Wednesday, December 29, 2010

NEWSMAX Now Left Leaning, Like the New York Times

They've even hired Judy Miller!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

White Kids Are Hurting Our Schools

I'm not sure what to make of this column by Pat Buchanan, but I think he's saying that if we kicked out all the students except Asians, our GED scores would skyrocket. Or is that the familiar quack quack?

Okay, As Long As They're Not Earmarks

You know what killed the 2010 budget, don't you? Republican objections to earmarks. The omnibus bill was full of 'em! Many of them put into the budget by the Republicans who objected. Anyway, they're going to to take another crack at it in February, and there won't be any Republican earmarks in it! Why? Because!

Though Mr. Kirk and other Republicans thundered against pork-barrel spending and lawmakers’ practice of designating money for special projects through earmarks, they have not shied from using a less-well-known process called lettermarking to try to direct money to projects in their home districts.

Mr. Kirk, for example, sent a letter to the Department of Education dated Sept. 10, 2009, asking it to release money “needed to support students and educational programs” in a local school district. The letter was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the group Citizens Against Government Waste, which shared it with The New York Times.

The district, Woodland School District 50, said it later received about $1.1 million in stimulus money.
See, it's not the spending of federal dollars that they object to. It's the PROCEDURE. Instead of Congress approving the spending, Congress want to put it up to unelected bureau heads. That way, less accountability all around. And probably a little more corruption. Especially where the real money is, the Department of Defense. But how does it work, exactly?
Lettermarking, which takes place outside the Congressional appropriations process, is one of the many ways that legislators who support a ban on earmarks try to direct money back home.

In phonemarking, a lawmaker calls an agency to request financing for a project. More indirectly, members of Congress make use of what are known as soft earmarks, which involve making suggestions about where money should be directed, instead of explicitly instructing agencies to finance a project. Members also push for increases in financing of certain accounts in a federal agency’s budget and then forcefully request that the agency spend the money on the members’ pet project.

Because all these methods sidestep the regular legislative process, the number of times they are used and the money involved are even harder to track than with regular earmarks.
Given the ease of tracking, no wonder Congress is up in arms about earmarks! Especially considering how many of those Teabaggers are armed.

Monday, December 27, 2010

It Was Supposed to Rain On Sunday

Here I was, driving back from Sacramento on Sunday and expecting a storm, and this is what Fresno looked like.

zo6tz.jpg

Fresno has no business looking this good in any circumstances, but to be this way when the whole state is supposed to be drowning is just wrong. Wrong! On all levels.

More bad news - Fresno is said to be the "Raisin Capital of the World" but according to a sign I saw a few miles down the road, that distinction belongs to Selma, CA. Which means that Fresno got nothin'.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Guy On Your Left Is Illegal, The Guy On Your Right Isn't

He's probably kidding, but Madeline's Dad said in a comment here that he believes that illegal immigrants comprise a third of most American classrooms. I probably shouldn't write this before finding out if he's just counter-snarking to something I said, but the figure has been gnawing at me ever since I read it on my iPhone during xmas dinner.

See, here's the thing. The population of the US is a little over 300 million. Assuming the general population of illegals is only a quarter of the population (they are just pumping out the kids like waffles, you know, for anchor terror babies) then that would equal about, oh, 75 million illegals in the country. Sure they're not all Mexican; some are Canadians, sneaking over the border for our superior health care. Some are illegal Muslims. Point is, it's a lot of people! A lot more than even these guys think.

They put the number at 20 million. Of course it's an old estimate, but most evidence is since the recession the illegal population has declined. Less jobs here. Other estimates are as low as 12 million; I'm willing to go up to 16 million, which is a lot but it ain't no third.

I'm wondering how you could possibly believe that we could eliminate a quarter (or a third) of the US population and think it would be good for the economy.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Loose End

It just occurred to me that I have failed to wish you all a Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

America's Supply of Smart Thin People Dries Up

Add this to the list of problems that free-market solutions won't help with.

MIAMI (AP) — Nearly one-fourth of the students who try to join the U.S. Army fail its entrance exam, painting a grim picture of an education system that produces graduates who can't answer basic math, science and reading questions, according to a new study released Tuesday.

The report by The Education Trust bolsters a growing worry among military and education leaders that the pool of young people qualified for military service will grow too small.

"Too many of our high school students are not graduating ready to begin college or a career — and many are not eligible to serve in our armed forces," U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told the AP. "I am deeply troubled by the national security burden created by America's underperforming education system."

The effect of the low eligibility rate might not be noticeable now — the Department of Defense says it is meeting its recruitment goals — but that could change as the economy improves, said retired Navy Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett.

"If you can't get the people that you need, there's a potential for a decline in your readiness," said Barnett, who is part of the group Mission: Readiness, a coalition of retired military leaders working to bring awareness to the high ineligibility rates.
Let's cut more school funding! That oughtta help. And kill school lunches in areas where there is a fast food place nearby!

A Department of Defense report notes the military must recruit about 15 percent of youth, but only one-third are eligible. More high school graduates are going to college than in earlier decades, and about one-fourth are obese, making them medically ineligible.

In 1980, by comparison, just 5 percent of youth were obese.
Hey, enough politics. Let's all go over to Aunt Sarah's place for s'mores!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I Hope You're Still Allowed to Read This

Another thing I'm for has been implemented by the FCC! This time it's Net Neutrality. Though it's an imperfect compromise (wireless carriers are allowed to regulate content, wired one are not - I think) it's something anyway, and something is better than nothing.

The rightwing spin on this is a little more crazy than usual, indicating that the right is getting their information from other sources than the rest of us. As far as they're concerned, if the government is preventing regulation of content that means the GOVERNMENT IS REGULATING CONTENT. Not allowing big media companies the option of blocking content is a blow to free speech, and will eventually lead to a revival of the fairness doctrine.

Think about this - the right are upset that the interent won't be under the control of the liberally-biased-big-media companies. What the hell!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Duck Has Wings

I'm happy to admit that again, I was wrong. Republicans have failed to obstruct the repeal of DADT, they've allowed the extension of unemployment benefits. They're still willing to throw away our ability to inspect Soviet nukes (it's in the treaty we need ratified and if we don't get it, we'll have to negotiate from scratch) but I was expecting NOTHING to go forward after the Tax Cut extensions. I assumed they'd get their tax cuts for the rich and then still back out of their promises.

Perhaps they're just tired and want to get some Xmas shopping done. Obstruction takes time!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Today, Obama Will Raise Taxes

I'm basing the title on the results of a study conducted by the University of Maryland. I'm going to have my friends at Talking Points Memo summarize the more salient points.

The study found that daily Fox News viewers, regardless of political party, were "significantly" more likely than non-viewers to erroneously believe that:

•Most economists estimate the stimulus caused job losses (12 points more likely)

•Most economists have estimated the health care law will worsen the deficit (31 points)

•The economy is getting worse (26 points)

•Most scientists do not agree that climate change is occurring (30 points)

•The stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts (14 points)

•Their own income taxes have gone up (14 points)

•The auto bailout only occurred under Obama (13 points)

•When TARP came up for a vote most Republicans opposed it (12 points)

•And that it is not clear that Obama was born in the United States (31 points
Remember, all the bulleted points there? The OPPOSITE is true. To be fair, though:
Daily consumers of MSNBC and public broadcasting (NPR and PBS) were higher (34 points and 25 points respectively) in believing that it was proven that the US Chamber of Commerce was spending money raised from foreign sources to support Republican candidates. Daily watchers of network TV news broadcasts were 12 points higher in believing that TARP was signed into law by President Obama, and 11 points higher in believing that most Republicans oppose TARP.
Which all indicates that there is a bias in the MSM. Weirdly, the bias seems to favor the RNC. Nutty, huh? Who'd have thought?

Friday, December 10, 2010

I'm Not Sure, But I May Have Won An Arguement with MD

Check out the comments section.

I'm not buying any part of this post. I doubt he has a friend who is making three times his investment in day trading (try it some time!) and if it were true, I wonder why MD isn't furious at his friend for sponging off the government when he clearly has no need to. And whether MD would take a job as a stock boy at Best Buy rather if he lost his lucrative sales position.

Bright Ideas to Stop Terrorism

A Muslim joke so offensive, even Mediaite gives it bad marks:

But here's the thing, the concept is totally sound! If we take that defense money we're spending on ICBMs and put it into bioengineering, we can develop a metal/pork alloy that will protect us from bombs! Ain't no terrist wants to be touched by pork, even pork alloy! You don't want to blow up something if it's going to touch your lips as it explodes, and keep you from heaven!

We stop the threat of terrorism and keep our nation's farmers solvent at the same time! Get on board with this!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

It Is A Season

Stumped for what kind of holiday card to send this year? Not sure what belief systems or religions your family or friends may have - or you don’t really care? Here’s one safe way of pleasing, puzzling (or offending) everyone on your holiday card list regardless of their religion, belief or creed… Norbis…The secular, seasonal, non-sectarian holiday sprite.

A 20 - pack of color 4.25” X 5.5” cards plus envelopes is $20 plus $2.50 shipping ~ $22.50 Check or Paypal - send an email to: create@cortneyskinner.com for details if you’re interested.

Take It Or Leave It, Biden Said

Guess how the house is leaning?

It will be an interesting strategy. This is classic dealmaking - and for a change the Democrats are willing to walk away from the table. Will the Republicans hold their ground on tax cuts for the rich, i.e no tax cuts for anyone?

Me, I'm willing to pay more in taxes, if only for the entertainment it buys.

This Just Proves What An Insecure Guy God Really Is

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

It's All Just A Little Bit Of History Repeating

Where are we going to get $900 billion dollars over the next two years to make up for those tax cuts we're in the process of extending? I say in the process because, let's face it, anything up for a vote nowadays is subject to someone in the house threatening to filibuster it. Most likely it still won't go through.

But if it does, no worries! Because Republicans are holding the the purse strings now! And who are they putting in charge of appropriations? This guy. He's nicknamed "The Pork King."

Rogers defends earmarks because he’s very good at getting them. Rogers received over $431 million in earmarks just in fiscal years 2008-10, and has steered billions of dollars to his rural Kentucky district over the course of his career, making him one of the most prolific earmarkers in Congress.
Hey it's no big deal. The Chinese will lend us the money. We're good for it man!

Quote of the Day: Perspective Edition

“Today marks a lot of tragedy. ... Tragedy comes in threes... Pearl Harbor, Elizabeth Edwards’s passing and Barack Obama’s announcement of extending the tax cuts, which is good, but also extending the unemployment benefits.”
-Christine O'Donnell, who added, "That's not what I meant at all."

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Horse Latitudes

Obama and a handful of Senate Republicans have brokered a deal which, if it goes through, will ensure that the crummy economic conditions we're experiencing now will prevail for the next couple of years. Unemployment payments will be extended, so the jobless can still buy food and pay rent, the tax cuts that are in place will remain in place, which will ensure that the jobless rate won't rise significantly. Our friends at the New York times point out:

The package would cost about $900 billion over the next two years, to be financed entirely by adding to the national debt, at a time when both parties are professing a desire to begin addressing long-term fiscal imbalances.

It would reduce the 6.2 percent Social Security payroll tax on all wage earners by two percentage points for one year, putting more money in the paychecks of workers. For a family earning $50,000 a year, it would amount to a savings of $1,000.
What Republicans remain vehemently opposed to, though, is any attempt to make the climate for employment BETTER. They're demanding the return of unspent stimulus funds (except in their own states, of course) and the notion of even encouraging business to behave differently will be met with howls of tea-fueled anger. Thus conditions will be in place by 2012 to run whatever good-looking cypher against Obama that Republicans can dig up. This guy will claim to be able to fix the problem, then once he's in he'll pursue the same policies that we're pursuing now. The economy will erode and somehow they'll sucessfully blame Democrats for it.

More and more I'm looking at Obama's strategies and thinking that the "long game" that he's playing accounts for him to be out of office in 2012. It's too bad. I'm all for compromise if it means both sides give up equal , but that's clearly not what's happening here. The one thing that IS different in this deal - the Obama Tax Cut. Somehow the Republicans managed to get him to agree to an estate tax cut. This isn't so bad because hardly anyone is affected by it; but symbolically it's devastating. It's still better than having McCain in charge, but I'm less and less able to explain how.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Oh, THAT'S How They're Going to Get Us Jobs!

Back when Clinton was running for President, James Carville coined the slogan “It’s the economy, stupid.” I thought, “Well, that’s stupid. It isn’t the economy at all. It is the culture. If you get the culture right, you’ll get the economy right. Everything will fall into place automatically.”
- Congressman Steve King, Right Side News

Friday, December 03, 2010

You Tell Me: Priorities

Yesterday I wrote about this thing. Republicans, you may recall, refused to vote for a tax cut (with the added bonus of a paperwork reduction) for small business, on the grounds that the Tax Cut HAD TO BE PAID FOR with a corresponding spending cut. It's my opinion that the spending cut is a red herring. After all, the lame duck session is all about one issue - extension of the Bush Tax Cuts. And at least in the case of the the ones for those high-bracket earners, the rhetoric has been that there's no need to designate spending cuts because the economy will be stimulated by all the hiring and investing that the rich will do, because they're not paying taxes.

And in fact, this bill probably failed because of this pledge that Republicans signed, to refuse to vote for cloture on anything until the tax cuts are extended. All of them.

So my question, and I'm completely sincere about this - is it fair to say that Republicans value tax cuts for the rich more than they value tax cuts for small business, based on this choice? If it isn't fair to say, why isn't it?

The Tea Party, Shrinking Government ***Update***

Bear in mind, these are just the ones ENDORSED BY THE TEA PARTY CAUCUS.

Members of the Congressional Tea Party Caucus may tout their commitment to cutting government spending now, but they used the 111th Congress to request hundreds of earmarks that, taken cumulatively, added more than $1 billion to the federal budget.

According to a Hotline review of records compiled by Citizens Against Government Waste, the 52 members of the caucus, which pledges to cut spending and reduce the size of government, requested a total of 764 earmarks valued at $1,049,783,150 during Fiscal Year 2010, the last year for which records are available.

...In founding the caucus in July, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said she was giving voice to Americans who were sick of government over-spending.

...Bachmann and 13 of her Tea Party Caucus colleagues did not request any earmarks in the last Fiscal Year, according to CAGW's annual Congressional Pig Book. But others have requested millions of dollars in special projects.

Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), for one, attached his name to 69 earmarks in the last fiscal year, for a total of $78,263,000. The 41 earmarks Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-La.) requested were worth $65,395,000. Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) wanted $63,400,000 for 39 special projects, and Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) wanted $93,980,000 set aside for 47 projects.

Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) takes the prize as the Tea Partier with his name on the most earmarks. Rehberg's office requested funding for 88 projects, either solely or by co-signing earmarks requests with Sens. Max Baucus (D) and Jon Tester (D), at a cost of $100,514,200. On his own, Rehberg requested 20 earmarks valued at more than $9.6 million.

More than one member can sign onto an earmark. Still, there are 29 caucus members who requested on their own or joined requests for more than $10 million in earmark funding, and seven who wanted more than $50 million in funding.
Bachman missed out on the action because she had other items on the agenda - for example, crusading to ensure that we'll be able to buy incandescent light bulbs 20 years from now. Focus, Michele! In these precious few years before the rapture, you need to budget your time.

Just think, that billion could have paid for half of a proposed tax cut!

***Update*** Out of respect for my friend Madenline's Dad, I'll add this disclaimer: PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE BEHAVIOR. Just because they racked up a billion in 2010, doesn't mean they'll do it this year. Possibly they'll be good fiscal conservatives. Like Rand Paul.

Holiday Cheer

"
see more Sketchy Santas"

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Do The American People Even WANT Compromise?

Obama Approval Over/Under: 45.4/49.6          Net -4.2

Congressional Approval Over/Under 21.3/73.0          Net -51.7

Republicans Vote Down Lowering Taxes and Eliminating Paperwork

...Both Democrats and Republicans agree that the new 1099 reporting requirements included in the healthcare reform bill should be repealed. ...The problem is that the new requirements essentially raise taxes on contractors and small businesses and this raises revenue. So if you want to repeal the requirements, you need to figure out how to make up the revenue, and Democrats and Republicans have been unable to agree on how to do this.

Yesterday, however, Sen. Max Baucus decided the hell with it. The amount of revenue is tiny (less than $2 billion per year), so why not just repeal the 1099 provision, lower everyone's taxes, and forget about paying for it? This is an eminently sensible position, since Republicans want the provision repealed and have repeatedly and unanimously taken the position that tax cuts don't need to be paid for.

So Baucus introduced an amendment to do the deed. And it failed because all but two Republicans voted against it.
Suck it up, small business! Republicans insist that NOTHING BE CHANGED IN THE HEALTHCARE BILL! Because they love it so much!

Seriously, this has nothing to do with a promise to obstruct any vote, even if they support everything about it. It just looks that way. A lot. And there's really no other way to look at it, but that totally not what's going on.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

This Infuriates Republicans

If you buy groceries, you probably like this label. It's on most commercially available food, and it's helpful for debunking the crazier nutritional claims on the bigger label on the other side. Forcing companies to list ingredients also has a chilling effect on the inclusion of certain unhealthy but legal ingredients, like formaldehyde. It's a nice little tool for determining what you're consuming. What's not to like?

Well, for starters, it's the result of government interference in business. The FDA was started under Teddy Roosevelt in 1906 and expanded under Franklin Roosevelt in 1939. Most Republicans are vehemently opposed to any government interference in business, preferring the free market to regulate products. That is, if someone sells tainted bacon, you the consumer will take notice and switch brands. Maybe you'll buy that new brand of bacon, started by the guy who was selling tainted bacon last month under a different name.

Should a bacon supplier not be allowed to change brand names? No, that's regulation and regulation is bad for business.

That label - if people want it, then companies will put it on their products and consumers can choose to buy labeled products over unlabled ones. Suppose someone sells bacon that claims that one serving is a whole rasher, it's only 50 calories, and contains no sodium. That's their perogative! The consumer can always do some testing at home to verify the claims. And if it turns out to be a baldfaced lie and someone becomes morbidly obese because they eat a rasher of bacon every morning for a year, they can always sue.

Well, no. Republicans always are working to limit your ability to sue business. You should have known better than to trust unregulated labels! What are you, stupid? Get a clue, blimpy!

(By the way, too bad your private insurance company dropped you. If they treat you, it cuts into their profits; the profits they made by charging you for a guarantee to treat you! If you aren't comfortable with that arrangement, you shouldn't have been buying insurance.)

Republicans are also insanely furious about the idea of regulating drug companies, though not about clamping down on Marijuana, a free-market alternative to legal drugs. I'm still puzzling that out.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the near future now that Tea Party candidates are the majority in all branches of government. I'm looking forward to access to radioactive beverages, which were banned in the 30's.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Oh Yes, and This As Well

This Is Also Worth Noting, Security-Wise

(CNN) -- A federal law enforcement officer mistakenly left a loaded gun magazine that was found Tuesday on a Southwest Airlines plane, officials said.

The discovery was made after the flight from Burbank, California, to Phoenix, Arizona, landed, a member of a CNN crew aboard the plane said.

The head of the Transportation Security Administration said the unnamed law officer will be given remedial training.

"It belonged to a member of federal law enforcement," John Pistole said of the magazine, adding it was not believed to belong to a federal air marshal.

"The full magazine was found in a back seat pocket," a TSA official told CNN. "We believe it was left by a law enforcement officer on a flight that originated in San Jose (California) and landed in Burbank. The officer was not an air marshal and we are trying to establish contact with the agent."
Obviously they're covering up the truth - it was a MUSLIM law enforcement officer! When will the sheeple learn!

Happy Thanksgiving trip, everybody! I'm staying home this year.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Airport Security Plain Speakin'

So let's face it, body scanners in airports are hugely expensive, probably dangerous and not very effective. The alternative, pat-downs, are invasive, embarassing, and time-consuming. Simply speaking we can't screen EVERYBODY who goes on a flight without paralyzing the flight industry.

Therefore, some say, we should only scan likely troublemakers. Call it profiling if you will.

Now, who do we include in the profile? Let's not be politically correct. Muslims. Muslims brought down planes on 9/11, so if we just concentrate on Muslims we'll be safe. You with me so far? Good. So the next thing is to determine how we spot the Muslims. Obviously if anyone says they're Muslim, you run a check on them. If they look like a Muslim, you run a check on them. Simple. So the next step is determining what they look like.

This is where it gets interesting. Men with beards. Check all of them. People who look like famous Muslims, check them. Because not all Muslims have beards you know. And a guy willing to commit suicide for a cause would be willing to shave off his beard to avoid detection.

Most importantly, remember this. Arguably, President Obama is a Muslim. Maybe he's not, but this is security and we can't afford to take chances. Therefore, all men who look like Obama should be included in the profile. So basically African-American men (no women; women can't be terrorists) and guys who look like this.


You don't want to fight me on this, otherwise you're with the terrorists.

The War On Christmas - Early Salvo

Why oh why are people so set on UNDERMINING Christmas? So afraid of Jesus that you have to say HAPPY HOLIDAYS?

Obviously, you should boycott any organization that hates Christmas like this.

(h/t Wonkette)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Security Theatre

...This is probably another good time to remind you all that all of us were carrying actual assault rifles, and some of us were also carrying pistols.

So we’re in line, going through one at a time. One of our Soldiers had his Gerber multi-tool. TSA confiscated it. Kind of ridiculous, but it gets better. A few minutes later, a guy empties his pockets and has a pair of nail clippers. Nail clippers. TSA informs the Soldier that they’re going to confiscate his nail clippers. The conversation went something like this:

TSA Guy: You can’t take those on the plane.

Soldier: What? I’ve had them since we left country.

TSA Guy: You’re not suppose to have them.

Soldier: Why?

TSA Guy: They can be used as a weapon.

Soldier: [touches butt stock of the rifle] But this actually is a weapon. And I’m allowed to take it on.

TSA Guy: Yeah but you can’t use it to take over the plane. You don’t have bullets.

Soldier: And I can take over the plane with nail clippers?

TSA Guy: [awkward silence]

Me: Dude, just give him your damn nail clippers so we can get the f**k out of here. I’ll buy you a new set.

Soldier: [hands nail clippers to TSA guy, makes it through security]
via Erick Erickson, Red State

How's That Generic Republican Doing, Anyway?



The chart above is the result of a little number-crunching that Nate Silver did, inspired by a Quinnipiac poll that suggested that Nancy Pelosi is the least-liked politician going right now. And indeed, the other polls he surveyed bears that conclusion out.

But look at the rest of that! Man-without-a-pulse Dick Cheney only slightly higher up! He saved the free world, you know. Your next president, Sarah Palin, has lower numbers than Newt Gingrich AND George  W. Bush. Logically the candidate in 2012 should be Mike Huckabee. D'ya suppose the base will let THAT happen? Anyway, look at that gap in the middle - that's the people who doen't have much of an opinion one way or t'other. They decided that John McCain would be a better choice a couple of years ago.

Oh, and there are the most popular politicians on the list... why it's Bill and Hillary Clinton! I think somebody at Fox news took their eye off the ball! Without a steady stream of lies and opinion-masquerading-as-news, people forget what they are supposed to think. Somebody get on that, will ya?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Walk, Walked

Though I disagree with his position, at least I know that he doesn't disagree with it too:

This morning, a caller to C-SPAN’s Washington Journal asked Rep.-elect Mike Kelly (R-PA) — who “strongly opposes” the health care law — if he would be willing to give up his government-sponsored health insurance. Kelly said that he would:

KELLY: ...I personally have always paid for my own health care… why should my pension as a public official be any different from anyone else’s pension? Why should my health care, as a public official, be any different than anybody else’s? No, level across the board. [...]

Q: So will you have a Congressional plan?

KELLY: No, I do not need. I got my own plan, I don’t need a congressional plan. I’ve taken care of myself for a long time.
I'd like to see other Government Health Care opponents refuse their government health care too. It's not like these guys can't afford to pay full price for medical insurance. I can't, God knows, but they make a lot more than I do.

While we're at it, maybe the new speaker of the house should not try to kill the Office of Congressional Ethics. I mean, how are they going to stop people like Charlie Rangel without it?

Reminders

Rep. John Boehner (R-OH): “Does anyone really believe that politicians and bureaucrats in Washington can successfully steer a multi-national corporation to economic viability?” [6/1/09]

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL): “It’s basically going to be a government-owned, government-run company. …It’s the road toward socialism.” [5/29/09]

RNC Chairman Michael Steele: “No matter how much the President spins GM’s bankruptcy as good for the economy, it is nothing more than another government grab of a private company and another handout to the union cronies who helped bankroll his presidential campaign.” [6/1/2009]

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC): “Now the government has forced taxpayers to buy these failing companies without any plausible plan for profitability. Does anyone think the same government that plans to double the national debt in five years will turn GM around in the same time?” [6/2/09]

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA): “Unfortunately, this is just another sad chapter in President Obama’s eager campaign to interject his administration in the private sector’s business dealings.” [6/2/09]
How's that working out so far?

Shares of General Motors surged on Thursday in their New York Stock Exchange debut.

In the early afternoon, the shares were trading just below $35, up more than 5 percent from their initial public offering price of $33. Earlier, the shares had risen as high as $35.99. Trading volume was heavy, with nearly 350 million shares exchanging hands.

The offering, which raised $23.1 billion, is bigger and more ambitious than had once seemed possible. But the recently bankrupt automaker will have to build on its revival for the government to recoup its entire $50 billion investment and validate the Obama administration’s decision to keep G.M. from collapsing.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sponge Maintenance

Outrageless!

Riderbikeee
Since the lame-duck session of congress hasn't started yet, I'm not finding anything especially stirring politically to write about. Maybe next week.

I suppose I could be worked up at the blatent Republican voter fraud being perpetrated this week, but the kids are off-limits and I don't watch Dancing With the Stars anyway.

So instead of politics, enjoy this fine bike now for sale. Under $250 and that includes all the grain you need to keep it fed!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Oh No, She's Already Quit THIS Too

Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but it seems to me that this sequence from Sarah Palin's Alaska may not contain any actual Sarah Palin. Back to the camera the whole time, it would be easier to dub her voice in afterwards. Watch and tell me I'm wrong.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Dream Is Alive

The next two years are likely to be filled with the sound of Republicans gnawing the meat off each other. The new batch hasn't even taken office yet, and...

Asked what he wanted to do in Washington in a Wednesday morning television interview, (Rand Paul) said that his kids were hoping to meet the Obama girls. In a bigger shift from his campaign pledge to end earmarks, he tells me that they are a bad “symbol” of easy spending but that he will fight for Kentucky’s share of earmarks and federal pork, as long as it’s doled out transparently at the committee level and not parachuted in in the dead of night. “I will advocate for Kentucky’s interests,” he says.

So you’re not a crazy libertarian? “Not that crazy,” he cracks.
Tree o'liberty, Rand Paul. Tree o'liberty. That's all I'm sayin'.

Meanwhile: heh heh, miss me yet, heh heh?

The venue was the Oval Office. A group of British dignitaries, including Gordon Brown, were paying a visit. It was at the height of the 2008 presidential election campaign, not long after Bush publicly endorsed John McCain as his successor.

Naturally the election came up in conversation. Trying to be even-handed and polite, the Brits said something diplomatic about McCain’s campaign, expecting Bush to express some warm words of support for the Republican candidate.

Not a chance. “I probably won’t even vote for the guy,” Bush told the group, according to two people present.“I had to endorse him. But I’d have endorsed Obama if they’d asked me.”
George W. Bush - was he even BORN IN THIS COUNTRY? WHERE'S THE PROOF?

Oh and:

A Republican congressman stepped up to the plate last week, citing Sarah Palin as the reason the GOP didn't gain control of the Senate, but he later downplayed the accusation.

At a meeting in Columbiana, Alabama last Thursday, Rep. Spencer Bachus denounced Palin and the Tea Party candidates she supported, according to the Shelby County Reporter.

"The Senate would be Republican today except for states (in which Palin endorsed candidates) like Christine O'Donnell in Delaware," Bachus said. "Sarah Palin cost us control of the Senate." He went on to concede that Tea Party candidates did fare better in U.S. House races.
Now I don't want to be thrown out of the Republican Party, but here's a list of Palin-endorsed Senate Candidates: Sharron Angle in Nevada, John Raese in West Virginia, Carly Fiorina in California, Joe Miller in Alaska and Christine O’Donnell in Delaware. Miller, of course, is still in play as campaign workers pore over write-in candidates for Lisa Murkowski. Who probably would have slam-dunked the election. Ha ha, if only Sarah Palin had prevailed more in congress, my prediction would have come true! Embrace the Palin! Love the Palin! Don't take my word for it, take hers.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

I got outta town for the weekend, driving up the coast to loin-o-my-birth Santa Cruz to participate in the event that I tried for months to avoid: my high school reunion. I am not going to say which one. It's more than 10 years though.

Bob Anderson, Melanie Paizis, Me and a guy


My friend from High School, Bill, has the good sense to avoid these kinds of things. It's a zero-sum game after all. I mean, best case scenario is you see people you missed after a long absence, and rekindle long-neglected friendships. More frequently it's long-smoldering resentments.

I was a shy dude back at Aptos HS, who overcompensated by participating in theatre and Glee-style hijinx. I had expected few people to remember or recognize me. In fact, many more did me than I did them. I was apparently popular without knowing it.

Cathy Yednak, mine at last
I brought a date with me, and she was worried that women would be all over me. So I made it a point to have her by my side as much as possible when I talked to them. In the picture here, she is on the other side of the camera, watching very closely and I greet the girl I had a crush on in junior high. I think my date overestimates me, but I am pleased to report that very few girls found me repulsive.

Most of the people I went to school with grew up to be annoyingly well-adjusted, good-lookin' sorts. I wanted more train wrecks at the event - the homecoming queen who gained 200 pounds, the football hero who is addicted to methadone, the Moonie. Nothin'. Not only that, they're all taller than I am. (I am 5'8", the national average is 5'9", the average of my class is 6'8". This is anecdotal, of course.) So I was hoping to breeze in there and be the only one with hair and without a weight and booze problem. No dice, jack! Wayyyy to much of that kind of thing, if you ask me. I resent my class for not making me look good.

Maybe I'll have better luck in 10 years. Hope springs eternal!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Metaphor of the Week

H/T to Swampland:



Here is Sarah Palin's new pat-on-the-back election video. At 36 seconds, she says, "This is our morning in America," as an apparent orange sunrise is shown behind the Statue of Liberty. That stock footage ...is called "Time Lapse--Sunset behind Statue of Liberty."
So Palin spent someone else's money to fool you into thinking something is the opposite of what she claims it is. At least they're not running on the idea of change!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

I'm Not Sure Why, But This Makes Me Feel Better

The Joy of Tech comic

Let the Deregulation Begin!

Look, it's the city of Cherepovets in Russia! Say what you will about those guys, they at least don't overregulate their industry nowadays. And are the people there happier? You BET they are!

Probably. I mean, they must be, right?

Mmmmm! Crow!

Think I'll bake up a little black bird pie here. I have been predicting since summer that the result of this election would be that Democrats lose some seats but not majorities in the House and Senate. This prediction proved incorrect.

Republicans have, in fact, gained more House seats by any party in an election since 1948. So yeah, I was wrong about that. Democrats have retained majority of the Senate, meaning possibly another two years of Harry Reid as speaker! Which brings up what was behind my prediction in the first place. I believed that the Tea Party was going to scare off moderate voters. David Gergen thinks otherwise.

"I don't think there's any question that if it were not for the Tea Party, the Republican margin in the House of Representatives would not be as high as it's going to be," CNN senior political analyst David Gergen said Tuesday night. "They gave a lot of enthusiasm and fuel to the Republican Party."

Tea Party-backed Republicans Rand Paul in Kentucky and Marco Rubio in Florida won their Senate races, according to the projections.
Interestingly, there were quite a few more Tea Party candidates out there, like the one running against the unpopular Harry Reid and the one who was a witch once and the one in New York who wanted to punch people in the face all the time. CNN estimates that there were 21 tea-party affiliated candidates and "at least 10 of them won".  Vagueness due to the tea party not being an actual party but merely an incohate rage. Still, half (almost) is a lot more than I was expecting. It will be interesting to see if they govern the way the campaigned - not speaking to reporters, refusing to admit to being in favor of anything except tax cuts and liberty. Sooner or later they'll have to cast some votes. Can't wait!

So what's up on the agenda? Gridlock of course. Boehner has pledged to not compromise with the Democrats; so if he does, he's risking being thrown out and replaced by a Tea Party candidate. Obama has veto power over the expected repeal of Health Care, so that won't happen; and beyond that Republicans have literally no agenda beyond opposing the other agenda. Voila! A government that costs plenty and acheives nothing! And isn't that what we all want?

Well, as long as they don't blame other branches of government for their inability to get stuff done, I'm willing to give Republicans benefit of the doubt.

Friday, October 29, 2010

About The Last Guy

OMG I'm quoting Kos!

Questions:

  1. What was the average monthly private sector job growth in 2008, the final year of the Bush presidency, and what has it been so far in 2010?
  2. What was the Federal deficit for the last fiscal year of the Bush presidency, and what was it for the first full fiscal year of the Obama presidency?
  3. What was the stock market at on the last day of the Bush presidency? What is it at today?
  4. Which party's candidate for speaker will campaign this weekend with a Nazi reenactor who dressed up in a SS uniform?

 Answers:
  1. In 2008, we lost an average of 317,250 private sector jobs per month. In 2010, we have gained an average of 95,888 private sector jobs per month. (Source) That's a difference of nearly five million jobs between Bush's last year in office and President Obama's second year.
  2. In FY2009, which began on September 1, 2008 and represents the Bush Administration's final budget, the budget deficit was $1.416 trillion. In FY2010, the first budget of the Obama Administration, the budget deficit was $1.291 trillion, a decline of $125 billion. (Source) Yes, that means President Obama has cut the deficit -- there's a long way to go, but we're in better shape now than we were under Bush and the GOP.
  3. On Bush's final day in office, the Dow, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 closed at 7,949, 1,440, and 805, respectively. Today, as of 10:15AM Pacific, they are at 11,108, 2,512, and 1,183. That means since President Obama took office, the Dow, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 have increased 40%, 74%, and 47%, respectively.
  4. The Republican Party, whose candidate for speaker, John Boehner, will campaign with Nazi re-enactor Rich Iott this weekend. If you need an explanation why this is offensive, you are a lost cause.
Question 4 is why you don't USUALLY see me quoting Kos, but the first 2 - these are solid fact-based arguments. You might say that these are things the president has no real control over, but if you do you probably shouldn't make that the keystone of your campaign.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Reminder For Next Week's Elections

Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush


Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush
Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush



Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush


Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush
Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush


Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush

Another Quote of the Day: Stockpiled Youngsters Edition

Marriage is the crucible by which we pour all of our values and pass them on to our children, and that is how the culture is renewed each time. So, if we lose marriage — for instance, if our children are raised in warehouses, so to speak. There have been civilizations that have tried to do that. The Spartans did that. They took the children away and taught them to be warriors. It’s a good way to defend a country, but not much of a way to run a civilization.
- Rep. Steve King (R-IA), arguing the case against same-sex marriage.

Listen, if you're one of the warehoused kids in Boston or England or Iowa, comment below. How is the ol' warehouse? Good inventory policies? Are you barcoded or RFID chipped, or counted by hand? When they need a shipment of children, do they bring in dollies or simply have you walk to the loading dock on your own?

Also if you're in one of those places and you're not in a warehouse, how did you escape? Did you sneak out when the supervisor was marrying a dog or sheep?

First Quote of the Day So Far

The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern. Every class is unfit to govern.

 - Lord Acton

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More Threats of Crushing

Christine O’Donnell went on a local conservative radio show yesterday to talk about her campaign. After finishing this interview, that campaign told the radio station it would “crush” it if it didn’t turn over the videotape of what transpired, though it’s kind of hard to destroy an interview that was broadcast live on the air and online, so now the campaign is apologizing and now says it doesn’t need to kill anyone to get these tapes, thank you.
Here's a little advice for Tea Party candidates: if you don't want to be asked questions in public, and you don't want people to approach you in public, and you deride people who work in Government, maybe you shouldn't run for public office.

Maybe your true calling is as a masked avenger of some kind; Christine O'Donnell by day, TEA LADY by night! Drivin' around in her TeaMobile, storing weapons in her constitution belt, dispensing completely lawful justice somehow. Or maybe just deciding that some guy on the street is an illegal alien and neutralizing him. I mean, come on, you can just tell by looking at 'em.

How DARE YOU Make Me Hurt You!

...The woman, 23-year-old Lauren Valle from Washington D.C., appeared to be following a specific set of instructions detailed on MoveOn.org's website designed to attract media attention. Profitt claims he believed Paul was in danger from the woman and that he acted to protect the candidate, but the campaign has condemned Profitt's actions. "I put my foot on her, and I did push her down at the very end, and I told her to stay down," Proffitt said, "I actually put my foot on her to... I couldn't bend over because I have issues with my back."

Lexington Police began an assault investigation identifying Profitt as a suspect. "Well I'll just say it, if the police had done what they were supposed to do, it would have never happened," Profitt said.

The Paul campaign is not alone in its reaction. Another man involved in the altercation, Mike Pezzano, who held down Ms. Valle, tells NEWSFIRST he doesn't condone Profitt's actions. Valle has said she believes Paul supporters planned an attack on her. Pezzano asked not to appear on camera for an interview, but he denies that accusation and says he barely knows Profitt and didn't even know Profitt was there. As for Profitt, he remains defiant. "I don't think it's that big of a deal," Profitt said.

And when asked if he would apologize to Valle. "I would like for her to apologize to me to be honest with you," Profitt said.
Now THAT'S what the Tea Party is all about, taking personal responsibility for your actions and not relying on help from the government. Obviously I'm being snarky here, our sympathies should fall with the real victim: Profitt, who risked hurting his back to protect Ron Paul from an embarassing incident. Thank God (well, not God, because Paul's a libertarian and probably doesn't believe in one) that an embarassing incident was prevented!

Headline of the Morning

Gridlock or chaos?
What will happen if Republicans seize control of Congress?

From BBC.co.uk.

Me, I'm pretty sure it will be gridlock.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Quote of the Day 2: Sincere Good Wishes Edition

"We wish Carly Fiorina a speedy recovery and hope she is able to return to her normal schedule soon."

Barbara Boxer's campaign manager Rose Kapolczynski. I'm with her.

Quote of the Day: Taibbi Is Making Sense Edition

"It would be inaccurate to say the Tea Partiers are racists. What they are, in truth, are narcissists. They're completely blind to how offensive the very nature of their rhetoric is to the rest of the country. I'm an ordinary middle-aged guy who pays taxes and lives in the suburbs with his wife and dog — and I'm a radical communist? I don't love my country? I'm a redcoat? Fuck you!"
Matt Taibbi, On the Tea Party

Red State Headline of the Year

And Even STILL I Am Not Allowed To Make A Racial Slur About Our President? After THIS? AYFKM!?!?!?

Hey, feel free. I won't stop ya.

Incidentally the quote from the President: "All y'all crackers is honkies!"

No wait, it's this:

We don’t mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back.
So you can see, the field is wide open now. Quick, before the election!

A Little More About Juan Williams

I don't really have anything new to add to what I said last week, but hopefully I can say it a little better.

Juan Williams wasn't fired from NPR for saying a racist thing. He was fired because his job there was as a news analyst, someone who boils down news stories and makes them easier to understand. Suppose Juan Williams is called upon to explain the Kenneth Gladney "beating" on NPR and last week he had said this on another network: "Well personally, it's pretty obvious to me that the Teabaggers are a bunch of liars." Or if he had simply put quotes around the word beating. You would not trust his version of the Gladney story.

Similarly, even measured as he was on O'Reilly, Williams reavealed a prejudice that excludes him from fairly covering most of the important stories nowadays. And he was measured. Look at this: “Wait a second though, wait, hold on, because if you said Timothy McVeigh, the Atlanta bomber, these people who are protesting against homosexuality at military funerals, very obnoxious, you don't say first and foremost, we got a problem with Christians. That's crazy.” So in context the comment that is said to have gotten Williams fired is very mild indeed. In fact, that's a viewpoint I frequently espouse myself, and just like Juan I can't seem to get any traction with it.

I can't see into the minds of NPR executives but I suspect the real problem is that Juan is working for Fox at all. Just being associated with that network is admitting that you are no longer interested in fairness and balance. Pop quiz: who is the sexy liberal at Fox? Estrich? Colmes? Juan Williams? They're stacking the deck in every way they can come up with to battle their percieved bias in the rest of media. It should be their job to balance within the network, not the entire media landscape. Why? Because they advertise themselves as a whole drink, not a tonic.

(Yes I know Colmes doesn't work there any more. He was too charismatic for them.)

Anyway, Williams is not hurting much from his firing. He signed a $2 million contract the next day and celebrated by guest-hosting the Factor. I'll be interested to see when THAT happens again!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Quote of the Day: These People CHOOSE To Be Short Edition

“There’s no absolute right to serve. Men under the height of 5 feet, 2 inches can’t serve — I don’t see anybody protesting. Where are the people standing in front of the White House, the short guys standing in front of the White House? You don’t see it.”
-Republican House candidate Sean Bielat, who is running against incumbant Barney Frank

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Weirdly Predictable

Warner Todd Huston argues that maybe NPR should lose its federal funding because it fired someone for displaying an ideological bias. Next step - subsidies for Fox News!

Friday, October 22, 2010

What's With the Terror of George Soros?

"...the man had hereditary tendencies of the most diabolical kind. A criminal strain ran in his blood, which, instead of being modified, was increased and rendered infinitely more dangerous by his extraordinary mental powers. ...He is the Napoleon of Crime, Watson, the organiser of half that is evil and nearly all that is undetected in this great city..."
- Sherlock Holmes describing his arch-nemesis, Professor Moriarty

I'm just not getting something again, perhaps because I don't have a 24-hour news network telling me what to think; what exactly has George Soros done to make himself such a figure of evil? Yes I get that he has expressed an ideological bias; and that he sometimes funds organizations that have a bias towards the left. What else you guys got?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Josh Fruhlinger is right - even if this looks like the greatest single panel of Mark Trail that will ever be, how can we be sure that they won't top it somehow next week? Sky's the limit boys!

DNC Velly, Velly Solly



We aporogize for the offensive lacial stereotype use of gong in ad. Editol lesponsible wir commit seppaku immidiatry.

Keep Fear Alive

Juan Williams said this:

I mean, look, Bill (O'Reilly, of course), I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.

Now, I remember also that when the Times Square bomber was at court, I think this was just last week. He said the war with Muslims, America’s war is just beginning, first drop of blood. I don’t think there’s any way to get away from these facts.
"I'm not a bigot, but any one of THOSE PEOPLE could be a terrorist. AMIRIGHT? I mean, c'mon now."

Well the difference between NPR and Fox News is that NPR has a problem with people encouraging unreasoned fear and they have terminated Mr. Williams' services. As it happens Williams retains his contract with Fox News, which pays about a gazillion times more. He will flourish there just as Alan Colmes did. Congratulations on the increased respect you will receive there as a minority and "liberal" Mr. W! Maybe they'll give you your own hour-long!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

But They're Right About The Birth Certificate Thing

The U.S. government’s bailout of financial firms through the Troubled Asset Relief Program provided taxpayers with higher returns than they could have made buying 30-year Treasury bonds -- enough money to fund the Securities and Exchange Commission for the next two decades.

The government has earned $25.2 billion on its investment of $309 billion in banks and insurance companies, an 8.2 percent return over two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That beat U.S. Treasuries, high-yield savings accounts, money- market funds and certificates of deposit. Investing in the stock market or gold would have paid off better.

When the government first announced its intention to plow funds into the nation’s banks in October 2008 to resuscitate the financial system, many expected it to lose hundreds of billions of dollars. Two years later TARP’s bank and insurance investments have made money, and about two-thirds of the funds have been paid back.

“From the perspective of the taxpayers getting their money back, TARP has been a great success,” said Todd Petzel, chief investment officer at New York-based Offit Capital Advisors LLC, which has more than $5 billion of assets under management. “But there are other costs as the government made it possible for the banks to pay back TARP. Those costs can turn out to be larger, and their legacy could last longer.”
Also fixing roads and infrastructure, that'll never pay off either.

Hidden Plank #2

Vote for us, and we'll fight to lower your income. Republicans will help your employers to PAY YOU LESS! This will ensure the deficit will continue for years to come.

Building A Platform, Then Keeping It Under Wraps

Well, THIS is certainly an interesting approach!



The ad was pulled (they had bought time on Univision but the network backed down) but it was still why would Latinos for Reform discourage voting? Seems counter intuitive! Who are these Latinos, anyway?

To begin with, the group’s 8872 form lists the same P.O. Box number as the one belonging to the Admiral Roy F. Hoffmann Foundation, an organization founded by the chairman of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVT), Roy F. Hoffmann. For those who don’t recall, SBVT was another 527 group formed during the 2004 elections aimed at opposing Sen. John Kerry’s (D-MA) presidential bid by distorting and misrepresenting his war record.

De Posada told Talking Points Memo the address was a “mistake”: “In 2008, because the laws were so strange, we hired a political compliance company that handled our reporting and accounting.”

The connection doesn’t stop at a P.O. Box. Latinos for Reform, the Hoffmann Foundation, and SBVT have all employed the services of the same consulting firm, Political Compliance Services. Susan Arceneaux, a “long time aide of Dick Armey” heads the company. The firm markets itself as “an accounting services vendor specializing in FEC regulations. Our comprehensive approach to your individual accounting needs will deliver you from the headaches and legal ramifications of FEC non-compliance.” Latinos for Reform hasn’t filed anything with the IRS since April 2, 2009.

Latinos for Reform’s post-election 2008 report also lists an expenditure of $1,203 that went towards Paul Sullivan & Associates, a law firm recommended by the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA).

Finally, John T. Finn, who donated a total of $70,000 to Latinos for Reform, is listed as a “Producer & publisher” on the group’s contribution form. However, the address attached to his name also belongs to Pro-Life America and Lovematters.com.
I think I'll cut to the chase; the unspoken plank in the Republican platform is "we'll fight to keep a white nation." It's not the only plank but they're certainly not being too subtle about it. On the other hand they can't come right out and say it because most Americans recognize the goal as both unachievable and abhorrent. In other words, if they run on what they REALLY want they'll get no votes at all. This is why Sharron Angle keeps having to cancel appearances, because when she speaks for too long she gives away the game. And that's without the gotcha questions!

"No ad should ever discourage voters from voting or expressing their opinions at the ballot box," Angle's spokesman Jarrod Agen said in a statement to ABC News.
Oh man, once she finds out he said that, she's gonna KILL him! By the way, "Agen"... what kind of name is that anyway? Where you from boy?

Look there'll always be racism; it's only when you codify it as policy that you get real trouble. You know who the real Americans are? All of 'em. Seriously, even the ones who don't look like you.

Great Moments In Political Advertising

Wow, I had no idea they were this desperate! I'm thinking maybe Democrats might GAIN seats, based on this!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Why Change Context Now?

The song? 'Old Man River.'

And here is the esteemed Miss Palin, last night on Dancing With the Stars:



It's just JIVE, people! What are you so sensitive about?

Thank God That's The Last Racist Republican Chairman!

Well I'm pretty sure we don't have to worry about racism in the party now that Virginia Beach GOP chairman David Bartholomew has resigned.

The city's Republican chairman agreed to resign late Monday night, just hours after a racist joke sent from his e-mail address surfaced.

David Bartholomew is not a racist (so says the Hampton Roads Pilot Online) and agreed to resign because the e-mail had become a distraction to the Nov. 2 election, said Gary Byler, the 2nd Congressional District GOP chairman, after meeting with Bartholomew.

The e-mail was dated March 15 and sent from the address that Bartholomew uses as party chairman. Bartholomew forwarded it without reading the contents when "he was first getting familiar with the Internet," Byler said.
Dude shouldn't have to resign... I mean after all, he only needs to produce the apology emails that he sent out some time between March and the time he discovered he accidentally sent out racist jokes. He could even have had an intern fix up his email thingie so that it would go to the same addresses!

Can you imagine how afraid of appearing racist these guys are, that claiming to not have any knowlege of the internet until 2010 is a less objectionable story? Text of hilarious joke that Bartholomew never got to read because he certainly never would have forwarded it if he had SEEN IT (the TV thing, you know, the screen, wasn't hooked up) but he regretfully sent it anway even though he's not a racist, below.

MY DOG


I went down this morning to sign up my Dog for welfare.


At first the lady said, "Dogs are not eligible to draw welfare".


So I explained to her that my Dog is black, unemployed, lazy, can't speak English and has no frigging clue who his Daddy is.


So she looked in her policy book to see what it takes to qualify...


My Dog gets his first check Friday.


Is this a great country or what?
And again, remember that the point of the joke is that welfare is bad.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Seriously, No Questions

I think we can safely assume that  one of the agenda items once the Tea Party gets control of all branches of government this Novemeber is the elimination of that bothersome, question-askin' press.



The editor of the Alaska Dispatch website was arrested by U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller's private security guards Sunday as the editor attempted to interview Miller at the end of a public event in an Anchorage school.

Tony Hopfinger was handcuffed by the guards and detained in a hallway at Central Middle School until Anchorage police came and told the guards to release Hopfinger.

Hopfinger has not been charged but the owner of the Drop Zone, the private security firm that's been providing Miller's security, accused Hopfinger of trespassing at the public event, a town hall sponsored by the Miller campaign. The owner, William Fulton, also said Hopfinger assaulted a man by shoving him.

Anchorage Police who responded to the call said they would leave it to the District Attorney's office to decide whether to prosecute. They spent more than an hour taking statements, then left.

Hopfinger, who was holding a small video camera, said he was attempting to draw out a statement from Miller on why he was disciplined by the Fairbanks North Star Borough when Miller worked there as a part-time attorney. After Miller walked away, Hopfinger said, he was surrounded by Miller supporters and security guards and felt threatened, so he pushed one of them away.
Why was Miller speaking at a public school? I thought those guys hated public schools! Next you'll tell me he drove on ROADS to get there! At least he had the grace to use private security guards instead of police to enforce the non-existant law of trespassing at a public event. And you just know that the lamestream media is going to use this to make Miller look bad. As if physically restraining reporters for trying to knock a guy off message wasn't reasonable! AmIRight?

Of course I was being facetious in the first paragraph - obviously item number one will be dismantling the government, like they promised. Silencing the press will be... well, they'll need the government to do that. Once they silence the press and eliminate the Sharia Law threat, that's it, no more government! Oh and preventing Gay Marriage, because people can't be allowed to do anything they want.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Return Of Knut

Digging around in my stats: the most popular post this blog ever did was about Knut, the polar bear cub.

Knut
Frankly, I don't blame you guys, because that bear is adorable. But the post goes all the way back to 2007! I peaked pretty early, looks like.

Speaking of peaking:

A year after his public debut, Knut was reported as weighing more than 130 kg (286 lb). A plate of six-inch glass, strong enough to resist a mortar blast, was erected between him and zoo visitors. At the end of March 2008, Markus Röbke, one of the keepers who helped rear Knut, reported that the bear should leave the zoo as soon as possible in order to help him acclimate to a life alone. Röbke also said that Knut plainly misses his past father-figure, Thomas Dörflein, and has become so used to attention that he cries when no one is near his enclosure. "Knut needs an audience," Röbke stated. "That has to change". In April, animal welfare campaigners criticized the zoo for allowing Knut to kill and eat ten carp from the moat surrounding his enclosure, saying that it was a breach of German animal protection regulations. The zoo's bear expert, Heiner Klös, however, said that Knut's behavior was "all part of being a polar bear."
It's like all child stars... they get a little older, it's massive weight gain and a neurotic need to be loved by a public that has moved on to the next one. If Knut doesn't have a problem with blow, I'd be very much surprised.

Cold Sweat

Elections are coming up! Dja hear about it?

I have a standing prediction that Democrats will lose seats but not control of the house or senate. Almost everybody disagrees with me about congress. Especially Nate Silver, my statistical idol, who gives the odds that Democrats keep the house at a paltry 28%. I'm going to stand by my prediction because the election is still weeks away, the gaps are closing, and if I'm wrong, so what? A handful of guys in the Netherlands lose their faith in my ability to predict races.

Now let's assume Nate is right (he usually is) and we get a Republican Congress and a Democrat Senate. What changes?  More than it will appear. Republicans will have a much more effective platform to obstruct any kind of government, which is their obvious strategy. The less Obama accomplishes, the better 2012 looks for ... Palin? Angle? Scott Brown? Generic Republican for President! But even with no majorities, it seems like Republicans have done a splendid job of obstructing everything anyway.

But in fact Democrats got a handful of historical things done - health care reform (watered down), credit card regulation (watered down) got the troops out of Iraq (not all of them, and Obama just sent them to Afghanistan) and of course the stimulus (could have been better, watered down). So the next two years, expect everything to be shot down.

Republicans are promising, and will deliver, a government which achieves much less while remaining as expensive. It's still better than if they ran all branches - last time that happened they neutered AND expanded government. So maybe the next two years are good for us.

Plus, assuming the 'baggers make it into office, that oughtta sour voters on the movement in a big way. Either they'll do a bunch of crazy crap and alienate the general population, or they'll be reasonable like Scott Brown and lose the base. No matter how they govern, someone will be furious at them.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Who Reads This Crap?

Thanks to the good folks at Blogger, I can tell you where they're from this week.

United States 89
Netherlands 39
Algeria 18
Belarus 12
Singapore 4
Canada 3
United Kingdom 3
Sri Lanka 3
Hungary 2
India 2

Putting aside the paltry numbers, I gotta question for you guys - what possible interest could someone in the Netherlands have in American politics? Seriously, drop me a line at danielkr@darkmeat.name, because I'm completely mystified. Similarly you guys in Belarus and Singapore. I'm stumped.

More About Paul Snover

For fans of his billboard, from the official Paul Snover Website.

I love to draw, write and be creative in general. My style tends toward the humorous, casual, coloristic side.

A full life of travel and experiences has developed me into the artist I am today.

I Have 30+ years of creative knowledge and offer a variety of skill-sets. I can assure you I have the ability, experience and determination to meet your cutting-edge creative requirements.
Humorous AND coloristic? Sign me up Snover!

"Looks good ... I like your cartoons." Zac

"Very, very nice. had no idea that you were so talented!" Susanne

"I enjoyed viewing your well done website. You are a talented guy! " Dick

"I think you are doing a great job! I have used your site more than any other at this point to stay informed on what goes on in the GJ area. All I could say to you is keep up the great work." Kelly W.

" Wellup........I'm impressed! Do you setup websites? As far as your website goes........SUPER DUPER!!!!! Bright, well done and user friendly." Joyce
Why so formal, Kelly? And Suzanne - bet she's a relative! I'm glad I could paste Joyce's comment here; on the site its dark blue on dark grey, and it's a little hard to read. Just sayin'.

Sorry everybody, but I have to make fun of this guy - he's just become the leader of the Republican Party!

Trying Too Hard

Art for a billboard in Grand Junction, CO.

How many hours of the day do these characters hold these choice expressions, do you think?

Though they toned it way down once it made it up to the billboard itself;

Sky News

See? No crescent moon armband! Probably squelched by the lamestream media!

I'm guessing the Democratic candidates in Colorado must be pretty mild, because this guy (Paul Snover) doesn't have any scary ethnic stereotypes to depict them as. They must be - OMG, I just noticed the rat on the right side is labeled "TRIAL LAWYERS"! This is a fatal blow to the Democrats! Jesus, how can they defend themselves against this kind of onslaught?

If only Snover had stopped at ONE rhetorical point, they'd have a chance. Now, clearly, no Democrats will ever be elected again. Curse you for pulling out all the stops!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

And While I'm At it - Ladies and Gentlemen, the Next President of the United States



If she can just keep out of the public eye for the next two years, she's got a chance!

Don't Fear the Republican

Not in California, anyway.





The polls are with me on this one. Given the choice between billionaire Republican women I'd choose Whitman over Fiorina, if only because e-Bay was a much better run company under her watch. Still, until Brown says something that really pisses me off (probably involving mandatory wheat germ in school lunches) I'm going for the Democrat because they don't want to scuttle the executive branch.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Volt: Nuts!

American car companies just don't want to do real electric cars. You might think that GM's Volt was going to change that, with it's 230 miles to the gallon and an internal combustion engine which exists solely to charge the batteries. LIES!

In August of last year, we heard GM's then-CEO Fritz Henderson claimed with all the marketing might it could muster at a Detroit-area press event, that the Chevy Volt would get 230 MPG in city driving conditions. Now, as the Volt's being tested by the auto trade press, we're seeing some surprisingly low fuel economy figures amid the expected lavish praise buff books are heaping upon the Volt.

Let's see what they've found out. Popular Mechanics saw just 37.5 MPG in city driving. Car and Driver apparently didn't choose to use their wheel time for any city driving — but found with all-electric driving

"...getting on the nearest highway and commuting with the 80-mph flow of traffic-basically the worst-case scenario-yielded 26 miles; a fairly spirited back-road loop netted 31; and a carefully modulated cruise below 60 mph pushed the figure into the upper 30s."

Motor Trend, like the rest of the trade press other than Popular Mechanics, didn't appear to do any testing in city conditions, but did find that

"Without any plugging in, [a weeklong trip to Grandma's house] should return fuel economy in the high 30s to low 40s."

They also parrot GM's new line of 25-50 miles of all-electric — a far cry from the 230 MPG they originally marketed — that the "Volt provides 25-50 miles of real-world electric operation no matter how hard you flog it."

...But while even providing only 10% of the fuel economy initially touted, these more real-world figures are merely an exaggeration. The bigger problem is that, as Mr. Oldham now claims, is that GM lied to them about the powertrain.

Since the Volt was first unveiled as a concept car, GM engineers, public relations staff and executives have all claimed adamantly that the internal combustion engine did not motivate the wheels. If that were the case then the Volt would be nothing more than a very advanced hybrid. Even as late into the development cycle as this June, we were told the only drivetrain that motivated the wheels was the electric one. The auto trade press swallowed the line, hook and the sinker. Sam Abulesmaid at Autoblog even ran a piece headlined "Repeat after us: The Chevrolet Volt's gas engine does not drive the wheels!." And why shouldn't he have lapped it up when in online chats, the Volt's chief engineer Andrew Farah was saying:
Apparently it's GM's JOB to kill the electric car, over and over again. When are those Teslas coming out again?

Friday, October 08, 2010

I Don't Care Who Does It, I Don't Like Lying In Political Ads

The people at FactCheck.org chase down a lie, this one by Democrats.

And now, there’s a new twist on the false tax attack in the Massachusetts’ gubernatorial campaign. A labor-financed political committee accuses Republican Charlie Baker of "favoring tax loopholes that encourage corporations to ship our jobs overseas" and signing "a pledge to protect those loopholes." However, the pledge for gubernatorial candidates — a single sentence promising to oppose or veto any new state taxes — is different than the one for federal candidates, so the attack on Baker makes even less sense.
I'm glad the Annenberg Center is doing this kind of work, because most people (like it or not) get their political information from TV. A well-informed electorate is a better electorate, whatever an electorate is. I hope that Chris Murphy is desperate and not just lazy, because that would be unforgiveable. If he's desperate, it's merely dishonorable. Either way knock it off dude.

A Vision Of The Post-Taxation America That We All Want

Quoting from the AFA's Bryan Fischer:

A controversy has erupted over a decision by the South Fulton, TN fire department to allow a rural home in Obion County to burn to the ground because the owner did not pay the requisite $75 annual fee to secure fire protection.

The fire department was called when Gene Cranick’s grandson accidentally set his property on fire, but made no attempt to extinguish the flames, for the simple reason that they had no legal or moral authority or responsibility to do so. When the fire endangered the property of Cranick’s neighbor, who had paid the $75 fee, the fire department swung into action and put out the fire on the neighbor’s property. Cranick’s home meanwhile, burned to the ground after his family had fled for safety.

The back story is that, while South Fulton had a fire department several years ago, the county did not. Rural residents approached city officials and asked them to extend their fire protective services outside city limits. Fine, said the city. We will provide fire services to any rural resident who pays an annual $75 fee. You pay the $75, you just bought yourself a year’s worth of fire protection. You don’t pay the fee, that’s fine too, it’s your choice, but be aware that you are making a deliberate choice to forgo fire protection.

Fine, said Mr. Cranick, I’ll take my chances. He didn’t pay the man his $75, and when his house caught fire, he was on his own, by his own choice.
A lot of people have taken issue with Fischer's spin on this issue, that Jesus would have done the exact same thing as the Tennessee fire department. Check out the comments! Then check out Fischer's spin on the comments. Whatever. I'm an atheist, and Jesus wasn't a fireman. But the basic situation that he's talking about, now THAT'S interesting.

Conservatives, as a rule, would love to privatize everything. Everything. Try to pin one down some time, ask him or her what government function wouldn't be better privatized. They're even furious with the post office, which practically IS a private business. It's self-supporting anyway.

I'd argue that when you privatize, this is what you get - a yearly fee that is higher than what you pay for the government service (what portion of your county taxes goes to fire prevention, do you think? $75 bucks?) and less efficiency. This truck had to go out the property and wait until the fire threatened neighboring houses, where it could have saved all the real estate on the block. And they could have simply gotten a pledge from the guy to pay up afterward, but that would have disincentivized his neighbors from paying annually.