GOP R.I.P.

gop-rip

Conservative radio host and author John Batchelor unleashes a simply glorious rant that shreds the Republican Party from stem to stern. Here’s an excerpt:

Vigilant Democrats worry today that the Republican Party is only playing possum, or that it can be revived by extraordinary means such as a Martian invasion. In fact, the GOP is a mummy-wrapped skeleton sitting in its own chilly mausoleum of bilious resentments and creepy sentimentality. What remains to call themselves Republicans are baldly badly educated or just prankish Confederate re-enactors—chubby men in gray and butternut suits with gold buttons and feather-tipped hats, clanking down stairs with shiny sabers. A handful of them are just boors from the South who look poorly on horseback and wave unread Bibles while calling for Billy Sunday to rise like the gold market.

It’s a work of awesome brilliance. Go read it now.

Who’s Got God’s Millions?

In this Five documentary from late last year, Robert Llewellyn (better known as “Kryten” from Red Dwarf) attempts to discover which of the world’s top four monotheistic religions has the most money. His six day journey takes him from Canterbury Cathedral to Vatican City and Israel, as he bids to calculate the income and assets of the Anglican Commune, the Catholic Church, Judaism and Islam.

Spoiler alert: As one might assume, it’s almost impossible to determine the assets and revenues of most churches so there winds up being a tremendous amount of “educated” guesswork involved in the final tallies. Nevertheless, it’s fun to watch Llewellyn’s painfully frustrating efforts to get answers from a bewildering array of church officials. As he says, “the people I can speak to don’t know, and the people who know, I can’t speak to.”

Spinal Tap Meets a Mighty Windbag

Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer appeared on Countdown earlier in the week to promote their upcoming concert tour that kicks off in Vancouver next Friday.

OLBERMANN: I noted here that it starts in Vancouver, British Columbia next Friday. Is there a particular reason Canada got the first shot at you guys?

MCKEAN: It’s the ultimate out-of-town try out, really.

SHEARER: It’s the warm-up country.

More about the tour from today’s Globe & Mail here.

War by Other Means

Although this unsettling 1992 documentary by Australian journalist John Pilger is somewhat dated, the “Third World Debt Crisis” referred to in the film remains an ongoing problem and cause of immense suffering for many so-called developing nations. For example, the national debt totals of the Philippines in the 1990s were only in the billions. From 1990 to the present, despite tremendous growth in GDP and massive loan repayments made during that time, it’s now grown into the trillions and continues to account for a significant portion of the country’s budget. It’s estimated that the developing world now spends $1.30 on debt repayment for every $1 it receives in grants.

While we naturally focus on the myriad of negative effects of the current economic crisis here at home, we should be mindful of the fact that it’s having an even more devastating impact on the developing world both in the short and long term. Once economic recovery is made here, owing to the rise in interest rates and inflation that’s almost sure to be a consequence of having pumped so many trillions of dollars into the global money supply, third-world countries are going to get clobbered again. As always, the old axiom that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer seems to apply.