February 23, 2011

Especially if that drummer was Pigpen


Freshly Created This Day by the CubeMaster Maksim

Posted by Vanderleun at February 23, 2011 3:38 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Your rotating title says, "Those who can, do.Those who can't, teach." - H.L.Mencken

I would simply add: Those who can't teach, teach badly.

Posted by: Jewel at February 23, 2011 4:04 PM

Rod(pigpen) was the Dead's only lousy keyboardist. The drummers,Kreutzman and Hart are doing just fine. Although Hart is an obnoxious leftie.

Posted by: ck at February 23, 2011 4:32 PM

So far Bruce Hornsby is the only Dead piano player to make it out alive.

Posted by: ck at February 23, 2011 4:34 PM

Actually, the country would be a lot better off if Bush had remained an owner of the Texas Rangers.

Posted by: H Britten at February 23, 2011 6:24 PM

"Ronald C. "Pigpen" McKernan (September 8, 1945 – March 8, 1973) was a founding member of the Grateful Dead. His contributions to the band included vocals, Hammond organ, harmonica, percussion,"

Posted by: vanderleun at February 23, 2011 6:39 PM

Here's a baleful story about a musician who is probably known in the hereafter as the Ungrateful Dead:


His last words were, "Hey, isn't that the last straw!?"

Posted by: Frank P at February 23, 2011 6:50 PM

Instead he got the gig as manager of the "Ungrateful Dead Demos".

Posted by: Denny at February 24, 2011 6:20 AM

To: H. Britten - and had Algore reacting to 911 with global warming initiatives just as the President Nero now responds to crushing debt/deficit, worldwide chaos, food & energy inflation, and 9% unemployment by focusing on Gay marriage? Yeah that would have been great.

Posted by: Chris Gregor at February 24, 2011 12:11 PM

To H Britten: Please hang around here more often. You are so obviously outmatched by some of the regular commenters on this site, that it is bound to be spectacularly entertaining watching you get an intellectual "shellacing". Thank you in advance for you cooperation.

Posted by: Roger Drew Williams at February 24, 2011 6:57 PM

"You are so obviously outmatched by some of the regular commenters on this site..."

In your dreams, dude.

In case you haven't noticed, most of these posters are simpletons whose writing is at the Palin level, which is to say that it's pure crap, free of facts and devoid of any independent thought.

These people live in a one-dimensional, bumper sticker world where everything Obama does is evil and anything that undercuts their flawed logic is summarily condemned as leftist propaganda.

Also, it's worth noting that none of them has the brain power to even draft a simple sentence that isn't riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. (Do they not have access to spell check in their caves?) So much for that intellectual "shellacking" I'm due (which you might try spelling with a "k" next time, genius).

Posted by: H Britten at February 24, 2011 8:12 PM

I suppose that next time I move, I should try to get spell check in my cave. I suppose that I could also try using generalities, inuendo and childish name-calling to compose a snappy rebuttal, instead of admitting my error, but that would only make me look like an angry foolish person. Good night, Mr. Britten.

Posted by: Roger Drew Williams at February 24, 2011 8:53 PM

These people live in a one-dimensional, bumper sticker world where everything Obama does is evil and anything that undercuts their flawed logic is summarily condemned as leftist propaganda.

Provide evidence that Obama has done something that is not evil.

Posted by: rickl at February 24, 2011 10:19 PM

That photo is not Pigpen. He didn't play drums. he wasn't a socialist. And he's been dead nearly 40 years. GD drummer Mickey Hart would easily make a better VP than Biden and a better Prez than the boy wonder. Hart may lean left but he's not a complete idiot. And he's known for his integrity. Bill the Drummer would also make a better VP but I don't think he's interested.

Posted by: Gary Ogletree at February 25, 2011 4:19 AM

"I suppose that I could also try using generalities, inuendo and childish name-calling to compose a snappy rebuttal..."

If you read the comment from "ricki" directly beneath yours, you'll see why I haven't wasted my time trying to make any arguments using fact and reason. The readership of this blog is pretty much impervious to independent thought and is only interested in reading idiotic Obama-hating screeds.

Perhaps when these folks grow up and move out of their parents' basement they'll see life as it really is and not as a collection of Glenn Beck talking points. But until someone has something more interesting and truthful to say than "Obama is evil," don't expect me to offer anything better in response.

Posted by: H Britten at February 25, 2011 6:50 AM

H Britten, Do not underestimate the power of fact and reason, especially concerning their ability to get people to change their previously held convictions (see 2010 election results).

Posted by: Roger Drew Williams at February 25, 2011 8:18 AM

Sorry, but the 2010 election results were hardly a product of "fact and reason." Not one Republican was willing to say out loud what spending they proposed to cut, preferring instead to mouth simplistic, tea party platitudes about "smaller government" and "socialism." They talked out of both sides of their mouths, crying crocodile tears about the deficit while also arguing for continuing the Bush tax breaks for the wealthy, which was one of the largest contributing factors to the budget imbalance!

Far from being a triumph for fact and reason, 2010 was nothing more than a victory for cynical, hypocritical posturing.

Posted by: H Britten at February 25, 2011 9:29 AM

Pssst, "Britten:"

We won, hence your sniping.

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at February 25, 2011 3:50 PM

H Britten - Not to beat a dead horse here, but I feel that your stated opinion of the 2010 election results is nothing but hyperbole.

Kindly consider the following:

The INTEREST on the national debt is currently just under a half trillion dollars per year. This will increase to three trillion dollars per year within three years at the current rate.

The stimulus money spent by a DEMOCRATIC Congress was widely perceived to be a massive, unaffordable, political payback scheme.

(A good example would be Ms. Pelosi's district, where they used their "stimulus" money to pay down unfunded public employee pension plans, not to finance the much touted "shovel-ready" construction projects).

The fact that the Domocrats held a super-majority in both Houses of Congress as well as holding the Presidency gave them full control of the Legislative and Executive brances of our federal government, disingenuous attempts to blame the minority party for blocking legislation notwithstanding.

The Republican's aversion to ending "Bush's" tax cuts had more to do with the difference between Keynesian economics and the Austrian school of thought (von Mises, et al.) The prevailing thought was that ANY tax increases could jeopardize the already tenuous economic situation.

These are just a few of many pertinent issues that were in consideration by a substantial portion of the electorate immediately preceding last fall's elections.

Cynical, hypocritical posturing?

I can only speak for myself, but I think not. Possibly if you read the posts on sites such as this one with an open mind, instead of a predetermined mindset to disagree, you might come around to the RIGHT way of thinking.

Have a good evening. God Bless America.

Posted by: Roger Drew Williams at February 25, 2011 6:36 PM

"God bless America?"

Aren't you a little old for imaginary friends?

But I guess if you can believe in an invisible, all-knowing deity sitting in the sky, you can believe the GOP/FauxNews talking points about the debt. Sorry, but you Teapartiers have zero credibility on this issue. You all sat on your hands while Bush took a SURPLUS and turned it into a record debt with his reckless tax cuts, prescription drug benefits and two (badly executed and questionable) wars. Somehow you only found your balls when a black man showed up at the White House to clean up the mess.

Your ridiculous tricorn hats and "don't tread on me" flags don't mask the fact that you were silent when it really mattered.

Posted by: H Britten at February 26, 2011 5:30 AM

Ignoring your denigration of my belief in a Supreme Being, I'll skip to your inference that only because of my high level of gullibility could I believe the facts about the debt. To quote an unnamed lunatic from California, "Are you kidding me?".

I would be extremely interested in reading any information that you might have access to that would be contradictory.

As far as Pres. Bush is concerned, while I never said that I thought he was correct in all of his actions, particularly the expansion of public benefits, I will go on record as stating that I believe history will show him to be nowhere near as bad a President as many currently espouse.

Kindly take note of how many of his policies and positions have been vindicated by our current President's actions. No man is perfect, including President Bush, but it would do you well to consider that before blindly supporting any and all actions of the current resident of the White House. A closed mind is as a locked door to the truth.

PS. I have never been to a Tea Party rally, do not have a tricorner hat or a Gadsden flag, and except for a few days in Sept. 2001, have not turned on my television in about 25 years.

PPS. In reference to your comment about a "black man" in the White House, I would like to state that President Obama is the elected leader of this Nation, and receives from me the respect due that position. His race is immaterial. Holding that respect does not entitle him to my unwavering support of his policies.

Posted by: Roger Drew Williams at February 26, 2011 9:00 AM

You may not have personally supported all of Bush's policies, but then neither do I "blindly" support all of Obama's. My observation was about the emergence of the tea party nation, which only happened AFTER Obama took office, long after most of the real damage was done. The vast majority of these people sat on their hands while Bush and Cheney crashed the economy, sent the nation into two wars (at least once under dubious circumstances) and ran up an enormous debt crisis. I'm not saying that things aren't bad now or don't warrant great concern, but why only after January 20, 2009 did it become urgent enough for right wingers to speak out and start rallying?

(The conservative economist Bruce Bartlett is one of the only people I know who actually challenged Bush's policies and he was declared a RINO and forced out of his job at a think tank.)

When Obama was sworn in, the economy was in freefall, the market was in the tank and several large industries were in danger of complete collapse. At this point, progress is being made on the jobs front, the market has roared back to 2008 levels and the banking and auto industries are actually returning to some measure of health. Things ain't perfect and there's still a long way to go, but the nation is on a better footing and, most importantly, the trend lines have mostly been reversed. But to listen to most of the TPers, you'd think that the day Obama was sworn in was the day all our troubles started. And the fact that a lot of these folks are birthers and brandish pictures depicting him as Hitler, Stalin and Mao (or aimless Rastafarians, as this blog did) does nothing to enhance their credibility.

I'm glad that you're willing to respect him as your president; I did the same with Bush, even while he never got my vote. And when people I know attacked Bush as "evil," a "fascist" and "a terrorist," I defended him against those charges.

No one should give their elected leaders "unwavering support" for their policies. But likewise, they shouldn't automatically assume that policies they disagree with are issued with the intent to "weaken America" or as part of some evil conspiracy to impose socialism. That, unfortunately, is what I read in most of the posts I've read here.

Posted by: H Britten at February 26, 2011 4:20 PM

H Britten-

In regards to weakening America and imposing socialism, that is the de facto result of many of the current administration's policies, if allowed to continue, whether "intended" or not.

Chicago-style politics only enrich Chicago-style politicians.

I would also like to make note of the fact that Tea Partiers are not necessarily Republicans. It's just that Republicans are more likely to share their small government ideals, which are an important consideration when one's nation is bankrupt.

Possibly, conservative Americans, whether Tea Party members or not, are finally concerned enough about the plight of our Nation to stop being the "silent majority," and are finally raising their voices to save the Republic.

Our government is wasting incredible sums of tax dollars to enrich the politicians on both sides of the aisle in Washington, D.C. and in our state capitals.

What has happened in the past is history. The politicians (both parties) must be reigned in and forced to once again represent the citizens and not the special interests.

If you agree, then please help. If not, kindly step aside and stop being an impediment, as these are vitally important issues at hand. To ensure failure, we must simply do nothing.

Have a nice evening.

Posted by: Roger Drew Williams at February 26, 2011 7:22 PM

I don't have much time to respond, but I will say that I agree that neither party has clean hands when it comes to our record deficits. But at the same time, when you look at the largest contributing factors to the current debt, you see that it's the two wars and the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest, both of which have mostly been championed by Republicans.

Here's a chart from last year summing up their impact on the deficit:


Consequently, it's impossible to think of so-called "conservatives" as being the ones who are serious about deficit reduction, no matter how loudly they scream. In fact, I would argue that President Obama -- who resisted the top tax cuts and got through a health plan that actually REDUCES the deficit over time -- is the only adult in the room. Far from being the lefty, socialist Kenyan that blogs like this would have you believe, he's been responsible, cautious and focused on the long-term consequences of today's tough choices. He hasn't been perfect and I feel he's made a few serious errors (such as extending our role in Afghanistan, which I fear is a losing proposition), but I believe that he will leave this country in a better place at the end of his eight years than where it was when he got it. Many -- although not all -- of the key numbers already bear this out. We didn't get into this hole overnight and it's going to take a lot of time and sacrifice at nearly ALL levels to dig us out.

Posted by: H Britten at February 27, 2011 11:45 AM

H Britten- I will reiterate.

Pres. Bush is no longer in office. "What has happened in the past is history".

I would question the accuracy of the graph shown on your link, primarily because it shows our national debt DECREASED by approx. 12% last year, and if that were the case I'm certain that it would be making headlines.

I will also make note of the fact that the group who's website you linked to has a list of seven programs that they "work on". All seven of the programs they champion are welfare (socialist) programs.

Naturally such a group would try to minimize any perceived deleterious effects of said programs.We have families in this country that have multiple generations who have never known any livlihood except being on the dole, and we cannot afford to allow that to continue. Crying about the past will do nothing about the future.

I would like you to check the latest OMB (Executive branch of US govt.) projections about the impact of the recently passed healthcare legislation before claiming that it will reduce the deficit. Your statement that it will reduce the deficit IS a "talking point", and is demonstrably untrue, as the President's own branch of the govt. admits.

As far as President Obama's focus, it is not so much that he is not perceived as focusing, but rather the direction of his focus that is an issue.

As an example, I will use an item from today's news, DOMA, The Defense Of Marriage Act. The President has declared that the Dept. of Justice will no longer defend DOMA in court, because he doesn't think that it is Constitutional.

The power to decide wether or not a law is Constitutional is reserved, in our system of government, for the Judicial Branch.

The Executive Branch is to UPHOLD the law, not create the laws, nor judge their legality.

Unfortunately, this is not the only incidence of this type of behavior, which would seem more suited to a monarchy than a trilateral system of governing which we have adopted in this country. That being said, I will gladly concede that the entire problem is not President Obama's, nor that of the Democratic party.

Spending tax dollars to buy votes and political favors must stop. We are all in this together, and we must all work together to get out of the mess we're in. I could use the old cliche that we are "up the creek", but I think it is more pertinent to use one of Mr. Vanderleun's analogies (it is his site we are on, after all) to create a new metaphor.


Posted by: Roger Drew Williams at February 27, 2011 3:09 PM

I don't know what happened when I posted, but it should have read, When our nation is "ADRIFT AND BECALMED", we don't need more anchors.

Posted by: Roger Drew Williams at February 27, 2011 3:12 PM

Bush may not still be in office, but the GOP -- which is in control of the House -- has already extended his legacy by renewing his tax cuts to the wealthiest, while also trying to continue two wars and supposedly balance the budget. This is nothing more than magical, wishful thinking.

That chart was widely circulated last year. I assure you that that blog -- whatever their intentions -- didn't generate the chart. I simply did a google search for it and that was one of the first entries that came up and I linked to it. (I'm sure if you look, you'd find it in any number of places.)

It's not unprecedented for an administration to determine that a law it's been charged with defending is, in fact, unconstitutional. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen and they're within their rights to make that determination. And remember, that doesn't mean that the law is done away with; only that the administration will not defend it in court. If the congress finds that it has an interest and standing, it can do so if it chooses. (I certainly hope they won't, though; DOMA was lousy legislation and the congress has far more pressing matters to attend to than trying to deprive two consenting adults the right to marry and commit to the ones they love.)

Posted by: H Britten at February 27, 2011 7:30 PM

H Britten- A couple of quick points:

If you actually took more than a cursory "Ah-ha! This proves that it was all Bush's fault" glance at that chart and think that it is accurate, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that you might be interested in. I would gladly discuss particulars if you are feeling particularly masochistic.

Secondly, kindly enlighten me about any previous laws that have been passed, that ANY previous administration has declined to defend in a court of law (cue cricket chirping).

It's quite simple really, the Legislative branch of our government legislates (passes laws), the Executive branch executes those laws, and the Judicial branch judges.

See, I told you it was simple, their jobs are right in their names! It's just like the Constitution!

In all seriousness, it is not up to the Executive branch to decide on the Constitutionality of a law any more than it is up to that branch to decide which laws merit legal defense. Part of "executing" laws is upholding them in court.

I don't think that part of "executing" laws is to be construed as meaning "killing" them. I won't even discuss the Constitutional quandry presented by the currently popular practice of the appointment of various czars (from the latin "Ceaser" to give you an idea of the level of power attempting to be conveyed) by the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., nor shall I dwell upon the President's attempting to legislate by executive order, because this particular privelege has been abused by past Presidents.

I will just note that the envelope of what has historically been considered acceptable is unquestionably being tested in several different directions.

As I stated earlier, we have a difficult task ahead. You're certainly welcome to assist, but if you are not willing to get behind the wagon and help push, at least stay out or the road. Have a great evening.

Posted by: Roger Drew Williams at February 27, 2011 10:12 PM

The president takes an oath of office which declares that he will uphold the Constitution. If the law violates that Constitution then he is in fact doing exactly what he is supposed to do.

As for precedents, you really don't need to look much further than the George W. Bush White House, which used WH counsel John Yoo’s theories of Article II power to authorize wiretapping and torture. By adopting a contested constitutional theory inside the Executive Branch, the Bush Administration was able to pursue its agenda without the restrictions that Congress had imposed.

(So if you see Obama's WH as an arrogant, imperial force, you must also conclude the same of Bush's.)

Furthermore, in his letter to the Congressional leadership, Attorney General Holder cites the basis upon which the government can legally choose not to defend legislation:

"...the Department in the past has declined to defend statutes despite the availability of professionally responsible arguments, in part because the Department does not consider every plausible argument to be a "reasonable" one. "[D]ifferent cases can raise very different issues with respect to statutes of doubtful constitutional validity," and thus there are "a variety of factors that bear on whether the Department will defend the constitutionality of a statute." Letter to Hon. Orrin G. Hatch from Assistant Attorney General Andrew Fois at 7 (Mar. 22, 1996). This is the rare case where the proper course is to forgo the defense of this statute. Moreover, the Department has declined to defend a statute "in cases in which it is manifest that the President has concluded that the statute is unconstitutional," as is the case here. Seth P. Waxman, Defending Congress, 79 N.C. L.Rev. 1073, 1083 (2001)."

Posted by: H Britten at February 28, 2011 10:12 AM

My god, you were right!

Marauding Gay Hordes Drag Thousands Of Helpless Citizens From Marriages After Obama Drops Defense Of Marriage Act

February 25, 2011

WASHINGTON—Reports continue to pour in from around the nation today of helpless Americans being forcibly taken from their marital unions after President Obama dropped the Defense of Marriage Act earlier this week, leaving the institution completely vulnerable to roving bands of homosexuals. "It was just awful—they smashed through our living room window, one of them said 'I've had my eye on you, Roger,' and then they dragged my husband off kicking and screaming," said Cleveland-area homemaker Rita Ellington, one of the latest victims whose defenseless marriage was overrun by the hordes of battle-ready gays that had been clambering at the gates of matrimony since the DOMA went into effect in 1996. "Oh dear God, why did they remove the protection provided by this vital piece of legislation? My children! What will I tell my children?" A video communique was sent to the media late yesterday from what appears to be the as-yet unidentified leader of the gay marauders, who, adorned in terrifying warpaint, announced "Richard Dickson of Ames, Iowa. We're coming for you next. Put on something nice."

[via the Onion]

Posted by: H Britten at February 28, 2011 12:16 PM