Welcome to Buster's Blog

Irregular commentary on whatever's on my mind -- politics, sports, current events, and life in general. After twenty years of writing business and community newsletters, fifteen years of fantasy baseball newsletters, and two years of email "columns", this is, I suppose, the inevitable result: the awful conceit that someone might actually care to read what I have to say. Posts may be added often, rarely, or never again. As always, my mood and motivation are unpredictable.

Buster Gammons

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lies, Damn Lies, And Political Ads -- Part II


Right-wing fat-cat puppet-masters have targeted a number of key 2012 elections in so-called "battleground" states. Ohio is such a state, and Senator Sherrod Brown is their target. Their efforts are underway already in a couple of putrid TV ads.

One attack ad features Pat Boone whoring himself out on behalf of something called 60Plus.Org. In his smoothest, most unctuous tones, Pat begins, "Hello, friend," (you're not my friend, asshole!) and launches into a disjointed diatribe on the Affordable Care Act:

It's utter, fact-twisting nonsense. There was not "overwhelming opposition" to President Obama's Affordable Care Act. The majority of Americans favored health care reform and still do. The "$500 billion cut in Medicare"? That's a 10-year projected savings from trimming waste and fluff from Medicare providers, not beneficiaries. ACA doesn't cut anything from seniors, and it certainly doesn't "fund more wasteful spending". The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) has authority over Medicare payments to providers, not beneficiaries. If Medicare costs keep rising and Congress does nothing, IPAB could cut Medicare payments to hospitals and doctors. Hospitals and doctors call this "rationing". IPAB will not "deny treatment" in any direct, case-by-case manner. IPAB members will indeed be unelected. Good. Congress has been in control of this for 45 years and here we are. Medicare will not "go broke in 9 years." That's an unsourced scare tactic. Certain "experts" have been predicting Medicare's demise for decades, and they've been wrong for decades. Sherrod Brown "ignoring the problem" is simply code for "he voted for the goddam ACA." And what the fuck is "real Medicare reform"?

60Plus.Org claims to be a "non-partisan seniors advocacy group". Bullshit! In reality, it's a far-right special interest PAC funded by Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) -- i.e., drug company lobbyists. 60Plus.Org advocates privatizing Social Security, and eliminating the federal estate tax, federal energy standards, and gun control laws. It's against any sort of tax increases. It was founded in 1992 to oppose Clinton's health insurance overhaul and is of course now dedicated to the repeal of the ACA. That's some pretty special senior advocacy!

Another attack job is airing courtesy of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. This one demonizes Brown for not being a Big Oil lapdog:

There was never a vote on the Senate floor to "block American energy production", nor was there ever a vote to "increase energy taxes". The ad is obliquely referring to Brown's opposition to unlimited drilling in the Gulf of Mexico (BP, anyone?) and his support for ending subsidies to the oil industry.

Brown's positions sound about right to me.

A third attack ad again comes from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It's grainy black & white (bad guys are always in B&W), with a voice-over that sounds like a cheesy 1930's newsreel:

Yes, the world is going to hell and it's all Sherrod Brown's fault because he voted for health reform. Actually, the ACA gives small employers a tax credit of 35% of their health care premiums. By 2014, larger companies must offer health insurance to their employees or pay a penalty. No job-killing, no tax-raising, no economy-worsening. Jesus! What a crock of shit!

These deceptive ads are bottom-of-the-barrel pandering and fear-mongering. Just the thing to persuade the average American idiot. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has lost all perspective and all credibility. Just a bunch of corporate ass-kissing tools. Fuckin' bastards!

(Full disclosure: Both Sherrod Brown and your humble correspondent hail from the same town. We attended the same church and junior high school, and were both among a student group that travelled to Great Britain in 1970. We are distant acquaintances, not friends. After Obama signed the ACA into law in 2010, Sherrod asked me to say a few words at a local health care rally. And I did, gladly. I am a very occasional, very small contributor to his campaign. Mostly, he ignores me conspicuously. Sherrod Brown is a great guy -- funny, highly intelligent, a born leader, a real mensch, and an unapologetic progressive liberal. If you are an Ohio voter, Buster strongly recommends Brown for Senate in 2012.)

More "Oopsies" From Rick Perry

Rick Perry is having a rough couple of days.

In New Hampshire yesterday, while speaking to a group that included many college students, he said, "Those of you that will be 21 by next November 12th, I ask for your vote and your support." (And if you're 18, 19 or 20, I guess he doesn't care who you vote for.)

Today, he referred to the upcoming "New Hampshire caucus". (That would be the New Hampshire primary. First primary election in the nation. They're kinda proud of that up in N.H. It's Iowa with the caucus.)

Rick Perry is the male version of Sarah Palin. Both are political examples of the Peter Principle -- they've risen to their level of incompetence.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lies, Damn Lies, And Political Ads -- Part I


Just three weeks ago, we concluded one of the ugliest and costliest off-year elections we've ever known, thanks to right-wing droogies like John Kasich and Scott Walker. No sooner is that done than here comes a flood of new advertising aimed at the 2012 vote. Looks like we're gonna get media-blasted for a solid year.

So far, most of the 2012 ads I've been subjected to have been not from candidates but from PAC's, special interest groups, and corporations -- all well-heeled, all conservative, all pro-Republican. Their one-sided messages are uniformly deceptive and misleading, and in many cases are blatant lies. Truth, apparently, is not sexy, does not sell, and is therefore used sparingly.

Once upon a time, the FCC had a rule known as "The Fairness Doctrine". Dating to 1949, it held that broadcast licenses were a public trust and licensees should fairly present both sides of issues. But it was policy, not law. So Ronald Reagan decreed that the Fairness Doctrine violated 1st Amendment free-speech rights, and the FCC revoked its own rule. In 1987, Congress passed an actual law restoring the Fairness Doctrine. Reagan vetoed it. Congress did it again in 1991, and George H.W. Bush vetoed it. It hasn't been tried since.

The FCC still administers a law known as "The Equal Time Rule", part of the 1934 Communications Act. Equal Time really boils down to equal opportunities. It says broadcasters must give equal treatment in selling or providing air time, and must make reasonable air time available to any federal candidate who requests it. But it doesn't say that time is free. The opportunity may be "equal", but the ability to pay is probably not, and so neither are the requests. The reality is that money buys more opportunities and more ad time.

The conservatives on the Roberts Supreme Court have given us the Citizens United v. FEC decision, which validates the absurd proposition that corporations have the same free speech rights as individuals. This has unleashed corporate money into our political system to a degree never seen before. And it will only increase.

So what's wrong with all this?
1. The average American voter is a dolt-ish sheep, easily manipulated, and liable to believe all sorts of lies, if repeated frequently. (Death panels! Obama's a Muslim!)
2. Advertising works, especially low-road negative attack ads, and even more so if the spots are run in heavy rotation. With enough exposure, the sheep can be persuaded.
3. Heavy advertising takes heavy money. And where is the big, big money? In big, big corporations.
4. Above all else, corporations want what is best for their bottom line, not what is best for the public at large. They will pay generously to obtain every possible advantage. And the GOP has taken their blood money and sold out to Big Business in a big way. "Whatever you want, guys. Just keep those checks coming."

I'm not anti-business. Hell, I'm in business myself. But this is getting ridiculous. The playing field is nowhere close to level. My campaign contribution is $50. GE's is $5 million. The unfettered influence of corporate wealth in our society and in our politics is unhealthy and undesirable. And unless we do something about it, there's no end in sight. We'll be through the looking glass, never to return. They'll keep shoveling shit at us and telling us it's chocolate ice cream. And millions of morons will happily spoon it up.

Friday, November 25, 2011

We've Offended Michele Bachmann (Tee-Hee!)

Earlier this week, "presidential candidate" Michele Bachmann appeared as a guest on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. As she was announced and walked out onto the set, Fallon's house band, the Roots, welcomed her with some intro music. The tune they selected? An obscure 1980's ska song from Fishbone, entitled "Lyin' Ass Bitch".

It wasn't until a day or two later that she and her handlers figured out what had happened. Outraged, Bachmann demanded an apology from NBC, saying, "They wouldn't have played that if it was Michele Obama."

Well, no shit, ya dumbass. If I were the NBC brass, I'd send her a copy of Cee-Lo's "F*ck You".

Urban Renewal

It's already been leaked and reported as fact by every known media outlet. Urban Meyer will be the next head football coach at Ohio State. (At this point, he better be, or else a whole lot of people will be mortally embarassed.) If the goal is for OSU to remain among the elite "programs", there's no better choice than Meyer. If that's the goal, and, obviously, it is.

Luke Fickell got the shit-end of this stick, didn't he? Local guy, former player, long-time assistant, loyal employee. "Here you go, Luke -- take over our depleted team, freshly in the NCAA doghouse, and by the way, you're interim. Good luck, son."

At our local football factory, 7-5 or 6-6 just doesn't cut it, no matter the circumstances. Fickell has my sympathies.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"Super" Fail

To no one's surprise, the "Super Committee" could not agree on how to cut the deficit and so yesterday they ended their discussions and accomplished nothing.

A parting comment from Robbie Portman (R-Ohio) inadvertently summarized the futility of the senators' many meetings. Portman said that Committee Democrats and Republicans were "never able to bridge their fundamental differences on the role of government." OK, Robbie, but that was not the job at hand. You weren't there to debate the role of government or conduct a civics class. But you and the other R's refused to let go of Grover's apron strings, and behaved yet again as nothing more than obstructionist robots avoiding the real issues.

John Kerry (D-Mass) had a better assessment of the recalcitrant Republicans when he said, "This was supposed to be a deficit-reduction committee, not a tax-cutting committee."

Ten-percent across-the-board spending cuts are now supposed to kick in automatically in 2013, and in 2012, the end of the 2-point cut in Social Security tax, the end of long-term federal unemployment benefits, and the expiration of the Bush income tax cuts. On the whole, not the worst thing in the world, if one is really serious about bringing down the deficit.

The Republicans, of course, are not serious about it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

"Quick, Doc, Gimme A Shot Of Fix-A-Flat!"

If you are among that small minority of women who believe their butts are just not big enough, there is a "doctor" in Miami who can do something about it. Oh -- wait a minute, you're too late. Turns out this doctor is no doctor at all, and was just arrested for practicing "medicine" without a license. Here's her mug shot.

Her method for giving you that booty-licious, extra junk-in-the-trunk look? She'd inject your ass with a mixture of cement, mineral oil, and flat-tire sealant. And, obviously, she practiced what she preached. OMFG!!!!!!

UC-Davis Cops: Dale Carnegie Drop-outs

They are not winning friends, and they are not influencing people (at least not in any positive way). Campus police at the University of California-Davis were caught on video pepper-spraying students protesting in support of the Occupy movement. "Spraying" is an understatement. These kids were hosed down like they were on fire.

As the students were completely non-violent and literally just sitting there, the cops tactics have been decried as excessive and unnecessary. Ya think? The two officers involved and the campus police chief have now been put on indefinite leave.

Something's going on here. People are unhappy and are speaking out. In my younger days, it was about civil rights and Viet Nam and the draft. Today, it's about unbridled greed and class strife. And images of both eras include police using overly violent means to "subdue" non-violent crowds. Is this what we want?

It looks like the lessons of the past must be learned all over again.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Grover On 60 Minutes

I hope you watched the 60 Minutes segment tonight on Grover Norquist, lobbysist, powerbroker, moneyman, and head of Americans For Tax Reform. If you did, you watched a megalomaniac and a consummate asshole. (If you didn't see it, go to Buster's Links.)

As previously mentioned here ("We Pledge Allegiance to Grover Norquist" 7/18/11), he and his minions try to get every single Republican anywhere in the country to sign "The Pledge": No tax increases of any sort, for anything, no matter what, ever. Got that? Never, ever!

And they've been damn successful. Well over 90% of Republican U.S. Representatives and Senators have signed Grover's piece of paper. And he intends to hold them to it in perpetuity. Those R's who backslide are targeted for vicious attacks in future reelection efforts. Grover keeps score, and Grover gets even. If you cross him, he'll do everything he can to crush you.

The effect of this nonsense is that Grover believes that he alone controls the Republican party, and to a large extent, he does. He says there is one and only one issue of importance,and nothing else matters. Just keep repeating the no-taxes Republican "brand".

And so we get the Stupid Committee -- pardon me, Super Committee -- charged by President Obama with the task of cutting $1.2 trillion from our multi-trillion dollar deficit. And these geniuses cannot agree on $1.20, let alone a trillion. Why? The 6 R's on the committee won't seriously consider tax increases. The spectre of Grover haunts them and they won't deal intelligently with the problem. We need fair and equal emphasis on both the income and expense sides. But any proposal that in any way raises revenue is instantly demonized by Grover and his goons as a "tax increase". So the Stupid Committee will do nothing and die in futility. It was doomed from the start.

This is precisely what Grover wants -- fuck the debt and the deficit. Fuck government. Fuck it all. Just don't "raise taxes". This is insanity.

Grover Norquist is a tunnel-vision libertarian control freak with delusions of grandeur. He is funded by the deepest pockets and the biggest, most selfish corporate interests in the land. He is not the solution, he is the problem.

All people of good conscience and good sense across this great country understand that Grover's influence is counter-productive and downright unpatriotic.

New Slogan: A bad day for Grover is a good day for America.

Let's give him as many bad days as we can.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

You Must Read This "Best-Ever" Article

The nation is still recovering from a crushing recession that sent unemployment hovering above nine percent for two straight years. The president, mindful of soaring deficits, is pushing bold action to shore up the nation's balance sheet. Cloaking himself in the language of class warfare, he calls on a hostile Congress to end wasteful tax breaks for the rich. "We're going to close the unproductive loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share," he thunders to a crowd in Georgia. Such tax loopholes, he adds, "sometimes make it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying 10 percent of his salary -- and that's crazy."

Preacherlike, the president draws the crowd into a call-and-response. "Do you think the millionaire ought to pay more in taxes than the bus driver," he demands, "or less?"

The crowd, sounding every bit like the protesters from Occupy Wall Street, roars back: "MORE!"

The year was 1985. The president was Ronald Reagan.

Today's Republican Party may revere Reagan as the patron saint of low taxation. But the party of Reagan -- which understood that higher taxes on the rich are sometimes required to cure ruinous deficits -- is dead and gone. Instead, the modern GOP has undergone a radical transformation, reorganizing itself around a grotesque proposition: that the wealthy should grow wealthier, whatever the consequences for the rest of us.

[Excerpted from "The Party of the Rich", by Tim Dickinson, in the current issue of Rolling Stone. For the full article, please click the link under Buster's Links.]

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"We're So Confused!"

If elected as President, Rick Perry will immediately eliminate three federal agencies: "1. Commerce, 2. Education, and 3. Uh, let's see, um, . . I don't know. Don't have it. Oops."

Asked if he agreed or disagreed with President Obama's Libyan policy, Herman Cain hemmed and hawed and went mostly silent for two tortuous minutes: "OK, Libya . . .[pause] . . . Obama wanted to remove Gaddafi, correct? . . . [pause] . . . I don't agree -- no, wait, that's a different one . . . [pause] . . . I got stuff twirlin' around in my head . . . [pause] . . ."

Jesus! This pair of brainfart chowderheads make Sarah Palin look like a Rhodes scholar!

But moving away from those foggy federal departments and those confusing foreign countries, Rick and Herman are crystal clear on one thing: Waterboarding is not torture, they're all for it, and they'd waterboard damn near anybody at the drop of a hat. Michelle Bachmann joins them in this stance.

So at least three Republican Presidential candidates strongly endorse the use of an illegal practice and are anxious to give it another whirl. Only in America.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Meet ALEC, The Big Bus Driver

Have you met ALEC? The American Legislative Exchange Council? You should meet 'em. ALEC is a little-known but extremely influential organization funded by big business, for its own benefit. In theory, ALEC is a joint operation, where business and state lawmakers "exchange" ideas on legislation. In practice, ALEC is where weenie conservative state reps go to get their marching orders, where they conspire to churn out corporate-friendly "model bills", then take them back to their various states and introduce them as brilliant new ideas they thought of all by their little selves.

If you sense a national pattern, you're right. Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana, Alabama, Arizona, et al. There is no coincidence, just an organized, concerted effort. Union-busting? ALEC. Relaxing environmental protections for big oil/gas/coal? ALEC. Voter suppression laws? Anti-Mexican immigration laws? Repeal of health care? Open-carry gun laws? Etc., etc., etc.? ALEC, ALEC, ALEC, and ALEC. The scope and reach of this beast will astound you (or at least it should). Click on the link under "Buster's Links".

Some of the companies on ALEC's Board: AT&T, Coca-Cola, Exxon Mobil, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Koch Industries, Kraft, Pfizer, State Farm, UPS, Wal-Mart.

Other corporate involvement: AEP, BP American, Chevron, ComCast, Conoco Phillips, Dow Chemical, Duke Energy, G.M., McDonald's, Merck Pharmaceuticals, Nevada Energy, RJ Reynolds, Shell Oil, Time Warner, United Healthcare, Verizon, VISA, Wellpoint Healthcare.

Some ALEC "Award Winners": Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Gov. Bobby Jindal, Gov. Rick Perry.

Some ALEC "Featured Speakers": George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Dan Quayle, Newt Gingrich.

Some ALEC-affiliated "Alumni" in U.S. Congress: Speaker John Boehner, former Speaker & felon Tom DeLay, Va. Rep. Eric Cantor, SC Rep. Joe "You Lie!" Wilson, former Ga. Rep. & sexual predator Mark Foley, Oh. Rep. Steve Austria, Oh. Rep. Bob Gibbs, Oh. Rep. Jim Jordan, Oh. Rep. Jean Schmidt, Oh. Rep. Steve Stivers, Oh. Rep. Pat Tiberi.

Some ALEC-affiliated "Alumni" Governors: Arizona's Jan Brewer, Wisconsin's Scott Walker, Ohio's John Kasich.

Additional ALEC members include trade groups, lobbyists, and law firms out the ass.

Kinda one-sided, eh? ALEC claims to be non-profit and bipartisan. Does it look it that way to you?

They're the money men and the influence-peddlers; they want to drive the bus, rule the world, do whatever they please, and the rest of us may be damned.

Don't let it happen!

A Lesson For The Duggars

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggars are the holy-roller Arkansas couple who've made a name for themselves by having lots and lots of children. They're featured on a TLC "reality" show once known as "17 And Counting", but the name of the show keeps changing. Jim Bob and Michelle just announced they're now expecting Bundle O' Joy Number Twenty. That's right, 20 kids. Jim Bob and Michelle are crazier than shit-house rats! Buster once compared her vagina to a circus clown car -- open the door and an endless stream of people come out.

So, courtesy of a faithful reader (thank you, faithful reader), here's a humorous little story someone should have shared with the Duggars a long time ago.


The pastor's wife was expecting a baby, so he stood before the congregation and asked for a raise.

After much discussion, they passed a rule that whenever the preacher's family expanded, so would his paycheck.

After 6 children, this was getting expensive and the congregation held another meeting to discuss the preacher's ever-increasing salary.

There was a great deal of yelling and bickering about how much the preacher's children were costing the church, and how much more it could potentially cost.

Listening to the congregation discuss at length his procreational proclivities, the pastor rose at last from his chair and solemnly spoke: "Children are a gift from God, and we will happily take as many gifts as He gives us."

Silence fell upon the congregation until, from the back pew, a little old lady struggled to her feet, and said in her small, frail voice, "Rain is also a gift from God, but when we get too much of it, we wear rubbers."

The entire congregation shouted, "Amen!"

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Penn State -- What A Mess, What A Shame

The Penn State scandal is a mind-blower, straight out of left field. Wow! Makes Ohio State's Tattoo-Gate look like very small potatoes in comparison.

But large potatoes or small, it boils down to one of life's crucial crossroads -- to tell or not to tell. And it's never easy. You know something, and you know that what you know is a bad problem, a hot fuckin' potato. Your knowledge will implicate family, or a friend, or a co-worker, or your company, or put you into some such personal pickle.

Do you act strictly in self-interest, or not? How thin do you slice the baloney? Tressel knew about tattoos and trinkets and told, basically, no one. Paterno knew about abuse and molestation, and told his bosses, but then nobody told anybody else.

Both are quality people, and thought they were doing the right thing. Both thought they were protecting themselves, their employers, and those young people in their charge. Free tattoos are not cool with the NCAA but are not per se illegal. However, butt-fucking children in the shower is a crime anywhere you go.

Joe-Pa is not a criminal, nor is the administration, but the Penn State brain trust played this one very badly, and their civil liability is likely to be huge. It's just -- I don't -- sad, awful, pathetic.

So, back to the original question, if we know some ugly painful shit, do we tell or not? "Snitch" or cover up?

Hell, I don't know. A difficult decision, and it could go either way. We're only human. All I know is I'm glad I'm not a college football coach, and I fervently hope none of us is ever put in such a god-awful situation.

My "big" decisions these days are things like black shoes or brown, white bread or rye, gin or vodka. Scotch? Here's hoping yours are equally momentous.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Just You Wait, Johnny Kasich!

Governor Katshit's Issue 2 has been defeated, and Senate Bill 5 is now repealed. Good! To help maintain the momentum, Buster offers some lyrical inspiration, set to the old My Fair Lady tune "Just You Wait, Henry Higgins":

Just you wait, Johnny Kasich, just you wait.
You'll be sorry but your tears will be too late.
We'll repeal your union-bustin'
And give you a proper dustin'.
Just you wait, Johnny Kasich, just you wait!

Just you wait, Johnny Kasich, till you say
That it really doesn't matter anyway.
"I'll just pass it piece by piece." Yeah? We'll stuff it up your crease.
Oh ho ho, Johnny Kasich, just you wait!

Just you wait, Johnny Kasich, till you run.
We will all vote against you just for fun.
You've been such a rotten prick, and we won't forget so quick.
Ha ha ha, Johnny Kasich, just you wait!

Oooh, Johnny Kasich,
You think you're so damn clever.
Oooh, Johnny Kasich,
We'll all pull that big "D" lever.

You can kick and scream and curse us.
We will throw you out regardless.
Oh ho ho, Johnny Kasich!
Ha ha ha, Johnny Kasich!!
Just . . . you . . . wait.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Give An Ex-Jock A Microphone And a Ball Game . . .

. . . and prepare to be amused by the garbled syntax, botched metaphors, and linguistic misadventures of former athletes "analyzing" the contest. Here are three instances from this past weekend.

The defense can't seem to make up its mind on this issue.
What the announcer said: "It's time for this defense to take a stand."
What he meant: Make a stand, i.e. stop the other team.

The wounds that keep on giving!
What the announcer said: "For the Boilermakers, it's a matter of self-inflicting injuries."
What he meant: Self-inflicted injuries, i.e. too many mistakes.

He showed up with a bulldozer and a backhoe, and went to work.
What the announcer said: "Tom Osborn literally changed the landscape in this state."
What he meant: He virtually changed the [athletic] landscape, i.e. he was influential.

And one more, not from last weekend, but from the archives.

It's the latest thing in head wear.
What the announcer said: "A tip of the cat to the Cardinals."
What he meant: Either tip of the cap, or tip of the hat. The announcer in this case was former major league outfielder Brian McRae, and he mashed the two together. Meow!

Apparently, Freedom Of Speech Means Freedom To Lie!

One more day and all these disgusting political ads will come to an end. Can't come soon enough for me. I've had about all the deception, fear-mongering, and outright lying I can stand. Just a few final examples, then I'll shut up. (About time, eh?)

Some of the blatantly dishonest "Yes On Issue 2" ads that really chap my ass:

"Issue 2 will protect our communities by keeping police and firemen on the job." Keeping them on the job? Since they'd be prohibited from striking, how about forcing them to work?

"As Ohio fails to give our children opportunities, our kids are chasing their dreams far from home." So by eliminating collective bargaining for teachers, cops, and nurses, and slashing their pay and benefits, we'd be somehow increasing opportunities? For who? To do what? And how would lower compensation for the public sector keep future generations from leaving the state?

"Public employees make 43% more than us." Who is us? How much money does us make, compared to them? This ad is just such a pathetic, obvious lie, I wanna puke. There's freedom of speech, but speech doesn't always equal truth.

"Families pay too much for the excessive wages and benefits of government employees." Well, how much do we pay now, and how much should we pay? And to what extent are these wages excessive? Says who? Just a blizzard of buzzword bullshit.

And a "Yes On Issue 3" spot tells us that "A yes vote on Issue 3 will make Obama's health care law illegal in Ohio." No, it won't. Unless and until the U.S. Supreme Court decides that the ACA is unconstitutional, Ohio's Issue 3 is merely a right-wing flip-off gesture. No matter what Mike DeWine thinks, our state cannot override federal law.

Man, am I ready for it to be Wednesday!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Josh Finally Comes Clean, Sort Of

Josh Mandel is a weaselly young Republican who somehow got himself elected in 2010 as Treasurer of Ohio. He's 30-something, but looks like he's about 13, and he's all about the money -- whether the bucks flow from Karl Rove, the Koch brothers, or his wife's family, Li'l Josh has kissed all the Right asses, and has been handsomely rewarded for his osculations.

Almost immediately after becoming our Treasurer, he announced he would be a 2012 candidate for U.S. Senate, opposing incumbent Sherrod Brown, a liberal lion, a great guy, and Buster's old homey from Mansfield. Six months ago, when Mandel's candidacy became official, he was required to file financial disclosure forms with the state. He did not, and made various excuses for half a year. (Technically, this was illegal.) Last Thursday, he finally released some remarkably half-baked "disclosures". How this shit took him six months is anyone's guess. (I'm guessin' there's fleas on this dog.)

Li'l Josh has a buck or two, but his wife is loaded. Her family is connected with something called Rattner Industries, and industrious they have been! According to the filed disclosures, Mrs. Mandel is worth $7.4 millon, give or take. At least that's what they're willing to tell us poor dumbfuck citizens.

Here's the fun part. Mandel's disclosure says their income and assets are derived from 372 sources. WTF? 372?! Isn't that, like, kind of a lot? OK, if you're in mutual funds, a given fund may be invested in numerous places. I'm in some mutual funds, but even so, 372 sources of income sounds pretty goddam strong. I don't have 372 sources of income. Do you?

And even more fun, Li'l Josh discloses all of his (his wife's) income/assets in "ranges", and rather broad, B.S. ranges at that, like "$250,000 to $500,000". Really? Serious? You're not sure? And you're so not-fucking-sure, you need a margin of error of a quarter million dollars? On a single investment? Wish I had $250 K of "I-don't-really-know" wiggle room.

Josh Mandel is bogus bullshit, people. He's a 1 per-center, a bought-and-paid-for puppet who's done nothing, and the poster child for everything that's wrong with today's batch of Republicans. They think they have enough money to buy the world, and that's exactly what they intend to do.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Local Issue 22 And The New Hard-Right Ad Campaign

Locally here in Columbus and Franklin County, Issue 22 is a replacement property tax levy for the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities (formerly MRDD). The Board provides much-needed services to some of our most needy folks. The current millage will expire in 2012. We all know it's a worthy cause, and it may or may not cost us anything -- depends on your property valuation, and recently many have gone south. At most, Issue 22 might cost you $2 a month or so.

Even so, the regressive, far-right, Tea Bag, anti-taxes-of-any-sort faction of the Ohio GOP has come up with a new "No On Issue 22" ad campaign. This spot is from Building A Better Ohio -- the lying bastards who gave us SB 5. Their new ad has not yet been aired, but Buster has obtained an exclusive bootleg copy of its text. (Sorry, no video yet.) It's a synthesis of all their usual lovely campaign tactics! For your consideration, here it is:


(As dark, dirge chords play from the low end of the piano, the narrator speaks in the gravest possible tone:)

"Enough is enough! Now, with Issue 22, the retards want more . . . from us. Issue 22 will make taxes go up . . . for us. It will cost us jobs, and make us unable to compete. Our children will flee Ohio in droves for secure but low-paying non-union jobs in B.F. Egypt and other garden spots, and leave us with nothing but retards. Police and firemen will be laid off, and the retards will let our houses burn down. The retards will get great benefits and pay a lot less for them . . . than us. And the retards will make more money -- 43% more! -- . . . than us.

"So if you're one of us and believe it's always time to say no, then Fuck A Bunch O' Retards and Vote No on Issue 22 . . . for us!"


[All the above is obviously, I hope, an intentionally non-PC put-on. Please don't skewer me for using the R-word. Just making a point!]