Saturday, April 9, 2011

Shutdown and the Deal

The feds won't shutdown.  Our boys and girls in Congress have spent weeks arguing about cutting the 2011 budget.  They are very proud of themselves.  It appears the total cut will add up to $78.5 billion.   That seems like a lot.  However, the 2011 budget is about $3.5 trillion.  All this noise, nonsense and pissing on each other for 2.24% six months into the fiscal year?  Wow, that's real impressive.  Deft too.  What makes it even more impressive is the total lack of discussion beyond the phrase "cut spending."  Maybe that will come later?  Come on, these folks just want to be reelected.  Why do we have a government?  What should our government do and not do?  Why do we pay taxes?  If the founding fathers were around today, what do you think they'd have to say about what we've done with what they created?  When I think of Congress, I think "assholes."

Women and Organizations

I cannot understand how a woman can, of her own free will, voluntarily be a Catholic, a Mormon, or a Muslim.  Hell, I'll throw in being Jewish and add in most flavors of Protestantism too.  Given the assault on Planned Parenthood by the GOP, I do not understand how a woman can be a Republican.  Being part of those organizations seem to be voluntarily, very slowly committing suicide.    Why isn't it so?

Obama and 2012

State secrets?  Back when he was in full oratory mode, he trashed Bush for using state secrets.  He ragged on Bush for his use of secrets as a way to prevent exposure of what government employees had done at White House requests from being discovered in court.  State secrets is basically a CYA thing.  What had the employees done?  Who knows, the cases got bumped, but I'd suggest  Dick Cheney would be proud of all the deeds that we'll never learn about.

So how's Obama done on the state secrets front?   He's about the same as Bush.

Obama embraces policies he opposed as candidate


So much for talk.   I wonder what he'll talk about in 2012?  

Obama and 2012

In 2008 he talked about gays and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" a lot.  Until he was forced to walk the talk a few months back he mostly mumbled.  Congress, the Dems, developed a bit of spine and repealed the damn law last December.  DADT was finally gone.  Well, not quite.  It takes time to operationalize the repeal (besides Generals know and hope the GOP might repeal the repeal).   When?

Pentagon: 'Don't ask, don't tell' could be gone by September


It seems a bit odd, but Sarah Palin, about a year ago, assessed Obama rather well--

"This was all part of that hope and change and transparency. Now, a year later, I gotta ask the supporters of all that, 'How's that hopey, changey stuff working out?' "

How's it worked out so far?

Education

Bush gave us No Child Left Behind.  Obama gave us something.  Was it WTF?  No, it's a Race to the Top and more NCLB.  To improve education we're going to test the little bastards to death.  Those that survive will better fit and thrive in the modern world.  Along the way, we'll use test scores to evaluate the teachers too.  Unions, well, they will go along or be gone.  Test scores are the only way to measure educational sucess.  As such, the tests become the curriculum--gee we'll also save some money on figuring out what and how to teach.   Oh that's such a mountain of bullshit.  Give this a read--

The Test Generation



I don't think SOL refers to Standards of Learning.  Let me put it this way, the kids are SOL as they endure education reform.  

Iraq Has to Ask

And what must Iraq, that is, what must people who are officials in the Iraqi government ask of whom for what?  They have to ask our government officials to keep some of our troops in Iraq after 12/31/11.  Unless they ask, all of our willing troops will have to finally wander back to the U.S. where I'm sure they will be prepped for invasion of some other third world nation.  The need for medals can never be fully met.

Gates: If Iraq wants some U.S. troops to remain, it must ask soon

Botched Regulation--Again

Who will regulate the regulators?  We've had so much regulatory failure.  The economy sank into an oil covered Gulf while we picnicked on contaminated food after finding out our new Sheetrock walls would kill us too.  It gets to be too much.  I'm frazzled.  I think I'll have  my doc give me a shot of vitamins to revive my spirits and energize me.  Oh, shit, I may die from that.  Not from the shot, but from the sterilizing wipe he uses on the shot site before injecting me.

Yep, the cotton pads are not sterile.  They come pre-contaminated.  The FDA knew about this.  The FDA did it's job, it protected a health care industry business.   A two year old patient died.  Go FDA!  I wonder if the boneheads who make these kinds of decisions ever accept responsibility for deaths that they could have averted?  I doubt it.   Simply put, people who made decisions killed a two year old.  They can quibble away, but it's really that simple.

Send some thank you cards to the White House for excellent administration of the FDA and outstanding regulation.   Send a note to your Congresstypes for their incredible oversight.   They all work hard to keep America safe for their big donors.   Funny it takes a death for failure to come to light.  It shouldn't, it's become our new normal hasn't it.

Tainted alcohol wipes saga continues

Iraq and Iran

Let's see, anti-Iran Iranians living in Iraq since Saddam let them in long ago to aid Iraq in its war with Iran were attacked by Iraqi forces.   Some were killed.   While this occurred, the remaining coalition of the willing troops were playing volleyball.  Remember this is government that Bush built.  Oh, my, is the Shrub's legacy a greater Iran?

Iraqi forces raid camp of Iranian dissidents

Tom Toles

AFixrjBC_gallery.html.jpg

Israel vs. Palestine

The school bus mini-war continues.  Both sides continue to kill each other off a few at a time.  What would Easter be without carnage in the Hold Land?  Careful, is that really an Easter egg or is it a decorated grenade?

13 killed in retaliatory Israeli strikes in Gaza

Egypt, What's New?

Liberty, freedom, and democracy, as we experience them, are not exactly breaking out all over Egypt.  Come on, those folks are still trying to figure out why they built all those pyramids.   The military, unsure of what to do, are still searching for a new Pharaoh.  As they await a new living god, they are assuring all that Egypt will not change.  Ready for Hosni II?

Egyptian military uses force to break up Tahrir Square protest


Some changes have occurred.  There will be elections.  And guess what group is back?  They can run candidates and blather their nonsense just like any other power seeking group?  The Muslim Brotherhood is on the road and ready to run.

In Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood’s charitable works may drive political support

No Shutdown! What Went Wrong?

Around midnight last night, the buffoons we call Congressmen decided to pass another short term Continuing Resolution.   Then they passed it.   Our federal government remains funded.  We can still borrow money and spend it along with tax dollars.

Of course it was too hard to get this year's budget passed any time prior to October 1, 2010 (that's when the fiscal year started).  Oh, last night's CR lasts until next Friday.  Between now and then the boys and girls we sent to the clubhouse on the hill will pass a real budget.  Wow.  If they do so, then government will be able to spend and borrow money all the way until Sept. 30, 2011.  Are you as impressed as I am over this sad lot of folks?  Bets on failure of passage by Friday?

Government shutdown averted: Congress agrees to budget deal, stopgap funding

Friday, April 8, 2011

Boneheads at play in regulation land

Is this a case of shoot, draw, aim?

A new, ultra-fast wireless Internet network is threatening to overpower GPS signals across the U.S. and interfere with everything from airplanes to police cars to consumer navigation devices.


The problem stems from a recent government decision to let a Virginia company called LightSquared build a nationwide broadband network using airwaves next to those used for GPS. Manufacturers of GPS equipment warn that strong signals from the planned network could jam existing navigation systems.

It seem that way to me. It reminds me, if I can remember the details, of a similar event years ago. One arm of our government decided to use TVs as part of our civil defense alert system. TV sets would be outfitted with a circuit that could turn the set on in the event the Russkies were sending bombs our way. It was during the cold war.

A special frequency was selected.  If a signal was sent out over the power lines, TV sets would respond, turn on, squawk, and then provide us with information.  I guess the idea was we would have time to kiss our asses goodbye.

There were two problems with this program.  First, the frequency was already in use by electric power companies.  They were already using the frequency.  Frequency usage records were a bit vague.  Utilities communicated from power station to power station over the frequency civil defense decided to use.  If the frequency disappeared, then there went the power.   I think someone in the Federal Power Commission noticed Civil Defense's planned usage.   Civil Defense had to back off.  This killed the first round, but there was another reason the program died.

People reacted to idea of the program.  Folks reasoned that if government can turn a TV on and off, then government could use the TV as a camera too.   The program was seen as designed to spy on Americans.    People were sure government officials would really be in American bedrooms.   As pols caught wind of voter's reactions, they killed the program for good.  Not much changes does it?

Commodore 64 Deja Vu?

Yep,

Commodore 64 is back, with the same ol' look but modern insides

We live in interesting times

Interesting times, that's part of a Chinese curse.  China is still Chi-Comm central.  China produces most the cheap shit sold in very captialist countires.  China has become captialist, but it's still Mao's place.  That's interesting, but is there anything more interesting going on with Commie/Capitalist axis?  Yep--

With song and dance, work begins on Shanghai Disneyland



Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert A. Iger was joined by Shanghai's Communist Party chief and the city's mayor Friday to officially commence construction of a long-awaited theme park that will give the Burbank company a critical beachhead in mainland China.

I thought a Barbie shop in Beijing was also interesting, but it closed.   I wonder can Mao's heirs pull off another Cultural Revolution it they chose to do so, or given Disneyland in Shanghai, has captialism embedded itself permanently in China?   I guess our anti-communism thought assumed China would not produce cheap shit for Wal-Mart.   Whatever would J. Edger say?

Obama in 2012?

Why vote for him again?  The only reason I can come up with is he's not a GOOPER.  Did we really get health care reform?  Do we two or three wars now?  Has any part of the Patriot Act been clobbered?  Have the unions seen much White House support of late?  Oh, is Gitmo still open? Rendition still a go?  Is torture really banned by law?  How about state secrets?  Has transparency become opaque?  Noticed any difference in the way Washington or White Works these days compared to the past?  Like I said, the only good thing he has going for himself is that he's not Palin, he's not Gingrich, he's not Bachmann, he's not Barbour, he's not a batshit crazy trog.  It's will be one more vote against election.  

Good Idea

If the government shuts down maybe we should do like folks in the D.C. area--

Facebook event: Let's dump trash at Boehner's pad

Budget and Debt Deal?

The GOP hates providing health care for poor people, especially poor children and their mothers.   The GOP thinks poverty is a personal choice.  They don't think they should pay for someone else's irresponsibility.  They'd like to gut Medicaid.  If they did, they'd feel good about themselves and save a lot of tax dollars.  Maybe the time has come to deal with them.

Dems should give them Medicaid.  Allow the GOP to eliminate Medicaid.  States can then 10th Amendment their asses off any way they wish on poor people and health care.  This is a deal, so what will it cost the GOP?  Well, how about the Defense Department?

As medicaid goes bye-bye, the Dems get to deep six the Defense Dept.  Well almost all of it, I think we have to keep a Navy--it might be a Constitutional issue.  We keep one admiral, two sailors and a rowboat moored at a dock on the Potomac.  We will still have a Navy.

Elimination of both would be a compromise.  It would save us a lot of cash.  We could pay down the debt. It makes more sense than most of the dreck being bandied about by the GOP.  Get ready for waist deep bullshit as we proceed to the 2012 federal budget and the debt ceiling.

Wikileaks, Obama, Libya, Yep, he really is Dubya

Opps, I guess Qadaffi didn't do enough for us--

Dozens of confidential and secret cables sent in recent years by the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli to the State Department describe a softer and gentler Libya that Americans following the bloody crisis there now would have a hard time recognizing.


Moammar Gadhafi's son Saif al Islam, who's become the most vehement defender of his father's vicious onslaughts against protesters that triggered the civil war, is portrayed as a human rights advocate and reformer on the losing end of a battle with his harder line brother, Muatassim, Moammar Gadhafi's national security adviser.


The cables, part of a cache of 251,287 sensitive U.S. diplomatic communications that the WikiLeaks website first began publishing in November and that it recently passed to McClatchy, also describe the problems encountered by U.S. officials charged with trying to foster military, trade and counterterrorism cooperation with Libya.


Taken as a whole, the cables lift the veil on quiet but persistent efforts by the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama to end Gadhafi's decades of isolation and enlist his cooperation in fighting terrorism and resolving regional conflicts. But in light of current events, they also raise questions about whether U.S. officials were so focused on that mission that they were blind to the ruthlessness with which the regime would crush any challenge to its power.


We need a whole lot more tranparency--secrets don't serve us at all.

Nukes and Us

The world seems to have been spooked by the nuke disaster in Japan.    Do we build more nules or not?  They are the source for cheap abundant power.  But the world wonders--

Japan crisis revives global nuclear debate



Maybe the problem is not nukes per se, but the type of nukes we built for power production.  They've been designed around uranium, which conveniently yields plutonium as a by-product for bombs.  Perhaps, had we all have opted for Thorium based reactors we'd have avoided Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and Fukushima nuclear messes, fewer bombs,  and have more electricity than we could consume.

Thorium touted as The Answer to our energy needs

And in Israel

Don't worry, peace has not broken out in the MIddle East.  Nah, the Palestinians lob rockets at Israeli school buses.  Israelis return the favor and lob rockets into hovels in Gaza.   The BOOM BOOM room is still in business!

Gaza missile hits Israeli school bus, wounding teen; Israel hits back, killing four

As I read pieces about the Middle East I do wonder about the weapons.  Do these guys make their own weapons? If not, where do they get them? What proportion of the weapons, ammunition and other ordinance are sold to either side by U.S. firms? How much of the stuff, in turn,  is actually made in the USA or have we outsourced it all to China? It's a damned strange world.

Obama's War Number Three

What's he news from Libya?  Well, Qadaffi's still in power.  The revoting Arabs are still revolting, but have become more ineffective as a military force.  NATO fronts command for good old number one.  Obama's Zones are still in play.

One of them, the NO TANK ZONE, caused a bit of problem, actually a few deaths, for the revolting ones from Benghazi.  It's a NTZ.  That means no tanks.  No tanks, means no tanks.  The rebels found a functioning tank.  They drove it off towards part of Qadaffiland.  NATO forces detected the tank and followed orders.  They maintained the NTZ.  They blew the crap out of the tank and the rebels in and around the tank.  NATO made a crap free zone.  At this point, no one is sure who is charge of what.  There is little communication.

Obama has achieved in weeks what took Bush a couple of years--stalemate.  Three wars and three stalemates.  Now that's some kind of commanderating!

NATO: Rebels’ use of tanks may have triggered erroneous airstrike

It's Coming

It appears that the aces we elected to office last November think they will be reelected in 2012 if they shutdown the federal government by not appropriating funds to pay the bills.  The new teabagger types and their kowtowing GOP majority think this is what voters desire.

Democrats prefer to fund the government, pay the bills, and allow government services to continue.  Note government services include paying the military, paying defense contractors, subsidizing ethanol, as well as providing health care to veterans, seniors, and the poor.

If Republican voters want this, then they will reelect the assholes holding office today.  If they do so, it  will confirm to the rest of us what we already know--they really are batshit crazy.

Both parties continue talks over elusive 2011 budget deal

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Utah is not that red

Over 50% of assholes (that's a technical term for Mississippians) in Mississippi call themselves conservative, they are on top of the pile.  I'll let you determine the nature of the pile.  I thought Utah be number one and well over 50%.  They aren't even number two.  Somebody better tell the prophet, seer, and revelator to proclaim that god told him that all Saints are to declare themselves to be conservative or no planet in the next life.  We'll await the next poll.

Mississippi Rates as the Most Conservative U.S. State

Politifact

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Putting Trump to the Truth-O-Meter

Donald Trump, described on his Wikipedia page as "an American business magnate, socialite, author, and television personality," has become a significant player in the Republican campaign for president.
The new NBC News-Wall Street Journal pollshows him tied for second with Mike Huckabee) with 17 percent of  the Republican vote. (Mitt Romney was first, with 21 percent.)
Trump has said he is seriously considering running and lately has made appearances on many television shows, including Daily Rundown, Morning Joe and, this morning, theToday Show.
We've put him to the Truth-O-Meter twice so farand found both of his claims to be incorrect.
In a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference, he said that, "The people that went to school with (Barack Obama), they never saw him, they don't know who he is." We found that ridiculously false and rated it Pants on Fire.
We also checked his claim that South Korea doesn't pay the United States for troops. We rated that False.
We're checking another Trump claim and should have it posted later today.

Meanwhile, we've also done some recent checks on:
● RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, who said that under President Obama, 26 million jobs have been lost. That earned a Pants on Fire.
● House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who said that under a Republican appropriations bill, 6 million seniors would be deprived of meals. We rated that Half True.
● Senator Debbie Stabenow, who said that a government shutdown could disrupt veterans benefits. That earned a True.

Hurricane Season is Coming

Every year we enjoy a six month hurricane season.  The weather guys are predicting lots of storms and hurricanes for the 2011 season.   The season begins June 1st, so get planning now!

Experts see busy Atlantic storm season



 I hate hurricanes.  Isabelle did some major damage,  Enesto was no fun.  I can do without these huge storms, but what the hey, the view of the water is fantastic.

Deja Vu Again, VA style

Okay patriots, we assume, look we don't pay that much attention to what folks in our government actually do, that Vets get taken care of by the Veterans Administration.  The problem is, traditionally,  they do get "taken care" of as in they get shafted.  The current set of wars have run for a long time, over a decade for one of them.  They have produced lots of vets who need lots of help. Gee, the VA just discovered that  every war produces it own kind of injuries specific to itself? Wow, who'd a thunk that?  The veteran's needs from the current wars, however,  have been well publicized.  And guess what, vets are being taken care of in a traditional manner--

The number of veterans' disability claims taking more than four months to complete has doubled, prompting criticism from veterans and Congress that the Department of Veterans Affairs failed to prepare for a rise in cases it knew was coming.

Gee, I wonder who's to blame? Well, who elects folks to Congress? Who elects the president who in turn appoints people to run places like the VA? Well, let's begin with the majority of voters. See, what our vets experience is exactly what the majority of voters must want, after all they elect and reelect the same folks in charge of our government and the VA.

Note: if you favor a government shutdown, then you better be gung ho for even shoddier service and less assistance for our vets.  Shutdown--No money, no VA, just shut er down, right?  If you favor shutdown, well I'll be polite and just consider you an ill-informed loon.

Do you think the government should shutdown?

If you agree with "my budget or nothing" and the shutdown that will ensue, then you are probably a Republican.  You are in the minority.  Most of us think it's time to compromise.  If the government does shutdown,  we all better remember it in 2012 and vote accordingly.

Americans Favor Budget Compromise Over Shutdown, 58%-33%


The fiscal problems we see in Washington, are not the result of a "Washington" or a "government," they result from the actions of people elected into offices by the majority of voters (50% of 50%).  Voters elected people.  Voters sent them to work in Washington, D.C.  Voters expect them to run and administer an organization we refer to as our federal government.  The problems we currently experience are a result of the actions taken by the people that the majority of voters put  into office.  If any of the people in office have been in office for more than one term, well, we know is responsible for the current SNAFU.

Obama's Bungled War

Which one?  Oh, the Afghan one.  We've got a new/old strategy we're going to try.  We're still trying to achieve stalemate in our time.  We've going to fund peace conferences.  We'll pay to set them up.  We'll send invitations to members of the Taliban.  Speakers will ask them to quit fighting.

If we ask them very politely, they're sure to turn their AK-47s into roto-tillers.  Oh, I forgot, we'll also slip them some cash.  It's severance pay, not bribes.  You know, it makes more sense to just leave the rubble pile completely today.  If the Taliban comes back and brings back Osama, then we can make a No Afghan Zone can't we?

U.S. pledges more money for peace program in Afghanistan

They Really Are Little Boys and Girls

I'd have guessed more than 50%--

27% of communication by members of Congress is taunting, professor concludes

How many gays?

Conventional wisdom seems to have gays comprising about 10% of our population.  Of course that number came from older studies and time may have made it true.  A new study, using data from recent surveys that included sexual orientation, puts the proportion at about 3.5%.

If the older number is true, then crudely, 1 out of 10 Americans is gay.  At that level, it's pretty easy for everyone to know someone who is gay.  How many gays do you know?  Does 1 in 10 ring true for you?  If the newer number is more accurate, then it's 1 out of every 29 Americans is gay.  Does the 1:29 seem more accurate to you?  Does it matter?

In terms of human and civil rights, it does not matter.  Gays are people.  As people, they are entitled to all the rights, protections, and services enjoyed by every other group in our society, culture and government.  Discrimination against gays has no place in our lives.  It's simple, they as well as every other type of person, have to be treated equally.  It they are not, then we fail as a nation.  It's "We the People" not "Some of us People."

Okay, that's the theory.  The reality is there are lots of folks who hate gays for a variety of reasons.   Pols consider one thing--votes.  One in ten voters can sway an election, but one in thirty?  Unless a pol is from an area like San Francisco, the pols will be less inclined to push for gay rights if they think the majority of their voters don't include gays in that "We" idea.  It should not matter but practically it will.  As we consider the politics don't forget, only half of us bother to vote.

9 million Americans estimated to be gay or bisexual, but solid figures elusive

Shutdown is on the way

Unless something gives, like the GOP and their teabagger masters being willing to make a deal, the federal government will shut down.  The feds will have no money.  Money will be available for a while, but every day the government stays closed, the closer it will come to not being able to spend a dime.  Are you ready for the end of all government services?  Think about it before you answer.

Who's to blame?  Well, primarily it's the GOP.  They are afraid of the teabaggers.  The teabaggers, an ill-informed lot, think a $14 trillion deficit can be fixed by cutting some billions from the 2011 budget.  They see it as symbolic to boot.  Then in subsequent budgets all we have to do it cut foreign aid and it's fixed.  As teabaggers demanded a $100 billion cut,  the GOP thought $60 billion to be a good number.  The they had to deal with the Dems. Of course the Dems did not see the need for such huge cuts.  So they basically said "no not that much."

At this point, compromise and dealing are supposed to kick in.  It hasn't really.   The teabaggers, having learned how to compromise from the GOP, insist everybody compromise by accepting their $100 billion cut.  Why $100 billion?  Oh, it's a campaign promise--see job number 1 is getting reelected, governing has little to do with being an elected asshole.  The incumbents are committed to being reelected assholes.

The Dems have talked and are willing to cut $30-40 billion, the GOP is okay with that, but the teabaggers just scream "shut 'er down."  The first death from lack of government services will be laid at the teabaggers doorstep--since they are not a party the death will belong to all of the "patriots" who voted these primitives into office.  Let's look at the mess and point a few more fingers.

Who's to blame?  First the voters who elected the teabag types and Republicans.  Then come the elected officials--they are not solving problems, they are behaving like all the other pols who made the mess in the first place.  Then come the members of the Grand Old Party in the 112th Congress,  they have failed.  Of course the Dems are in for a chunk of blame too.  Oh, don't forget the guy in the White House, he hasn't helped matters either.  Voters have not been all that adept at electing people willing and able to govern.  We need to reform our politics a bit don't we?

Obama says shutdown would be ‘inexcusable’

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Adios Glen Beck

Fox has fired Beck.  I guess the ratings must have really gone down.

Why Glenn Beck lost it

Ryan's Budget

It's all about one thing, no, not the deficit, it's about tax cuts for the rich.

Paul Ryan’s dogmatic budget

No longer the big story II -- Japan Nuke Disaster

It appears the rush to create those day-glow frankenfish is over.  Well, they may become a local only delicacy, as TEPCO claims to have shut down the flow of radioactive water.

Radioactive water no longer leaking into sea, nuclear plant operator says


Of course TEPCO may not be quite telling the truth about the radioactive material, but they have already told folks they are going to build new reactors at the same site. They already have some existing plans.  Their design and planning costs will be low. That's brass.

I don't think even BP had the balls to tell the U.S. they were going to start drilling a new well at the same site as their Gulf spill site while the spill was still raging. (On e year later, BP has just requested permission to drill new holes in the Gulf.)

Amid nuclear crisis, Japan’s Tepco planned new reactors

No longer the big story--Libya

Libya is still a mess.  Despite the various zones--No Fly, No Tanks, No Coast Guard, No Artillery, which Obama and cronies created, Qadaffi is still in office.  I guess they accidentally created a No Regime Change Allowed Zone.

As both sides continue to kill a few opponents here and there, Libya appears headed towards partition.  Qadaffi and his tribes to the West, the revolting Arabs and their tribes to the East.  Is this shades of the past returning?   What drives the drive to partitioned stalemate?  Oh, there's no there, there without oil.  If Libya did not have oil, most of Libya would not exist.  Both sides have to look for revenue.  They have oil.  They can sell oil if they are not blowing up the workers, the wells  and the refineries. Ergo, back off the bullets and get back to business, but make it two businesses.

I guess our No Fly Zone will have to morph into defining and defending a demilitarized zone across Libya, it's humanitarian.  Hot damn, are we on our way towards creating another Korea?

Libyan rebels, hoping for one state, prepare for two

Did we elect kids?

As our government moves towards shutdown, we should ask ourselves, did we elect people to accomplish this particular task?  I doubt that we did.  However, if our elected bozo thinks we did, then he or she will work zealously to comply with our request.  Don't forget, to them,  job #1 is reelection, then comes party majority ship, and maybe third comes the governning thing.  To them, we're a necessary pest, we have to vote for them.  We're third at best.  We elect children.

The mess is our fault.  We elected, have not paid attention, and reelected.  Now, we have not what "Washington" did, not what "government" did.  No, we have what people we elected have done for us and to us at least since 1980.  If any of us do not like what we see today, we need to think about the way we voted since 1980?  If we want a better government, then we need to elect a better calibre of people to office to run it.  This shutdown more reflects a kiddie temper tantrum than much else.  Is this what we elected? If it is, then enjoy the show.  If it isn't then we need to write the kids we elected--our Rep., our Senator, and our President.  Oh, in 2012, we need find adults to vote for.  If none are provided, then write in NOTA*.  

Obama, congressional leaders make no progress on budget





*None of the Above



Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fug Madness is Over

Lady Gaga didn't make it into the final round.  The winner is--

Fug Madness 2011: One Fugging Winner, One Fugging Moment

Execution Quibbles

A condemned guy who is scheduled to be killed is contesting his killing by the State of Texas.  He contends the drugs Texas will use to kill him are not legit, they're even expired.  Heck of a way to get a stay,  but you do what you can.

This is just one more bit of evidence that Texas and other governments that kill people need to get some new killing tools.  As usual, my suggestion is the guillotine, it does not expire.  Once you have one, it's like a perverse energizer bunny, it just keeps on going, chop, chop, chop.  A good one never even needs to be resharpened, well at least not until you exceed 100,000 heads.

In Last-Minute Action, Texas Inmate Disputes Use of Execution Drug

Think Back and Forward

In 2008 gas skyrocketed.  There were no electric cars on the market.  Today, gas is going up and up again. Now electric cars are on the market.  How high will gas have to go before most folks will abandon the internal combustion engine?  If we all went electric, what will that do to the cost of electricity and the shape of our grid?

I wish they'd put the same amount of effort into fuel cell powered cars.  I want to have an electric car generates it's own electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen, produces no heat, and has one waste product, water.  Maybe one of these days...

Is the moment for electric cars finally driving up?

The Next Budget Battle--2012

Rep. Ryan has a GOP budget proposal.  He likes it.  The GOP likes it.  Obama thinks it sucks.  The Dems know it sucks.  Get ready for lots of huff-puffery over the proposal.

If you are poor and Ryan gets his way, you will be even worse off in life.  Remember the GOP thinks poverty is all a matter of personal choice.  Cut Medicaid.  If you are old now, you're probably going to have minor problems, but if you are under 50  better plan on taking care of yourself 100% when you become an old fart.  They will clobber Medicare and shaft Social Security.  Oh, yeah, no retirement until 70 is on the way.  What else?  Defense will continue to thrive as they keep fear alive.  The Federal pad will get even stronger as we rename the Treasury Department into the Department of Corporate Tax Transfers.  Why we'll fund it all, pay down the deficit and keep it all running through lots of tax cuts.  It's so GOP.

In other words, start boning up on budgets because it will be a major fight.  Will Ryan be chewed in Democratic jaws or will he snatch victory from them?  Of course I don't expect either side to entertain much serious discussion of why we have a government, what it's supposed to do, and such.  We will have lots of nit-picking numbers bandied about.  Both sides will argue the budget from one perspective--if we do this, how will it effect my campaign contributions and reelection?

GOP 2012: overhauls on entitlements and taxes, $6.2 trillion in cuts over decade

What comes after a shutdown?

The children in Congress may shut our government down.  I doubt that the majority of Americans think it's a good idea, but a majority of voters might.  That's only 25% of us--only half of us vote, so half of a half is the majority.  I wonder if the 25% majority are ready for what's next?  It's the debt cieling.  It has to be raised since we have to borrow money.  It's not a simple task to just stop anything--try stoppng an oil tanker on a dime--our government is more akin to a tanker than much else.  Oh, what happens if we default on T-Bills?

Geithner warns lawmkers of need to raise debt limit


Maybe it's time for more folks to vote and it's time to not reelect anyone. Is it time for term limits?  How about one presidential, one House and one Senate.  Oh, let's get rid of pensions for elected folks while we're at it.

Ready for C.R. #7?

It may happen, we'll fund the feds for another week beyond the current Continuing Resolution #6. Our Congress cannot quite get appropriations passed for the current year. Both parties and the White House, pretty much fail the basics of governing. Can we fire the lot of them?

Why not pass a permanent C.R.? We can borrow and spend at current levels until the boys and girls we elect figure out how to be adults. That might take a long time, we'd still be spending at 2011 levels in 2041.

House Republicans propose seventh stopgap funding proposal

Who needs regulation?

Southwest flys 737s until they fall apart, I guess the are the Wal-Mart of the airlines.  Unfortunately, cheap shit from China is not how they make money, it's over use of old aircraft.  The fuselages just sort of crack open.

The FAA, our ace regulators, knew there was a problem, at least in 2009, perhaps earlier.  Now, in 2011, they think it might be a good idea to inspect all the 737s.  Oh, if Boeing can get around to it, the FAA thinks that a it might be a good idea to take a peek at how flight cycles are linked to metal fatigue.  At times it seems like the FAA just discovered that metal can crack.  Aces, real aces.   Would we be better off without the FAA or not?  Does it's existence lull us into thinking planes are safer than they are?

FAA to order inspections of Boeing 737s

Feeling screwed yet?

If not, get ready, the red, white and blue shaft will be all ours as soon as inflation begins to hit us hard.  Wages are not going up.  We're still reeling from 2008.  Demand is up worldwide.  Unfortunately, U.S. jobs and output are not where the action is these days.  Oh, we were screwed by greedy souls, we call them investors,  but that's not new.  They are always with us.  This time around, it was the avarice of our pols that really bit us in the ass.  Damn, the same pests are still in office and still pursuing job #1, getting reelected at all costs.

Inflation inflicting pain, as wages fail to keep pace with price hikes

Moral High Ground?

Here's an opinion piece by Richard Cohen.  It's on Israel and Hamas.  Do you think Israel, as a matter of state policy would target Palestinian civilians during its altercations with Hamas and others?  If you do, why?

It's odd, but that intangible, the morality of a people, is so easy to lose and once lost, damned near impossible to regain.  How does a culture lose their way?  Over time it's lost as people allow the ends to justify the means of their actions and therein lies the problem all it takes is one act and a people lose.  When we rationalize away who we are--for safety--we lose who we are.  That immediacy of now can bite us in the ass, can't it?   It doesn't matter if Israel has, in fact, a murderous policy, it does matter if other people, observing events, are sure it it does.   Perhaps the high ground it identified as high ground because it it high, others look up to it.  Now about the U.S...

The Goldstone Report and Israel’s moral standing

Monday, April 4, 2011

Gee, Dubya is still president?

Another Obama goal is shafted.  Of course it's not his fault.  It's never his fault.  There's always someone else to blame.  Mr. Cool is a victim.  Damn those ever pesky Republicans.   I guess running for reelection has been a tad too important.  What was it he said about voting for someone else?  Yeah, in 2012, I think I'm going to write in NOTA--none of the above.

Khalid Sheik Mohammed to be tried by military commission

Religion

How do people get this fucked up?  They are a sad, sad lot.

Terry Jones, pastor who ordered Koran burning has divided families, ex-church members say



Let's hear it for secular, humanist, atheism.  Theism blows chunks.  

Too bad it's just GOOPERs at play

Wikis have lots of uses. Can one be made to trash a pol? Sure. It's out there.  Will it survive 2012? You bet, but only if Obama wins, otherwise it will die. Then there's the matter of who edits what.

A Wiki Takes Aim at Obama



In much the same way news outlets have tried to harness social networking tools to improve their reports and then popularize them, Crossroads GPS is experimenting with a system of distributed accountability (or distributed opposition research, if you prefer).

Buy More Land?

As we continue to rack up trillion dollar debts each year and approach a $15 trillion total tab, should the feds buy more park land?  It's only a $900 million deal.  Well, that's $540 million from taxes and $360 million we have to borrow--40 cents on the dollar is borrowed these days.  If the feds already own 3 out of 10 acres, do they really need to buy more?  I doubt the purchases will provide many blades of grass for kids to go stomping on.  Bag it?  Buy it?  I wonder what big donor owns the land ObamaCo wants to buy?

On public lands plan, GOP tells Obama to 'get off my lawn'

Arm Yourself

Ladies, if you live in Yemen, start packing.  Kneecap the next guy who shows up with stick.

Female protesters in Yemen attacked by police

Burn More Korans

None of the attempts by Bush or Obama in Afghanistan have accomplished much except keeping us there for more war.  Maybe we should have a million  Koran burning on the Mall?  Religious Afghans would get quite angry.  The top zealots would turn out in huge numbers.  They'd be concentrated in public places expressing their rage, maybe Osama would show up.  We could use several cruise missiles and take them all out.   Radical Islam would become leaderless, the flock would fritter away.  It might even be humanitarian--prevent Islamists from killing for god in jihad.

Afghan protests over Koran burning in Florida are calmer on 3rd day


If this works, then next we might try a 2 million bible burn off.

Airline Safety--Southwest Version

Is Southwest the low fare, no frills airline?  We now understand how it keeps its costs down--fly 'em until they fall apart.  Funny how airlines can't do safety on their own, they always just meet the FAA's specs.   Imagine what airlines would be like without the FAA?  That should even scare the minimal government, batshit crazy GOOPERs and their Teabagging cronies.

NTSB: Cracks similar to those found in damaged Southwest Airlines jet found in 3 other planes




Gulf Oil

As we come closer to the 1st anniversary of BP's fiasco in the Gulf, they're back.  BP wants to open some new wells in the Gulf.  I guess they missed some living things last year.  If they can kill the entire Gulf, then they will be able to drill quite cheaply without regard to any kind of safety at all.  

BP in talks with Interior Department to resume Gulf of Mexico deep-water drilling

Have you been willing to eat Gulf seafood yet?

Obama and 2012

Gee, the guy has formalized what he's been working for since he first sworn in to office.  He's running for reelection.  Who'd a guessed it?  One of these days it would be nice to have someone decide to bag it just because one term is enough for anyone.

Obama announces 2012 reelection bid (video)



Will he hope that we haven't noticed the absence of change as we stare at our more opaque government?  Other than once every four years, most of us don't matter to a pol much at all.   Why do we sell our votes so damn cheaply?  If we don't like the boobs nominated for offices, then we should vote, but write in a vote for none of the above--NOTA.  



Sunday, April 3, 2011

Here's a good reason to be ashamed of Texas

Try the 1st District of Texas, there you will find Louie Gomert, the elected Rep.  The guy is a batshit crazy loon.  Here's the latest example--

Gohmert: Libya Attacks Are False Flag For Obama To Call Up Private Army Created By Health Care Law

Hmm, if Louie is representative, then the entire district has eaten more than their fair share of batshit.  I'd be embarrassed to be from Texas.  Wow, adults in Texas elected this fruitcake.   That brings into question the concept of adulthood.   It has been downhill for them since 1836.

Egypt, What's New?

There's not much new in Egypt.  That should be good news for rendition fans.  The military is still in charge.  Torture chambers are in operation and available.  It must have been scary there for a minute or two for the CIA, White House and others in our government,  Gee, they might have had to do their own torturing, but interrogation land lives on.  Our official's hands can remain bloodless.  Egypt has survived a brush with democracy and freedom and retained it's usual place in the world order.

Egypt’s military keeping repressive practices in place

Shutdown?

If the feds shutdown because all the dipwads we elected can't quite get a budget done, who will you blame?  I will blame them all, GOP, Dems, and Bush's replacement in the White House.  If our government shuts down, we should also blame ourselves, we elected the bozos.  I guess they are truly representative are they not?

Government shutdown: Frequently Asked Questions

Health Insurance Reform Bonanza

I guess the GOOPERs forgot to tell us how the changes in Medicare would create private sector jobs and generate lots of taxable revenue.  After all somebody has to guide the docs and hospitals into creating and running Accountable Care Organizations.  Damn, health insurance companies are getting a piece of the consulting action.  You can bet the savings will be minimal--just enough to legally be called savings, the rest will be profit and the care will probably degrade.  Can we have a Canadian system sometime?

Complex health-care law turns into payday for consultants

Coal or Nukes?

Given the mess in Japan, here's question for you.  What's safer nukes or coal/gas/oil for generating electricity?  Hm, here's one answer--

Nuclear power is safest way to make electricity, according to study

Obama does not need little donors

Obama is going after the big bucks.  I guess you could say he's for sale.  If you were a small donor in his 2008 campaign, do you feel like you got what you paid for?  Or do you feel like there was a pig int he poke?  Yeah, we hoped for some change.  To bad we didn't have transparent pokes back in 2008.  Not that it would have made that much difference.  Come on, John McAncient as president?

For all the bullshit ObamaCo has spewed on his fund raising, I think I saw an analysis that showed he was pretty much in line with Dubya, not in total dollars, but in proportions of where types of donations came from.  Am I wrong?  I don't remember where I saw it.

So on Obama, will you give him money for 2012?  Free labor in 2012?  Your vote in 2012?

Obama reelection campaign expected to tap big-money donors

I don't get it

One religious guy in Florida burns a religious book that others kind of like.  The others get all huffy and puffy.  They gather in the streets and do a bit of rioting.  I don't understand why anyone burns a book.  That makes no sense, it just makes ash.  It's dumb.  The reaction to dumb is even dumber.  Why on earth would people riot, loot, pillage and even kill others because some jackass burned a book?  Wouldn't it be a more appropriate response for them to burn,say two copies, of the Florida's guys religious book?  It would still be dumb, but what the hey, we're dealing with folks who live in theistic fantasy lands.

Florida pastor Terry Jones’s Koran burning has far-reaching effect

Book Review: No Regrets

If you are a fan of Edith Piaf, then you might be interested in a new biography of her.  If you don't know who Piaf is, then go rent "La Vie en Rose."  It came out in 2007, Marion Cotilliard won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Piaf.  The flick has a good selection of Piaf songs.  I am a fan.  I loved the film.   The first time I heard Piaf sing was long ago, I was in seventh grade.

Funny, the next year I discovered one of my other all time favorite singers, Vera Lynn.  If you don't know Vera Lynn, go to Pandora and make a Vera Lynn station for yourself.  By the way Vera Lynn, in her 90s, a year or two back had the best selling album in England--even beat out the Beatles.  Since I'm on singers, give Katherine Jenkins a listen too.

Yardley reviews “No Regrets: The Life of Edith Piaf”
  

Mormons in the White House?

The last poll on the topic I saw indicated Americans would not elect an atheist president.  Atheists were closely followed by Muslims.  Then came the Mormons.  In each case 70% or more would not vote for a person if they were godless, a jihadi or knew what time and eternity means.

The GOOPERS have a Mormon problem.  Well, more precisely they have two Mormon problems.  One is Willard Romney.  The other is Jon Boy Huntsman.  Both are card carrying Mormons.  Actually the card is a Temple recommend--they can enter temples and baptize dead people--but it won't get them elected.

If voters say no way to members of Joe's flock, what can Willard and Jon Boy do?  Oh, my, their problem is solved.  Yep, all you need is Broadway musical comedy "The Book of Mormon" and folks will begin to see Mormons are just another crazy group of theists who aren't all that different from the rest.  I wonder what will be the hummable tune from this one?

The problem is not the religion it's these bozo's politics.  

  

Libya--Obama's Iraq?

I doubt that even the Shrub could have planned his wars to come out as they have so far.  He tried and they got worse and worse.  He had to leave and pass them to the next guy.  The next guy hasn't done much better.  He plans and things still get fucked up.  Oh, yeah, he's even opened a third war.  I guess he wanted one of his own and not hand me downs.  Gee, if he gets it right maybe he'll go down in history as a great wartime commaderator.  Make you want to gag and heave doesn't it?

What does the next guy need to do to avoid his personal Iraqi FUBAR?

Will Libya become Obama’s Iraq?