Bob Higgins

The More You Watch, the Worse You Feel / Marty Kaplan

Victor VasarelyBy Marty Kaplan / Huffington Post

As if the triple whammy of the Japanese earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster weren’t enough to enthrall and terrify us, the war in Libya is now providing cable news viewers a fresh hell to follow 24/7.

But wait, as they say in the infomercials — there’s more. In Bahrain, Saudi tanks and troops are violently cracking down on pro-democracy activists; in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood is moving toward power; in Yemen, security forces, firing from the rooftops, have killed scores of demonstrators; in Syria, troops are shooting into crowds of protesting civilians; and last week’s news from Israel and the Palestinian territories was enough to make anyone rage and wail.

Feeling overwhelmed yet? In Madison, Wisc. and other state capitals, Republicans are demonizing public employees, stripping workers of their rights and using deficits as an excuse to transfer wealth from the middle to the top. In Washington, D.C., every Republican on the environment subcommittee says that climate change is a hoax, and every Republican on the financial institutions subcommittee says banks are the victims, not the perpetrators, of the recession. Who has enough spare neurons to cope with that, let alone the defunding of NPR and Planned Parenthood? Do you have some mindshare left for a campaign finance system that’s corrupting both political parties? For the obesity epidemic? For the worst youth unemployment in history?

Read more: Marty Kaplan/The More You Watch, the Worse You Feel. (more…)

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Can Giuliani Beat Obama For GOP Nomination?

Posted in News, Politics, Pop Culture, Uncategorized by Bob Higgins on January 26, 2011
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Giuliani: GOP Favorite Unless Obama Moves To Right

GOP Favorite Unless Obama Moves To Right

In a recent poll, respondents report that if the republican front runners are suddenly raptured off the planet, Rudy Giuliani would be the only one left on the list who looks good in a little black dress and would become the favorite to win the nomination.

Rudy would be the favorite…that is, unless Barack Obama continues his inexorable creep to the right.

The President’s SOTU speech last night sounded as if he and his wordsmiths had just returned from a long sojourn in some fairyland where full employment and economic justice prevail.

What he offered in his address was more of the same hollow panaceas, noble sounding bromides, continued wars, more tax cuts for business and spending cuts for the rest of us.

His stomach for kowtowing to republicans and the economic power elite may have been the model for the new Starbucks size.

Given another two years of moving toward and through the center, I expect that Obama may win the CPAC straw poll and be elected as a Republican in 2012.

Mafia Arrest List Switched With White House Guest List

Posted in Humor, News, Politics, Pop Culture by Bob Higgins on January 20, 2011
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From: Boardwalk Empire by Martin Scorsese and Terence Winter

From: Boardwalk Empire by Martin Scorsese and Terence Winter

The two hundred plus guests at the White House for free chow and entertainment the other night included the heads of Boeing, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase or as they’re known around here, “the usual suspects.”

The fat cats lined up for a lavish spread, an open bar and a gala evening provided by the American taxpayer who was neither invited, welcome, nor I believe, much considered in the conversation. It was decent of us though to foot the bill for this formal introduction of the crème de la crime of our fading culture to our new landlord.

The theme for the evening was “quintessentially American,” with a menu that featured farm-fresh vegetables, poached Maine lobster, dry-aged rib-eye with buttermilk crisp onions, topped off by old-fashioned apple pie with ice cream. The entertainment, in the White House East Room, was the most quintessential of American music — a parade of jazz greats, including Herbie Hancock. Business Leaders Make Cut at State Dinner With Hu Huffington Post

That may be quintessentially American on Pennsylvania Avenue but down home we’re eating the quintessential bean soup.

Meanwhile the FBI, the NYPD and other assorted crime fighters were putting the final touches on a round up of more than a hundred Mafia members and criminal associates of New York’s five families and we’re not talking Astors and Vanderbilts we’re talking Gambino, Genovese, Lucchese, Bonanno and Colombo, guys with names like Vinny Carwash, Baby Fat Larry and Tony Bagels. (more…)

Garbage in Garbage Out, Another Story From The Corporate Right

Posted in Humor, News, Politics, Pop Culture by Bob Higgins on November 6, 2010
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Glen Beck Tinfoil Hat

Beck, Dressed For Success

A couple of days ago the Goebbelian maniacs of the corporate far right exploded onto the airwaves with the ridiculous claim that Obama’s trip to India was going to cost $200 million a day, a figure so obviously exaggerated that if I heard it from someone next to me at the local tavern I would grab my beer and move down a few stools.

Most stories that emanate from the tinfoil lined cesspool of right wing propaganda are easy to fact check, you need no internet, no Google, just sniff them. If they smell like bullshit, well then… .

I find it amazing that people listen to Limbaugh, Savage, Bachman and the rest of the Goebbelian crowd that the corporate world has loosed on the public, however, anyone who wants to sit down and absorb the feast of lying filth that they spew onto the airwaves is entitled. I find it sad, and sometimes infuriating but that’s what they give me these little pills for.

Remember though, “garbage in, garbage out,” be wary of what you eat because that’s what you’ll become.

It’s also annoying that the so called MSM emphasizes these incendiary lies as a way of showcasing their own responsibility and journalistic integrity. What they are actually doing is driving ratings with repetition after repetition of nonsense in these mini debates over obviously idiotic claims made by people who are well paid professional liars.

A simple refutation should be all that is necessary, along with a statement of the facts as far as they can be known and then move on.

I change the channel to avoid these stupid debates as quickly as I skip past the original purveyors of the trash in question. I really don’t want to be known or ever referred to as a member of their audience.

Bob Higgins

Donald Duck Meets Glen Beck

Posted in Financial Crime, Humor, News, Politics, Pop Culture by Bob Higgins on October 11, 2010
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By Jonathan McIntosh, Rebellious Pixels

This is a re-imagined Donald Duck cartoon remix constructed using dozens of classic Walt Disney cartoons from the 1930s to 1960s. Donald’s life is turned upside-down by the current economic crisis and he finds himself unemployed and falling behind on his house payments. As his frustration turns into despair Donald discovers a seemingly sympathetic voice coming from his radio named Glenn Beck.

Will Donald’s feelings of disenfranchisement lead him to be persuaded by his radio’s increasingly paranoid and divisive rhetoric? Or will our favorite Disney duck decide that this voice is not actually on his side after all? Watch and find out! (more…)

Marty Kaplin: Waiting for Sanityman: Can Jon Stewart Save America?

Posted in Guest Columns, Marty Kaplan, News, Politics, Pop Culture, Religion by Bob Higgins on October 11, 2010

Waiting for Sanityman: Can Jon Stewart Save America?

By Marty Kaplin

The fate of our country won’t be decided by a politician. It will be determined by a comedian.

Not long before Jon Stewart announced his Rally to Restore Sanity, he told a New York magazine writer why he and his crew on The Daily Show would never do something like that. “We’re not activists,” he said. “Maybe the nice thing about being a comedian is never having full belief in yourself to know the answer. So you can say all this stuff, but underneath, you’re going, ‘But of course, I’m f—ing idiotic.’ It’s why we don’t lead a lot of marches.”

Read more at Huffington Post

Waiting for Jewman

By Marty Kaplin

Jon Stewart did his show, business as usual, on Rosh Hashanah this year. That night, when his interview guest, Meghan McCain, daughter of Senator John McCain, greeted him with “Happy New Year,” Stewart looked uncharacteristically nonplussed for a nanosecond, before replying, “What? Huh? See you in Times Square tonight.” (more…)

Reply to a “Traditional Conservative”

Posted in Arts and Entertainment, Environment, Humor, News, Politics, Pop Culture, Religion by Bob Higgins on September 22, 2010
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This is from a comment thread to Bob Cesca’s post at Huff Post titled “Despite America’s Temper Tantrum, It’s Still a Center-Left Nation”

Fair TV a self proclaimed “traditional conservative” launched an attack on Democrats and Liberals.
FAIRTV Commented:

Ah, the once proud Democratic party. Are there no democrats left who will stand up to the Idiot Left with their frontal assault on American Freedoms?
You Coastal Elite…..watch what the American People can do when they find their freedoms under attack by the Fringe Left.
If this is a center left country, why are the Lefties afraid to even use the term “Liberal” any more instead choosing the more “acceptable” “Progressives?”
Democrats today are held hostage by Thug Union Bosses, Wacko Environmentalists, Pro-Abortionists, the Radical Gay Lobby, Anti-gun zealots, Anti-religious bigots, and dim-witted Hollywood types. It’s a shame to see a once proud Democrat party reduced to a National Joke.


TraceyES Comment in reply to FairTV:Er…can you enumerate your freedoms which are currently under assault by Democrats? Go ahead, make a list for us. Waiting…waiting…


FAIRTV Responded to TraceyES:The right to life
The right to bear arms
The right to live in a country with secure borders
The right to live in a country with laws that are enforced
The right to First Amendment speech, in spite of the language police
The right to believe in God and tell others about that faith
The right to hold conservative, traditional views without being labelled a “racist.”


Bob Higgins Responded to FairTV: (more…)

Morning Reads Here in Flyover-ville

Posted in Humor, News, Politics, Pop Culture, Religion, Veterans News by Bob Higgins on September 14, 2010
  • Pepe Escobar, Asia Times: …as a graphic illustration of Islamophobia defeated, nothing beats what happened in Amarillo, Texas, the same day. David Grisham, the wacko director of one Repent Amarillo organization, who had planned his own Koran-burning session in support of Gainesville, Florida, pastor and instant global celebrity Terry Jones, was about to commit the act in front of around 200 people when, out of nowhere comes … ‘Dude, you have no Koran’
  • Bob Egelko, SanFrancisco Chronicle: State regulators will take their first look today at a proposal backed by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. that would require customers to pay all costs of catastrophic fires, such as last week’s gas-line explosion in San Bruno, that exceed a utility’s insurance coverage. San Bruno blast: PG&E backs bid to bill public
  • Tomgram, Engelhardt and Turse: Oh, those madcap Pentagon bureaucrats and the zany horde of generals and admirals who go with them! Give them credit: no one on Earth knows how to throw a war like they do — and they never go home. The Wacky World of American War
  • Ted Koppel,Washington Post: The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, succeeded far beyond anything Osama bin Laden could possibly have envisioned. This is not just because they resulted in nearly 3,000 deaths, nor only because they struck at the heart of American financial and military power. Those outcomes were only the bait; it would remain for the United States to spring the trap Nine years after 9/11, let’s stop playing into bin Laden’s hands
  • Matt Stopera, BuzzFeed: A wonderful collection of Teabagger drag. The 13 Hottest Fashion Trends At The 9/12 Tea Party Rally
  • David Evans, Bloomberg: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs failed to inform 6 million soldiers and their families of an agreement enabling Prudential Financial Inc. to withhold lump-sum payments of life insurance benefits for survivors of fallen service members, according to records made public through a Freedom of Information request. Veterans Agency Made Secret Deal Over Benefits

Imperial Airliner, London 1930s

Burning Korans and Teabaggers for Jesus

Posted in Humor, News, Politics, Pop Culture, Religion by Bob Higgins on September 10, 2010
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I’m not a big fan of symbolism, religious or political; the flag waving at the Olympics, hands held over hearts at ball games and auto races, fingers pointed at the sky or genuflection in the end zone strikes me as empty, meaningless, affected behavior. I prefer more tangible substance, facts and deeds over these public “going through the motions” displays of piety and patriotism.  But that’s just me.

If I did care for symbolism this would be the week that I opted for the great symbolic slam dunk, the turducken of religious and nationalistic display. I would get a bunch of “holy books” all the usual stuff “the majors” and all the other “holy” tomes I could find and wrap them in an Israeli flag, then an Iraqi flag, followed by the flag of Iran and the US Stars and Stripes. I would tie the package up in a prayer rug of the kind advertised by late night TV evangelists in exchange for a “love offering” and set fire to the whole silly mess in the nearest place that allows bonfires, sit down, pop open a beer and call the media.

I’d likely become as famous as a rock star in 24 hours.

They call him “pastor,” they call him reverend, they say he is “godly,” a holy man, beloved of and by “god.” “They” as close as I can determine, are the approximately 50 people who are members of his Florida “church,” the Dove World Outreach Center… honest, that’s what they call it and it earns them a federal tax exemption. I’ve seen him. (more…)

John F Kennedy: Why I Am A Liberal

Posted in Biography, History, News, Politics, Pop Culture, Veterans News by Bob Higgins on October 18, 2006

A Liberal Definition by John F. Kennedy:

Acceptance Speech of the New York
Liberal Party Nomination

September 14, 1960

What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label “Liberal?” If by “Liberal” they mean, as they want people to believe, someone who is soft in his policies abroad, who is against local government, and who is unconcerned with the taxpayer’s dollar, then the record of this party and its members demonstrate that we are not that kind of “Liberal.” But if by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties — someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal,” then I’m proud to say I’m a “Liberal.”

But first, I would like to say what I understand the word “Liberal” to mean and explain in the process why I consider myself to be a “Liberal,” and what it means in the presidential election of 1960. (more…)