1. Who would name their kid "Liberal?" That's just nuts.
2. When do they hold the Democrat National Convention?
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Everybody takes post-it notes, or a roll of tape or a highlight marker or some little thing from their place of business. I understand that. This, I don't understand...
Yesterday our kitchen order came in. Once a month we order up a supply of coffee, tea, honey, forks, and so on - kitchen things to keep up alive while our noses are ground off. This month Deborah, the supply lady, added a ten-pound bag of lemons to the order, because it was a deal and it's the smallest size available. She put them in a bowl on the break table.
Just now, the bowl has gone missing.
I can see maybe as much as two pounds of lemons going in a day. After all, they are free, and fresher is better. But I cannot for the life of me envision the motivation for taking the remaining 8 pounds all at once. It's not like anyone in the office has an insatiable appetite for lemons. It's not like a bunch of people in the sales staff all decided at once, "let's have a lemon!" And the bowl! Why take the bowl?
It isn't that I'm angry about not getting MY lemon, I'm just mystified. I mean what the HELL? And what's next, a gross of balsa-wood coffee stirrers? All the plastic forks? Ice trays? No one is safe. This is the end of innocence.
The deficit! THE DEFICIT! It's huge! It's going to crush our children's children! And the Democrats are just making it worse, which is why you need to elect Republicans.
Here's one now, Rep Steve King (R-OH). He says that we need to reduce the defict. He also says that we should let the Bush tax cuts expire.
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: [...] Do you think that you guys should figure out a way to pay for them, since it will add to the deficit, decreasing government revenues?
KING: [...] They have stimulated the economy. It is not paid for with offsets, those tax cuts have been in place as you characterized them, since May 28th of 2003. This is a continuation of a tax policy, so I would say you don’t have to ask for a paid-for continued tax policy. This is a tax increase if we let this happen without doing something happen about it. They have also demonstrated they increase in revenue with the capital gains as a part of that.
In other words, the economy is fine the way it is, and the only way to fix it is to not change anything. And it needs fixing! Because, presumably, the fundamentals of the economy are strong
Meanwhile Rep John Shadegg (R-AZ) thinks we need to extend the cuts but also take out 5% of spending from our military, homeland security, and national crime programs. Oh, and steal 5% of your social security money.
SHADEGG: Well, there are lots of programs I would cut. I would begin by an across the board cut on all spending because I think we need to spread this…I’d say five percent across the board tomorrow on every single program, including defense, then you’d begin the process in the right direction.
Of course, the most common-sense Republican position is to raise taxes on the middle class, as articulated here by Rep Paul Ryan (R-WI).
So, I guess the Republican position is: elect us - we'll raise your taxes, then give you less for your money, and then do nothing.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Those guys fear investigations so much, but when one goes through, they come out okay.
A special prosecutor has decided not to bring any criminal charges in connection with the firing of a United States attorney in 2006 in a political controversy that dogged the George W. Bush administration until its final days, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.See? Dude resigned for NOTHING! It's not like the actions rose to the level of a crime! But remember, it's the fault of Bush, for forcing an innocent man out of the job he was doing so very well. At least he was doing it within the bounds of legality.
The special prosecutor, Nora Dannehy in Connecticut, spent nearly two years investigating whether the firing of the United States attorney in New Mexico, David C. Iglesias, broke the law and whether Justice Department officials lied to Congress about it.
In the end, Ms. Dannehy concluded that while the politically motivated firing of Mr. Iglesias violated Justice Department principles, it was not a crime and did not warrant criminal charges. She also concluded that misleading statements made by the former attorney general, Alberto R. Gonzales, and others at the Justice Department did not rise to the level of a crime, according to a summary of the investigation sent to Congress by the Justice Department.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. accepted Ms. Dannehy’s decision, a Justice Department official said.
The decision brings to a close the last in a string of investigations into the Bush administration’s 2006 firings of nine United States attorneys, including Mr. Iglesias. The controversy led Democratic critics to charge that the Bush administration had politicized the Justice Department, and it spurred the resignation of Mr. Gonzales in August 2007.
Now they need to clear their names on that other black mark, the process that lead up to the Iraq war. If I were Karl Rove and Bush and Cheney (hear that steady buzz? It's his pulse!) I'd pony up money to get the grand jury set up, so historians can finally judge them innocent of wrongdoing.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
In even more news about the inevitable Republican wave that will crash over Congress this fall:
The Republican National Committee failed to report more than $7 million in debt to the Federal Election Commission in recent months - a move that made its bottom line appear healthier than it is heading into the midterm elections and that also raises the prospect of a hefty fine.Of course it's kind of a moot point because the shadow RNC is making tons more money than the real one. Incidentally, the head of the shadow RNC is t also the head of the real one, but whatever. Point is, the X-Files version doesn't have Micheal Steele as a figurehead. And I bet they STILL don't fire him. Hey, it's only 7 million! Who doesn't make bookkeeping errors that size now and then?
In a memo to RNC budget committee members, RNC Treasurer Randy Pullen on Tuesday accused Chairman Michael S. Steele and his chief of staff, Michael Leavitt, of trying to conceal the information from him by ordering staff not to communicate with the treasurer - a charge RNC officials deny.
Mr. Pullen told the members that he had discovered $3.3 million in debt from April and $3.8 million from May, which he said had led him to file erroneous reports with the FEC. He amended the FEC filings Tuesday.
Campaign-finance analysts said that simply misreporting fundraising numbers to the FEC can lead to millions of dollars in fines and that criminal charges can be levied if the actions are suspected to be intentional.
"This is significant because the civil penalties could mean big fines that take a significant bite out of the RNC's finances close to the November congressional elections, when state parties need the RNC's financial help for their 'victory' programs," said former FEC Commissioner Hans A. von Spakovsky.
As a sign that the right really really REALLY wishes they would fire Steele, this story is coming from the Washington Times, perhaps the most right-leaning dead-tree news source in the country.
@SarahPalinUSA Forget freedom of speech and freedom of the press if these yahoos ever get their way in America. It seems... http://fb.me/CLbbf8bfThe link is to one of the recently dragged-into-the-light-of-day out-of-context messages from JournoList, the email listserv that yeilded messages that ultimately got that Politico writer fired. Presumably the messages coming to light will result in more firings.
about 4 hours ago via Facebook
That'll teach those yahoos to think bad thoughts! How dare they try to consider thinking about curtailing freedom of speech, by not speaking publicly!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Vote for us and I pledge we'll... uh, do good things that you like!
I betcha this video has something to do with the generic ballot swing to Democrats that Gallop cited this week. Better the devil that at least tells you what it's up to! The Republicans clearly have no ideas or worse, have ideas that they know you don't want them to put into motion.
By the way, hats off to David Gregory. He usually goes a little easy on the right, and I suspect the reason he's being so firm here is that he doesn't want them to lose. Fortunately he can't get blood from a stone.
Friday, July 16, 2010
A frequent Republican talking point has been that it's Obama's fault that the unemployment rate is so high right now. If you ask them what Obama should do instead, they'll usually change the subject. But if you press one hard enough, he'll say "Tax cuts!" Similarly, if you ask a Republican how to reduce the deficit, he'll say "Tax cuts!" Seems a bit counter-intuitive to me, like saying, "I want a raise! I'm going to walk right into Mr. Dither's office and DEMAND that he cut my pay!"
Anyway, back to the employment thing. If tax cuts lead to more jobs, why don't we have more jobs now? Bush is famous for lowering taxes. The stimulus program, currently famous on Fox News for having "not created a single job" included $2.75 billion in tax cuts. By now, we should have 1% unemployment.
And if Republicans believe in tax cuts, why didn't any of them vote for $2.75 billion dollars of them?
So my point is this: Say maybe, just maybe, more tax cuts wouldn't make the economy stronger. What else have you got?
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Did you know the government is pouring money into subsidizing the development of "green" energy technologies? I bet it makes you FURIOUS! Why are your tax dollars going into that nonsense when we already have oil, which is cheap and plentiful?
It turns out it isn't so cheap. Check out this graph, a PDF file.
A study released by the Environmental Law Institute, a nonpartisan research and policy organization, shows that the federal government has provided substantially larger subsidies to fossil fuels than to renewables. Subsidies to fossil fuels totaled approximately $72 billion over the seven-year study period, while subsidies for renewable fuels totaled $29 billion over the same period.So in other words, part of the reason a gallon of gas is so cheap in this country is because you already paid for it in advance last April 15th. Or in other other words, the oil companies are turning record profits because you're picking up their expenses.
The vast majority of subsidies support energy sources that emit high levels of greenhouse gases when used as fuel. Moreover, just a handful of tax breaks make up the largest portion of subsidies for fossil fuels, with the most significant of these, the Foreign Tax Credit, supporting the overseas production of oil.
And lay off Obama, okay? He's only shaking BP down for some of the money we already gave 'em.
I still don't know why Fox News is giving all this free air time to Oil Company spokesmen. It's like donating money to buy clothes for Liberace. Break yourself off a piece of that, Neil Cavuto! Exxon won't miss it. Besides, it's your money to begin with.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
You are probably already aware of this billboard.
AlerFalken wrote:Atta boy, AlerFalken! Most people just blindly repeat the talking points - it takes a thoughtful guy like you to realize that analogies have consequences! Don't throw out the schätzchen with the badewasser!
I think it is utterly disgusting to put Adolph Hitler in the same category as the other 2 on the billboard. Hitler was a great leader who took on the threat of the zionists. Hitler served with pride and courage. He distinguished himself on the battlefield in World War 1. Hitler was a great leader and was looking out for the interest of the German People. Obama is a puppet of israel. He is stupid and bumbling. He has never managed anything effectively. To elevate him to the same status as Adolph Hitler is an abomination. (a vile, shameful, or detestable action)
This isn't news to most people but if you only follow Fox (or World Net Daily, if you think Fox is staffed by RINOs) I'm betting it isn't getting much play:
The Independent Climate Change Email Review is finished and, within its constrained mandate, has cleared climate scientists and administrators at the University of East Anglia of claims of malfeasance rising out of the contents of folders of e-mail messages and files extracted from computers there and posted around the Web last November. Two other inquiries with slightly different focal points also cleared the scientists and school. (As I wrote last night, there is still a glaring unanswered question: Was a crime committed in releasing or extracting the files?)I'm going out on a limb here, but I bet "climategate" is still considered a terrible scandal amongst the people who thought it was an issue. Just like evolution is still not proven to them.
The one significant issue found in the latest review, led by a longtime British civil servant, Sir Muir Russell, concerned insufficient openness. But the committee made it clear that nearly all of the attacks on the scientists and the university were unsubstantiated.
SANDPOINT, Idaho — Some Republicans are unhappy with the Bonner County Fair's theme of "Fiesta at the Fair," in light of ongoing battles to stop illegal immigration from Mexico.Only the Republicans know - just as all Muslims are terrorists, all things latino are in this country illegally. Even the words! You guys, watch your backs.
..."The Republicans at BCRCC want to make it very clear that English is our primary language, and call our booths 'Celebrate!' and display some Arizona license plates if you have some to spare," Bonner County Republican Central Committee Chairman Cornel Rasor wrote in a letter to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, according to The Spokesman-Review newspaper.
..."Having a fiesta theme at the fair was OK with me, I didn't even think about it 'til somebody brought it up," Rasor said. "But their concerns are very real to them, so I don't want to downplay it."
Rasor said the words "fiesta" and "celebrate" mean the same thing.
"So technically speaking we didn't have a different theme than the fair, it's just a different spelling," he said.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
This, like all pollster.com graphs, updates every time you look at it. As I write today, Carly Fiorina is trending up slightly faster than Barbar Boxer is trending up. Meanwhile:
This is a surprise - I read a poll today that insisted that Brown was losing in this one, but today the aggregate poll shows him ahead. It's alomst like someone had chosen a poll to support his conclusion, instead of analyzing the data and then forming an opinion! It's too bad because I can't reuse my line "oh no! We could wind up with a REPUBLICAN governer in California!" Well, I cracked myself up, anyway.
Monday, July 12, 2010
I've already seen this on both Wonkette and Where Are My Keys. It's not exactly the proof that Democrats are anger-crazed liars that some are saying. For one thing, I'd like to know how long Rodriguez (D-TX) put up with this heckling before he reacted. And at least he didn't threaten to shoot anyone. Still, he could have handled it better. Generally the best way to counter teabaggers is to act interested and ask them to cite the source of their information. When they change the subject, you've won.
More amusing than the video, of course, is the comments from YouTube. For example:
Is removing them from power enough to punish them for High Treason against the People of American and the Constitution which they swore an Oath to defend...Time to hang some progressives?
SHOW ME YOUR PAPERS YOU RAT! You are a foreign national enemy of America. This pig cam (sic) here illegally. We need to enact term limits and BAN ALL FOREIGN BORN from government, these are the ENEMIES WITHIN!
Just another taco-bender that your Illegal-infested state voted in to protect their own interests, and further the Reconquista invasion. Mexicans will always vote and champion Socialism. They just haven't figured out that sooner or later you run out of "Gringo's" money.
Yes, of course they're not all like this. But plenty are. Besides taking things out of context and painting all people of one kind with the same brush kind of suits these comments, don't you agree? Don't you? Oh.
Friday, July 09, 2010
This is an absurd argument of course, but don't worry, they don't believe it either. They're making it to mask the real agenda: Republicans are pro-melanoma.
If that seems crazy too, understand that they don't like cancers any more than you do, but they're taking the long view. You see, they're planning on taking back the House and Senate later this year, and when they do the first thing they have promised to do is repeal health care reform. This, they reason, will kill the tax and therefore enourage a boom in tanning bed use. Republicans also would love to deregulate the insurance industry so they can refuse coverage for arbitratry reasons. So the endgame here is you can go into the hospital for Lupus or Sarcoidosis or some other unrelated illeness, the the insurance people can say, "You used a tanning bed - you're a high risk for skin cancer. Canceled!"
I know, you're thinking that this will make Republicans UNpopular with the American people (the ones who don't own insurance companies) but don't worry. All they need is for Glen Beck to keep telling you you LIKE the idea for two weeks straight, and you will! Just like they made you believe that Government hiring during high unemployment is bad for unemployment.
Thursday, July 08, 2010
Most economists are liberally biased and can't be trusted to stop the deficits which are crippling the country, but Arthur Laffer has the perfect solution:
Any government program that would reduce unemployment has to make working more attractive for both employer and employee. Since late 2007 the federal government has spent somewhere around $3.6 trillion to stimulate the economy. That is a lot of money.See? If business didn't have to pay taxes, they'd hire people again! That's what's been stopping 'em! Then, after 18 months all we have to do is fail to reinstate federal taxes and we can have low unemployment forever! And we won't have to burden our children with debt, because we'll have just given up on that stuff by then!
My suggestion would have been to take all $3.6 trillion and declare a federal tax holiday for 18 months. No income tax, no corporate profits tax, no capital gains tax, no estate tax, no payroll tax (FICA) either employee or employer, no Medicare or Medicaid taxes, no federal excise taxes, no tariffs, no federal taxes at all, which would have reduced federal revenues by $2.4 trillion annually. Can you imagine where employment would be today? How does a 2.5% unemployment rate sound?
Naturally it wouldn't be a bed of roses. Much of the money that you personally spent on taxes would go to paying privately for things you used to rely on inefficient government for, like the troops, or monitoring food safety yourself, or road repair kits. And of course, rough frontier justice for anything the FBI used to handle. And terrorists. Gotta protect yourself from them.
By the way, check out this little tidbit at the end of the editorial:
Mr. Laffer is the chairman of Laffer Associates and co-author of "The End of Prosperity: How Higher Taxes Will Doom the Economy—If We Let It Happen" (Threshold, 2008).
Fortunately we DIDN'T raise taxes in 2008, which is why the economy performed so splendidly that year and in years since.
I have rented Face/Off twice. It's a movie so ridiculous that I also have to spend $300 a day for a crane when I watch it.
To suspend my disbelief.
But the concept of face transplants is so compelling, so weird, so CREEPY that I keep coming back. And look at this:
A 35-year-old Frenchman can shed tears of joy through another person's tear ducts following what appears to be the world's first successful full face transplant including eyelids and tear ducts.No pictures of the patient but I bet he looks like this guy.
The surgery was performed in France on a man whose face was so deformed by "Elephant Man" disease that he consistently shocked passersby on the street. Doctors say the procedure holds promise for the 200-400 badly burned American GIs awaiting similar help in US military hospitals.
Face transplants have been a reality for a few years now, but the French surgical team went a step further and successfully included the eyelids, the whole lachrymal system, which produces tears, as well as the mouth.
..."What is important is that we were able to include the eyelids in the transplant. It's not just a piece of skin, but it's the whole eyelids, including the tears ducts," said Laurent Lantieri, MD, the surgeon who performed the 12-hour operation with 10 other doctors and nurses. He told ABC News by telephone, "The patient is doing very well today. He can walk, eat, he still has some difficulties to speak because he had a tracheotomy, meaning he had a tube in his windpipe and it's a bit swollen."
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
It becomes clear fairly early in our conversation that Greene is not the greatest orator. He is not in the mould, say, of one of his heroes, Barack Obama. When I ask him whether Obama, as a fellow African-American, had been an inspiration behind his own decision to enter politics, he says, "Yes, I mean there's something that, you know, I knew so I just knew that. It was in my mind, I knew that, that, that, that the voters really, they really, that they really, erm, followed the candidate. That they really wanted substance in a candidate . . . "Here's what I'm thinking. You know how Arnold Schwarzeneggar got elected? He was the most entertaining of all the candidates. When people are really cynical about politics they tend to make decisions like this. Which means that whether Alvin Greene is on the level or some kind of covert Republican mole to make Democrats look bad, Jim DeMint may have to apply for unemployment come November. Ironic, would it not be?
It is clear, too, in the course of the two hours I spend with Greene that he has some pretty wacky ideas that, were he to win in November, would put him among the more unpredictable members of the senate. At one point, he lurches off on his big idea for how to create jobs in South Carolina.
"Another thing we can do for jobs is make toys of me, especially for the holidays. Little dolls. Me. Like maybe little action dolls. Me in an army uniform, air force uniform, and me in my suit. They can make toys of me and my vehicle, especially for the holidays and Christmas for the kids. That's something that would create jobs. So you see I think out of the box like that. It's not something a typical person would bring up. That's something that could happen, that makes sense. It's not a joke."
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
This is just not cool, man.
Coca-Cola is out, and soy milk is now part of San Francisco's official city policy.It could be worse - when I first read this I thought it was a city-wide ban, not a city-property-wide ban. So it's both restrictive AND ineffective. I mean in practical terms, it means if you're serving jury duty and you want the hard stuff (straight Coca-Cola instead of Coke Zero) you'll have to bring your own or buy it from the cafeteria. Will it stop you from being fat? No. You'll stop being fat when you value your health over your taste buds. And get some exercise, for God's sake.
Under an executive order from Mayor Gavin Newsom, Coke, Pepsi and Fanta Orange are no longer allowed in vending machines on city property, although their diet counterparts are - up to a point.
Still, it's a fairly easy law to enforce, and if people are really desperate for sugar-based soda, the vending machine folk will turn to Shasta, which is less expensive. I bet at least right winger trumpets this law as proof that Obama is Hitler! Check back in a day.
I have wound up explaining to a lot of people I know that fireworks displays bore me, which I why I didn't go out on Sunday until 9:00pm after they were over. But... if fireworks moved like this video, maybe I could tolerate them better. Of course, there'd still be the problem of getting out of the parking lot afterward.
at 2:23 PM
Monday, July 05, 2010
Let's remember how the party wound up with Michael Steele. In November 2008, the party was devastated that the Democrats had elected the nation's first black president, while the Republican Party was stuck with being seen as largely the party of aging white people, with good reason, a party that was hostile to people of color, especially blacks and Latinos.I certainly HOPE they hired Steele because he's African American; if they chose him on his merits they obviously have seriously bad management skills. But then, as the weekend update guy on SNL said the week he was put in as chairman: "You guys know it can't just be any black man, right?"
So the party needed a new face, preferably a face of color, and they didn't have very many officials to choose from, so they came up with Michael Steele. And it is very ironic, since the Republicans have been so critical of affirmative action, to watch them stuck with their affirmative action hire that they dare not get rid of, because that would generate even more controversy.
The problem is, by not generating the controversy of a firing they are instead generating the controversy of hating black people so much they even hate their own chairman! Poor Steele is left out there to hang all by himself. This is bad for the RNC, right?
Because the message received depends on who is watching. There must be a pretty good base in the Republican party who watches the Steele train wreck and shakes its collective head and says, "See? That's what happens when you put a black man in charge of something. It's just like the way Obama is ruining the country." These are the same people, mind you, who believe the economy was doing just fine until Obama was elected. So these Republicans understand that they're stuck with an incompetent black because they'd be criticized for firing him, and they forgive the RNC, maybe love it all the more. Outsiders like me shrug and say, "I told you the Republicans were incompetent." So Steele becomes another dog-whistle to the racists, and the rest of us just think the RNC is nuts. Like we already did.
Of course, the danger is that Steele is accelerating the split between the Republicans and the Tea Party, the one I'm counting on to keep Republicans out of office in November. Again it's a danger depending on who is watching.
Friday, July 02, 2010
"Keep in mind again, federal candidates, (Afghanistan) was a war of Obama's choosing. This is not something the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in."-Michael Steele
"...Well, if he's such a student of history, has he not understood that you know that's the one thing you don't do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? All right, because everyone who has tried, over a thousand years of history, has failed. And there are reasons for that. There are other ways to engage in Afghanistan."
Among other questions - should we have engaged the Afghan navy instead? Why does he so vehemently disagree with General Petraeus? Why does Steele think we are going to fail in Iraq? When does he think we went in to Afghanistan? And is he going to drop by his office at the RNC this afternoon only to find the lock changed?
Thursday, July 01, 2010
If you Google Al Gore and sex poodle, almost nothing comes up. You are the only one on the story.- Andrea Tantaros, on Hannity. Why is Google protecting Al Gore?
When Andrew Breitbart offers $100,000 for a private email list-serv archive, essentially all bets are off. Every blogger or writer who has ever offered an opinion is now on warning: your opponents will not just argue against you, they will do all they can to ransack your private life, cull your email in-tray, and use whatever material they have to unleash the moronic hounds of today's right-wing base.-Andrew Sullivan
Incidentally I'm all for this Breitbart thing because I think it will be used to root out the "impure" Republicans; or if not, the only real damage it will do is to them. The rest of of us will read the results and shrug.