Friday, October 30, 2009

The Weed Of Crime

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I'd like to see Joe Leiberman filibuster the public option.

No seriously, that's exactly what I want. I want EVERYBODY who is threatening a filibuster to actually line up and do it. Two reasons:

A. The public option is mighty popular. Only slightly more people dislike the option then like Congress. It takes a lot of courage to stand up to your constituents for several hours (maybe days!) and speak against it. On C-Span. And there is no better visual metaphor for obstructionism than a filibuster. And let's face it, after about ten minutes no one pays attention to the content of a filibuster, only the length.

B. As Media Matters has shown, when a person is forced to keep talking for hours and hours a day (like, say, talk radio hosts) the resulting word salad is a goldmine of out-of-context pull quotes. Who knows what crazy racist crap will slip out over the course of the debate?! The mind boggles. I bet at least one Republican congressman uses the word "uppity". Another one will point out that the country ran better when we were allowed to keep slaves. Michele Bachman will probably bring up the right to use incandescant bulbs again - we don't need a filibuster to make her talk crazy.

Anyway, a Republican filibuster isn't a threat - it's a promised gift. We should gracefully accept.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I Don't Care What Party He's With, This Is Delightful

Arnold Schwarzenegger, of my great state of California, recently vetoed a bill having to do with a minor San Francisco port funding issue. The wording was a little odd, even more so than you'd usually expect from the Governator.

But Tim Redmond at the San Francisco Bay Guardian Online notes that perhaps there is a Da-Vinci-Code-style hidden message.

Tim is outraged by this, but I'm someone who views politics as entertainment. So kudos to Governor Conan for this bit of scaberous lawmaking. After all, it's really what we elected him for.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ha Ha Just Kidding: Quote of the Day

...and remember: this is not a threat to Nancy Pelosi’s or Harry Reid’s person…it is a prophetic witness of what awaits them when they die if they do not repent for this horrific sin.
Hopefully this will provide context, once the traffic dies down a little.

And what do you think? My money is on the whole thing being a joint venture of Fox News and Kinkos.

Oddly, I Find This Comforting

Gallup has concluded that more people identify as conservatives than moderates or liberals. To quote the article, "Forty percent of Americans describe their political views as conservative, 36% as moderate, and 20% as liberal. This marks a shift from 2005 through 2008, when moderates were tied with conservatives as the most prevalent group."
Political Ideology, 2008 -- by Party ID
Political Ideology, 2009 -- by Party ID
My sparring partner WAMK is thrilled with this, and published some of the charts to bolster his belief, I think, that 2010 will sweep all the Democrats out of office. However, if you look at these charts, which examine the spread by party identification... well, it's complicated but consider this. The number of people who self-identify as Republicans nowadays is pretty small. It's like 25% or something. So that big bar of Republicans who call themselves conservatives doesn't matter so much. Plus you'll note that 1% more of Republicans call themselves liberals this year.

The Independents who consider themselves conservative is on the rise, at the expense of Moderate and Liberal. But will they vote Republican? The Republican brand right now is anything but conservative. The Republican brand is Glenn Beck, a foaming-at-the-mouth crazy; it's Sarah Palin, a flakey rogue. Most states have Conservadems who will be acceptable alternatives to them wild-eyed Hitler-accusin' gun-totin' refusenik Republicans.

And the current movement in the Republican party is to kick out the moderates ("melt Olympia Snowe! haha) so if you are looking for conservatism, you're just going to find Cheney-style neocon radicalism instead. If the country does move back to the right, I'm not so upset. Maybe we're a conservative country, but we're not nuts.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Ha Ha, Just Kidding: Now I Know How Joan of Arc Felt

Republican activist Ed Napolitano has apologized to U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, and resigned from all his Republican Party positions, over the actions of a Wasserman Schultz political opponent at an event sponsored by the club Napolitano used to lead.

Napolitano’s resignation and apology were prompted by what happened at the Southeast Republican Club on Oct. 6. Instead of the usual community center meeting room, the Napolitano-led club met at a gun range.

Among the approximately 40 people at the event was Robert Lowry, a Republican seeking his party’s nomination to run against Wasserman Schultz next year.

Lowry shot at a target bearing the letters "DWS" next to the silhouette head.

Lowry said he didn't know who wrote Wasserman Schultz' initials on his target, but said he knew they were there before he started shooting. He initially described it as a "joke," but after answering several questions he said it "was a mistake" to use a target labeled "DWS."

After the event was reported on in the Oct. 9 Sun Sentinel, it was picked up, reported, and commented on by national news outlets, generated a fury in the blogosphere, and drew critical reactions from Democrats.
Napolitano said he wasn’t aware of the target with Wasserman Schultz’ initials on the night of the event.

But in a letter to the congresswoman dated Oct. 12, he apologized.
-Sun Sentinel

Sweetness, I was only joking when I said by rights you should be bludgeoned in your bed.

Whatever. Run With It.

I'm starting to understand why people were so upset about those fake Rush Limbaugh quotes... because the same people tend to swallow hoaxes hook, line and sinker.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Maybe It's A Strategy

What is up with Republicans putting forth people who either communicate in baby talk (see Bobby Jindahl giving the response to the State of The Union Address, and this) or can't talk at all (see Michele Bachman's remarks here)? Then there's this guy.

While Bush's speech was mostly eloquent and free of the language gaffes he admits he is famous for, he said he regretted appearing in front of a "Mission Impossible" sign during a televised address in 2003. The controversial banner referring to the U.S. mission in Iraq, actually said "Mission Accomplished."
It doesn't send a great message to voters, the way the elite in the party think these are the people you'll see as your surrogates in government. I suppose it's also a way to maintain what Kissinger (or was it Nixon) called "plausible deniability"; you can always insist that you didn't say something if no one can tell what the hell you did say.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Few Poll Results That Don't Matter

WaPo, take it away!

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that support for a government-run health-care plan to compete with private insurers has rebounded from its summertime lows and wins clear majority support from the public.

Americans remain sharply divided about the overall packages moving closer to votes in Congress and President Obama's leadership on the issue, reflecting the partisan battle that has raged for months over the administration's top legislative priority. But sizable majorities back two key and controversial provisions: both the so-called public option and a new mandate that would require all Americans to carry health insurance.

Independents and senior citizens, two groups crucial to the debate, have warmed to the idea of a public option, and are particularly supportive if it would be administered by the states and limited to those without access to affordable private coverage.

But in a sign of the fragile coalition politics that influence the negotiations in Congress, Obama's approval ratings on health-care reform are slipping among his fellow Democrats even as they are solidifying among independents and seniors. Among Democrats, strong approval of his handling of the issue has dropped 15 percentage points since mid-September.

...Poll respondents are evenly divided when asked whether they have confidence in Obama to make the right decisions for the country's future, but just 19 percent express confidence in the Republicans in Congress to do so. Even among Republicans, only 40 percent express confidence in the GOP congressional leadership to make good choices.

Only 20 percent of adults identify themselves as Republicans, little changed in recent months, but still the lowest single number in Post-ABC polls since 1983. Political independents continue to make up the largest group, at 42 percent of respondents; 33 percent call themselves Democrats.

The wide gap in partisan leanings and the lack of confidence in the GOP carries into early assessments of the November 2010 midterm elections: Fifty-one percent say they would back the Democratic candidate in their congressional district if the elections were held now, while 39 percent would vote for the Republican. Independents split 45 percent for the Democrat, 41 percent for the Republican.
My advice to Republicans: don't let up! Why quit now, at the moment of of your greatest triumph?

Twitter Has A Liberal Bias Too

Just like Wikipedia, the NFL and science, Twitter has shown its true colors.

Twitter, Inc., shut down 33 fake Twitter accounts created by Republicans using the names of Democratic state representatives. The Republican scheme was to send out posts under the Democrats' names mocking the liberal tax-and-spend bastards.

"That's unfortunate," was state Republican Chairman Chris Healy's response when told of Twitter, Inc.'s decision. "I'm not quite sure what the issue is, other than that the Democrats were successful in stopping free speech."

Healy's party may have suffered a setback with the loss of its Twitter campaign, but Republicans are still operating the 33 Web sites they created using the names of those same Democratic lawmakers.

...According to Twitter, Inc., the fake posts violated the immensely popular social networking system's anti-impersonation policy.

In an e-mail reply to a Democratic legislative leader's complaint, a Twitter representative stated:

"A person may not impersonate others through the Twitter service in a manner that does or is intended to mislead, confuse or deceive others. ... Impersonation is against our terms unless it is a parody. The standard for defining parody is, 'Would a reasonable person be aware that it's a joke?' "

"Because this is not the case in your situation, we have removed the profile(s) from circulation."

"That's silly," Healy said of the decision. "That's not impersonation; that's satire."
And if we learned anything from the triumphant run of The Half-Hour News Hour, it's that Republicans understand satire.

Hey, maybe one of these sites is where those phony Rush Limbaugh quotes came from! I'm just saying, I'm no longer obligated to question the more stupid LIBERAL talking points. If it's stupid enough, it's coming from Healy.

Quote of The Day

"...we want a pro-freedom agenda. And he’s trying to throw people around who he believes will increase a non-pro-freedom agenda."

- Michelle Bachman, expressing her anti-non-pro-freedom-agenda views about President Obama.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

All Politics Is Local

Therefore all attempts to usurp the will of the locals must be done nationally.

Can someone with a working knowledge of how parties work on the county level and state level tell me how difficult it would be -- how many bodies, how much time required -- for an insurgent group of conservatives to simply take them over, or at least win a few seats on their governing boards or whatever board actually makes decisions?

This would solve a lot of problems.

The tent is big, but unless we get these RINOS out of it, we'll keep losing the elections! Isn't that how I'm supposed to read this? The concept kind of hurts my head a little bit.

Ha Ha, Just Kidding

My pal Skot once said that the literal translation of the phrase "ha ha, just kidding" is "I'm not kidding." This is how entertaining comedians like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck get in so much trouble, because people are hip to the meanings behind jokes.

I'm a little disturbed by this "rock salt to melt Olympia Snowe" campaign. Why choose the joke in which the punchline is you obliterate your subject? Innit that a l'il harsh? And isn't this?

"We hunt liberal, tree-hugging Democrats, although it does seem like a waste of good ammunition."
Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS), when asked what the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus does.

There's usually a couple of examples a day of this stuff. Keep your eyes open!

Friday, October 16, 2009


The Republican Party believes you are retarded.

We Got This Rush Thing All Wrong

It's unfair to the NFL to say they declined to do business with Rush Limbaugh on the grounds that he has said racist things. We don't really know that. Maybe they were squeamish about selling the team to an admitted drug addict. Perhaps they were troubled by his apparent penchant for sex tourism. Maybe they have a policy of not selling things to people they have fired.

To claim they made the deciscion based on Rush's racial comments, well, that's just racist.

Desperate For A Diversion From Politics

Maybe it's not so bad that I don't have any 24-hour news channels at my fingertips. I at least managed to miss almost all the coverage of that kid who was thought to be caught in a homemade ballon just as I am now managing to avoid most of the coverage of it dawning on people that the whole thing was probably a lame hoax perpetrated by a former reality-show participant and apparent fame-whore and compulsive liar.

Let's face it though, the news channels are climbing the walls looking for something, ANYTHING, that isn't politics based. Or are they? How would I know? Truth is, that's what I'M looking for. Anyway I'm glad the kid is okay, even if he did wind up vomiting on the Today Show. Who hasn't wanted to do that some time?

Shoulda Seen This Coming, Rush To Judgement Edition

LIMBAUGH: They [Democrats] have to have a villain to advance everything, because they cannot sell their ideas. They had to demonize me with false, fake, made up quotes. To protect their precious little — National Football League as an outpost of racism and liberalism, which is what it is.

Yes.... football has a liberal bias! Why didn't I see it before! And who is in the NFL? Millionaires! Millionaires hate conservatives MONEY HAS A LIBERAL BIAS!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Metaphors Can Literally Kill You

HOST: Very quickly, Chairman Steele. The feeling in some circles is that this health care train has left the station with President at the wheel, and Republicans better jump on board.

STEELE: Well, I’m the cow on the tracks, and you’re going to have to stop that train to get this cow off the tracks and move forward.

(Michael Steele appearing on Fox News, h/t Think Progress)

1. Nobody is at the wheel of a train. You don't actually steer trains.

2. Michael Steele speaks the truth, metaphorically. Literally the role of Republicans is to block the progress that everybody wants. And also he's correct in assessing the balance of power between the two parties. One if a freight train, the other is a lone cow. And now that I think of it, you can't really train steers either.

However, getting back to the train - there are things called Cow Catchers on the front of trains, and they are shaped so that they scoop up cows and throw them aside! America didn't become a superpower by stopping the train for cows. It became one by recognizing that creatures too stupid, lazy and obstinate to stand in front of a moving train deserve what they get.

Great Sales Op In Protests

Say you have a zero-growth market item like teabags. How are you going to get a sales spike? Tie it to a protest! Start a viral marketing campaign that encourages people to buy your crap and then then dump it uselessly in an empty symbolic gesture. It's capitalism at it's most elemental.

I forgot... why did I bring this up? Oh yeah.

Olympia Snowe has sold out the country. Having been banished to our world
after Aslan chased her out of Narnia, Snowe is intent on corrupting this place too.

So we should melt her.

What melts snow? Rock salt.

I’m going to ship this 5 pound bag of rock salt to her office in Maine. It’s only $3.00. You should join me.

It is a visible demonstration of our contempt for her. First she votes for the stimulus. Now this.

It’s time to melt Snowe. ORDER YOUR BAG HERE.

The mailing address is:
3 Canal Plaza
Suite 601
Portland, ME 04101
Main: (207) 874-0883

I got an even better idea! Let's send XM Satellite Radios to Joe Biden, to remind him to listen! Or ZUNES! Yeah, them Zunes will teach him a lesson!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Love Your Insurance Company ***Updated***

Here's something to love them for - they're not jacking up your rates by covering fat, lazy babies.

GRAND JUNCTION — Alex Lange is a chubby, dimpled, healthy and happy 4-month-old.

But in the cold, calculating numbered charts of insurance companies, he is fat. That's why he is being turned down for health insurance. And that's why he is a weighty symbol of a problem in the health care reform debate.

Insurance companies can turn down people with pre-existing conditions who aren't covered in a group health care plan.

Alex's pre-existing condition — "obesity" — makes him a financial risk. Health insurance reform measures are trying to do away with such denials that come from a process called "underwriting."

"If health care reform occurs, underwriting will go away. We do it because everybody else in the industry does it," said Dr. Doug Speedie, medical director at Rocky Mountain Health Plans, the company that turned down Alex.

By the numbers, Alex is in the 99th percentile for height and weight for babies his age. Insurers don't take babies above the 95th percentile, no matter how healthy they are otherwise.

"I could understand if we could control what he's eating. But he's 4 months old. He's breast-feeding. We can't put him on the Atkins diet or on a treadmill," joked his frustrated father, Bernie Lange, a part-time news anchor at KKCO-TV in Grand Junction. "There is just something absurd about denying an infant."
Quit whining. If you cover that child, an insurance company shareholder might have to give up one of his cars. Is that what you want?

***Update*** My more-widely-read blogger pal WAMK points out that the people at Rocky Mountain Health Plans did an about-face before I posted, and now promise to cover all healthy babies, too fat or not. I'm not as comforted by this as he is. Why did they review the policy? Because they are trying to beat down the threat of the public option. Without the publicity and threat, I doubt we'd have the same result. More likely they'd cover babies two years from now only after tweaking the rules to disallow acne sufferers. AND raising rates again.

And more importantly, this result came about because of the threat of competition from a public option, which proves that it does exactly what proponents promise it will do - keep the insurance companies honest.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Republican Reaction Not As Bad As I Predicted

You may recall a few weeks back there was this viral video of a bunch of school kids singing the praises (literally) of Obama, our nation's first African-American president for Black History Month. Predictably, this footage roused the ire of right-wing bloggers. When I saw it mentioned on Where Are My Keys, I remarked, "somebody needs to set those young traitors straight! Tree of liberty!" No one agreed with me, but curiously no one saw fit to back down from the ugly implications of my snarky comment.

Anyway, the blowback appears to be a lot more benign than MY worst case scenario.

Conservative groups plan to rally Monday near a New Jersey school where students performed a song celebrating President Barack Obama.

The planned rally has school district officials planning to beef up security at the B. Bernice Young School in Burlington Township, which houses kindergartners through second-graders.

...Citing concerns for the safety of students and staff, Superintendent Christopher Manno has asked organizers to reconsider the protest because classes will be held that day. Manno said protesters will not be allowed on school property and additional district staffers will be on hand.

Bill Haney, a rally organizer, said members of several groups would take part in the protest, although it was not clear Sunday how many people would be involved.

"Consider this a protest to squelch this trend to politicize our youth," organizers said in a prepared statement. "We are supporting the constitutional rights of our children and protest against the progressive social agenda promoted by the New Jersey Education Association and the National Education Association."
I haven't heard how this went but I suspect it was peaceful if obnoxious. I doubt if any kindergartners were roughed up. In fact, here's what happened, from the same newspaper.

The protesters sang patriotic anthems and chanted slogans such as "Free children, free minds."
So at least they learned that schools shouldn't be politicized, thanks to the efforts of apolitical Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity viewers. Personally as a sensitive 5 year old, I'd have been terrified of an angry group of protesters outside my school, just as I was by some angry liberal hippies back in the day. But who knows... maybe, just maybe, these 5-year-olds can be convinced to not vote in the next election.

Friday, October 09, 2009

It, Robot

I took advantage of a 1/3 off deal at last week and ordered up a Roomba. This is one of those purchases I've resisted for years but the price is right and I vaccum my apartment maybe once a month. Since last night, Roomba has vaccumed twice.

Brief review: the Roomba missed a few spots that I would have gotten during the hour it ran last night; however it's more to the point that it missed the spots while I watched Netflix. Daddy likes. Plus I like the idea that it's a robot that is far more effective not looking like a smoother version of a person. Roomba looks like a hyper-frisbee. That certainly cuts into the creepiness factor! I can't envision the Roombas banding together to take my job, for example. I CAN imagine them cleaning up where I work.

So a couple of thumbs up. Why not? My hands are free.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Remember Me?

Yeah, I've been scarce lately. I think I'm losing interest in politics. Politics is in a holding pattern right now. The best you can say about it is there is movement but it's straight toward the floor on both sides. Approval of Democrats is falling, approval of Republicans is too. But no one is winning anything. This depresses me.

On the plus side, the US is suddenly the most admired country in the world. So we got that goin' for us, which is nice.

It climbed from seventh place last year, ahead of France, Germany, the United
Kingdom and Japan which completed the top five nations in the Nation Brand Index
(NBI). "What's really remarkable is that in all my years studying national
reputation, I have never seen any country experience such a dramatic change in
its standing as we see for the United States for 2009," said Simon Anholt, the
founder of NBI, which measured the global image of 50 countries each year.

And look, they're still publishing Ziggy!


Anyway, the showbiz blog takes precedence now so until something interesting happens, specifically a prominent Republican agreeing with something, ANYTHING that Obama does, you'll be seeing this less and less. I hate static.