Friday, July 01, 2011

Nobody Asked Me, But...

Special Fourth of July Edition
1) Should we add a new freedom to the Founders' ideals? The freedom to stray?
2) A freedom like that still would not shield a douchebag like this. I'm certain that, while he'll get away with this one, karma will eventually win out here. Too, the fact that the justice system somehow believes the victim's behavior apart from either this incident or even allowing for the stretch to include her sexuality somehow matters is pointless. It's like saying "Well, he killed her by driving drunk but in his defense, she beats her kids."
3) A Fourth of July and your government is shut down. Interesting timing. The GOP will blink.
4) You know what? This scares me, a little. Zuckerberg has shown a rather...interesting...way of phrasing things and a distinct lack of interest in people's privacies.
5) Brand new photographs of the HMS Titanic have floated up.
6) But talk about scary...this story's lede paragraph will wet a few pants. Boiling barrels of plutonium and nuclear waste?
7) A lot of flack has been bandied about over Mark Halperin's use of the word "dick" in describing President Obama. He calculated his risk and gambled and lost. No biggie, in my book. When you check for the seven second delay, you're asking for trouble.
8) Really? His first name alone makes me want to see his long form birth certificate!
9) New York's endorsement of same-sex marriage has given President Obama cover to move a little to the left on the subject. I think this is closer to his personal feelings on the matter, which really should come down to "I don't care who you marry."
10) Finally, please take a moment this weekend to give a thought to what our nation is going through now and how our ancestors strived to overcome much worse i the past. This nation was born in the foundry of the steel or revolution, and time and time again, our resolve has been questioned and the answer to that question has always come from a partnership amongst all our people. We have our differences. Those can wait.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Can Of Worms: UPDATED

Stephen Colbert, what would we do without you?
I've always admired comedians who were smarter than me. Colbert ranks up there.


Apparently, Colbert succeeded.

He is not happy about that.

Do You Need To Drive Traffic To Your Blog?

Apparently, all you have to do is to call WorldNut, errr, Net Daily editor Joseph Farah a liar or merely quote him.
Not lonly is this thin-skinned jerkwad suing Esquire magazine for a satirical piece that they published coincident to the publication by WND contributor Jermoe Corsi of his smear job on President Obama, Where’s the Birth Certificate? The Case That Barack Obama Is Not Eligible to Be President, Farah has the nerve to show up in comments at the know, Forbes, the Capitalist Tool....article about the matter, stomping his feet and getting all rowdy and threatening there.
Admittedly, the article is pretty shitty, full of corrections, typos and misinformation, and Jeff Bercovici probably ought to be ashamed to have that out on the web in such crappy shape, but the article generally sums up the suit and the defense fairly and the fact that Farah felt the need to so bullheadely defend his slanders in comments speaks volumes more than the article itself.

PROTIP: Make Sure You Don't Snore Loudly


Populism Seems To Be A Theme Today

Even the Fed is worried about the economic royalists.

Gee, Here's A Shocker

After exploiting her children in a desperate and failed attempt for attention and a few millions simoleons, Octomom trashes her kids.

Sometimes, Really Weird Things Have Simple Explanations

Your Neologism For The Day


Not News: Car Crash


Spencer Ackerman Makes A Point

I know there's a counter-cyberterorrism unit at the FBI, as well as the CIA. I'm just not sure they're talking to each other. They should be.

Following Up

A few days back, I wrote about the struggles of Governor Mark Dayton and the Minnesota legislature as a blueprint for President Obama should the GOP reach a state of brinksmanship with the debt ceiling.
I thought I would post about the looming deadline. It looks like the GOP is going to play chicken. You'd think they'd learn by now: if you're going one on one with a chief executive, you need a leader of comparable weight and majesty to offset his bully pulpit advantage. Legislators simply don't have this stroke.
Dayton wins, hands down.

I Wonder What The Reaction Will Be To This?

Senate to skip Fourth of July recess, says Reid

Five Hundred Fifty Million

That's how much News Corp. lost on the MySpace debacle.
Imagine if Rupert Murdoch had just decided to give ever man, woman and child in America $1.50. There's your equivalence.
He'd still be thought of as a brainless buffoon, but he'd be thought that way kindly!

Re-Election Inoculation

I don't think Obama's job is in that much jeopardy at this point, unless things get significantly worse.
Which makes me worry about this story.
He wouldn't be out there making the case to the people if he believed things would continue to turn around. Couple this with the surprisingly opening of the Strategic Oil Reserve last week, and you have the makings of a case for economic preventive maintenance.

Apropos Of My Early Post

Comes this.
Republicans are usually pretty good with ratifying trade deals, particularly ones signed by Republican presidents like Dumbya.
So why are they balking on this?
Obama re-negotiated key portions of the agreements with each country with an eye towards improving relations with (or in) each nation.
He also linked ratification of the treaties with an expansion of the Trade Adjustment Assistance bill, to extend job training and subsidies to American workers whose skills are thin and whose jobs are being outsourced, in part because of the trade deals.
Republicans: serving the Corporatocracy since 19--, 18--, OK, since 1776! 

Why Europe Is Better Than Us

Britain's biggest police force faced a staffing crisis today after 95 per cent of its 999 call handlers failed to turn up for work because of the national strike. [...]

It comes as hundreds of thousands of public sector workers have begun to strike across the country, closing or disrupting schools, colleges, courts, Government offices and job centres.

Port and airports are being affected, causing travel chaos for holidaymakers trying to head abroad. Anyone arriving in the UK today is likely to be among those facing long queues.

The impact of the strike began to be felt as early as last night as border control staff refused to turn up for work.

Early indications this morning were that the estimate of 750,000 strikers could prove to be accurate and some union officials said they expected "the best supported strike we have ever seen".

"National strike." What a lovely, progressive sentiment. Imagine, a government that listens to its people and when it stops listening to its people, it suffers a strike. And while some people complain, because so many of them end up on the picket lines, they all comprehend the reasons for the strike and support it.
We're Americans, yet we behave like scared little children, cowering about as the Corporatocracy eats our lunches, takes our retirement funds and pays us pennies for our sweat. We are satisfied for the crumbs that Scrooge will drop off his tables and we'll ravage each other in a fight for those scraps, when there are enough of us to stand up on our feet and take the feast for ourselves, our families, and our communities.
We let the Corporatocracy dictate the national dialogue, right up to where they've bought our courts to nod in unison, "Yes, your money entitles you to speak as if you were born here."
From now on, I want to see the long form birth certificate of any corporation that buys air time on any news program. "I got mine, go get your own," is simply not an option, and I say that as someone who actually does have his and wants his fellow Americans to get theirs too, and I don't give a rat's ass if that means they end up with more than me. I have enough...well, nearly, but I won't starve...and it's goddamned about time that people who work hard in this country ought not to live in terror of an automobile accident or a slip on an icy sidewalk.
It's goddamned about time that people in this country ought to be guaranteed more than a paycheck today. "Right-to-work" is a Newspeak of the most odious kind. The small percentage who would abuse the process of a union hearing are small potatoes compared to the tens of millions of people who would be protected like the millions of unions members already are, a number that's dwindling faster than the GOP chances in 2012.
It doesn't take much, you know. All it takes is a small act of defiance each day. It doesn't even have to be overt: just don't buy a product unless it has a union label on it. Don't shop at Starbucks for coffee, no matter how "fair trade" they tell you their coffee is or how cute the barista might be. Buy it from the guy who owns the corner coffee shop, the guy who probably quit a crappy job like yours to take his chances on his own. That kind of behavior ought to be encouraged and supported.
Educate someone. Educate ANYone, even the asshat down the block who's all Glenn Becked. You don't have to change his mind. All you have to do is plant a seed, a seed that will germinate when he wakes up one morning and realizes what a raw deal he's got from his corporate overlords.
It happened to David Brock! If it can happen to Brock, one of the most odious right wing minions ever, it can happen with your neighbor.
The American Revolution was not a populist idea. It was not a popular idea. But it was the right idea and it came at the right time, and it came after centuries of men and women waking up and realizing they could be responsible for their own governance. And if you don't think we don't face a royalist foe now in Corporate America, you haven't thought things through well. They own our "Parliament," not just our House of Lords (the Senate) but the Commons (Representatives). They own the courts. Hell, they probably own the churches too!
How much do you want the economic royalists to determine the direction of your life?
This weekend, we celebrate the Fourth of July: the 135th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Indepence which said with one voice that this nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, would no longer tolerate a royal class dictating our lives for us.
It's time we returned that favor.  

Wednesday, June 29, 2011



Finally, A Museum I Can Be Proud Of

New York City is getting the world's second museum of mathematics
The first one closed because the math didn't add up.

The Science Of Grilling

I prefer mine Paillarded but that's just me.

John Lennon: Republican?

I doubt it. Based on this story, it sounds more like he was a wise ass. But anything to exploit a dead man, knowhutImean?

This Sure Would Explain Titus Andronicus and Coriolanus

Shakespeare might have shmeed.

The Money Quote Of The Day

Kudzu. Add kudzu to the list of icons. Ironically, kudzu will now learn to evolve into resembling religious figures.

Why Does Bank Of America Hate Its Name So?

Bank of America has settled a whopping lawsuit from investors: $8.5 billion to make up for the fact that it hid bad loans in packaged securities that it assured buyers included only mortgages of at least a certain grade.
This is the whole raison d'etre for the bank meltdown in 2007/2008, I should point out: the bundling of mortgages into hot securities that were then foisted on unsuspecting investors to hedge risk and raise funds for even more bad mortgages.

Hm. I Always Thought Being Struck By Lightning Would Make You Play Better

Guess I was wrong...

Another Butt Hurt White Boy In The News

Bernie Madoff: "human pinata"
Well, I can certainly see making a case for hanging him from a tree branch and whacking him with a stick until his money falls out...

The Big Dog Speaks

And we probably ought to give him a listen. After all, he did pull our asses out of one recession.

Truth Will Out

Interesting article at Slate today about tax cuts and the effect on tax revenues.
The eye-popping fact for me? In the 1920's, Andrew Mellon (as Treasury Secretary. Yes, the same Mellon as in Carnegie-Mellon Foundation as well as any number of financial and corporate institutions) pushed thru a tax cut from 73% to 25% on the top marginal rates.
Why did that pop my eyes? Because at some point, that rate gets ratcheted back up to 91%, in order that JFK could cut it to 70% in the early 60s (the other American tax cut to actually increase tax revenues.)

Greece Fires

Well, Papandreou got his budget passed, despite long and bitter riots in the street.
Be careful what you wish for.
I don't begrudge him his situation: he really has no choice at this point but to rein in the spending. We can rail at the banks and bankstas all we want but the milk is spilled and we have to mop it up.

No One Could Have Forseen This Happening!


Man Up, Beck!

If anyone he had attacked had been caught crying about being all butthurt in a public appearance, he'd have laughed and encouraged his listeners to do more and worse.
In case you missed the story:
“These people were some of the most hateful people I have ever seen,” said a distraught Glenn Beck this morning as he described an altercation he and his family had last night while watching a screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps in New York’s Bryant Park. Explaining that a group of people yelled at his family, took pictures of them, and kicked a cup of wine onto his wife, Beck said that his security team feels that, had he reacted poorly, things might have “gone off.”
So not only is he a thin-skinned coward...really, a security "team"? *snark*...but he took advantage of a government-provided park (with free Wi-Fi provided by a non-profit) to sit and watch a film for free, the socialist! (The movie was sponsored by HBO.)
Did he expect somehow that his presence would go unnoticed, even in NYC where celebrities have to fall all over themselves to try to be noticed?
And did he think he would be welcomed by cheers?
Poor little boy. Did you need a bandage for the boo-boo?

Shell Game

My suspicion is Al Qaeda and their sympathisers are a lot more clever than we credit them for:

KABUL — Kamel Khan, 32, a businessman, was chatting with two friends on the poolside terrace of the hilltop Intercontinental Hotel Tuesday night when he heard a burst of gunfire and looked up. A man carrying a machine gun, with an ammunition belt across his chest and a knapsack on his back, was standing a few feet away.

“He stared at all of the guests like he wanted to kill us, and he had enough bullets to do it, but for some reason he just turned and kept going,” Khan said. After a moment of shock, Khan and dozens of other guests made a dash for the garden wall and fled downhill, while heavy shooting erupted behind them.

I don't think it's much of a coincidence that we announce a troop drawdown in Afhganistan and fighting begins to flare up again.

It seems that a strategy of trying to exhaust the resources of the greatest military in the history of the planet is underway. It's a smart strategy. Our armed forces are pretty regimented in terms of materiel and personnel. We don't really have a flexible strategy to keep our troops fresh and we certainly aren't about to start a draft at this point in time. We've got the forces we're going to fight with and can only hope they're up to the task over the long and difficult haul.

Thank you, George Bush. Sometimes, listening to Jesus means actually taking his advice and turning the other cheek. But I digress...

We've been at this war, on and off (because you sure can't call the first seven years anything more than lip service to accomplishing a goal) for almost eleven years now and will certainly surpass that mark before our troops come home.

By contrast, World War II took less than half that time, we beat the Nazis AND Japan in two theatres. By that measure, this Middle-South Asia adventure has been a debacle. We wars on three fronts (if you include Iraq and Pakistan) and are rumbling with Libya.

The paranoid in me believes there's more here than meets the eye. After spending nearly forty years in a cold war with the Soviet Union, perhaps its possible that the Chinese were taking notes. If they can get the US to dismantle our economy willingly in pursuit of ghosts and vapor trails, the Chinese can rather quietly declare checkmate on us and our economy.

We've certainly demonstrated our willingness to take our economy to the brink in order to beat a military rival. China doesn't even have to lift a finger except to fund the Taliban and Al Qaeda (as well as Hamas and Hezbollah, among others) to keep our military spending up, our debt purchases flowing and our military exhausted.

After all, would you send in American troops after a decade of fighting an exhausting and draining war into a dispute in the South China Sea?


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Morons Be Morons

Is there a dearth of reading comprehension on the right wing?

Stephanopoulos: Finally one—one final question. I think one of the most impressive things that people find in your background is the fact that you and your husband have helped raise 23 foster children and I know you want to shield them but are they prepared and are you prepared for the loss of privacy that comes with the president campaign? And is that something you are concerned about for them?

Bachmann: Well when we were making this momentous decision we sat down for a long time as a family and contemplated what this was meaning and yes, we are ready. We have five wonderful biological children. Our last one is off to college our oldest one is a doctor. And then we had great – a great 23 foster children in our home as well. And as you can imagine and appreciate we’ve tried to keep a good handle on their privacy and we will do that, we will respect their privacy. We are thankful that we had them but we also want to observe their privacy and that of their families.

George Stephanopolous was deep in the Clinton administration, which pleaded with everyone to “leave Chelsea alone.” And everyone has mostly complied with that, for all these years. Michele Bachmann and her family’s 23 foster children, though, will not be afforded the same courtesy, not by George or anyone else in the MSM.

Has this asshat paid any attention to the past ten years? Even just looking at the Palin candidacy, it ought to be obvious that the bad behavior of children will foment stories. That Obama's kids haven't fucked a hockey player and gotten knocked up is testament to the parenting skills of President and Mrs. Obama, not the MSM who jumped all over the Al Gore kids like white on rice. Stephanopolous asked a legitimate question of a candidate who has trotted out her (admittedly remarkable) family history like a badge of courage and wondered how she figures to balance the two.

Poorly, it seems.

I Switched Years Ago

And if you bike ride, you should too.
I actually switched to a woman's saddle, the ISM Touring model, which is now billed as a "saddle for the men in blue". I didn't know about noseless saddles, but I'm sure going to look into those now. I still can't get comfortable on the seat, but that's probably a fitting problem as opposed to a structural one. And I can actually feel now!

Signposts Along The Way

There's a bit of political theatre going on right now, today.
First, daughter Bristol announces that "she's made up her mind" about mother Sarah.
Next, Herself will be in Iowa to premiere her new "autobiographical" film. In quotes, because technically it's biographical but come on; we both know she wrote the damned script and had final say on everything, else why would she bother to be at the opening? In Iowa?
Third, Herself likes to steal the thunder of other Presidential candidates. Just look at 2008.
Herself will announce. Possibly tonight.

Roger Cohen Makes A Point

Although he could probably have made it in a Tweet

Check Out The Style Guide At The Atlanta Post

Boy. Talk about a different perspective...
OK, now, The Atlanta Post bills itself as an "online news site about African-American business news and African-American politics" so it's got the right to make note of Foster's race, but really? In the headline, which almost reads as though he changed races?

Here's The...No, Wait, THERE'S The Pitch!

Continuing with today's baseball theme, perhaps the Mets can get this guy cheap.

Tau Day In Geekomatics


Obama Jumps In

He's taking over the reins on the debt ceiling/budget deficit reduction talks from Joe Biden
I don't expect Biden to be Vice President in the second term. This was an important issue, one Biden's long tenure in the Senate should have gotten done.

How Badly Has Tim Pawlenty Slipped?

He's taking on the difficult task *snark* of criticizing Obama's Middle East policy
Making general criticisms of any President's Middle East policy ought to be looked upon as the political equivalent of getting a learner's permit. You *think* you know it all, but you really don't and you'll end up driving off a cliff.

In A Nut Shell


Imagine Trying This Here

Not only make cities less car-friendly, but actually make them car-hostile!
How much better would our world be?

Your Photo Of The Day

The Neglected 88 Butterfly (courtesy)

A High Inside Pitch Gets A Warning From The Ump

Apparently, Major League Baseball has no sense of humour
It's sad to see a storied franchise like the LA Dodgers go down in flames like this. The Alston family must be cringing. Walter O'Malley must be spinning in his grave. But Bud Selig ought to be ashamed of himself.
Many franchises are in hot water, from the New York Mets (which have not filed yet) to the Chicago Cubs to the Texas Rangers (both of which have).
Prior to this round of bankruptcies, the last team to file for bankruptcy was the 1970 filing by the Seattle Pilots who were established in 1969, thus creating the shortest lived Major League Baseball franchise ever (they were moved to Milwaukee, where today they still exist as the Brewers).

Nice Guy, But...


We Are Assured That We're Safe

But fires in Los Alamos threaten the very labs that created nuclear weapons. This cannot be a good thing.

Want A Billion Bucks?

Y'know, I'm sort of confused by this: dollar coins make a lot of sense and yet why would no one want to carry them? It's not like people carry a lot of singles anymore anyway.

Thank You, Lord!

And she's started out so strong, too!

Bachmann was tagged Monday for referring to her home town of Waterloo, Iowa, where she made her formal run announcement, as the birthplace of movie actor John Wayne.

The actor actually was born in Winterset, Iowa, about 150 miles southwest of Waterloo. John Wayne Gacy, the notorious serial killer, made Waterloo his home for a few years in the 1960s.

It's going to be hard for her to capitalize and improve on a moment like that, you betcha! But I think she has it in her.

I have great hopes for her to hang on there, ignoring the sage advice of political pundits and technicians who will tell her "For God's sake, leave! You'll ruin it for the rest of us!" and instead pay close, egoistical attention to the panderings of the political popcorn pajandrums and stick it out, long and hard.

After all...

"Bachmann's strong rise shows the importance of message and connecting with a core constituency," says Soltis [ed. note: Kristen Soltis, policy research director at The Winston Group, which advises Republicans]. "She has exceeded expectations of those who thought she'd already falter in the bright lights."

"She's shown that she's willing to play ball," she says. "I would not count anybody out at this stage."

Now, she has one thing in abundance, and that's money. Her Congressional campaign took in eye-popping sums, money that may be transferred to her Presidential campaign. Likely, the only candidate with deeper pockets is Mitt Romney. The FEC reports due in July will tell a large tale here.

So we have an ignorant, self-involved popinjay with loads of cash. Of course she has to run as a Republican!

Working against her is a key element to any campaign: her temper. She's already gone through four chiefs of staff in the past year and a half, and that's before the bright spotlights of a presidential campaign have been turned on. Presumably, she wouldn't have jumped in if she was uncomfortable with the people she has on staff now.

Like campaign manager Ed Rollins, whose last successful national campaign was, um, Ronald Reagan's re-election in 1984, which basically could have been run by a chimpanzee with a typewriter, given the way the Democrats fumbled about that year.

The only real scenario where Bachmann has any say in the nomination in 2012 is this: she swipes Iowa from (presumably) TX governor Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. Mitt has negative ratings from Iowa Republicans in the 50% range, so a strong Bachmann showing, with former MN governor Tim Pawlenty ekeing out second place in the state (as the "not-Bach" candidate) could persuade Romney to stay out of deep red states, and shore up his bona fides in bluer states like New Hampshire and Arizona. This would allow Bachmann a run of the Midwest and mountain states, setting up a battle for Florida and the south, where Romney polls well, but not outrageously well, and would split votes with Rick Perry of Texas.
She can't get enough delegates in the primaries and caucuses, but she could conceivably grab enough superdelegates to make a run at the convention. It would still probably not be enough to get the nod, but it certainly puts her in the position of kingmaker.
All this presumes she can hang in that long. I'm not convinced she'll make it to Iowa. She seems about ready to flame out.