Friday, July 20, 2012

Nobody Asked Me, But...

1) What is it with Colorado and mass killing? By the way, the guy fired bullets powerful enough to penetrate the walls of the adjoining theatre, which were really thick and really dense. Still think guns ought not to be more closely regulated?
2) Ramadan starts today. The Olympics start next week. How will Muslim athletes cope? Oh, and kul 'am wa enta bi-khair!
3) Jeez, whooping cough epidemic? But we don't need gubmint healthcare or spend money on the FDA or no health authorities....noooooooooooooo!
4) It's not so much that Chris Christie was given the keynote address at the RNC so much as it kind of gravitated to him.
5) I hope he's consuming mass quantities. Goodbye, Tom.
6) With regards to Romney's trax returns: you'll note my silence on this issue. I mostly think that tax returns really aren't anyone's business and that if a candidate's FEC filings pass muster, that should be good enough. But...
Here's a candidate who wants to talk about his business acumen and experience and his ability to create jobs. OK, so I think in that case, he should be willing-- no, glad-- to release his tax returns, so we can compare what he himself took in versus what those firms he ran earned themselves. Then we can understand more fully his boasts.
7) Want to know President Obama's secret weapon in the upcoming tax fight in Congress? Here it is. He can stand quite pat on his demand of letting the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire, and veto any attempt to extend them.
8) So lemme're spearfishing off a known shark-infested coastline, and a great white shows up. That's the very definition of "Duh!"
9) I love me some President Obama but he's just wrong here. By the way, I know Dr. Earle. She's one of the sharpest minds on the planet.
10) OK, hipsters! Look like it's up to you to save the planet! We're doomed...

Thursday, July 19, 2012


How did this idiot ever get a gun license?
Also, could anyone have imagined Hannity breaking this story? I wonder if ol' WWF Sean Mooney realized just how idiotic he made Zimmerman sound?
It stuns me that Hannity, of all people, extracted a key piece of evidence that will get Zimmerman convicted on the top charge. By admitting that he would do the exact same thing all over again, Zimmerman has proven he has no remorse for murdering an innocent teenager. Over? Indeed.

Stay Bachmann!

It is quite possible that we are witnessing the complete meltdown of a politician, first hand, as it happens:

Rep. Michele Bachmann defended her attempt to root out “deep penetration” by the Muslim Brotherhood into the U.S. government Friday, writing a 16-page letter explaining and expanding on her initial charges against Huma Abedin and others of being terrorist sympathizers. Bachmann’s letter came in response to a challenge from a fellow Minnesota lawmaker, Rep. Keith Ellison, a Democrat who was the first Muslim elected to Congress. Ellison last week asked Bachmann for evidence to support a series of letters the Republican sent to five national security agencies demanding investigations into alleged Muslim Brotherhood infiltration in their ranks.

In the new letter, Bachmann questions why Abedin, a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the wife of former Rep. Anthony Weiner, was able to receive a security clearance despite having family members that Bachmann believes are connected to the Brotherhood. “I am particularly interested in exactly how, given what we know from the international media about Ms. Abedin’s documented family connections with the extremist Muslim Brotherhood, she was able to avoid being disqualified for a security clearance,” the congresswoman wrote.

As evidence, she pointed to Abedin’s late father, Professor Syed Z. Abedin, and a 2002 Brigham Young University Law Review article about his work. Bachmann points to a passage saying Abedin founded an organization that received the “quiet but active support” of the the former director of the Muslim World League, an international NGO that was tied to the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe in the 1970s through 1990s. So, to connect Abedin to the Muslim Brotherhood, you have to go through her dead father, to the organization he founded, to a man who allegedly supported it, to the organization that man used to lead, to Europe in the 1970s and 1990s, and finally to the Brotherhood.

The charge, called "preposterous" by the State Department, is one of the more outrageous things Michele Bachmann has said this year, but far from the most outrageous. It did, however, extract a spirited defense of Abedin from none other than John McCain, whose lawn Michele has apparently trod upon.

Normally, when a Representative gets a dressing down from a senior party official, a Senator no less, she shuts up and moves on, but not Bachmann. 

Indeed, I see this as a sign of great danger for her and people around her. I think she's headed for a psychotic break. Not from reality, but a break TO reality.

Let me explain: Bachmann lives in a psychological bubble. It's not that she can't hear "no," it's that she will with all her might not hear it. 

Her fortunes rose on the tide of the Teabagger movement, much like Sarah Palin only without the whole "quitty-leavey" problem. She became a figurehead for that movement and in so doing revelled in the attention and more important campaign-dollar-love. She amassed more campaign contributions in the last election cycle (2009-2010) than any other Congresscritter, Senators included.

Inside her warped little mental cocoon, this made her a deity. To her, it seemed like nothing could go wrong, that she held ultimate power to use as she pleased.

Nevermind that the facade, the shell, was cracking even as she inflated her ego further to press against the facade. 

The pinnacle of her ego-stroking was when she won a meaningless straw poll weeks ahead of the Iowa caucuses. Iowans quickly put paid to the notion that she was a serious contender in the actual caucuses, and soon, Bachmann melded into the background the way John Huntsman, Rick Perry and so many others had.

This had to hurt. Starved for the attention that she had been getting on the capaign trail, Bachmann began to lash out left and right. Her party tolerated it for the sake of the caucus she leads in Congress, but it really only was a matter of time before her id would take command and drive her off a cliff. I think it started when she dropped a hint that she'd apply for Swiss citizenship and leave America.

Sadly, I think the time has come where she's lost all control of herself: while she holds a fairly commanding lead in the polls for her re-election and has a war chest the envy of many Senate candidates, the toll her antics are taking has to be weighing on the minds of her constituents, no matter how obtuse they might be.

She's been spanked back into her little corner of Minnesota and she's not licking her wounds quietly like a mature adult would. Each time she gets rebuked and ridiculed like this sees her car come a little closer to the cliff. Far be it from me to suggest someone should remove the guard rail and grease the highway, of course, but I can see how some would be tempted to do that.

My prediction? There's a major October surprise waiting for her, and that this will send her over the edge.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Food, fuel, and other prices will spike shortly.

Change Of Perspective

The Tuva people of Russia have an interesting concept: The future is behind us (songgaar), and we face the past (burungaar):
Tuvans believe the past is ahead of them while the future lies behind, not yet seen.
The future remains unseen, so it has to be behind them always. Contrast that with Western...indeed, most of the world's philosophy that says the future is laid out in front of us, just waiting to be found.
Particularly in America, there is a sense of predestination, that each of us is has a future to fulfill that's already written for us. The whole American dream, any kid can grow up to be President, and if we just work hard enough and apply ourselves, we can accomplish anything.
The past three decades have proven the folly of this myth. We can always improve our lot, and yes, hard work is important, but we became so results-oriented that we've ended up a nation of paranoid idiots, slaving away at jobs for people who barely acknowledge our existence, much less our humanity.
For an ambitious people, what made us give up so easily? Why are we content to eat the scraps off the table of someone who is only "better" than us based on a bank balance? Who probably got that money because of a genetic accident?
Here's where I think the Tuvans have it over the rest of the world: the inference one can reasonably take is that by placing the past in front of them, they force themselves to take careful stock of their lives. They look at what they've done so far, and study the lessons therein. More important, they make changes. Not in anticipation of some unseen future reward, but to improve who they are right now.
Ironic, isn't it, that so many of us in western culture are urged to "live in the now": stop thinking about the future, stop reliving the past, be who are you are right now. That's a clue that our society is kind of screwy, because that's diametrically opposed to the other cues we get: save money for a house or for retirement, save our immortal souls, plan for the future, stock up on supplies for Armageddon.
See, if you live in the now, you accept the change that future brings. You learn how to survive, and if you fail, you fail. You can't worry about what you don't know. We're stressed to the hilt because we all know, at 65 we're retiring, and shortly after that, we die, and we scratch and scramble to make our lives mean something.
The Tuvans make their lives mean something now, not for when they're gone.
There's something to be said about that.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

There's No Way This Helps Romney

But it might be good news for the McCain campaign!


Would you want to see a "President Romney" on the Kiss-Cam at a sporting event?
Not even prancing horses?

Babbling Brooks

I wonder sometimes if David Brooks realizes how self-referentially idiotic he sounds:

Let’s say you are president in a time of a sustained economic slowdown. You initiated a series of big policies that you thought were going to turn the economy around, but they didn’t work — either because they were insufficient or ineffective. How do you run for re-election under these circumstances?

Do you spend the entire campaign saying that things would have been even worse if you hadn’t acted the way you did? No. That would be pathetic. You go on the attack. Instead of defending your economic policies, you attack modern capitalism as it now exists. You blame the system for the economy. You do this with double ferocity if your opponent happens to be the embodiment of that system.

Let's say you're a columnist for the erstwhile "Paper of Record," in a time when events happen that you have no knowledge of except what your handlers and other people who's opinion you respect...why, for the life of me, I can't fathom. You initiated a visit to the Applebee's salad bar to try to sort out your thoughts about an economic system that is not only failing, but fails to exist even in the pathetic realm you call "your head" which the medications couldn't fix-- either because they were insufficient or ineffective. How do you look at yourself in the mirror under these circumstances?

Do you spend your days locked away in a meditative state, pondering that things would only be worse if you hadn't sought what pathetically tiny bits of help you did? No. That would be pathetic. You go on the attack. Instead of assuming the fault lies within yourself and perhaps learning a little about basic economics, you attack the people who did. You blame the administration for the economy. You do this with double ferocity if your target happens to be black.

David, seriously: get help. You're not only out of your league (go read Adam Smith sometime. Look in particular about what he said about rich people and taxation (and welfare, the Socialist!) and the formation of corporations, which he viewed as the purest of evils, precisely because of the things Bain has been up to), you're out of your fucking mind, son.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Poor Little Rich Girl


Brilliant Commercial

With all but a wink and a nod, Fiat pokes fun at American conservatives.

"They Hate Us For Our Freedom"

Except these folks are already free, thanks to us.

You Just Keep Thinking That, O-Mitt!

(Like the new nickname for Romney? It's in honor of his lies and failure to disclose fully his financial information and employment status)
Methinks Mitt Romney is starting to feel the heat:

WOLFEBORO, N.H. — Mitt Romney demanded Monday that President Barack Obama back away from his persistent attacks on Romney’s record at Bain Capital, advising that it would be better “if you spent some time speaking about your record.”

“What does it say about a president whose record is so poor that all he can do in this campaign is attack me,” Romney said in a nationally broadcast interview.

Obama said an interview that he has run mostly positive campaign ads but said they have not been given much attention in the media.

OMitt has gotten great mileage out of his "business experience," yet a careful examination of that experience shows a pattern of lies and misinformation designed to protect Mitt and his investors at all costs, while they rake in gobs of barely-taxable income.

As I covered back in April, even his acknowledged time at Bain capital shows a significant amount of collateral damage to real Americans and real failures for his firm.

Romney wants the best of both worlds, have his cake AND eat it too while never letting you know there's extra slices available.

President Obama is calling him out on this, and OMitt is squirming. OMitt displayed a thin skin on the campaign trail and I suspect the strategy is to rub him raw until he blows up.

Bicycling: Contact Sport

Yesterday in stage 14 of the race that never ends, 30 riders were caught out by a box of tacks tossed on the road by a "fan." Police are investigating, but because the Tour is the grand event in the only sport that lets you actually reach out and touch a world-class athlete while he's competing (note to readers: do NOT do this!) there were literally thousands of fans standing by the road at that particular summit.
The race was thoroughly disrupted. Defending Tour champion Cadel Evans was forced to change tires and/or bikes at least three times. He sits in fourth place in this year's Tour, close enough that he could still win the overall title.
In a show of good sportsmanship, the current leader, Bradley Wiggins, slowed the pack down (after chasing down one rider who apparently didn't understand why everyone was going so slow) so that Evans could rejoin them to compete.
Whoever did this ought to know he was responsible for at least one serious injury, a broken collarbone to Team Astana rider Robert Kiserlovski, who was forced to drop out of the Tour.
Oddly, this is not the first time fans have tried to deliberately injure riders. Tacks were thrown so often on the course by angry farmers and residents that officials thought about cancelling the Tour when it was a brand-new event.
And even just a few years ago, Oscar Freire and Julian Dean were hit by pellets from an airgun.  
It's rare the sport where the athletes have more class than some of the worst fans. Usually, they compete neck and neck.