Friday, February 05, 2010

Nobody Asked Me, But...

1) Apparently, there's good economic news this morning. Watch the markets sink.
2) OK, so the Teabaggers are having their "annual" convention. Here's the question: do they organize as a third party or do they create havoc in the Republican party? Either way, Obama gets re-elected.
3) If this was 400 years ago, he'd have to commit seppuku.
4) Yellowstone is about to erupt. The question is, how big? Minor or supereruption?
5) Demon sheep and politics. Keep in mind this was the idiot who tried to put Barack Obama and the word "celebrity" together.
6) When you think of a rich actor or actress, you think of someone with star power, someone whose very presence can make or break a film, and is paid accordingly. So it might come as a surprise to discover who the highest paid actress in Hollywood was in 2009.
7) It's odd how small town America is so rife with immoral behavior.
8) The monkeys have plotted revenge against Darwin.
9) Theymay not have gun control in South Carolina, but you do have to register your terrorists.
10) Y'know, it's conceivable this might work in the Village, but I doubt offering to blow the cops in Arkansas will get you off (pun intended).

Thursday, February 04, 2010


What planet you been on for the past twenty year?

President Obama bemoaned the "erosion of civility" in the nation's political debate Thursday, telling an audience at the National Prayer Breakfast that there is a growing sense that "something is broken" in Washington.

"Those of us in Washington are not serving the people as well as we should," Obama said. "At times, it seems like we're unable to listen to one another, to have at once a serious and civil debate."

You've got an entire political party that is hell-bent on destroying the greatest nation on the planet, a party that was willing to allow terrorists the time and space to plot the September 11 attacks for the spiteful pursuit of a goddamn BLOW JOB between consenting adults, and you only just now noticed there's a tad of incivility????


You've no doubt heard the term "Going Galt". That's where selfish people with an overinflated ego remove themselves from society for perceived insults to their self-sufficiency.
I think. The bottom line is, this is a case of addition by subtraction, and should be encouraged and often.
Indeed, entire cities are about to experiment with this idea.
And while I pray that nothing untoward happens to the city, you know, like a major snowstorm that cripples the roads or the removal of interstate highway funding for the sections of freeways that run thru the domain...*hinthint*...I can't help but rub my hands in glee, a little:
The more insane-- I mean, the more strident-- voices on the far right have long advocated the privatization of all public services. I'm guessing they didn't read history or perhaps their home-school didn't really cover it, since history is not needed to play football.
For a very long time, local, state, and federal governments provided very little in the way of services: an army, a post office, a central bank.
People died. People starved. People watched their houses burned since they couldn't afford private contractors to put them out. People were robbed on the streets and cops wouldn't lift a finger to stop it. Why? Wrong corner.
Indeed, the very essence of liberal ideology was to reverse this horrible thought, that people have to fend for themselves in a Christian nation. We fixed those, or so we thought, and moved onto bigger and more important, yet more subtle, problems.
Not only have we slipped on the ground running towards those, things like healthcare reform, but now we find ourselves sliding back a slope to re-fight battles already long-won.
Except, this is a fight we may not have to fight. Indeed, I'd advocate losing. Colorado Springs is a very conservative town (home to the Air Force Academy) and if any town would once and for all put paid to the ridiculous idea of self-sufficiency, why not make it a town where the majority of people support the idea?
So I urge my readers to pack your household garbage, go visit Colorado Springs, the Littering Capital of the World, and leave it in their many beautiful, wondrous public parks.
Go ahead! No one's going to give you a ticket!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

So...I'm Having Lunch With Al D'Amato....

(no joke, by the way. I walked into my local establishment and sat down next to him, and one thing led to another)
...and I have this idea for cutting the deficit while cutting out a lot of the lobbying shit.
We're running a trillion dollar deficit, right?
So how about, President Obama gathers all 535 representatives and Senators at the White House, and tells them, "For every dollar of the deficit you can cut, I will give you 10 cents."?
Think about it: one trillion dollars at ten percent is one hundred billion dollars, divided by 535 is roughly $200 BILLION DOLLARS.
Name one lobby that would even donate one percent of that figure to the combined campaign funds of all the congresscritters.

The Other White Meat

Oddly enough, wood-smoked bacon is pretty erotic....
So is the woman who is quoted:

It's Hard To Believe...

...we've gone nearly three whole years without a terror attack warning:

WASHINGTON—The U.S.'s top intelligence officials said Tuesday that an attempted al Qaeda attack on the U.S. in the next three to six months was "certain."

An official also said the Nigerian who allegedly attempted to blow up an airliner on Christmas Day was again cooperating with federal investigators. Republicans have accused the administration of squandering a chance to gain valuable intelligence from the suspect by using the civilian court system to charge him, instead of declaring him an enemy combatant and subjecting him to more interrogation.

Not coincidentally, the faux warnings under Bush stopped the minute Traitor Karl Rove left the White House. But I digress...
We're going to have to live with the fact that terror threats will always be with us. Not to the extent they are with Israel, or India or Pakistan, or any other nation not in this hemisphere (and some that are). As our infrastructure ages and is replaced, new security measures will be build-ins to the new facilities, and we'll stop noticing much of that legacy of Al Qaeda.
For now, tho, we'll need to be reminded every so often of the dangers we face. The Christmas Day bomber was one abrupt reminder, also an abrupt reminder that Al Qaeda has always liked to test new Presidents when they first take office, and wouldn't you know it, the Obama administration passed the test first time out.
Too, we'll have to remain vigilant against copycat organizations mimicking Al Qaeda's tactics. Fortunately, we don't seem to have pissed anyone else off lately, and getting rid of Bush and the GOP hegemonic moron class has settled the feathers that were ruffled. Things do change, though, and a bad world economy makes it more likely that new groups will pop up, angry at and jealous of America, Americans, and the relative good life we lead.
Maybe once China takes over the top spot as the most powerful economy on the planet (right now, they sit number three), and the oppression of Uighurs takes more of the spotlight in the radical Muslim world, we can breathe a little easier. Maybe.
Or maybe through some bizarre eddy of political evolution, Sarah Palin is elected in 2016, and the flame ignites once more against us.
Look, people were willing to let Americans have a pass on the first Bush election. They even gave us a pass on his re-election. They cheered the election of Barack Obama, but the overseas opinion of the American people's generosity and selflessness took a hit over the previous eight years.
And now, with the debate over helping Haiti, and the recent Supreme Court decision that basically allows political candidates to become sponsored like NASCAR drivers, Americans are looking pretty idiotic. We won't get the same outpouring of love and sympathy on the next attack, when that happens.
Just so you're prepared for the reaction. It's going to feel ugly, but it will be deserved.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Staten Island Chuck

This morning on radio station Q104.3, a discussion was raised about Groundhog Day, specifically, why is it that Punxsatwaney Phil gets all the glamour when New York's own Staten Island Chuck gets the weather right. Phil has a 39% accuracy rate. Chuck is up around 80%.
I have the answer: it's the name.
Face facts: when you think of New York, specifically, when you think of Staten Island, "Chuck" is not the first name to jump out in your mind.
I mean, unless you're a Senator, of course.
To put it bluntly, "Staten Island Chuck" sounds like something on the menu of a second rate steakhouse in Nashville. "I'd like the Staten Island Chuck, medium well, and an Old Milwaukee, please?"
And to be honest, it's New Jersey that eats rodents, not New York.
Our groundhog needs a name with pizzazz. Punxsatawney Phil is a great name for a groundhog from the east of Pennsylvania, near State College (and the esteemed Glen Campbell, PA). You can almost picture him putting on a hard hat for his job at a mill in Aliquippa.
Staten Island Chuck is a guy who owes you money.
So I emailed the station this morning and suggested a name change, a name that reflects not only the grandeur of New York City, not only the diversity and cultural distinctiveness of its boroughs, but is instantly recognizable to billions of people around the world as a "Noo Yawk" name.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you "Staten Island Vinnie"!
Now THAT'S a groundhog!

What Are They Gonna Do? Make Him Clean Erasers?

I think China might be overestimating their worth:

On Friday the Obama administration signed off on a $6.4 billion (£4 billion) arms package for Taiwan. China, which claims the island, had repeatedly warned against the sale and retaliated by vowing to punish US companies.

Obama may butt heads with Beijing again in the coming weeks if he meets the Dalai Lama. The two nations also have a number of trade rows including Google's threat to leave China over the hacking of political activists' email accounts.

Officials and experts doubted that Obama was seeking to antagonise China. Rather, they said he had long planned to sell arms to Taiwan and meet the Dalai Lama but wanted first to develop a good rapport with Beijing.

Maybe next time, guys, you'll get on board with sanctions against Iran, which has shown a marked tendency these past few days towards antagonist behavior.
Here's the thing: China holds our purse strings in their hands. We can ill afford to antagonize them unnecessarily, lest they call in that one trillion dollars in notes and bonds they hold.
That's one trillion dollars that would deflate a $500 billion annual trade deficit the US runs with China, meaning that within two years, the US would basically balance its books with China. It would devalue the dollar and by extension, the yuan (which is tied pretty closely to the dollar), and destroy the Chinese economy.
It would be a Pyrrhic victory, to be sure. Call it Mutually Assured Destruction Economically (MADE).
Is China willing to go there over the Dalai Lama, and prove him right to boot, that the Chinese political system is bankrupt and that the rise of materialism in China will ultimately destroy the nation? Is it willing to go there over Taiwan?
Short answer: no. It's not. China has many advantages over America, from the sheer mass of people to make up a brute labor force or army, to a recent history of living well below their means for extended periods of time.
It is not, however, suicidal, particularly as it sees a chance for vindication and redemption after millennia of being taken for granted, of being held captive, of being second class to the west.
Obama is correct to act with impunity here, particularly considering that his initial overtures to China were met with open hostility, diplomatically speaking. The talks with the Dalai Lama are of less concern to China than the blatant arming of Taiwan (which, unlike Cuba, still has some worth strategically). Obama is wise to position his pieces in the event that the world turns in a direction that sees America in mortal danger from Iran.
The timing of this contretemps is interesting as well: Iran has threatened something, no one knows for sure what, for February 11. That's the thirtieth anniversary of the deposition of the Shah, and Ahmadinejad (who for typing's sake ought to be deposed himself) has said he will do something that will shock the world.
That Obama is making a stand now, before the 11th, signals to me that he is lumping China's intransigence over Iran into meting out the consequences of whatever will happen in the 11th.
Nukes? I doubt it, but it never hurts to be prepared. Chemical attacks? The destruction of Israel? All unlikely, but none impossible. Certainly the IDF has operated on the assumption these past months that their nation is in imminent danger from Iran, and if there's one thing the IDF does well, it's identify danger to Israel.
And the Pentagon is taking notice.
In the meantime, Iran is making nice with neighbors that border it to the east and north, specifically the "Stan" states, like Azerbaijan. Certainly, we can take this as a signal of closer ties to Russia and/or China. Look for reactions from Putin (via Medvedev) in support of Hu Jintao. That will be key.
But hey, American Idol is on tonight. You don't need to know we're that much closer to nuclear annihilation!

Monday, February 01, 2010

I Wonder If I Can Take Her Back To My iPad?

Only...why does she look so much like Ann Coulter?
Inventor Douglas Hines with Roxxxy, his computerized sex robot that can carry on a conversation and have a simulated orgasm.
Separated At Birth? I mean, Manufacture?
An alpha every one loves to hate, Author/Commentator Ann Coulter

From Your Friends At Ralph Spoilsport Motors

This just in from one of the funniest men on the planet, Phil Proctor:


This morning I was awakened by my alarm clock powered by

electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated

by the US Department of Energy. I then took a shower in

the clean water provided by the municipal water utility. After

that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC regulated channels

to see what the National Weather Service of the National

Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined

the weather was going to be like, using satellites designed,

built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space

Administration. I watched this while eating my breakfast of

US Department of Agriculture inspected food and taking the

drugs which have been determined as safe by the Food and

Drug Administration.


At the appropriate time as regulated by the US Congress and

kept accurate by the National Institute of Standards and Tech-

nology and the US Naval Observatory, I get into my National

Highway Traffic Safety Administration approved automobile

and set out to work on the roads built by the local, state, and

federal departments of transportation, possibly stopping to

purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the

Environmental Protection Agency, using legal tender issued

by the Federal Reserve Bank. On the way out the door I deposit

any mail I have to be sent out via the US Postal Service

and drop the kids off at the public school.


After spending another day not being maimed or killed at

work thanks to the workplace regulations imposed by the

Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health

Administration, enjoying another two meals which again do

not kill me because of the USDA, I drive my NHTSA car back

home on the DOT roads, to my house which has not burned

down in my absence because of the state and local building

codes and fire marshal's inspection, and which has not been

plundered of all its valuables thanks to the local police department.

I then log on to the Internet which was developed by the

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and post on

free republic and Fox News forums about how SOCIALISM in

medicine is BAD because the government can't do anything right.



Thought For The Day

Given the SCOTUS ruling last week, when two corporations merge, will that be a gay marriage?

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

I suspect that by the time the midterm election passes, you'll be sick of hearing that phrase, but...well, it's important.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The economy's 5.7 percent growth last quarter -- the fastest pace since 2003 -- was a step toward shrinking the nation's 10 percent unemployment rate.

There's just one problem: Growth would have to equal 5 percent for all of 2010 just to lower the average jobless rate for the year by 1 percentage point.

And economists don't think that's possible. [...]

Another way of looking at it: A net total of about 3 million jobs would have to be created this year to lower the average unemployment rate by 1 percentage point for 2010, economists estimate. Yet even optimists think the creation of 1 million net jobs is probably out of reach this year.

That's the conservative Republican legacy, folks! Thirty years of trickle down economics, of outsourcing, of cutting employment costs to the bone, have created an unemployment figure that will take six or seven years of astounding (and inflationary!) growth, just to lower the jobless rate back to the "full employment" level of 5% unemployment.
This is not to say that a liberal policy would have prevented unemployment in a time of economic crisis.
It is saying that the economic crisis would have been mitigated and the employment hemorrhage staunched with a liberal policy of protecting jobs, national health insurance, and a tamping down of the idiotic "me too-ism" of giving corporations more rights than individuals.
Conservatives put down the palying field here, folks. Liberals have had to respond in kind where necessary, holding our noses and jumping in despite the fact that it goes against our natures to delve into this kind of dirty business.
Economic royalty has had its due. I suspect it's in for a rude awakening in the 21st century. That ham-fisted attempt to corrupt the political process by a Supreme Court so up the asses of corporate America they ought to wear NASCAR-like sponsorships will not stand, and the politicians in Congress and the White House will only take the first steps to smooth ruffled feathers, but never enact real reform.
This is not a right vs. left issue. This is an Americans vs. Plutocracy issue, despite whatever nonsense Glenn Beck is spouting, masquerading as "populism".