Friday, May 15, 2009

Joke For Today

The IRS decides to audit Morris, and summons him to the IRS office, and he's not surprised when Morris shows up with his attorney.

The auditor says, 'Well, sir, you have an extravagant lifestyle and no full-time employment which you explain by saying that you win money gambling. I'm not sure the IRS finds that believable.'

'I'm a great gambler and I can prove it,' says Morris. 'How about a demonstration?'

The auditor thinks for a moment and says, 'Okay. Go ahead.' Morris says, 'I'll bet you a thousand dollars that I can bite my own eye.'

The auditor thinks a moment and says, 'It's a bet.'

Morris removes his glass eye and bites it. The auditor's jaw drops. Morris says, 'Now, I'll bet you two thousand dollars that I can bite my other eye.'

Now, the auditor can tell Morris isn't blind, so he takes the bet - but Morris removes his dentures and bites his good eye with them!

The stunned auditor now realizes he has wagered and lost three grand with Morris's attorney as a witness. He starts to get nervous.

'Want to go double or nothing?' Morris asks. 'I'll bet you six thousand!dollars that I can stand on one side of your desk and pee into that wastebasket on the other side and never get a drop anywhere in between.'

The auditor, twice burned, is cautious now, but he looks carefully and decides there's no way this guy could possibly manage that stunt, so he agrees again.

Morris stands beside the desk and unzips his pants, but although he strains mightily, he can't make the stream reach the wastebasket on the other side, so he pretty much urinates all over the auditor's

The auditor leaps with joy, realizing that he has just cancelled a major loss. But Morris's attorney moans and puts his head in his hands. 'Are you!okay?' the auditor asks.

'Not really,' says the attorney. 'This morning, when Morris told me he'd been summoned for an audit, he bet me twenty-five thousand dollars that he could come in here and piss all over your desk and not only that but you'd be happy about it!'

Nobody Asked Me, But...

1) The rain in Spain falls mainly on cocaine.

2) Apparently, Bob Graham has Nancy Pelosi's back, while her minion, Steny Hoyer, has his knife out.

3) No wonder the GOP opposes the stimulus package: it provides Americans with low-wage underpaying jobs without benefits.

4) Hey, Conservatives! Going Galt? Need a place to go on vacation free from US Government regulation? I have just the place:


5) Good thing they're not having more sex or the conservatives might be upset!

6) It's not often you'll see this as a headline: "468 Year Old Man Arrested"

7) If capitalism were truly free market, this would happen a LOT more frequently.

8) On the one hand, this story is fascinating. On the other, it sounds like a Roger Corman movie.

9) The Governator is auctioning off parts of his state. I'd say "Film at 11," but I suspect he's already moved to copyright that.

10) I wonder if old white men in the White House catch some sort of dementia?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

NEWS ALERT: Politician Tells The Truth

Oh President Obama...:
President Barack Obama on Wednesday told graduates at Arizona State University that he had not done enough in his life to automatically receive an honorary degree.

Here's how to fix that, sir.

Release the torture photos.
WASHINGTON — President Obama said Wednesday that he would fight to prevent the release of photographs documenting abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan by United States military personnel, reversing his position on the issue after commanders warned that the images could set off a deadly backlash against American troops.

The administration said last month that it would not oppose the release of the pictures, but Mr. Obama changed his mind after seeing the photographs and getting warnings from top Pentagon officials that the images, taken from the early years of the wars, would “further inflame anti-American opinion” and endanger troops in two war zones.

As if.

Look, Mr President, by diddling with this decision, you're allowing an opportunity for Al Qaaeda and other religious extremists (including the right-wing nutjobs in this country) to awfulize the photos, to give them mythic status and to talk to the un- and underinformed based solely on rumour and innuendo.

As for our troops in harm's way, well, most of them shouldn't even have been there in the first place, and I think it's incumbent on the people whose boots are on the ground to make amends. My understanding is, ever since the Abu Ghraib scandal broke, that's precisely what some troops have done. Those troops will not be in harm's way.

Neither will troops who have legitimate cause to be in country, such as the ones in Afghanistan who are actively hunting down Taliban and Al Qaeda forces who would re-enslave the people of that nation. Those folks will be grateful, and my suspicion is they'll have a more flexible empathy for the position American troops have been put in by your predecessor.

Yes, some troops WILL face more violence, of that you can be sure, but likely those inflamed tensions would have used any spark to light.

Meanwhile, our history shows that the American public is least served by the administration that hides and cowers behind the skirts of public opinion.

Courageous behavior, sir, is lacking in your administration. It's time you man up (maybe put Hillary in charge of this, if you don't have the stones) and take responsibility for what this nation has done to innocent civilians from other countries.

That's the American way.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Note To Dead Old White Guy

You had your chance, you killed 3,000 Americans on American soil and another 5,000 in unnecessary wars. Please go away:
Former Vice President Dick Cheney may have largely stayed under the radar during his time in the Bush administration, but he is not going softly into that good night, seemingly launching a one-man campaign to fight for his legacy and -- in his view -- the safety of the nation.

"Legacy"...funny word that. No doubt you were privvy to the contents of the August 6, 2001 PDB. Maybe you recall the bloody title?
Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.
Nothing says "safe" like ignoring a warning!

Did anyone else die in terror attacks on American soil since September 11? Frankly no. But no one can know if that's due to your *koffkoff* tireless efforts, or merely because Al Qaeda et al shot their wad on 9/11 and it took them years to arm up again.

Indeed, I'd absolutely lay money on the latter because of the posturing you guys did. Keeping in touch with your inner adolescence, you and your Bush administration cronies acted like a bunch of pre-teen hoodlums outside the polar bear enclave at the zoo, teasing and harassing the animals, knowing full well that the next person in the know, the adults?...would have to deal with an angry bear.

Yea. Brave. That pretty much sums up the level of courage you and Bush the Immature showed in the past eight years.

Dick, and I call you that because it's your name and not necessarily because I think it describes you to a T, your heart stopped decades ago. Follow suit, mmmmmmmmmmmmmK?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Headlines That Make You Do A Double-Take

Every once in a while, a string of headlines pops up on the radar that make it impossible to blog properly.

Conservatives may buck Charlie Crist
Moderate right-wing Republican Charlie Crist, often rumoured to be, well, not strictly heterosexual, has announced for the Senate seat being vacated by Mel Martinez of Florida.

One wonders if the editor at Politco was being coy.

Actor Gary Sinise floated as possible GOP savior
Well, hiring a washed up actor worked once before, and since the GOP seems determined to trot out every single dusty old meme in opposition to the Democrats...

Lieberman breaks with Cheney: ‘We’re not less safe’ under Obama.
Truly, a "man bites dog" moment in recent politics.

Jon Stewart to Make History Special
The man who raised faux news to an art form has set his sights on completing what he started with his book: a faux history.

It's going to be hard to top Mel Brooks, Jon.

California shortfall $21.3 billion if measures fail
People who were surprised by the defeat of Proposition 8 allowing for same-sex marriages have not been paying attention the California electorate, I'm sad to say. However, the conservative streak that runs strongly away from the coastline is about to come home to roost, as this budget shortfall almost surely means the repeal that most noxious of "tax cutting" propositions, 13.

Police arrest NJ man in college popcorn prank in Connecticut
You'd better go read this one.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Another One Bites The Dust

Yet another regulatory shortfall of the Bush era is going bye-bye:
The Obama administration is seeking to undo yet another leftover from the Bush years by strengthening antitrust laws, the New York Times reports in leading off its business coverage.

In a speech later today, the Justice Department antitrust chief, Christine A. Varney, will lay out new "plans to restore an aggressive enforcement policy against corporations that use their market dominance to elbow out competitors or to keep them from gaining market share."

During the Bush years, the newspaper points out, the cards were stacked in favor of the corporate defendants facing antitrust claims. The White House is looking to level the playing field, restoring a policy "that led to the landmark antitrust lawsuits against Microsoft and Intel in the 1990s," the newspaper writes.

Intel, it should be pointed out, is about to hear the EU decision on its monopolistic tendencies.

Why is this important now?

In the midst of an economic recession or depression, there is a strong urge, indeed a strong rationalization, that stronger players in iffy markets buy up the players who are on the ropes, essentially creating at the very least an oligopoly, if not an outright monopoly.

Indeed, one might make the case that Herbert Hoover's relaxation of oversight on business combinations paved the way for the Great Depression by allowing banks to create credit consortiums that effectively froze out smaller banks from access to money to lend to their customers.

And certainly, the case against Standard Oil was based squarely on its actions in the period running up to and including the recession of 1907.

The trick this time around is to increase the economic productive of weak sectors like banking and housing while avoiding the temptation to use public funds to create megalodons of the market.

The structure of this recession/depression is such that more monopolies are likely to form as credit lines remain dried up, meaning that only companies who can finance internally (through their own cash reserves or by issuing private debt) will be able to survive in style.

And naturally, that will imply size as a factor in survival. The American capitalist system has tended towards "bigger is better" for decades now, when in point of fact, classic capitalism requires quite the opposite: smaller players competing for expanding markets.