Friday, June 13, 2014

Nobody Asked Me, But...

1) Of course, you know my top story is going to be the commencement of the World Cup in feetsball, as it’s called. Somehow Brazilians managed to put aside their anger over the preparations and the damage caused to the nation to cheer on their team.

2) And of course, it wouldn’t be a World Cup without a heaping dash of controversy. For my part, I thought it was at best a really weak call, and at worst, called the wrong way (Fred should have been called for embellishment.) In the end, it didn’t make much difference. The Croatian keeper was terribly weak on the first goal.

3) It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when Baghdad will fall. The Bush failure is complete. He bankrupted our nation in the wan hopes of securing oil for the foreseeable future, and now we have neither oil nor a future.

4) Conservative libertarian Ayn Randian Bowe Bergdahl is back in the US. Funny how once it all came out he was one of theirs, fellow conservatives shut up.

5) Despite its reputation – or perhaps because of it – Jamaica is one of the harshest nations when it comes to the use of marijuana (ganja, as its called). That may be changing.

6) And just in time for the summer driving season…

7) Sunday is Father’s Day. If you have one, or even if you know one, send him this link. Unless of course you think he was great already.

8) As much as I really want the Rangers to perform a miracle this Stanley Cup season, they’ve already done one in getting this far.

9) There’s something both fascinating and Robocop-creepy about this.

10) Introducing: Egg on a stick

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The China Syndrome

Well, the Chinese seem to be taking the name “China Sea” seriously. First came the dispute with Vietnam, the Philippines, and probably any nation with a couple of dinghies and a drunk captain over the South China Sea.

And now comes Japan:

HONG KONG — China’s Ministry of National Defense accused Japan on Thursday of airborne brinkmanship over the East China Sea, rejecting Tokyo’s account of the latest near encounters between military aircraft from the two increasingly estranged countries.

The official Chinese rejection of the Japanese version of events was predictable, but the vehement wording from Beijing showed the bitterness that has built up between the two neighbors. The Chinese defense ministry spokesman, Senior Col. Geng Yansheng, said that in two incidents on Wednesday that Japanese military aircraft flew “abnormally close” to Chinese air force planes — the opposite of the account by Japan’s Defense Ministry

“For some time, Japan has engaged in close-up tailing, monitoring and interfering with Chinese vessels and aircraft, risking the safety of the vessels and aircraft,” Colonel Geng said in a statement released on the ministry’s website. Japan’s behavior, he said, had “malign intentions and totally exposed its hypocrisy and two-facedness in relations with China.”

Ooooh, they’re “monitoring” a possibly hostile force of “vessels” and “aircraft”. Needless to say, Japan accuses China of aggression, that the surveillance planes were prop-driven…really?...and that Japan has photographic evidence that China’s planes were armed and aggressive.

This might all be as petty as the brouhaha over the South China Sea if it wasn’t for the history between the Japanese and the Chinese. Japan, you may recall, has punched above its weight several times in invading China, most recently during World War II.

And both nations are old enough that there are grudges a-plenty to go around.

Really, it would just take the wrong button punched on some console…


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Round Two

So the Teabaggers have another chance to pick off a few incumbent Republicans that they deem as too cozy with Obama.


Voters head to the polls today in six states to cast ballots in a the latest round of primary and runoff elections in the heart of nominating season. The marquee congressional contest is in South Carolina, where there is really only one number on the mind of Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R): 50 percent.

Fifty percent would mean Graham can avoid a runoff. His numbers hover just below that mark, a sign of voter anger (and let’s face it, apathy) over Congress.

Also in the spotlight today, Eric Cantor also faces a must-win situation, which is very likely, but the margin of victory will be closely watched for keys to Teabagger frustration with his performance these past two years. If he comes in under 20%, it could stoke the fires for further Teabagger unrest.

The really interesting race is out in Nevada, where the Lieutenant Governor’s spot is up for grabs. If a Democrat – in this instance, Lucy Flores – wins the general election, Governor Brian Sandoval may have to postpone his attempt to win Harry Reid’s seat, as the governor’s office would flip parties. Sandoval has to count on the lesser of two evils to win the Republican primary today, in order for Flores to face a real challenger in November.

As noted earlier this year, the Teabagger influence in elections is waning, and this is most notable in this primary season: Primaries are where hardcore voters turn out, and the numbers of overall votes are lower, reinforcing the influence a voting bloc may have.

By blowing up early this year, the Teabaggers have pretty much slid into obscurity. It will be a long time before Republicans have any influence in the nation.