Saturday, March 19, 2011

It's not that good out there in job land

Courtesy of Congress, businessmen and the American investor, our cities crumble.  The heartland rusts and will disappear in a cloud of red dust.  It's the product of both parties.  Too bad, it was pretty good there for a while.  Oh, yeah votes matter, but hey, all we wanted was cheap shit from China.  We have attained our dreams, we just didn't realize what we were asking for.

Unemployment rises in nearly all metro areas

The Post's Peeps Diorama Contest V is under way

Did you miss the winning Peeps from last year?  Here they are.   Enjoy last year's winners and get ready for this year's Peeps V winners!

Peeps Show IV

Pakistan

I wonder if anyone is really in charge in Washington?  Our CIA bombs our ally.  Our CIA hires mercs who murder Pakistanis and then buys their freedom.   Does anyone ever ask who are these CIA guys anyway?  Who makes these decisions?  Got any new hearts and minds programs in the pipeline?

Pakistanis protest U.S. airstrikes, release of CIA contractor release

Attention Porn Fans

Are you ready for some .xxx as isn www.lookhereforporn.xxx?  It's on the way as--

On Friday in San Francisco, the California nonprofit that oversees Internet addresses gave the green light to the virtual red-light district. The vote comes after several years of clashes and deliberations by the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers.


Adult-entertainment sites will still populate the .com space and every other corner of the Internet. But now, many pornographic sites can also join a specialized domain that instantly telegraphs its content with the infamous suffix. ICM Registry, a Florida-based company that will run .xxx, said the domain’s Web sites will be the Internet’s most trusted place for adult entertainment: ICM will monitor the sites to ensure that they prohibit spam, viruses and any other illegal behavior. And it says it will use some of the registration fees for an affiliated foundation to promote free speech and combat child pornography.


Coming soon to a computer near you: Dot-XXX



So why are folks objecting to the new domain?

Wisconsin: It takes three branches to legally screw a union

The public employee unions have been not been fully and totally screwed yet.  The voters elected a Trog Gov. and lots of  batshit eating legislators too.  The elected officials did what they said they were going to do.

The legislature told the unions to bend over as they passed the union bashing budget bill.  The Gov. then told the unions, "my turn" as he signed the bill.  However, the courts might say the screwing was technically a rape.  They won't screw the unions--yet.  There's a question as to the legality of the union screw job.

Please note--votes matter.  Wisconsin voters voted for this.  If they don't like it now, why did they elect these turds in the first place?  Did any union member or supporter vote for the Trogs?  If so, then unions in Wisconsin can suck cheese for now.   Did they forget, if a pol looks like a Trog, talks like a Trog and walks like a Trog, then he is a 100% USDA Grade A Prime full of bullshit Trog.   Like I said, votes matter, got that cheese-heads?

Judge blocks Wisconsin law curbing labor rights

Horses, Barn Doors, and the CIA

I have to hand it to the CIA, they are very good at reviewing and investigating themselves after they fuck it up sideways.  Given the number of times they have pulled a FUBAR and then looked inward over the years, I have to wonder if they ever do anything right.  Don't forget the exploding cigars.  Do they really serve the nation or are they the ultimate risk to our national security?  Why we have still have the agency?   They must have 8x10 glossies on everybody (they took J. Edgar lessons).

CIA launches review of security officers stemming from Pakistan case

Japan Nuke Disaster

It hasn't gone away.  It's still very dangerous and can get much worse.  Here's a good summary of different aspects of the nuclear mess.  Tab through them--

Japan’s nuclear emergency

Then get ready to follow the coming dicusssion about nukes in the U.S.  What will we be talking about in days to come?
 
After the nuclear renaissance: The age of discovery


Want a reactor in you backyard?

Libya-Update

Arabs revolt in Libya.  The world cheers.  The dictator says "bullshit."  The world gets concerned.  The revolting Arabs appear to make progress and the world cheers again.  The dictator spends some money on troops with guns.  The revolters back up.  The world groans.  The UN decides a no fly zone is a good idea.  Rhetoric abounds as the world cheers.  The dictator's shill at the UN says Libya will observe a cease fire and the world cheers.  Then the worlds gets the idea that "cease fire" must mean invade and kill in dictatorspeak--Gaddafi’s forces enter Benghazi as U.S., allies prepare military action against Libya

The world groans as heads of state have to decide to just talk or also walk their bellicose talk.  Hm, oil is powerful facilitator for human compassion.

And in good old number one land, the number one guy appears to be hot to trot for one more war.   Did Bush really leave office? Obama’s shift toward military action in Libya

Friday, March 18, 2011

CBO and the Deficit

Let me see if I understand the Congressional Budget Office.  All pols agreee that the CBO is best at economic forecasting.  Everybody agrees they do a great job.  Feed the CBO some data, ask them to project it, and out comes the truth.  So far, so good.  Oh, there is a minor correction that has to be made.  If CBO's projections don't quite agree with what you have been telling folks is true, then it's obvious that the CBO is full of poop.  Guess who thinks the CBO has been eating shit sandwiches?  Yep, Obama.  The deficit, according to CBO, has gone from sucks to oh my god that blows huge chunks.

Obama understates deficits by $2.3 trillion


I can understand Dems gettting a tad concerned. However, I do not understand the GOP. They accepted the wars. They praised torture. Their main man, Dork Cheney told them that deficits don't matter. Oh well, can we render the deficit to Syria and have it tortured until it agrees to go on a diet?

Have you started to get a little paranoid yet?

Over what?  Revolts?  Teabaggers?  Sarah Palin?  The future tax burden unborn grandchildren will bear?   No,  how about something a bit more earth threatening, nukes.  That's as in nuclear plants, especially the fuel rod dumps.  I'll bet good old number one is number one in spent fuel rod pools--

U.S. nuclear plants use the same sort of pools to cool spent nuclear-fuel rods as the ones now in danger of spewing radiation at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant, only the U.S. pools hold much more nuclear material. That's raising the question of whether more spent fuel should be taken out of the pools at U.S. power plants to reduce risks.

U.S. nuclear plants store more spent fuel than Japan's


If you were a betting person would you bet that the U.S. government will do something to substantively increase our nuclear safety in the next year? 5 years? 10 years?

Gee, I think the above questions assumed that all of the safety would be purchased with tax dollars. Now, let's qualify the bet, will they do anything and make the private nuclear sector pay the cost? I get to bet "Never."

Libya-Update

I posted earlier on the UN and actions approved against Libya.  Now Libya has agreed to a cease-fire to protect the lives of Libyans.  That sounds weird.  Okay, if the guns are silent, I have to ask,  who is still in charge?

Libya declares-cease fire after U.N. approves intervention

What do you think about this?

Will you buy a NYT subscription?

The Times Announces Digital Subscription Plan



The New York Times introduced a plan on Thursday to begin charging the most frequent users of its Web site $15 for a four-week subscription in a bet that readers will pay for news they are accustomed to getting free.


Beginning March 28, visitors to NYTimes.com will be able to read 20 articles a month without paying, a limit that company executives said was intended to draw in subscription revenue from the most loyal readers while not driving away the casual visitors who make up the vast majority of the site’s traffic.


Once readers click on their 21st article, they will have the option of buying one of three digital news packages — $15 every four weeks for access to the Web site and a mobile phone app (or $195 for a full year), $20 for Web access and an iPad app ($260 a year) or $35 for an all-access plan ($455 a year). All subscribers who take home delivery of the paper will have free and unlimited access across all Times digital platforms except, for now, e-readers like the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook. Subscribers to The International Herald Tribune, which is The Times’s global edition, will also have free digital access.

Japan Nuke Disaster

It appears that Libya garnered the most headlines today.  Japan still has a major disaster to deal with.  The reactors are still not stable.  Seawater is still being dumped on the spent rod cooling ponds.  It's getting worse.  What will happen if the fuel rods explode?  If the temp goes up high enough, then the zirconium in the rods ignites and it all goes boom!  This in no longer a local disaster, it's at least regional if not global.

Frantic Repairs Go On at Plant as Japan Raises Severity of Crisis

CR fans take note

The world's greatest debilitative body, the U.S. Senate, has approved another Continuing Resolution.  Our government remains good to go for a few more weeks.   Without further action, the U.S. now expires on April 8, 2011.  Wow, we  have a shelf life.

Senate passes short-term government-funding measure that includes some easy cuts

Sleaze always wins

If you thought little rules that slow down the lobbyist's revolving door has an effect on successful special interest politics, then you took your eye off the ball.  Is there a better way of getting the laws you need?   Lobbyists have found a better way.

Lobbyists flock to Capitol Hill jobs



Ethics rules sharply limit the activities of former lobbyists who join the executive branch and former lawmakers who move to lobbying firms. But experts say there are no limits on lawmakers hiring K street employees and letting them write legislation in sync with the policies they advocated for hire.


New tallies indicate that nearly half of the roughly 150 former lobbyists working in top policy jobs for members of Congress or House committees have been hired in the past few months. And many are working on legislative issues of interest to their former employers.

This sucks, but it's what the majority wants--the majority is one half of the the half that bothers to vote. It's really about 25%. Voters elect, the elected act, the voters approve and reelect.  Incumbents are returned to office 95%+ of the time.  We have exactly what we want, right? Remember we do this government thing by electing reps. The elected are elected by receiving the most votes. Majority rule works? What does is mean when the actual majority does not vote?

U.S.A. Inc.--bought and delivered

Need some extra cash?  Okay, give lots of money to pols.  The Legislative and Executive branches will recognize your patriotism and give you contracts to sell shit to the government.  Then, when you send Uncle Sam the bill,  pad it generously and make some extra profit.  This has become normal, does anyone give a shit?  Waxman only appears to care, the bad guy is, of course, a GOP donor.  Remember reelection is also his job number one.

The majority of voters must love the way our government has been and is running.  We elect and reelect the same assholes who have sold our government to the highest bidder.  It's the one area that has always been quite bi-partisan.  Even now, it appears most people, who actually vote, would rather gut Medicare and Social Security than curtail gifts to corporate America.  I'm not sure if we can change this or not.

Audit: Pentagon overpaid oilman by up to $200 million

Libya

The United Nations has given its imprimatur  to do what it takes to help revolting Libyans.  Well, that is as as long at it doesn't include ground troops and arming the revolters.  A naval blockade is dandy.  If someone wants to establish a no fly zone over Libya, the UN won't argue.  The question is who is going to to what, when, how, and with what intended effect?

It's a bit late isn't it? I guess the Arab League and others didn't realize that Qadaffi was not going to leave since he has the money, the guns, and the largest tribe.  Did the lack of prompt action give Qadaffi all the wiggle room he needed to preserve his dictatorship.  The country is still more tribal than not.

I hope the U.S. does not take much of a role in this mess.  We are already at war in two Islamic countries.  We don't need to start another one anywhere with anybody.  I wonder if this failed revolt will be settled by oil.  Libya sits on 2% of the world's reserves.  If they had no oil, no one would give a rat's ass about who kills whom in that cesspool.  I guess oil kind of motivates concern for  human rights, especially for the people living in oil port of Benghazi.

U.N. authorizes ‘all necessary measures’ to protect civilians in Libya

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Imports from Japan

Will the earthquake and tsunami affect imports into the U.S.?  Of course, but how much and what products?

In Japan, production of consumer brands popular in U.S. is halted after earthquake

Quiz Time

Here's a lead paragraph from the AP.  Quick is this an old one I found from the Bush years  or is from today about Obama and Company?

The Department of Homeland Security demoted a senior career employee who confidentially complained to the agency's internal watchdog that political appointees were improperly interfering with requests for federal records by journalists and others.

It seems so Bushie, but it's not. It's Obama and pals proving once again that George is still in the White House. Read the whole piece--Top lawmaker protests 'whistle-blower' demotion, but as you read,  make some name substitutions. Instead of Issa read Waxman. Instead of Napolitano read Chertof and so on. Oh yeah, make sure to use the same evaluative standards on this as when Bush was in office.  Hmm, not much has changed. Can anyone tell me why the folks who ragged on Bush are not doing the same on Barry.  All I can conclude is that If you liked Bush then you should similarly like Obama.

Nukes and Technoscientific Hubris

Will we learn anything from Fukushima?  Will we abandon or build more nukes?  Here's a piece from the "Bulletin" on people,mistakes, and corporations.

The lessons of Fukushima

Politifact

PolitiFact.com
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On St. Patrick's Day, the Truth-O-Meter has gone green

It's St. Patrick's Day and the Truth-O-Meter has gone green!

I'm referring to the unusual number of Truth-O-Meter rulings lately at the green end of the spectrum, True or Mostly True. After a fall campaign that was solidly red (as you'll recall, we rated the entire campaign Barely True), we've recently seen an outbreak of green.

Consider these:

● George Will earned a True for his claim on ABC's This Week that contrary to the budgetary term "non-discretionary," all federal programs -- including Medicare and Social Security -- can be cut at the discretion of Congress.

● Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, earned a Truefor her claim that some of the largest corporations in America don't pay taxes.
● President Barack Obama earned a Mostly True for his claim that last year's domestic oil production was the highest since 2003.

If you browse our state PolitiFact sites, you'll see a similar outbreak of Trues and Mostly Trues.

So is this a trend of truth? Or just a quirk of how we select factual claims to check?

It's worth noting that we still have a fair number of False and Barely True ratings on the sites, plus the occasional Pants on Fire. So it's not like that Jim Carrey movie where he started always telling the truth. And to be honest, we're not concerned for our job security. We don't think American politicians are only going to tell the truth from now on.

Still, it's nice to see some green. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Blood Money

The diplomat CIA merc employed by the U.S. used a $2.3 million get out of jail free card.  He didn't pay, someone else did.  Of course no one will say who paid the money.  How long will it take for a journalist to either ask the right question or find the evidence which shows our government did pay the blood money?

If we paid it, what's the big deal and why deny it?  I figure we paid it.  ObamaCo must have done a poll and held a flash focus group which indicated he'd lose three votes in Dubuque if the U.S. admitted it paid blood money.

Payment or non-payment does not matter to the GOP, they will oppose anything ObamaCo does.  They will rag on him because he is in office and they are not.  Why does anyone listen to anything that comes out of a GOP pie hole?  

Records: 'Blood money' paid to kin of Pakistanis killed by U.S. man

Drones in Pakistan

Our government, via our CIA, keeps on winning hearts and minds in Pakistan.  Only the CIA would believe you win them by killing them off, one drone at a time.   Now about the folks who approved the use of drones...

Suspected U.S. Drone Strike in Pakistan, 38 Killed

Earmarks

Voters have been concerned ever since Congress decided to quit buying their votes with earmarks.  Large numbers of voters cannot get the taste of pork out of their mouths.  They are getting grumpy.  They are getting hungry.  They need pork.

Pols know pork addicts, who undergo withdrawal, will vote in unpredictable ways.  If incumbents don't use earmarks to feed their constituents, they they may lose the next election.  Does pork insure that 95%+  incumbent reelection rate?

What happens to the pork dependent when they have to feed themselves?  It might get very tense and uncertain unless, hold it, yes, they have done it!  Congress has found new ways to serve up pork and buy votes for 2012.

Never underestimate our elected narcissists.  They will always find a way to stay on center stage--

Lawmakers Find a Path Around an Earmarks Ban

The Economy

Our economy is not exactly bustling with growth.  Unemployment is still quite high.   We keep waiting for the next big thing so we can grow our way out of the mess.  As we trundle along, do you see Internet social media as one of the next big thing growth areas?  Perhaps there will new types.  Will there be IPOs?  Hmm, have we forgotten the Dot Com bubble already?

Is a new tech bubble starting to grow?

Congress and Loons

Michelle Bachmann may have to compete for the 113th Congress's Loon Queen title.  In the 112th, no one has been able to be as consistently crazy day after day after day.  Her reign may end in the next Congress.  Yep, Sharon Angle is going to run for a House seat.  God, will Michelle then appear normal with Sharon in the House?

Sharron Angle will run for Congress, not Senate

Signs and Omens

Are there hidden meanings in numbers.  Do you have a lucky number?  Do numbers link to physical events and reveal life's mysteries?  What is the meaning of life, universe and everything?

Do numbers speak to us in magical ways?  If so, then perhaps letters and words behave similarly.  Why is anything named what it's named.  For example, why do we call apples apples?  Perhaps the letters were selected so that upon analysis, we can find insights into the true nature and significance of that which is  named.

Oh, my I just thought about "Sarah Palin."  It came to me in a flash as her letters were rearranged.  She is dangerous, even un-American.  No, it's not because she's a whining quitter.  It's because, her name reveals her true purpose on earth.  Sarah Palin is the Sharia Plan!   Talk about a sleeper cell....

Libya

Surprize, surprize, the guy who has the money, the guns, and the largest tribe is winning in Libya.  Qadaffi has pushed the rebels back to one area, Benghazi.   There is still chatter of establishing a no-fly zone.  I doubt anyone is serious if they suggest ground troops.   Arab states and Western powers appear to want Qadaffi gone, but unless everybody decides it's time for another war, Qadaffi will probably put down the revolt and then put down the rebels one by one by one.

As we watch the debacle continue, I wonder what roles Islam, Colonialism, and the Cold War have played in Libya's history and Qadaffi's dictatorship?

Obama administration seeks more U.N. authority to intervene in Libya

Japan Nuke Disaster

The mess does not appear to be getting any better at all.  The Japanese government has told its people to stay at least 12 1/2 miles from the plants.  The U.S. State Dept.  thinks the radiation levels may be a bit higher, they recommend folks stay at least 50 miles from the area.  Will it get worse?

One thing is certain, unless they can keep the rods covered with cooling water, it will go from bad to much worse.  If the heat builds such that the rods catch fire, then it will become a meltdown.  Needless to say, there are plenty of allegations that the Japanese government is being less than candid about the damages and the risks.  That's normal isn't it?  It's funny how, even in the face of huge disasters, pols cannot tell the truth.  Oh, well....

State Dept., Pentagon offer to evacuate family members from Tokyo

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Before you run out and buy some...

Please note--

Does Potassium Iodide Protect People from Radiation Leaks?

Drugmakers are claiming to be running out of the thyroid cancer preventative, but depending on age and other circumstances, its usefulness is limited

Live near a nuke?

If you live in reasonable proximity to one of our nuclear facilities, how safe is it from earthquakes?  Where are the most vulnerable ones?  Well, I'm glad I don't live in New York--

What are the odds? US nuke plants ranked by quake risk

MIddle East

The disaster in Japan has taken center stage in the news.  Revolting Arabs and days of rage still continue but the TV cameras are on the nukes.  Just to assure all, life remains quite normal in the Middle East.  The Arabs still hate the Jews and the Jews still shoot back--

Israel Strike on Hamas Kills 2 Militants in Gaza

Blood Money

Does this bother you?  It bothers me more than a bit--

American officials won the release on Wednesday of a C.I.A. contractor under investigation for two counts of murder here by making a payment to the families of the victims, Pakistani officials and the lawyer for the families said.

American Who Worked for C.I.A. Freed in Pakistan

Is it time to go "Oh Shit" yet?

It may be time as the reactors move closer and closer to meltdown.  If the nukes go amok it will be time for a global "oh shit."  What is the future of nukes?  Who will believe anyone on anything about nukes in coming years?  Nukes are now used to generate about 20%+ of our electricity, would you shut them down?  Would you build more?   Would you build one on a fault zone (that's a California technique).

It's gone from bad to worse in Japan, what's next?

Japan Says 2nd Reactor May Have Ruptured With Radioactive Release

Unemployment

We're down to 8.9%.  It that really the number?  Or is it a bit worse?

Overshadowing the nation’s economic recovery is not only the number of Americans who have lost their jobs, but also those who have stopped looking for new ones. Adding these workers to February’s jobless rate pushes it up to 10.5 percent, well above the more commonly cited 8.9 percent rate. An even broader measure of unemployment, which includes people forced to work part time, stands at nearly 16 percent.

I have a feeling it's even worse than 16%. Now consider how different demographic segments of the population fare in these times. It's not going to improve any time soon. Our economy has changed. If you have a lot of money, are an investor, what would you invest in? I doubt if you'd invest in anything that would provide many jobs in the U.S.

Capital drove jobs out of the nation. We no longer make things, we buy things. If you used to make things, you will remain screwed forever. Oh, the rest of us will catch up with them in a few years as we continue to flounder. There is no here, here, any more. Thank the market, large investors and an essential Congress which abetted the destruction just for a few campaign donations. Our end began in 1980, trust me, but go verify it for yourself.

Are you a trusted traveler?

How much information about yourself would you give the TSA to avoid being searched, felt up or having your porno scan featured in "Feeling Frisky" magazine?  If you did give up personal info, up to and perhaps including rights to your first born, you could become a trusted traveler and zip right past all the other schmucks who have to wait and be declared not a safety threat.  It's a suggestion--

Panel urges TSA to implement ‘trusted travelers’ program

I think it would be an even better idea if our ever beloved federal government removed itself from the airline passenger safety process in toto. TSA would better serve the nation be becoming an extinct agency. Airline safety and security are the responsibility of the airlines. It they cannot, will not or do not provide safe skies, then don't buy a ticket, don't fly. Let the damned market have at it.

If folks cannot sever themselves from the feds securing us from fear, then keep the TSA crap,  but pay for it with a flight tax. Make it like the gas tax. In addition to the airlines, only people who fly should pay for airports and all the fear abatement bullshit.  TSA's budget should only come from ticket taxes.   Oh, if airlines want the feds involvement, then they need to pay an extra assessment to cover the costs of what the feds provide which airlines would otherwise have to have had paid themselves.

DEA vs. Georgia State Government

Can federal narcs bust a state government?  Well, no, not quite but the DEA has seized drugs that Georgia officials bought from some guy in London.  The drugs may not be legit in the U.S.   If they are, they expire in May.  Oh, the drug is one of the three used in the state supplied death cocktail.   If the narcs return the state's stash, Georgians will  have to kill a bunch of cons before the end of May.  Or they could just do like Ohio and use a Vet to put down the dogs and not worry about  it.

As usual, capital punishment remains a rich source of black humor.  This is absurd.  If states are going to execute folks, they need to use the word "kill" not "execute."  The killing should be in public and performed by the top elected official in the state in an efficient and effective manner--nothing beats the guillotine.  All a governor has to do is pull the release cord and a state can roll heads all day long.  Hoisting heads on petards is optional, but why not?

APNewsBreak: DEA seizes Georgia’s supply of key execution drug over import questions

Petraeus--"We're Doing Okay"

Even Senators know that most folks now think the other Bush Legacy, Afghanistan, is a waste.  However, such knowledge does not deter our premier debilitators.  They know a large wad of their  campaign cash depends on the fiscal health of the Military Industrial Complex.  Health depends on tax dollars transfered for war.  So, they hold hearings to show war support and keep those transfers humming.  Now that's real patriotism isn't it?

As usual, they brought in the biggest commander that's ever been in the ground, General Petraeus.   The General is sure we're doing okay since he knows that --

... “the momentum achieved by the Taliban in Afghanistan since 2005 has been arrested in much of the country and reversed in a number of important areas.” He added: “However, while the security progress achieved over the past year is significant, it is also fragile and reversible. Moreover, it is clear that much difficult work lies ahead with our Afghan partners to solidify and expand our gains in the face of the expected Taliban spring offensive.”

In other words there's been no change.  At best, all we can hope for is a dignified stalemate.  Too bad we don't give medals for ending war, we'd have been out of there years ago.

Petraeus: Taliban momentum halted in Afghanistan, but harder fighting ahead

The 112th's a mess already

We don't have to discuss the Senate.  There's been no change there.  It remains, as always, the world's premier debilitative body.  However, the House is in a bit of a "mine's bigger than your's" contest.  When voters sent this collection of clucks to Congress, I think they wanted a modicum of reasoned activity to begin a fiscal restoration of our nation's finances.  Instead they got a three way normal--Dems vs. GOPPERS vs. Teabaggers--where each is trying to insure their reelection in 2012.   The new kids learned fast.  They now know that job number one is a second term.  I wish they'd all just zip up and shut up.

Government shutdown here we come, as the new kids do what children do best, unzip and throw tantrums.  It's an odd form of patriotism.  Unfortunately, budget cuts and shutdowns to not fix anything, they're more akin to a child holding it's breath to impress a parent by inducing a fear of loss.  Hmm, could Congresstypes hold their breath until they die?  Oh, well, here's my modest suggestion (again).

Let's have one Continuing Resolution that does not expire for six years.  No new money can be added for anything.  No money can be swapped around.  There will be no need for any appropriation bills or much else.  If money is not spent or it is cut,  it can be only be used to pay down our debt.  If at the end of six years, Congress hasn't figured out how to un-mangle what they have wrought since Reagan began the great American screw job,  then we can all move to Canada.

I have doubts about my suggestion, it's antithetical to job #1.  Congress loses if they do this, they won' be able to retain old voters or buy new blocs of voters  by placing more Americans on the national pad.  Ultimately, the mess belongs to the voters.  Oh, shit, we elected 'em, what did any of us expect?

House approves funding bill keeping government open until April 8

The GOP's Field

Is there something wrong with Republicans these days?  Sarah Palin's favorables are down and her unfavorables are up.  Has sanity broken out amongst the wingnuts?  Nah, they just have more batshit crazy people competing for their attention.   As more contenders scream "dig me, I'm crazier than the rest" it takes it's toll on everybody's ratings.  The poll does show us that if you drink batshit flavored Kool-Aid, then over half of the GOOPERs like you.  Tim, Haley, Mitch and Jon better order a couple of cases or they will not even make it through the first primary loon-off.

Sarah Palin losing more ground among Republicans, Post-ABC poll finds

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hate NPR?

If you are one of the folks who think NPR, PBS, etc.  should not be funded because some jackass was taped dissing GOOPERs, Teabaggers and such, please read this piece.  Once again it was the edit and editor who made the scandal, not what was actually said over a couple of hours.

O'Keefe is the scandal, but hell, he just gives viewers what they want to watch.  What is sad is the two Schillers who quit.  They didn't really care about their jobs or public broadcasting.  They acquiesced and accepted O'Keefes false charges.   Their actions say more about the state of NPR than the edited tape.

Analysts, NPR: Edit of executive video misleading

Can the GOP be split in two?

Sure it can. It's being done in Utah.  Utah has been a total GOP theocracy for a long time.  It's been so red for so long that pols have had to split the GOP into two factions so more saints could run for office.   How else can they have opponents.  There are no Democrats left in the state.

Today the party is split into two right of right factions.  There's the traditional batshit crazy wing.  And  then there's the Lime Jello Trogs.  The Jello headed Trogs are winning, the prophet must approve.  When Orrin Hatch is not considered a conservative you know folks have been told to drink something more than batshit laced Kool-aid at Ward and Stake meetings.

Don't forget they can't drink tea at Temple, but they can scarf down huge bowls of Lime Jello. Hmm, maybe bowels full of Jello would turn anyone into a Trog.  Or perhaps it's what happens when batshit is combined with Lime Jello.  Hard to say, but keep your eyes on Utah, it may replace California as the nation's premier funny farm.  

Will Willard or Jon boy have to suck down copious quantities of  Utah's fav--Lime Jello?  If they do, will they still have to drink all the other GOP Kool-Aid flavors?   Is the nation ready for Jello headed Mormon Trog who is also batshit crazy?

Mormon Politicians From Utah Feel Tea Party Heat


 

Boycott Harper Collins

Do not buy any books, or e-books from Harper Collins until they quit forcing libraries to limit the number of times an e-book can be circulated.  If a library buys an e-book, it should be able to circulate the damn thing as many times as it wishes--one patron at a time.  Harper Collins lacks a sound business model for the hi-tech era, maybe they should go belly up.   If the only way they can profit is by sticking it to libraries then I hope folks will boycott them and put them out of business.  No e-books, no business, no Harper Collins!

As Library E-Books Live Long, Publisher Sets Expiration Date

Independent Voters

We all assume that independent voters make up about 30% of the folks who bother to vote.  Don't forget about half of us don't quite make it to the polls.  Is that assumption true?  Well, it you look at Presidential elections you might wonder, since, on average, the winners win by five or fewer points.  That sounds a bit more partisan than what we see in off year elections.  In the off year, winners seem to claim victory by 13 or so points--they get the indie votes.  Which is it?  Indies or partisans?

Oh come on, it's all partisan and will be as long as we only have two parties or any parties.   In a local election, it's just easier for voters to know the candidates, they can tell dumb from dumber and vote accordingly.  That's true everywhere, except in Wisconsin's 6th District.   In a presidential election, no one knows the putzs who run for the top job.  The election is a crap shot and we hope dumb wins.  It has to be partisan.  In 2008 dumber lost, however, in 2000 dumber was appointed by the Supremes,but then in 2004  dumber lost.

Independents?  Nah, it's just a matter of how well and how long voters know their candidates.   Dumb or dumber--Palin vs. Obama?  Sure, Obama by more than 5, dumber loses.   Gingrich vs. Obama?  Again Obama buy 5 as dumber tanks again.  Now try Huntsman or Daniels vs. Obama?  Who gets the dumb and who gets the dumber slot?  It's not independence at all.  It's partisan trying to insure that dumber goes home.

The incredible, changeable independent voter (or not)

CRs

According to federal agencies, CRs cost us money.  Employees meet and try to figure out how they will live from one resolution to the next.  Of course, if they didn't have a CR to talk about, they'd still be meeting on something else.  A lot of "cost" declarations are pure bullshit.   Oh, don't forget the forgone stuff complaint too.  There's always something not done.  This time we can blame the undone on CRs.

I have a suggestion.  Let's do a six year or more CR (at least three election cycles).   Let's run our government on this year's budget for the next six years.  We won't add a dime, but we can take money back from one Department--Defense.  Every saved Defense dollar will go straight towards paying off the national debt.  Want to save your unborn grand children from an onerous tax burden?  It's easy, make war no more forever, reduce the Defense budget, and live like fixed income pensioners for at least six years.

How do continuing resolutions impact agencies?

Gun Nut Vote

Obama is going to invite the NRA over for some jello shooters on the White House lawn.  He'd wants to know what gun ownership controls are okay with the NRA.  The NRA is on record, they don't oppose gun control for corpses.  Other than that, the Constitution is clear, guns and ammo for everyone.  What is Obama really doing?  Oh, forgot, there's an election in 2012.  Everything our first narcissist  does is reelection based.

By having the meeting, the anti-gun group can pretend Obama cares.  The Guns R Us crowd, will see him sit down with Wayne, nod his head, and watch him do nothing more.  Hell, they might can believe Obama's seen the light and give him an honorary 1 year membership.

Yep, votes matter, without them, no second term.  No second term and the memoirs will be cut short and there will be fewer cash-in-able entries in the Rolodex.

Obama extends olive branch in gun control debate

Living up top his image

Bless my pot belly and mirrored shades, Haley had to let a guy go over e-mailed jokes.  Damn what's a stereotype to do these days?  How do  you say schmuck in Southern?

Barbour’s press secretary resigns amid e-mail flap

How Big is the Military Industrial Thing?

What proportion of our population either belongs to or is dependent upon the Military Industrial Congressional Complex?  Maybe we can find out by asking a question.  After 10 fruitless, losing years of an idiotic unnecessary war, that we continue to fight while our economy is crap and unemployment continues to soar, we can find out.

Yep, let's ask about the stupid war?  Fight it or don't fight it? Damn about 35% of our population depends on war.  They want us to fight on (that means transfer tax dollars to them).  The other 65% think it's time to end the damn thing.  Let's end it and let's also help those folks who make their living from killing others.  What can we do?

First, let's restore the name Department of War.  It never was a "Defense" department anyway.  Second, cut the War Dept. budget by 50% next year.  Subsequently, remove 5% more a year until War receives no more than what we spend on clean air, clean water, public broadcasting and family planning.  Third, repeal the War Powers Act.  Fourth, require that in any future war,  upon its declaration by Congress, we bring back the draft (boys and girls) and we impose a large war tax on incomes  (90% bracket comes back for the duration).  

Okay?  Let's end the damn Afghan war and make those changes.  Drop your Rep a note.  Send an e-mail to your debilitator in the Senate.   And of course, let the narcissist in chief know--end the war or no vote in 2012.  How many books will Obama "write" about himself and his years in the White House?  Let's ghost a war chapter for him, drop him several lines.

Poll: Nearly two-thirds of Americans say Afghan war isn’t worth fighting

Monday, March 14, 2011

March Madness 2011

Well, it's madness, but not basketball.  Here are the brackets:  It's Fug Madness 2011!

You can vote and follow the madness at Go Fug Yourself!

Legacyland--Update

A couple weeks ago the news was all about revolting Arabs.  Then along came an earthquake and the news focus switched to Japan.   Lest you worry about Iraq, let me assure you life in the Shrub's legacy remains normal.

Suicide Attack on Iraqi Military Post

Nukes

As Japan faces a nuke disaster, it's causing some concerns here at home.  What about our nukes?  Are they any safer?  Less safe?  Should we build new ones?  Okay, what about the spent fuel rods?  What about the waste.  Oh, yeah, Yucca Mtn.  Forgot about that one.  It's still there.  Is it time to go the mountain?

Yucca Mountain still alive

How would you grade the putz?

In 2008 Obama pitched a slug of transparency BS at voters.  Some listened.  They voted.  He won.  So how's he done?

Well, he's about the same as his predecessors.  Unless past administrations were very transparent and we didn't realize it, Obama's just a another hack pol who misspeaks lies his ass off for votes.  He has not walked his talk at all.

Why vote for him in 2012?  Well, consider the alternatives--Bachmann, Santorum, Palin, Gingrich, Willard, etc.  They're far worse.  If you hoped for change in 2008, you were conned.  2012 will restore the  formerly normal status of elections--we will be offered a choice between  dumb or dumber.  The question will be, who will do the least damage?

I wonder, compared to Bill Clinton, how much Obama's post presidency Rolodex will be worth?  

PROMISES, PROMISES: Little transparency progress

We are way over blessed with batshit crazy people

Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition hosted its 11th Annual Spring Kick off.

Meshing the Tea Party Agenda and the Evangelical Agenda: Well, that happened fast. In the run-up to the midterm elections most Republican candidates were (suspiciously) silent on the issues of abortion and gay marriage. Instead, the focus was on lowering taxes, reducing the size of government, taming the national debt, etc.

What was curious yesterday was how evangelical worldview and Tea Party bluster seamlessly coalesced. Nearly every one of the speakers managed to integrate anti-abortion themes with small government appeals.(Look at the platform of the Faith and Freedom Coalition to see the new hybrid in action).



A novice to Christianity might have walked away from this angry event thinking that this Jesus fellow was some sort of nunchuck wielding martial artist ever on the prowl for unions, liberals, gay people, and whatever unfortunate illegal immigrants might cross his path.

That is to say these conservative Christians believe that: 1) the Constitution is infallible and inerrant, 2) they can discern its “original intent,” 3) this original intent always synchronizes with their political worldview, and, 4) all other attempts to understand that original intent put forth since, let’s say, 1791 are misguided and perhaps satanic if they diverge from aforesaid political worldview.

Here's more on the loons--Five Republicans fight for the faith(ful) in Iowa

The lord must love 'em, he made so many of them....

Libya

Once again please note.  If you are a dictator and have lots of money, then you can buy oodles of guns.  If your tribe has more people than other tribes you will out gun the other lesser armed tribes.  If you have air power and the others do not, well, no matter how big a rat bastard you may be, you will probably win the war and stay in power.   Qaddafi has been a huge rat bastard for forty years, so...

Libyan forces gains control of more rebel-held territory

This is how you recruit the young?

Would you be inclined to sign up and be all you can be for your rubble pile in the face of this kind of normalcy?

Suicide bomber kills 33 at army base

Young farts

Obama is on the campaign trail.  He's trying to get the young voters on his side.  If you are a young voter and did vote for Obama in 2008, why the hell would you be all that excited about him in 2012?  You were conned.  We've had two years of the George W. Obama administration.  In 2012, young or old, about the only thing  he has going for him is that he is not a batshit eating Trog.

Young voters need to bag the party crap.  Unfortunately Jackasses and Trogs are all they have to vote for, but they can demand better candidates.  Demands are not met unless the pols get a good scare them shitless.  How can the younger voters constipate them?

It's basically a two-step program.  In 2012, young voters need to become write in voters.  They need to turn out in force and vote for "NOTA"--none of the above.  If NOTA receives 20+% of the votes, pols will react in very surprizing ways.  In the next election there might be a bevy of better candidates.  It's amazing how many narcissists are attracted to unaffiliated votes.

 If, in 2014, there are no better candidates, then vote NOTA one more time.  If voters keep expressing their displeasure with the parties--it's not the candidates we vote for, whether you like it for not, it's the party.   Along the way, don't attack the assholes who run for offices, attack the parties instead.  However, if an asshole candidate defends his or her party  or pitches party bullshit, then we should all savage the mother.

Obama in 2012?  Sure, but consider this.  If the GOP came up with a Kool-Aid free candidate today,  would you vote for him or her?  Predictions?  Who'd win the election?  Come on, NOTA needs votes.  Oh almost forgot.  As we head into the 2012 cycle, do not tell pollsters the truth about anything.  Lie your ass off, it will help.

White House seeks to re-connect to young voters

How bad is bad?

What is Japan's worst case?

“There is a worst case, and then the question is, ‘Is there a worst case beyond the worst case?’ ” said Gilbert Brown, a nuclear engineer at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.


If the last-ditch efforts to cool the reactors fail, the heavy cylindrical cores — each containing tons of radioactive fuel — could flare to hotter than 4,000 degrees and melt through the layers of steel and cement engineered to contain them.

If total meltdown does occur, does the core keep on burning into the earth?  How far does it go?

Got Nukes?

I have a feeling anyone who lives in proximity to a nuclear power plant is wondering what would happen here if...?  In Japan a second explosion occurred.  A third is not far off.  As hydrogen gas is generated by the damages done to the reactors, things go from bad to worse.  Unfortunately worse may not be immediately seen or felt--radioactivity just increases.

If damaged nukes aren't bad enough consider the adjacent cooling pools that contain 20 years or more of spent fuel rods.  If cooling water does not circulate then the temperature will go up.  Fires will  start.  That will spread radioactivity.   What will happen if seawater/boron mix does not keep the core and pools cool?  What will a meltdown do to the area?  To Japan?  To future nukes?

Japanese plant races to contain meltdowns after two blasts; third reactor loses cooling capacity



How hot is 2,000 degrees?  4,000?  That may be how hot it's gotten inside the main nuke chamber.  

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Who Elected Her?

Who?  Oh, Michelle Bachmann.  She has a problem with facts.  Did you know our revolution began in Concord, N.H.?  Hmm, as Gingrich's love of country, his intense patriotism, just made him cheat on his wives, maybe Bachmann's love of liberty just confuses her, it addles he brain.  She's as lame as the Newt.  God, what kind of people elect this kind of person to Congress?  If she is representative, then the majority of folks who live in the Minnesota 6th District are really very strange people.

Bachmann Muddles American History, Puts Battles Of Lexington And Concord In New Hampshire

Crossing the line!

Let's blame Bush for the demise of the Easy Bake oven.  Yep, it's the light bulb mess.  The 100 watt incandescent is on the way to becoming extinct.   Maybe Canada will still make them and we can get them along with our cheaper drugs.  Regulation, no matter how well intentioned can bite back in unexpected ways.  Did government cross the line on this one?

Give Up Familiar Light Bulb? Not Without Fight, Some Say

No Fly Zone?

Arabs like the idea of a no fly zone over Libya.  They want help.  Should the U.S. participate?  If yes how?  Don't forget we are already at war in two Islamic lands?  If we say "no" is this our interests speaking over our principles?  If we say "yes" is it really enactment of our principles?

Arab League Endorses No-Flight Zone Over Libya

Basketball

I'm not a sports fan at all. However, I thought I had a minimum understanding of March Madness. 64 teams compete over a few weeks and one team emerges as the winner. Now I learn it's actually been 65 teams since 2001 and this year there even be more teams. I can hear the NCAA cash registers ringing, but will gambling diminish?

NCAA tournament: Will bigger field scare folks out of the pools?

Pearlstein

His column has some good food for thought--

Key to job growth, equality is boosting tradable sector of economy

Our Tax Dollars At Work

Congress passes laws.  Congress appropriates money.  Congressemen accept donations.  Congressmen fail to provide oversight as our tax dollars are wasted.  Hey, it's normal isn't it?  Hell, it sucks, but it's what we keep on electing.

D.C. insiders can reap fortunes from federal programs for small businesses


This is also a good example of why pols do not like newspapers and reporters.  Hmm, now why do pols rail against NPR?

Nukes and Disasters

It's has to wear on survivors.  Imagine you made it through the earthquake.  Your head almost quits shaking and along comes a wall of water.  You watch ships, houses and cars forced inland.  You survive. You are lucky, your house is intact.

Then as you look out towards the ocean, you see an explosion at the nuke plant.   This has to make you go "oh shit."  How do you survive radiation from the site?  Has it gotten to you already?  Will the damn thing blow?  Will it really meltdown like Chernobyl?  What happened to survivors of Hiroshima?  Nagasaki?  How long do you have.  It has to get real irrational, real fast.  Survivors all around the plant have to be scared, not of nature, but of what they built that now may fatally bite them in the ass.  Elsewhere, like in Tokyo, the question is, which way is the wind blowing.

Japanese nuclear plants' operator scrambles to avert meltdowns

Puzzled

In recent months I've seen several articles on problems with state pension systems.  A common theme is under funded systems.  Plans will not meet future obligations without adding more money, i.e., tax dollars.  At the same time I've seen articles that blame state employees for the pension mess.  This make no sense.

Blaming the recipient of an employment benefit is most odd.   That's a variation of blaming the victim.  So who made the mess?  Well, let's ask this, who appropriates money and who makes laws?  Who provides  oversight on executive branch management of laws and expenditures?  Ooops, it's state legislators.

Now that is why  I am puzzled.  Given the mess in pensions, it's an example of how poorly legislators have done their jobs over some years, if not decades.  Why were any of these incompetents reelected in any,  of at least the last two or three, election cycles?  Voters have actions they can use to evaluate candidates, but  they keep reelecting the very assholes who made the mess.  That is puzzling.

People who vote have all the evidence they need to show incumbent  incompetence, yet incumbents win.  Should we call them recidivists instead?   I can only conclude the majority of people who take the time to vote prefer incompetence.