what they tell him to do.

Unfortunately, we've had a few powerful folks in Washington who have been "disciples" of the Ayn Rand Cult. Longtime Fed chief Alan Greenspan immediately comes to mind. Yet even he, as the U.S. economy came dangerously close to collapse circa 2007-09, eventually had to admit that his "free market" dogma may have had some points of error.

I would have hoped that the near-collapse of our economy would have relegated these sophomoric trolls to the back waters of American discourse, where they belong. I suppose I was being too optimistic, because even the Great Depression couldn't educate Rand, who became popular as a "literary" apologist for robber barons during that very era.

Even if the Scumney-Ayn ticket loses in November -- and I pray that Obama and Biden will do everything possible to expose this cult follower in the meantime -- Ayn will probably be peddling his opportunistic snake oil again in 2016. This kind of venom just never seems to go away, no matter how discredited.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Eric Hobsbawm Discusses 'Responsible Capitalism'

I have some misgivings about Professor Hobsbawm, given his past as sort of an apologist for Stalin. But I thought he has some excellent observations here, and I was surprised to discover that he's still alive.

Again, this is Professor Eric Hobsbawm, (1917- ), recorded in January. -- MJ

Saturday, August 11, 2012

'Biggest Brown-Noser' Ryan To Be GOP VP Pick

By Manifesto Joe

If this is Romney's choice for a running mate, 99% of Americans under 55 should prepare to be thrown under the bus.

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, 42, looks to be Slick Willard's choice for a vice presidential running mate. It's a pretty clear signal from Scumney to the Republican Party's powerful far right wing -- pssst, I'm really one of you guys! I just played like a moderate to get elected governor of Massachusetts.

Ryan, who was literally voted "Biggest Brown-Noser" by his 1988 high school classmates, is a Young Republican poster boy. Here's a link to his Wikipedia biography, by the way.

My wife, who is not much better at brown-nosing than I am, keeps telling me that it pays off. In Ryan's case, it certainly seems that way.

If the Scumney-Ryan ticket wins in November, we will have a heartbeat away from the presidency a man who has very seriously proposed privatizing Social Security and replacing the current Medicare program with a voucher system. The concrete proposals have been for phase-ins (should I say phase-outs?) that wouldn't apply to Americans over a certain age, generally given as 55. That makes all this more palatable for older people -- retired Tea Party types can keep collecting their checks while throwing younger people under the bus with nary a thought.

A sad thing about politics, in any country, is that there usually has to be a bloody, fatal wreck at the intersection, so to speak, before someone will put up a traffic light. Social Security, in effect since 1935, is largely taken for granted. There are no seniors around who can remember the time before we had Medicare, starting in 1965. So, as collective memories grow fuzzy, it is looking like tragic reality that people are going to have to see, with their own eyes, what American life will be like with no such entitlements.

The Obama-Biden ticket would be well-advised to make Ryan's record on these issues a centerpiece of their campaign. Of course, they'll be accused of fear-mongering and "class warfare" and such -- fine, let the other side talk that trash. The American Class War looks like it's been effectively over for decades anyway (want to guess who won?), so it's a guerrilla struggle from now on.

One afterthought is wonderment about how someone like Paul Ryan could be elected to seven terms in the U.S. House from a seemingly progressive state like Wisconsin. This is a place that elected the La Follettes, Bill Proxmire and Russ Feingold.

But, Scott Walker is governor there now, having survived a recall election. And Joe McCarthy was elected to the U.S. Senate there -- twice.

Oh, well. There's plenty to be ashamed of in Texas. But at least we never sent Joe McCarthy to Washington. We had to settle for Martin Dies.

Unfortunately, it looks alarmingly as though Paul Ryan will be going back there soon, and perhaps with a promotion.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Rich Have Offshored Their Wealth -- Scumney, Too?

By Manifesto Joe

We live in a time in which ordinary people are being told to expect far, far less. Social Security isn't even a given, nor is Medicare. And yet, now we hear this:

Super Rich Holding $21 Trillion Overseas to Avoid Taxation

Here's the link. That number is "conservative" -- the actual one could run as high as $32 trillion.

This not only comes at a time like this for America -- EU countries are in a bind, too.

I have a "conservative" friend who once made a reference about "money we don't have." Bullshit. Fucking BULLSHIT. It's there, and we KNOW who has it. They are hiding it in places like the Cayman Islands.

Is Slick Willard one of them? We can only guess. Why won't he release his tax records?

The era of "responsible capitalism" is over

It would appear that the only thing that forced that situation was the international challenge of socialism. Granted, socialism didn't hold up well, for reasons that don't have to be enumerated. But when faced with something like an international challenge, "capitalists" had to behave more responsibly.

Karl Marx was certainly wrong about a lot of things. But one thing he predicted was that, despite myriad attempts to "reform" capitalism, it would always revert back to its original, brutal form. It's looking like Karl was right about that one.

So, what to do now?

Revolutions don't generally turn out well, when you look at history. I can't say that I would recommend them. But if there isn't some kind of serious turnaround in Western societies within the next decade -- well, something else dramatic will have to happen. If it doesn't, we will be walking around as plutocrat trolls for the next couple of centuries. The plutocracy has the technology to commit this atrocity, unless we the people prevent it.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chick-Fil-A Runs A Ruse On Their Customer Base

By Manifesto Joe

I haven't looked at many Chick-Fil-A's around the country, so I'm going mainly by what the Mainstream Media say about this. There are gaping primates all over the country standing in line outside the stores, dragging their knuckles to the door just to get a rarefied taste of that unique blend of featherless cardboard and white-bread goo.

I was born, but it wasn't yesterday. I had heard long ago that Chick-Fil-A was a right-wing fundamentalist company, worse than all those Republican-donating burger chains out there. I recall eating there only one time, maybe 20 years ago, when there was absolutely nothing else around to eat. Blah.

By putting out a homophobic statement denouncing gay marriage, the chain's CEO has boosted sales tremendously, from what I've heard. I don't think there can be much doubt about the effect that this has had. Gay people and those reasonably sympathetic to them weren't eating there a lot in the first place, so any boycotts that have resulted have been negligible. It's the traditional Chick-Fil-A customer base that has been energized by this.

Aside from their politics, I always thought the Chick-Fil-A ad campaigns, you know, the billboards with the semiliterate cows, were detestable and in the poorest of taste. You remember those -- "Eat mor chiken," and such. And I'm not even a vegetarian. It's just stupid to make fun of unfortunate barnyard animals.

(Sadly, I've had Tea Party commenters on this site who were no more literate than the Chick-Fil-A cows were.)

Personally, I decided decades ago that their food totally sucks, and later I learned that they were prehistoric fundamentalists who always close on Sundays (See you in church).

But clearly, the effect that this had was calculated. Their traditional customer base, the great unwashed, all decided at once that they just HAD to have themselves one of those no-taste Chick-Fil-A sandwiches.

They are welcome to them. I can find better things to eat from tins in a dollar store, tossed with sauteed veggies and a bowl of pasta.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

RIP, Gore Vidal: 1925-2012

I can't say that he was just always my huckleberry. But I thought ol' Gore said some funny things at times, and I would say that, rather unfortunately, he had a good handle on what was wrong with America in modern times. Bon voyage, Mr. Vidal. -- MJ

Ted Cruz Racks One Up For The Kooks!

By Manifesto Joe

Early returns are good enough for former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz to claim victory in the Republican runoff for U.S. Senate from Texas. He leads Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst with about 55%, so just about everybody is calling this one for him.

Cruz, 41, was always the Tea Party fave in the race, and even got the endorsement of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. I don't think many liberals like rich boy Dewhurst, 66; but he's perceived as an establishment Republican, one who might actually not treat Democrats like pond scum if he had been elected. Cruz apparently has the support of all who want to lead the U.S. into some kind of civil war. He seems pretty certain to win the general election over his Democratic opponent, former state Rep. Paul Sadler. We'll see how effective he is at working across the aisle.

Personally, I don't especially mind seeing this sort of thing happen regularly, because it will take that for Republicans to realize that they've got a Frankenstein monster on their hands. It was already that way with the "Religious Right." Now, the Tea Party has given the crazies of the right wing a more secular focus, and they are getting their voters to the polls.

This will mean more high-profile politicians who favor teaching creationism in public schools, and who oppose abortion even in cases of incest and rape. This will mean more of them who favor cutting taxes for the super-rich, even when the federal deficit is in the trillions and big corporations are on record as paying no income tax at all. This will mean more of them who think all Muslims in America are terrorist sympathizers -- you know, the kind who take arsenals into movie theaters and kill a dozen people.

In other words, the differences between the right wing and everybody else will be more clearly delineated. I doubt that Cruz himself believes all of the above, but I would be willing to bet that at least one-third, and perhaps even half, of all Texans who voted for him would lean toward agreement with all of the above. This state has no shortage of ignorant lunatics.

The only impediments Cruz faces are that he has a Hispanic surname -- lots of people would deny it, but there's still a shitload of racism in this state -- and his physical appearance. If Bill Murray and Pat Buchanan could have a male child, Ted Cruz is what it would look like. That dark, goofy countenance won't help him much.

But he has strong appeal for a psychopathic element in Texas politics, and is more than likely to be our next U.S. senator. The state will soon likely rival Oklahoma (James Inhofe and Tom Coburn) for having the most certifiably insane U.S. Senate delegation in the nation.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.