Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday Brunch: Lance Armstrong needs a hug

Former Lance Armstrong cycling teammates George Hincapie and Tyler Hamilton are claiming Lance injected PED’s including EPO during his Tour de France reign.  This marks this first time that successful teammates and often self-described friends have testified they witnessed Lance inject.  Kind of makes Lance’s repeated claims that he ‘never tested positive’ ring hollow; test results can easily be manipulated and adulterated.
McDonalds announced that is looking into replacing cashiers in its European restaurants with self-serve kiosks and debit/credit card scanners.  No cashier?  Who’s going to tell the customers about the specials and the details of how the chef prepares the dishes?
The new American Corporation.  Neither Facebook nor Twitter are publicly listed, but secondary-market trade values these two social network giants at approximately $76 Billion..more than Boeing and Ford.  Also, LinkedIn completed its IPO this week and ended the week with a market capitalization of $9.8 Billion.  So Likes and Dislikes, Pokes, and Status Updates are more valuable than Mustangs, 747s, and Apache helicopters.  New world order or new dotcom bust?
Please Michelle Bachmann run for President.  Here are some funny jokes already coming out:
·        Bill Maher: "Michele Bachmann threw her hat into the ring. We think she's going to be running for president. For those who find Sarah Palin too intellectual.”
·        Conan O’Brien: "Lenscrafters is upset with Tea Partier Michele Bachmann because she called Planned Parenthood 'the Lenscrafters of abortion.' Lenscrafters released a statement today calling her 'the Costco of crazy.'"
·        Jay Leno: “"Michele Bachmann says she will launch her presidential campaign in either Massachusetts or New Hampshire as soon as she figures out which is which. There could be some eligibility problems for her. She has her birth certificate, but nobody can produce her high school diploma.”

Senate leaders from both parties are discussing tax reform, deficit reductions, debt ceiling, and budget cuts, and the use of so-called triggers that would go into effect if deficit levels are exceeded.  I thought I would share with you some previous Congressional and Presidential plans to curb spending via triggers:

·        In 1984 Reagan proposed an income tax surcharge and oil tax if deficit exceeded targets…it was never enacted, but Reagan, the Zeus of the Republican Party today, proposed a tax increase on the oil industry…the horror!
·        In 1990 Budget Enforcement Act capped discretionary spending and required offsets for tax cuts and new entitlements.  This was adhered to until the budget surplus generated in 1998.  Holy shit.  Imagine that two administrations and Democratic and Republican controlled Congresses agreeing to pay for tax cuts and new entitlements.  Where have those days gone?
·        In 1997 the Medicare “Sustainable Growth Rate” mandated cuts in physicians fees if costs gre too quickly.  This has been ignored or circumvented every year since, showing how effective Congress is at kicking some tough issues down the road again and again.
·        We’ll see what happens come 2014 when the Independent Payment Advisory Board, established in 2010, is set up to recommend changes if Medicare spending grows too fast.  Not holding breath.

The Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox are playing interleague baseball at Fenway Park this weekend and the teams are wearing throwback uniforms commemorating the last time the Cubs visited Fenway: 1918 during the World Series.  If the Cubs chose to wear uniforms dating back to when they last won the World Series, they would be wearing loincloths. 
So Paul Ryan (R-WI) is some sort of wunderkind and the brains of the Republican Party.  If he is so freaking smart, then explain to me how his deficit reduction plan, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) shows the debt increasing to $16.2 trillion in 2012 and rising every year after that up to $23.1 trillion in 2021.  So how the hell can the GOP be talking tough about the debt limit and deficit reduction when according to their own genius’ plan, the debt limit would have to increase by 50% over the next 10 years?  Hypocritical assholes.
And here is a shot at the Liberal Democrats who want to reduce the deficit by cutting defense and increasing taxes.  Grow up.  Spending needs to be cut across the board and tax rates need to be brought back to 1990’s levels. 
In a May Gallup poll, 53% of Americans surveyed think same-sex marriage should be legalized, for the first time since the organization has conducted the survey.  So why do people on the right continue to say we are a center-right country?
As the Republican Party bosses grow increasingly dissatisfied with the current field of candidates for the 2012 election, they continue to apply more pressure to Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels to enter the race.  Funny thing, don’t candidates always look better until people start focusing on what they said or did previously.  Exhibit 2: Daniels is for the implementation of Value-Added Tax (VAT), like they have, god forbid, in Europe.  I can see the Tea Partiers already reaching for their anti-seizure medicine.  BREAKING NEWS: Daniels won’t run.  Now Batting Chris Christie.

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