Saturday, August 13, 2011

Maybe they should ban Mormons instead

One again the adults do a disservice to their children.

Virginia School District Deletes Sherlock Holmes Novel From 6th Grade for 'Anti-Mormon' Portrayal



The hardest part of teaching public school remains the parents.





Where are you in polispace?

It's time to take a quiz (again).  Are  you a centrist, a libertarian, a liberal, a trog, or a statist?

World's Smallest Quiz

Phone Hacking Case Has Not Ended

It's not front page news anymore, but the story continues.  Browse The Guardian for pieces of interest to you.

Phonehacking

Now why did anyone ever listen to them?


Internet Radio

Want a have a great Saturday morning--especially if you live on the East Coast.  Try listening to KXCI, the station is in Tucson and is on Mountain time.   I love  John Putnam's show, Mele O Hawaii'i.  For me it's on from 7-9 am.  It's followed by Betsi's B&B--two hours of an always delightful mix of old and new--a pleasant way to start the day.  Try it, you might feel better.

KXCI

Ron Paul for President?

Here's something to ponder.  Last time around Ron Paul was perceived to be a libertarian nut, a fruitcake.  He had fans, especially young ones.  He and his crew knew how to raise funds, but the stuff he said was crazy.  At least that seems to be what the chattering class concluded.  Paul was dismissed.  Now, a few years later, Paul seems to have been more accurate than all the other 2008 candidates and pundits combined.  He's back for 2012.  What if he wins the Ames straw poll?

Now think about this, what if by a quirk in our national psyche--come on we elected the Shrub twice--Paul becomes the GOP nominee?  Would Paul have a chance against Obama?  Would the GOP become libertarianized?  Now if Paul won the election....

Ron Paul comes in from the fringe

Get to Know the Asshole from El Paso, Rick Perry.

I know, he's from Paint Creek, but "Asshole from Paint Creek" doesn't sound as good.   Asshole from El Paso is downright hummable.  Regardless of geography, Rick is an asshole.  He'll present himself as a god fearing, values voting, fiscal conservative Texan.  It's the Texan attribute we need to pay attention to.  What do all Texas assholes have in common?  Well, let me put it this way, when those assholes open up get ready for a bodacious load of stinky, sticky, viscous shit.  Now, about a load from the asshole from El Paso--

Texas' Perry to enter presidential race with vulnerabilities

Capitalist Bullshit

Every time business backers spew capitalist swill, they spout the market, supply and demand.  They tell us the invisible hand of the market makes all things right, lifts us all and guarantees progress.  Competition keeps us honest and insures that prices are where they ought to be.  Have you tanked up recently?

Drop in oil price could bring little relief at the pump



If oil companies were people, we'd have put them in the stocks for a week then we'd have them drawn and quartered.  Hey, we can, Willard says they're people, so let's go find a CEO or three.  I'll bring the rotten vegetables.  





Tahrir Square

Egypt's revolting Arabs thought they had toppled the government when they ousted Mubarak.  Oops, he was just a front man for the real rulers, the military.  The score, post Mubarak, is really the Military-1 and  revolting Arabs-0.  The score remains unchanged and will remain so until they adopt a separation of church and state, that is, if the desired end entails little matters such as liberty, freedom, democracy, inalienable rights and so on.  Until then Egypt will remain a land of revolting Arabs.

Hundreds of protesters briefly clash with riot police in Cairo’s Tahrir Square


Medicare for all would have been simpler and better

Instead of Medicare for all,  Obama and the Dems made some ugly health insurance sausage.  As usual, the product's primary defense is that something is better than nothing. Unfortunately, this something has a little requirement that all Americans buy health insurance.  That mandate caused a lot of people to give themselves mega-wedgies.  Even before they excised their shorts from their ass cracks, they sued!  The results are coming in.  The lower courts have decided mandates are legit unless they're not.  Yep, the junior robes have sung a A side song and a B side ditty!  Now, all parties will have to grab those tighty whities and yank them one more time.  Get ready for Roberts and the Robes to croon a mandated tune.

Appeals court strikes down health-care law’s insurance mandate

  

Who cares?

Gee should Obama go on vacation this month?  Who cares.  He's already proven that he can't get much done, so leaving town won't affect the markets or much else one way or the other.  Congress can't get much done either, so Obama ought to invite them to tag along.  Can you imagine Martha's Vineyard with Obama and 535 members of Congress vacationing away?  That's got the makings of a Wes Craven movie.

At any rate, the GOP will savage Obama in the same way the Dems savaged Bush on vacation.  Have you forgotten his Crawford ranch?  I bet Obama will even write a post presidency volume "Lessons Learned on Vacation."

Should Obama go on vacation while markets are so skittish?


Understanding Iowa

The Ames straw poll occurs today.  We'll find out which GOOPER has found the most favor with Iowa's Republicans.  We know the candidates, at least their names, but who are all those batshit crazy "ordinary" folk who vote in the straw poll?  Well, god told them to go right.  They did,  They went from right field to the bleachers and are now out in the corn field beyond the parking lot. Oh my god, it's GOOPERS of the Corn!

Straw poll: In Iowa, GOP leans to the right of the right


Colbert Super PAC

By now everyone has probably seen Colbert's SuperPAC ads that  he's run in Iowa.  The first one was for Rick Parry--with an A.  What does the ad mean?  What nuanced threads of bullshit can you find?  I just figure the A was for asshole.  After all, Rick Perry is one along with all the Iowans in the GOP.

Stephen Colbert Super PAC's first ad: What's it really making fun of?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Here's a Trade

Our bollixed wars have cost us a bundle so far--1.2 trillion and rising every second.  We're shelling out 6 billion plus a month in Iraq.  Make that 8 billion and more a month in Afghanistan.  As we waste all that cash on two shitholes the United States Postal System is going belly up.  Here's a deal for you to consider.

End the wars.  Shut down the DOD war spending, but re-driect some, say 15%, of it to the USPS.  As we end the wars, we can end the public/private USPS nonsense.  Bring the USPS back into the totally public sector and re-seatblish it as part of government for Congress and the White House to fund and run.  Congress will have something other than Defense to use for earmarks and buy local votes--the Post Office.  Let's put it back the way it was.  Subsidize it, pay for it,  in exchange for ending the wars.

Would you rather fight two moronic financial sinkhole wars or insure Saturday delivery, cheap stamps (how about 25 cents), and full employment for postal workers?  I'd love to just have my mail delivered on time--sometimes I receive a month's worth of weekly magazines all on the same day, one month late.

Are you ready to have your local PO closed?  Come on, bring take our POs back by bringing back our boys and girls from Bush's follies.  This is a taking back our country I can understand and I don't have to buy a three cornered hat,  buy silly flags, or sip tea.

If we don't act, then get ready for the USPS to fall apart --

Postal Service proposes cutting 120,000 jobs, pulling out of health-care plan



Oh, drop your Congresstypes a line and demand an end to war by restoring the Post Office.  It will confuse the hell out of them.

GOOPER Bullshit

There was a "debate" in Ames, Iowa last night.  Well, it was actually a bunch of serial questions which received responses.  In other words, it was what passes as debate.  Funny -bate means to lessen or diminish and de- is a prefix that is used to show intensity.   It was a debate.

I watched a bit over half of the show--I TIVO'd it. After finishing "The Lincoln Lawyer" I switched to the intense lessening of knowledge show.  I watched it until the Daily Show came on.  I may finish watching the debate, it was kind of funny.

Oh, there were only two of them who made any sense at all--Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman.  The rest were hellbent on proving they are bonafide batsthit eaters crazy enough for primary voter approval.  Paul is a libertarian.  Huntsman is a normal Republican.  Both are more or less batshit free.  As for the others, I'm not a GOOPER, so much of what they said was either mystifying or ludicrous.   Republicans are a strange lot.

Well?

Democrats Not Eager for an Obama Challenger

If challenged, that will guarantee the GOOPER's election in 2012.   What if it was Santorum?  Bachmann?  Palin? Gingrich?   Kind of makes one's skin crawl.  If Obama is not challenged he will most probably be reelected.  The race is thus between two evils,  Obama is the lesser evil.   Look,  Obama is right of center, but all of the GOOPERS are so far right they've crossed the foul line and are in the bleachers.   Some are out in the parking lot.  

Vote against the GOOPER, but along the way, it's no money and no free labor for Obama.  If Obama is unchallenged, the GOP will try to nominate a candidate they think has a chance of unseating Obama--it won't be Huntsman (he could defeat Obama but cannot be nominated).  It will most likely be Willard.  Of course this can all change, it's so damn early in the duck season.

Be glad we have that little bit of separation of chuch and state

If our home grown evangefundies had their way, we'd be much more like other nations where religious restrictions are on the rise.  When restrictions rise, little things like liberty and freedom die.   Religion makes so little sense, maybe that's why it's so popular and so usable as a political tool.  When one chooses to live in a fact free world, anything that pops into one's head can be True.  Amazing stuff religion.

Rising Restrictions on Religion


Now that we've gotten to know them

Until they were sworn into office and could legislate the Teabaggers who took House seats in January were all talk.  Look, that's all campaigns can be is talk.  A lot of that talk did involve promises about how they would walk if they were elected.  Now that these trogs have been able to strut their shit on Capitol Hill, more and more people are discovering they better apply the duck test to figure out what they elected.  The Teabaggers look, talk, and walk like hot steaming turds, so voters now realize they elected...

Views of Tea Party Supporters in Congress Grow More Negative



Oh, my, that guy who occupies the White House ran on a lot of talk that promised a whole lot of walk.  Better apply the duck test.  If it looks, talks and walks like a ______.



Equal Time

Five Democratic proposals.

Five Republican proposals.

Which proposals have merit?

A Pol is a Pol No Matter Where They Reside

UK riots?  Well not so, if you are a Scottish pol.  It's a great way to get you name in the paper.  Of course the causes of the riots are not addressed, but who cares if you all you want is to be reelected.  If the riots do spread to Scotland, then of course it will be a UK problem, not that of Scotland.

Scotland: Beg your pardon, these are not 'UK' riots


The last bubble?

The housing bubble burst.  We all still live with the effects of that bit of financial insanity, some more so than others.  It's been a major shock for a lot of us.  Housing may be better than a lottery ticket as part of a retirement plan, but how much?  Ready for the next bubble?  You're not going to like this one at all.  Let me introduce it by saying that today, aggregate college loan debt now exceeds credit card debt.

The Higher Education Bubble

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It's Promise Week!

You've heard of Shark Week, Fashion Week and Biker Week. We're declaring this Promise Week and publishing updates to the Obameter and the GOP Pledge-O-Meter.
We've posted several promises that we have either rated for the first time or have updated. So far, we've updated President Barack Obama's promises to create clean coal partnerships, to mandate insurance coverage of autism, to create a community college partnership program and to organize a successful nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review conference.
Meanwhile, on the GOP front, we've rated promises to keep detainees at Guantanamo Bay, to allow the purchase of health insurance across state lines and to increase access to domestic energy sources.
If you haven't looked at them lately, make sure you check out the Obameter and the GOP Pledge-O-Meter for the latest tally on how President Obama and the Republicans are doing on their campaign promises.

Meanwhile, make sure you check the site tonight and tomorrow for our fact-checking on the Republican presidential debate in Iowa. We'll be live tweeting with fact-checks during the debate and we'll be updating the main storyon our site throughout the night and tomorrow.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

We've Done It!

We have managed to elect 536 total boobs.  And we have the gaul to be upset with our selections?  The latest Post poll shows us when happens when our bad taste became fashionable--

Washington Post Poll

Willard was sane back then

Willard gave up sanity, ate batshit, and became a GOP candidate for Prez.  His former act of fiscal sanity in Massachusetts will cost him the nomination.  After all, the GOP is for people who have eaten batshit their entire lives.

Oops

Who Was Jeanette Rankin?

Want to find out?  Then consider this book

The Remarkable Stories of Women in Congress

Get to know the Republicans

Mr. Bruning's initial statement is Republican truth.  His only regret is having to have someone say he picked the wrong metaphor to express his beliefs.  Oh, don't forget, beliefs are absolute truths, right.

GOP Senate Candidate ‘Regrets’ Comparing Poor People To Scavenging Animals

The "heartland" seems to be a scary place.  Nebraska?  Iowa?

Get Ready for our elected idiots to confirm they are idiots

At 14% approval Congress must aspire for a new record low.   They are sure they can do "better" and even obtain the very rare negative approval ratings.   And what fine "been there, done that" context Congress use to take a dive?  Try the 2012 budget!

After the total nonsense of the debt ceiling debacle, does anyone expect a simple continuing resolution before Oct. 1?  Folks, Moody's and Fitch haven't downgraded the U.S. yet, but I have a feeling they are watching.  If the budget becomes one more round of debt ceiling partisan bickering chaos, then expect more downgrades.  How does an "A" sound?

Why Looming Budget Battles Might Still Shut Down the Gov’t

 

Do you Twitter about TV?

If so, then you may be interesting in Tweetainment from Yap.TV.  It all sounds most odd.

The social dimension of television


Need a laugh?

If the economy's got you down and you're worrying about a 2008 deja vu moment ahead, then FOX News has what you need!  All you have to do is figure out which channel carries the FOX shit in your area (I'll have to look it up at my channel guide).  Then tune in to FOX at 9:00 p.m. tonight for the Iowa GOP Debate!  It's better than slapstick, it's a couple hours of gibbering idiots.  Very funny.   I hope they interview the locals too, they are crazier than the folks who will be on stage.   The debate will prepare you for the follow on frivolity of the weekend's straw poll coverage.  Three days of continual jokes, gags, and laughter will make for a great week when Monday next rolls around.

GOP candidates converge on Iowa for debate, straw poll

It is time to replace them all!

My god, George Bush, at his lowest, was almost twice as popular as Congress is today.  That's low.  That's disgusting.  Hey, get pissed, but always remember that we, the American voters, elected every damn one of them over and over again.  We voters have attained our heart's desire in Washington and in our politics.  Ouch!  Maybe it's time to take a look at our hearts and our desires and what we elect.  In politics and our government, perhaps experience is a less than desirable trait.

Congress less popular than, well, so many things


Strategic Victory Watch--War #1

Commanders are still in the ground.  The commanderator is still doing whatever the commanderator does.  The status is quo,  yes, management remains fucked up.   Come on, after 10 years the Taliban are still in the field?  Al Quaeda was smart, they all moved to Detroit eight years ago, it beats the hell out of Afghanistan.  Maybe we should have followed the terrorists and left the rubble to the Rubbles.

Five NATO troops die in Afghan blast


Oh come on,

Gee, Obama will, at some future point, perhaps tell the Syrian dictator, that he's a very bad man.  In fact, Obama will suggest that he may be so bad, that Assad might consider resigning his dictatorship and possibly request that free democratic elections be used to elect Syria's next dictator.  Come on, it's just one more Arabic Islamic shithole where the people have exactly what they want.

As Syrian crackdown continues, Obama administration to call for Assad’s resignation

Oh come on,

Gee, the Post has this headline--Nervous Democrats say President Obama must be bolder on economy

That is pure crap, except for political operatives whose employment is totally contingent on Obama remaining int he White House. If you leech money from Obama, yeah, you better be nervous.  He may become your former boss in Nov., 2012.

Now for everyone else of the Democratic persuasion, nervous? Bullshit, try "pissed off" instead. The headline should read "Pissed off Democrats Want A Democract in the White House to Deal With the Economy."

With leadership as we have currently, how can the GOP lose.  They already have the White House.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The future?

If it is true that these [London]riots reflect a society run on greed and looting, bets on when we'll see similar riots in the U.S.? Where and when?

He dates it bit later than I do

To me the war on the middle class began in 1972, I think that is the year when the first consulting group dedicated to union busting began to offer their services to business.  Mr. Moore sees the onslaught coming a bit later.  In either case, the war was waged, guess who has  won and who has lost?

30 Years Ago: The Day the Middle Class Died

Annals of Capitalism

If you cannot successfully compete, then collude to fix prices and exclude the superior product from the market.  It's also illegal.

Apple, publishers conspired against $9.99 Amazon e-books, says lawsuit

If this suit has merit then it's reasonable for consumers to support capitalism and not buy any books through Apple or use their products as e-readers.  Switch it all to Kindle or Nook.  Then, minimize, if not totally boycott  purchases of books published by HarperCollins, Hachette Book Group, Macmillan, Penguin Group Inc., and Simon & Schuster Inc.

Kindle in the Cloud

Do you own a Kindle?  Do you use Chrome or Safari?  If yes to both, then Amazon has a new product for you--

Amazon launches Kindle Cloud Reader

Get your stat fix--

Census Data show population and diversity trends

Republicanism

Here are the first two pargraphs from the Wiki entry, "Republicanism in the United States".

Republicanism is the political value system that has been a major part of American civic thought since the American Revolution. It stresses liberty and inalienable rights as central values, makes the people as a whole sovereign, supports activist government to promote the common good, rejects inherited political power, expects citizens to be independent in their performance of civic duties, and vilifies corruptiion. American republicanism was founded and first practiced by the Founding Fathers in the 18th century. This system was based on early Roman, Renaissance and English models and ideas. It formed the basis for the American Revolution and the consequential Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Constitution (1787), as well as the Gettysburg Address.


Republicanism is not the same as democracy, for republicanism asserts that people have unalienable rights that cannot be voted away by a majority of voters. Since the 1830s when Alexis de Tocqueville warned about the "tyranny of the majority" in a democracy, advocates of the rights of minorities have warned that the courts needed to protect those rights by reversing efforts by voters to terminate the rights of an unpopular minority. (This concern actually pre-dated de Tocqueveille by decades, and was the primary reason for the Bill of Rights, as protections for individuals and minority factions against the power of the democratically elected federal government.)

If you more agree than not with the ideas above and you see the history of our nation as one born of and dedicated to republicanism, then I have to ask a question.  Do the Democrats or Republicans even come close to embodying civic republicanism in 2011?  Is that failure what has derailed our federal government?  How do we restore it?


I agree with TPM

Uh, the UN is going to take our farms?  The good folks in Arizona must be using some of the illegal product that is confiscated as it's smuggled across the Mexican border.  This country is over blessed with nutjobs, one of them is even a Senator from AZ.

Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Guy

More numbers

Just a reminder that all is not well.

If we add up all the debt of all kinds, public and private, we're in hock for about $55 trillion.  The Federal share of that debt is about $14.5 trillion.  State and local government debt runs about $3 trillion.  All this debt is run up in an economy with a GDP worth close to $15 trillion.  Our federal debt to GDP ratio is about 97%.

I've noticed several articles that refer to our federal debt/ GDP ratio that do not specify whether they use the public portion of the debt or the total debt.  I think we need to always use the total number. For example in a $14 trillion dollar debt, about $10 trillion is public--simply put, it's money owed to folks who purchased T-bills.  The other $4 Trillion is also T-bills, but it's T-Bills the Treasury swapped for cash on hand in another government agency.  They are markers or IOUs for borrowed cash--the Social Security Trust Fund has a few trillion in T-Bills, which it is, I think, already having to cash in.  It's all debt.  It all has to be paid.  Using the total number makes more sense to me. Pols and pundits will use whatever numbers make whatever case they think is best for themselves.

Here are some more numbers to ponder.  Our population is about 311 million.   The workforce segment adds up to about 139.3 million.  Unfortunately, about 13.8 million are unemployed.  That's sucks, but it's the official number of unemployed.  It's used a lot because the actual unemployment figure just blows chunks, it is about 24.6 million people.  Think about the numbers of people first, then do your own math for the percentages.  Needless to say the official figure is smaller that the actual, which do you think pols prefer to use (10 or 18%)?

And in Ames

Will Ron Paul win the straw poll?  If he does, so what?  If he does not, so what?  For all practical purposes, he's just one more squeaky pol from Texas.  He could not get elected to the House as a libertarian.  How much notice would he get if he ran as the Libertarian Party candidate for Prez?  If his followers are that keen on his ideas, I wonder why they aren't flooding the Libertarian Party with money and people?  It says little if the highlight of libertarianism is giving money to one old guy from Texas.  So much for third parties.  In your heart, as with the Teabaggers, you know they are just co-opted closet Republicans who, in this case, will fritter away as Mr. Paul, who is 72, vanishes from public life.

Can Ron Paul win it all in Iowa?

Did you expect otherwise?

The Dems in Wisconsin, blew the recall.  The GOP keeps the State Senate.  So much for the Democratic Party.  Come on, if you vote for Dems, see yourself as a Democrat, tell me what does the party stand for?  Can you sum up your party in a single sentence?  I bet  your GOP friends can sum up their party in one sentence.

Wisconsin Democrats fail to take back state Senate

800 pound gorilla, let me introduce you to a 600 pound Chimp

The Chinese have decided to build a navy.  They now have a carrier.  Get ready for China to return the favors Britain and the U.S. have bestowed upon them over the last couple hundred years.

China’s first aircraft carrier begins sea trials amid concerns over Asian giant’s ambitions

Strategic Victory Watch--War #3

In the non-war, war, against our non-ally, ally, Pakistan, the U.S. military through it's newest service branch,  the CIA, used another drone to bomb the crap out of a hovel somewhere in Pakistan.  To the U.S. drones are an effective way to kill bad guys (no adverse publicity due to dead soldiers).  However, to the folks on the ground, it must be more akin to a "terrorist" attack, a mini 9/11 for peasants.  We'll have to wait for the accounting of what kind of people were killed.  I think the new term for "ooops, we killed some Paki mushrooms" must be "militants."  After all the bombs are smart and only seek out militants.  It's time to end this nonsense isn't it?  It's not your grand father's or nation anymore is it?

Pakistani intelligence officials: U.S. drone strike kills 20 militants near Afghan border



In case you missed it,

Warren Jeffs, the sort of Mormon polygamist cult leader, has been sentenced to life in prison.  The rest of his mortal time will be spent in a very terrestrial slammer.  Of course, after he dies on earth, it's off to the celestial kingdom,  There he will resume his polygamous ways, become a god, get  planet, and  bang little  girls for all eternity.  It's a peculiar religion, but aren't they all?

Polygamist leader sentenced to life in prison for assault of young followers he took as brides


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ture Blood

Okay fans here's this week's recap from the Rolling Stone--

'True Blood' Recap: Marnie's Power Increase Means Mortal Trouble for the Vampires




Let's take a look at the cops and their weapons

Every cop, it seems has a Taser theses days. The use them and they abuse them. It's a tool, right? But, is it the kind of tool we want the cops to have and use? Is the Taser just a high tech billy club or is it an instrument of torture that transforms police into thugs? Why ask today? Well,

Three deaths in one weekend puts Taser use by cops in crosshairs


Are we more brutal the further we remove ourselves from inflicting pain?  If wars had to be fought only with rocks, would we have as much war?  Okay, if the police have to be up close and personal are they more or less inclined to be brutal?  Does the technology matter at all?  Is our species just brutal?



Today's News Based Fantasy

I'd love to see a future headline, "Rumsfeld Convicted of Toturing U.S. Citizens."  I doubt that will occur, but it's pleasant to think it might.  Oh, why might it happen?  Well,

Appeals court allows US citizens' torture suit against Rumsfeld



How about headlines for Cheney and Bush.  What are you fantasy headlines?

Will it matter?

With all the free speech funds pouring into various 2012 races already, which of these do you think will matter most in Nov. 2012?  Will it be the future ads the money buys or will it be what voters are thinking about recent events today?  Oh, what are voters thinking today anyway?  Well,

The [Marist]poll found that Americans think the deal is bad for the country, bad for members of Congress who voted for it and bad for the poor, the middle class and the elderly. Americans think that the only ones whom the deal treated fairly were the wealthy and corporations.

Underscoring it all, Americans think by 70-21 percent that the country's headed in the wrong direction, the worst finding since Marist started asking the question at the start of the George W. Bush presidency in January 2001.

I'll go for the future ads, the American voter has the attention span of a gnat. God, we elected Bush, lived with four years of his shit and went back for seconds. Until voters quit reacting like Pavlovian dogs to ads and speeches, they will keep on entertaining each other by performing anatomically impossible acts upon themselves.

Poll: Americans see debt deal as bad for nation


Need a laugh?

If you and your laptop are currently hiding under your bed in fear because you've been reading about stocks, bonds, the economy and unemployment, you may really need some funny stuff to ease your cares and woes.  Get out from under your bed and prepare to laugh.  The comedy club of Iowa is open.  It's ready to help.  The Ames Straw Poll opens this week.  Eventually it will get serious, hell one of the funnier candidates might actually become the GOP nominee.  For now, it's time for laughs, bring on the clowns and laugh along with the rest of the nation.  First up, it's Sen. Frothy---

Iowa readies for big week of 2012 GOP candidates



Come on other half, we need your help

Here's a piece from McClatchy that well summarizes the crap we have in Washington.  It's not so much the government that is bad, as it is the turds that 50% of us elect or try to elect.  Look our elected boobs gain office because one half of one half vote for them.  Based on the current mess and total dysfunctionality of the morons we elect and who they appoint, I'd say we need some new voters to elect a whole new set of officials.  If you are a non-voter, how about helping out.  It can't get much worse.

Washington to nation: What economic crisis?


Here's one more little example of our tawdry politics

Wisconsin is having a recall election.  To me it's just a matter for voters in Wisconsin.  They need to quietly think, do a bit of fact finding on their own and vote as they see fit.  Instead, both parties have transformed this into one more national referendum thing with outside money pouring in.  When every election is declared to be of such import,  they all become just one more corrupt exercise in self government.  When big money from both sides takes over, the whole idea of democracy, limited or otherwise, gets lost.  With all that free speech being bought and sold, it just becomes maddening noise.

Record-setting money flows to Wisconsin for recall elections to test GOP agenda

In case you haven't noticed...

The investment aces are taking us back to the septic tank.  They are selling off stock.  The market is down and heading back towards the worst days of 2008.  Oh, this is not because S&P tagged the U.S. with an AA+ rating.  If the bond risk was so terrible, then investors would not be buying bonds like mad.  It's cheaper today than yesterday for the government to borrow money.

Once again, the private sector has screwed up.  Now as they look for ways for the public to take on their risk again, we will be swimming in fiscal poo for a while.  Of course it doesn't help that both parties and the White House will not do what they can to  fix the mess.  Get ready for political bullshit, it's already up to our knees over the S&P matter alone.  We can still slog on, but not for long.   We need to replace every damn elected official and rid ourselves of both parties, they do more harm than good.  Just look at the world since 2000.

Worst day for world markets since ’08

    


We'll never learn

We'll never learn because we keep listening to assholes like Paul Ryan. Even as a contributor to the newest round of financial muck, he plays his brand of "dig me" politics. Look, the guy has one interest, himself. That's all he or any of the current crop of elected bozos have any interest in, themselves and their reelection. For him to say--


“To me, this is just more vindication of our actions. We passed a budget which, according to somebody from S&P yesterday, would have prevented this downgrade from happening in the first place.”

is moronic. There is no vindication. There is just one more pol shooting his mouth off without a hell of a lot of fact coming out. The saddest part is too many people will believe him without questioning what he says. The fact checker has given him three Pinocchios and concluded--

Ryan is being too cute by half. Even taking Ryan’s claims about his budget at face value — which we have found dubious in the past — Chambers did not endorse the Ryan plan specifically but also mentioned Obama’s proposals and the Bowles-Simpson commission. All Chambers endorsed was the notion of a $4 trillion deal, not a particular plan.


In fact, Ryan appears to be missing the point about S&P’s bombshell.


The agency warned in April that political compromise between the parties was necessary to make a deficit plan viable in the long-term, whereas a GOP-only or Democratic-only plan would not have credibility. The House budget plan never made it past the Senate because it had virtually no Democratic support.


As S&P put it: “Some compromise that achieves agreement on a comprehensive budgetary consolidation program — combined with meaningful steps toward implementation by 2013 — could lead us to maintain the rating where it is.”


In other words, it was the failure of Republicans and Democrats to demonstrate they could work together that led directly to the downgrade. That is not a “vindication of our actions;” it is a repudiation.




Some headlines just demand you read the piece

This morning the headline that jumped our was this one--

Saudi beheading fuels backlash in Indonesia

Go ahead give it a read, it's just one more example of how totally made up shit is used by the few to facilitate and maintain power over the many.

Monday, August 8, 2011

She's not a flake

No, Michelle Bachmann is a batshit crazy flake.  Here's a piece by Ryan Lizza and the very strange crap she seems to believe.  I say seems, after all she is a pol.  The GOP continues to reach ever new depths when a person like her can be a serious candidate.  Republicans give me the willies.

LEAP OF FAITH




Some numbers to think about

The U.S. has a population of about 312 million.  55 million receive Social Security payments.  47 million people are enrolled in Medicare.  Between these programs alone about 18-20% of us receive benefits from Uncle Sam.  The benefits are costly.

The 2011 U.S. budget is about $3.9 trillion.  To spend that amount of cash, our government takes in around $2.5 trillion.  The balance, the annual deficit,  about $1.4 trillion, is money we borrow.  We borrow money by selling Treasury bonds.

Our national debt, which is all of the unpaid annual deficits carried forward from one year to the next is about $14.3 trillion.  It's our balance due.  The debt will easily be doubled within 10-12 years even with the "cuts" in the debt ceiling law.  Think about it, a $25 trillion national debt, but don't over think it!

We spend more than we take in.  God only know how much we actually spend on war, but DOD gets about $720 billion.  If we add all of the other war related expenditures to the DOD figure, we have to be assuaging our fears to the tune of $1 trillion plus a year.

Then we spend money on our people.  Social Security costs us about $730 billion a year, but is only about   $50 billion in the red (the trust fund is collecting on all the loans it made over  the years, so we have to borrow new money).   Medicare costs us about $301 billion.  Medicare takes in about $192 billion a year.  The balance, $109 billion is borrowed.

A lot comes in, a lot more goes out.  It cannot be rectified in a short time.  It took time to make the mess, it will take time to unmake it.  It is not fixed by merely not spending.  If we want to begin a serious program of budget remediation, it's not that hard.

First, we end the failed wars.  We leave Iraq and Afghanistan.  While we're at it, we need to close most of the other overseas bases.  Over the next decade DOD funds to return to the 2000 level.  Second, we let all of the Bush Tax cuts expire, not just on the $250,000 and up crowd, but everyone.  Third we increase taxes a skosh on the $250,000 and up bunch over the next 10 year to pay for the wars and cost of the financial debacle they brought down on the rest of us.  Finally, we agree  on reasonable numbers for government expenditures and borrowing (it should not end) in terms of GDP proportions.

If we moved in the above direction and stuck to it, we'd be in pretty good shape in 10 years.  We won't though.  I'll let you figure why.





Here's a question for you

We all know that Social Security and Medicare do create a safety net for many millions of poor and near-poor retirees. We know that the long term outlook for Social Security is less than robust (by say 2070). We also know that Medicare is a much more immediate unfunded liability disaster in the making. As we look at the incomes of benefit recipients,  we can see for wealthier retirees, both programs are handouts.

Here's my question, how do you define a wealthier retiree?  What dollar value defines wealth?

Pols and pundits loves to point to means testing for both programs.  However, pols and pundits duck the facts of who, what, how much and so on.  Too often we nod our heads and vote for them without obtaining the numbers, the facts, and then are amazed at what is done in our name to us.  Where would you make the cut?  How would you operationalize means testing and benefit reduction?  What are the numbers?  How many people are wealthier in retirement?    


The Trogs Really Are Nuts

Heman Cain tired to make a name for himself by trashing Muslims while advocating violating the Constitution to "get er done."  As the mainstream noticed Cain's approach was a bit less than desirable, the Herminator apologized to Muslims.  This may be good copy for a potential general voter, but it's not good for the right wing of the Batshit Eaters of America, a.k.a., the Teabaggers for devolution.

To Teabags, the Hemrinator became the Humbleinator.  They prefer to keep hate alive. I guess it's a batshit condiment.

Cain’t Win: Herman Cain Takes Weeklong Beating From Conservatives After Apologizing To Muslims


Hmm, Goldwater, a ghost writer, or a speech writer gave us the line "extremism in the defense of libety is no vice." Yeah, but it can be insane and then it's not really a defense is it. Think about the Teabags and other batshit eaters and their rhetoric.  Do we need to bring back attics and chains?

Thinking forward to the 2012 election

I don't care if you are a Democrat, Republican, or an Independent.  I do wonder how you voted over the past decade or so.  Look at what we have elected for ourselves.  Remember we elect them to do a job for us.  What did we do to ourselves? Well the Democrats and Republicans we hired (well, 51% of the 50% who bothered to vote hired them) have given us two unfunded failed wars, an economic disaster, massive numbers of homes underwater or in foreclosure, high long term unemployment, declining wages, and lowered life chances.  That's for most of us, at least 95% of us.  The rest, 5%, have done damn well and will continue to do so.  Why did we hire agents of the rich to fleece us?  What has government done for us lately?  We know what it's done for the rich.  Why do we persist in telling ourselves to bend over?

It's time to kick all of the bums out and elect people who understand that our government is of, by and for all of the people, all of the time and it begins in the Preamble to the Constitution--

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Will we bend over in 2012 or tell all of our pols to take a hike?  No Dems.  No Goopers.  New people without parties in a world where federal elective office is not a career is a good place to start.

Phone Hacking

The Brithish phone hacking scandal is not over.  A bit more is uncovered everyday.  I expect it to persist for at least a year or two more.  Of course it's hard to stay current, thankfully "The Guardian" provides a convenient Phone Hacking page for us to browse--

Phone Hacking



The enduring effects of bad taste

In November, 2010 many American voters lowered the bar.  In 2000 I thought they must have put the bar on the ground so it could not go any lower.   I was wrong.   In 2010, they dug a ditch under the  bar and elected folks, not as dumb as themselves, but dumber.  The put about 87 of them in the House.  Then these idiots, in a testament to their stupidity, navigated the nation to a bond rating down grade and a sell off on wall street.  And all this was done while doing absolutely nothing for jobs or the economy.  Oh, the world noticed and has reacted--

Global stocks fall after US debt downgrade


If we elect new folks, as a rule, we ought to try to elect the ones who are smarter than we are.




Now that's some powerful commanderating

Uh, with this kind of intelligence and leadership,

In a candid assessment, Lute also said the administration had not envisioned that senior Pakistani officials would be much more embarrassed by the U.S. raid to kill Bin Laden in their country without their knowledge than by his presence there.

"We underestimated somewhat the humiliation factor generated by the raid itself," he said.


is it any wonder we're still bollixing it up after 10 years.

I really have to wonder if Cheney isn't hiding in one of his White House man safes and still directing the president.  Expect more drones to be used around the world.  Expect more war.  Expect the whole damn thing to backfire as the terrorists morph into national governments which will have little to do with good old number one.  There is a new 700 pound gorilla they can turn to--China.


And it's off to Nov. 2012

This Thursday, the craziest of the Iowa Republicans will gather in Ames, Iowa.  It's straw poll days again.  It's kind of like dog dipping days but without the insecticide bath.  The infested dogs will parade themselves as they bark on cue.   They will perform stupid GOP tricks as needed.  All seek to be owned by Iowa's premier collection of inbred Jesus junkies.

Willard will not be wagging his tail in Ames.  After all he knows that they know he's not an evangefundie.  The Newt is tweeted out, so he won't yelp this week.  And Jon Boy Huntsman can't be shown.  Iowans don't permit any Shih Tzus in any public place in their cornhole republic.

Who'll win?  Well, who's made the biggest Jesusy noise lately?  Yep, Rick Perry will wet nose out Michelle Bachmann.  Oh,  Mr. Snippy will come in third.  Expect this to de-paw the T-paw.  Frothy will hang in there in spite of Iowans finally learning how to google Santorum.  Who will return for the Iowa Caucus?  Well, who cares?  It doens't  matter who wins, they are all batshit crazy.

All eyes turn to Ames

 

The debt ceiling mess

Are you happy with the "compromise" that emerged from the U.S. Senate on our debt/deficit/spending?  Does the idea of a super congress whet your desire for true oligarchical rule?  I'm not happy and I think the super congress will be shown to be unconstitutional.  I am amazed that this is the outcome from all that debate.  This debacle led me to wonder how many legislative years of experience walk onto the Senate floor when all 100 of them are present.

Our Senate has about 1,121 man years of experience.  That's a lot of time.  That's a lot of learning.  All that experience gave us the debt ceiling bill.  That sucks.  Can you imagine what would have emerged had they a even more  experience?  Scary isn't it?

Maybe we need to ask about  the nature of all that experience.  I have a feeling it has much more to do with successful begging for campaign cash and conning people into voting for them than it does with governing the nation.

Let's give less experience a chance--do not reelect anyone.  Unless we act, the Senate will remain the world's greatest debilitative body.  We made it thus, we can fix it with our votes.  Vote them all out!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

With leadership like this,

Oh come on, the donations are legit, so why try to hide it in the first place?  I guess the donor and the donee must have thought folks might look a bit more than askance at both if it was made up front in public.  Willard won't have to blame being a Mormon for losing the nomination, he's doing fine just being himself.  Remember he is the business candidate.  It shows.

Mystery Romney Donor Revealed As Bain Executive

Bullshit on Obama in 2012

I've seen several pieces predicting Obama's demise in 2012.  The reasons vary, but most just call him a failed president.  Usually, his primary failure is seen in a jobs and economy context.  Many contend jobs alone will make him a one termer.  A competing focus of failure centers on his rather bollixed up approach to the debt/deficit/spending mess.  Of course, these pieces commonly include a generous description of his managerial shortcomings.
I accept all the criticism, but I do not accept that he will lose the 2012 election.  Obama will win because, of all the people in our various political houses, he's the one, who, hands down, sucks the least.  A 40% approval is not good, but it is great against a 14% approval.  He may lose in polls pitting him against a generic Republican, but he wins against all the named Republicans.
That suggests to me that most people think the GOP is actually not comprised of all the pols in the Republican party.  That's is a bit schitzo.  Faced with this weirdness, Obama will bring in independents and even some Republicans.
2012 will be a psychodrama derby of an election.  All Obama has to do is maintain his level of mismanagement and let all the others keep on doing what they're doing.  If he does not try to improve his presidency he will win.  The approval gap will widen and he will win.  Already, he is far and away the lesser of two evils candidate.  He will win in 2012, even with 10%+ unemployment.  
I can hardly wait for his memoirs.  I understand he will do one 800+page volume for every year he's in office.   Wow.   

Strategic Victory Watch--War #1

I've been following the chopper shot down by the Taliban.  Many soldiers died in that crash.  Not many people have bothered to note that if we were not still in that war (10 Years) the troops would not be dead.  I don't expect this war to be a 2012 campaign issue.  That's both sad and disgusting. It's funny how wars can drag on when less than 1% of the population has any mortal skin in the game.  Oh, as our people die, others also die.  It just sucks all around.

Four Afghans killed as anti-NATO demonstration turns violent




Idiots at play in the fields

Oh come on, just go live in a cave and you'll  never have to fast.

Muslims in world's tallest tower face longer fast




Jesus is my shill

Yep, I bet Rick Perry even hawks bobble head Jesus dolls to raise cash for his presidential run.  He held his day of prayer to draw attention to himself and prove he's really one of the batshit crazy evangefundie GOP crowd.  The only thing more pathetic than a pol who uses religion to get money and votes are the morons who give him money and votes because it's what they think Jesus would do.

Perry to evangelicals: I'm just as crazy as you

Will someone object?

I don't mean object to birth control with no copays, I mean object to the objectors.  It's great they have "god" on their side, oh horseshit.  I object to their attempts to keep folks living like it's still 1266.  I keep waiting for a pol to tell the religious nutjobs to take just bugger off and go pray in a closet.  All people who practice their religion in public are crazy.  I'll see a Mormon in the White House before I see a pol castigate anything that reeks of religion.

Religious groups object to covering birth control

Hack of the week

It was Shooting Sheriff's Saturday.  AntiSec hacked and dumped 10GB of data from 77 sites.  Last week was ManTech/FBI.   What will be hacked next week?  Oh, this week's dump--

In the latest hack on government agencies, the hackers teased and taunted Sheriffs, exposed police informers and said they had no qualms about putting informers' lives in danger. They also used stolen credit card information to make online donations to Bradley Manning and organizations like ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation.

AntiSec Attacks US Law Enforcement Agency Web Sites, Releases 10GB Data