Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Night Twenty Questions

Twenty Questions
1)      Does everyone stop the microwave seconds before the timer times out figuring a few more seconds won’t matter?
2)      Does it matter if you don’t wait for the oven to reach preheat temp before putting that Thanksgiving turkey in the oven?
3)      What happens when Congressional approval rating drops below the margin of error of the poll?
4)      Was Steve Forbes the vampire king in Lost Boys?
5)      On Halloween does John Boehner become a Jack O'Lantern?
6)      How many of us are really missing the NBA?
7)      Why does the Big Ten Conference have 12 teams, but the Big 12 have only 10 teams?
8)      If the Rangers win the World Series will George W. Bush or Rick Perry take the credit?
9)      Do you think Mitt Romney ever watched CatDog?
10)   In light of the big problems we face, is it wrong to still get pissed about DirecTV dropping FX?
11)   Is it me or do we have 20x the meetings we used to have because of email?
12)   Do you think Herman Cain is as shocked as the rest of us about his popularity?
13)   What do you think the Obama’s fight about?
14)   What will it take for Republicans to admit climate change is real?
15)   Why do weathermen in the Northeast love to tell you the wind chill factor during winter and the heat index during the summer?
16)   Can we call this new controversy about restaurants and markets switching out fish: Bait-Catch-Bait-Switch?
17)   Why do Conservatives think we need a Defense of Marriage Act?  Has someone declared war on marriage?
18)   Ever notice that all the ads during nightly network news are for medications for conditions that didn’t exist 20 years ago?
19)   Do all new drugs have to include x’s, y’s, and or z’s in their name?
20)   Who had the brilliant idea to hold a Super Bowl in Indianapolis? 

Best of Diggapedia

Because I am obviously as big and famous as Jon Stewart, I will be submitting some Best of Diggapedia Posts over the next two weeks while I am travelling.  However, stay tuned as new posts may appear during my travels. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

From 1920 to 2011: Occupying Wall Street

Class warfare, income disparity, unfair wages, fat cats, organized labor busting, series of economic shocks, recessions originating out of the financial community, hatred against immigrants, an unpopular war, war profiteers, a Democrat in the White House.  Sounds like the last few years?  Of course it does, but we are referencing the years from 1918 -1920 that culminated in the detonation of a bomb outside the JP Morgan Bank at 12:01pm on September 16, 1920. The blast killed 38 and seriously injured 143, and was never solved.
Now I am not proposing, implying, insinuating, promoting, or inspiring similar attacks today.  What am I saying is the Occupy Wall Street movement is spreading and building momentum like a flywheel driven by some of the very same reasons that lead to that terror attack ninety years ago.  I honestly do not believe that the current incarnation ends with homespun terror, I think this movement is unwilling and incapable of such dire and desperate actions.  Nonetheless, the level of class divide in 2011 is very reminiscent of 1920.
But the fact is history repeats itself in short and long term cycles.  Recently, we have seen financial shocks every decade such as the S&L failures, Long Term Capital Management implosion, bubble bursting, and the recent Great Recession.   Long term cycles track the short term cycles and the long term cycles are usually much bigger and nastier.  This is where the 1918-1920 to 2008-2011 comparison becomes relevant.  When economic calamity, social strife and distrust start spiking, all parties get revved up.
Leading up to the Wall Street Explosion the rise of organized labor had been steady but in 1919 4 million workers went on strike at some point during the year.  These strikes often turned deadly when pro-labor forces clashed with management’s hired guns and security personnel.  This year there has been nothing remotely as violent but we have witnessed resurgence in the labor movement following the efforts of various Republican governors’ attempts to break up public unions.
There are a number of other striking similarities between the two events.  As anyone who has followed the Occupy Wall Street movements can attest wealth concentration at the 1% of the population is the primary rallying cry for the masses.  The same was happening ninety years ago and that is one of the main reasons why Wall Street was chosen as the main target in 1920.  Further, Wall Street was focused more on mergers and acquisitions than on creating value.  Yes, a common denominator was wealth generation for the very rich with little consideration of value generation for the nation and the population.
Of course there are many social similarities between the two events.  Ninety years ago xenophobia was at an all-time high.  European Jews, Italians, Germans, and Slavs were routinely and frequently harassed by White Protestant ‘Natives’ and the government fearing that these European immigrants were communists and anarchists started aggressive and unconstitutional search and seizures and as a result, one of the nation’s monstrous episodes in oppression occurred: The Palmer raids named after Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer and co-championed with soon to be Director of the new Federal Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar Hoover.  The natural tendency to attack and blame minorities during poor economic times is sadly as American as apple pie.  Red scare = Muslim scare.  Dirty Europeans = Dirty Hispanics.  The American need to blame someone.
Finally, the last period comparison comes in the form of the rise of the extreme Protestant Fundamentalist Revival.  This revival comes in the form of persecution of non-Protestants by extremists and can result in the denial of civil rights, harassment, and murder.  It was during the second decade of the 20th century that the Ku Klux Klan returned to prominence.  With their pursuit of religious and race purity the KKK and other Fundamentalist Evangelicals also preached an anti-science dogma as science was the instrument of the non-believer. Religious and race intolerance coupled with an anti-science crusade; I wonder where I have seen that recently?
Some will challenge this comparison because the haters in the earlier period were Democrats.  That misses the point.  This is not about a political party, it is about an ideology.  Southern Democrats are todays Southern Republicans thanks to 1964 Johnson v. Goldwater and the case of the Civil Rights Act, but is not the point.  The point is there are times that our progress as a nation appears to be stunted.  The haves will take advantge of the have-nots and decry that as capitalism and those that look, talk, dress, and behave differently should be feared, loathed, and denied the basic of rights penned from that great revolutionary Thomas Jefferson:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Breaking News: The Best TV Shows are on Cable Premium TV

Here is a Digganalysis of the fall television season.  If a show does not appear it probably means it is not in the rotation because I also have a day job.
Prime Cut (new): Homeland, American Horror Story
Prime Cut (returning): Boardwalk Empire, Dexter, Walking Dead

Damn Terrific (new): Suburbgatory
Damn Terrific (returning): Sons of Anarchy, Modern Family, Real Time with Bill Maher, Hung, How to Make it in America

Too Soon to Tell: Boss, Once Upon a Time
Still Good: Mike and Molly, Fringe

Guilty Pleasure (new): Revenge, Two Broke Girls, Whitney (It’s good for at least two good lines per show), The League, Archer
Fading Fast (returning): Law & Order: SVU, Big Bang Theory, Survivor
Didn’t Make the Cut: Person of Interest, Up All Night, Free Agents, Enlightened, Prime Suspect, Strike Back,

Apocalypse Is Here: Jersey Shore, Real Housewives of (fill in the blank)

New Show Idea: America’s Top Hoarding Swamp People in a Storage War

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Just a few minor corrections for Senator Rubio's 'Official' Biography

Top Ten Corrections from Marco Rubio’s Biography
10. His parents didn’t leave Cuba with Michael Corleone.
9. He didn’t grow up in the same neighborhood as Tony Montana.
8. His father did not play an astronaut on I Dream of Jeanie
7. His sister didn’t babysit Eilan Gonzalez.
6. His grandfather was not a butcher at the Bay of Pigs Pork Store.
5. He didn’t play a young drug dealer in Season Five if Miami Vice.
4. He wasn’t a utility infielder for the Florida Marlins.
3.  He didn’t win the 1981 Miami-Dade Scripps Spelling Bee.
2. He didn’t kill an alligator with a Swiss army knife.
1. He didn’t invent #OccupyMiami

Unicorns and Leprechauns: A Quick Analysis of the Rick Perry Tax Plan

Cain’s 9-9-9 has been replaced by Perry’s Cut-Balance-Grow. 
Disclaimer: I am not an economist and I am not a frequent guest at Holiday Inn Express.
Perry wants a 20% flat tax rate for all Americans across the board with zero progression.  Of course he would give Americans the option of filing against their current rate with current deductions. Doesn’t sound flat to me, sounds progressive and now overly complex.  Does this mean those that currently aren’t making enough to hit the minimum threshold will still pay no income tax?  Perry Plan also stipulates that families with incomes less than $500,000 can also retain their deductions for mortgage interest, charitable donations, and state and local tax exemptions if they chose the flat tax route. 
Wait there’s more.  Perry will lower the corporate tax rate to 20% from 35% while phasing out corporate loopholes and special interest tax breaks.  The plan will also allow companies to repatriate their offshore earnings, estimated at $1.4trillion, at a greatly reduced tax rate of 5.25%.  A trick performed by fellow Texan Bush in 2005 that led to negligible job growth and juicy bonuses for executives.  He doubles down on this element by proposing a territorial tax system that only taxes earnings companies make domestically.  If that isn’t an incentive to our multinationals to expand overseas, I do not know what is. 
This tax approach will reduce federal revenues dramatically while providing the biggest savings to the top tier.  I will leave it to the CBO to score the net impact on the deficit.
The real fantasy lies in capping federal spending at 18% of GDP, a level last seen in the 50’s and 60’s before we really started spending on Defense and before our population demographics started shifting.  But don’t worry, Perry will cut the EPA and Department of Education to make up for it.  Never mind he would love to scorch the planet and have Texas become the nation’s model for third world education and healthcare, the numbers don’t even come close to adding up.
Oh and here is the kicker.  The man, who makes Bush look like Einstein, says he can balance the budget by 2020.  Not even Paul Ryan took that bet.
Another big giveaway by a Republican.
If you want to provide such a sweeping tax holiday for everyone, you will need to get realistic on spending and that means sweeping cuts to Defense, Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.
Why am I skeptical?  Although I am not an economist, the Club For Growth Endorsed the Plan, AND that cannot be a good thing.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Scary thoughts so close to Halloween

One Week from Halloween, here are some truly scary thoughts:
1)      President McCain has ordered the deployment of the 6th fleet to the Eastern Mediterranean in preparation of possible combat missions against pro al-Assad Syrian forces.
2)      Secretary of State John Bolton announced at the U.N. that only countries who sign a pledge to America will receive aid from the United States.
3)      Supreme Court Justice Nominee John Ashcroft is expected to get to sufficient Republican votes to get confirmed replacing the retiring Justice Ginsburg.
4)      While appearing on Fox News Sunday, National Security Advisor Liz Cheney told host Bristol Palin that Hezbollah, Hamas, and Al Qaeda have become the new axis of evil.
5)      Secretary of the Treasury Lloyd Blankfein, ex CEO of Goldman Sachs, announced that the White House will back the repeal of The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
6)      Vice President Palin was in her home state of Alaska to announce the McCain administration’s plan to start extensive drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR).  Palin, quipped that the polar bears can swim to Russia, after all it’s not that far away.
7)      President McCain and Secretary of Defense Joe Lieberman announced that there will be no repeal of the controversial Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.

Pretty scary huh?  Don’t let something even worse happen in 2012. 

House GOP: Don't Drink The Water or Breathe The Air

The GOP-Controlled House of Representatives list of legislative job-creating successes:
The Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act
The Energy Tax Prevention Act
Disapproval of FCC’s Net Neutrality Regulations
The Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act
Consumer Financial Protection and Soundness Improvement Act
Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act
Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation
Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act
EPA Regulatory Relief Act
Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act

What House Republicans have come up with is a series of bills that sound like good ideas such as the Consumer Financial Protection and Soundness Improvement Act.  How bad can something be that improves consumer financial protection right?  Wrong.  Very Wrong.  This bill removes the legitimacy and enforcement power of the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau.  In other words, let the banking industry continue to have unfettered and unconstrained power through fine print to extort money from citizens.  As for the other bills listed above, they are part of a wide ranging attack on the power of the EPA.  These bills will in effect disarm and defuse the EPA’s ability to enforce the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and Safe Drinking Water Act.
The Republican Party: Create wealth for the rich while creating no value for the country.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Top Ten Pieces of Bullshit

This Week’s Top Ten Myths, Untruths, and Flat Out Lies That Get Diggaduh Diggapissed.
10. Players do not have sophomore slumps and they don’t make rookie mistakes.  The sophomore slump is a statistical correction called regression to the mean.  And rookies make the same mistakes they made in college and they make the same mistakes as veterans.
9. Republicans insist on calling millionaires Small Business Owners and that they are job creators.  Problem is the millionaire surtax is a marginal rate increase for income over $1million if filing as a person.  If you file as a business, you get taxed on earnings not income.  Not the same thing.
8. Millionaires are job creators.  Hedge fund managers and private equity executives create jobs?  If that is the case can someone tell me how many jobs John Paulson and Mitt Romney (while at Bain Capital) created?  Didn’t think so.
7. Mitt Romney insisting that corporations are people. This week Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and JP Morgan Chase all booked 3rd quarter profits by utilizing some accounting shenanigans.  The banks were able to book a profit on the falling value of their own debt.  I don’t know many real people that can do that.  Perhaps I should look into Diggabonds.
6. Republicans continued claims that the Affordable Care Act and Dodd-Frank are the reasons why companies are not hiring.  The most recent survey by the Bureau of Labor showed that insufficient demand was cited as the primary reason for initial claimants for unemployment insurance 101,907 times  while Government Regulation was chosen 538 times.  A 20X factor.
5. Government shouldn’t pick winners and losers.  Really, how the hell do you think the Department of Defense works?
4. Theo Epstein is a genius because he was Red Sox General Manager when the team won two World Series Titles.  With a perennial payroll in the top 3 of all MLB clubs, winning two World Series does not make you a genius.  In fact signing John Lackey, Carl Crawford, Edgar Renteria, Julio Lugo, Eric Gagne, and Mike Cameron would signify anything BUT genius.
3. Obama’s foreign policy has weakened the U.S.’s standing around the globe.  In fact the opposite has happened.  Tough talk with Israel, Pakistan, Egypt, and Turkey will lead to a more stable region in the long run.  As for China, have you seen the regional confederation of Southeast Asian nations rallying around the U.S. as a counterweight to Chinese imperial objectives?  Finally, ask Bin Laden, Gadhafi, al-Awlaki what happens when the Obama Administration eschews Bushesque chest thumping rhetoric for precise planning and violent execution.
2. Cherry picker: Evangelicals who pick specific bible passages to make some homophobic point and Libertarians who claim that case law is moot because if something isn’t specifically called out in the Constitution it isn’t legal.  They get so caught up looking for little pieces to make a point they cannot see the forest through the trees and miss the big picture.
1. Obama is an antibusiness socialist.  Socialism: a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.   Because a President fights for the rights of workers, that does not mean he is for state takeover of industry.  If you think Mr. Obama is a socialist for saving the auto industry then Mr. Bush is a socialist for bailing out the banks.  At the end of the day, Mr. Obama is a corporatist not a socialist.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Avis Tries Harder, what should Hertz Do?

No matter what Hertz tries, they get sued.
The current story out of Seattle is garnering the headlines, but the story is more complicated than that.   The recent firing of 26 Muslim employees at the Seattle Sea-Tac Airport for refusing to clock out for breaks so they can pray as drawn the ire of many.  Teamsters Local 117 has filed an unfair labor practices complaint with the National Labor Relations Board and is filing religious discrimination charges with the EEOC. Hertz had suspended 34 employees in September for failing to punch out during prayers. Eight were reinstated after signing an agreement to clock out by the Thursday deadline. Further, Hertz had provided space at the Sea-Tac location for the employees to pray in private.
In 2007 and again in 2009 Hertz was sued by non-Muslims because at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Hertz was allowing its Muslim employees to take breaks without clocking out in order to pray.  In 2009 Katie Barkley and Shirley Harris, former Hertz employees, sued the company claiming Muslim employees were given as many as three paid, 15-minute prayer breaks each shift while non-Muslim employees were denied equal time off.  It turns out Barkley and Harris lost their jobs when Hertz fired all 120 drivers at Hartsfield and replaced them with contract drivers, according to the lawsuit, which seeks class-action status as well as back pay and other damages.
The EEOC stepped in the Atlanta case and the agreement that was brokered that the employee right to prayer would not be encumbered, but employees would have to clock out.  It was a compromise and I believe Hertz was trying to find middle ground.  One could argue that they should have simply used disciplinary action against employees for not returning to work on time.  True, but when they disciplined or even fired a few Muslim employees they would be back in court again. Perhaps they should try harder, but that would make them Avis.
I have no problem with Hertz’s actions in this case.  They were in a no win situation and it appears that they met the EEOC requirement of making every reasonable effort to meet the religious requirements of its employees.  My biggest gripe with Hertz is why do you think giving me a Chevy Tahoe is an upgrade over the Malibu I requested?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tonight on the Game Show Network: Name Your Bagger

Name that Bagger.  Match the Candidate with the Bagger.  There are no wrong answers.
A)     Michele Bachmann
1)      Tea.Bagger
B)      Rick Santorum
2)      Douche.Bagger
C)      Newt Gingrich
3)      Garbage.Bagger
D)     Mitt Romney
4)      Flea.Bagger
E)      Jon Huntsman
5)      Body.Bagger
F)      Herman Cain
6)      Dirt.Bagger
G)     Rick Perry
7)      Nut.Bagger

The corrupt immoral Arizona Maricopa County Sheriff's Office announced that Captain Joel Fox was fired on Thursday and now joins disgraced deputies Dave Hendershott and Larry Black as recently deposed senior leaders in ‘America’s Sheriff’ Joe Arpaio’s staff.  I may be going out on a limb here, but if your top three commanders resign in disgrace or get fired due to corruption investigations, you may be the problem.
Marco Rubio, Lindsay Graham, and John McCain just couldn’t give President Obama any credit for the success of the Libyan mission.   Coupled with the flip flopping of GOP presidential hopefuls Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney we now have further evidence how effective President Obama can be when his OWN Fucking countrymen don’t fight him.  Further, your DNA may not allow you to give the President any credit, but that shouldn’t prevent you from acknowledging the successful role our military servicemen played in this mission. 
Mitt Romney has been criticizing President Obama’s foreign policy and military engagements.  Are you delirious?  The man has put together a 2011 highlight film that would make Cam Newton envious.
Herman Cain says he is “Pro Life Period.” But if a woman gets raped it’s her choice to get an abortion.  You book shilling mental midget what do you think Pro Choice is?
Which leads me to how frigging pathetic the Republican Party has become?  You don’t have candidates for presidency you have a bunch of hacks selling their books.
I wonder if Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman feel like the only adults at these GOP debates.  Between 9-9-9 Cain, gays must die Santorum, Sharia Law Newt, Ricky Gunslinger, and Balloonhead Bachmann, it’s no wonder legitimate candidates like Barbour, Daniels, and Christie stayed out of the race.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Simchat Torah Thursday Tidbits

Should the BCS ratings system switch places with Moody’s Fitch and S&P?  Each probably couldn’t do any worse than the other.  Imagine Italian creditworthiness versus Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl.  Vegas sets the bond spreads at 398 base points.
Bin Laden al-Awlaki, Gadhafi, not bad for an anti-colonial Democrat apologist.  He has Emmitt Smith cool.  Scores the touchdown and doesn’t do the whole Terrell Owens celebration but simply makes the play and hands the football to the ref.  Cool class.
AMC’s Walking Dead pulls in 7.3Million viewers and 4.8million in the 18-49 age demographic.  The show featuring zombies, no not Michele Bachman, may succeed where Howard Hughes failed: killing Pan Am.
Someone please explain Michelle Malkin, Dana Perino, and Dana Loesch. 
GOP doesn't have plan/details all they have is ideology. When did liberal become a bad thing? Isn't progressive heading in the right direction?
What do SoCons, NeoCons, LiberCons, PaleCons have in common?  They’re all cons.
France and Germany announce rescue package for Greece and markets go up.  Italian bond spreads widen and markets go down.  Developing nations offer to help out IMF and markets go up.  Secretary Geithner says that would be a bad idea and markets go down.  Bernanke says Fed may consider QE III and markets go up.  Slovakia says no to bailout and markets go down.  What happened to earnings driving markets?
When does the World Series start?  Oh it already did?  Not into it.
HBO’s How to Make it In America is very underrated.
Who’s next in the Obama dead pool?  al-Zawahiri, al-Assad, Joseph Kony? 
I wonder if Ahmadinejad watched the footage of Gadhafi’s demise with a little pit in his stomach?
So the birthers have now set their sights on Republican darling freshman senator Marco Rubio.  Can’t say I am too broken up about it.
Meet the new Republican anti-Romney frontrunner.  After watching the latest GOP debate, I think the last remaining Hispanic Republicans are now voting for Pedro, he can get the Hispanic vote and he’s from very conservative Idaho.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Part II of the Diggapedia Long Term Plan

We aspire to be a nation of optimistic educated, healthy citizens free of unnecessary regulations, corporatist cronyism, bigotry, excessive debt, and government encroachment into our lives while unequivocally maintaining ourselves as the world’s greatest nation.
Here is the second installment of our Long Term Plan addressing plans for immigration, tax reform, social liberty, and the military.  Some of the items may be controversial and unappealing to liberals, but the fact is we can’t solve our future debt issues without some changes to social programs.
1.       We shall establish a pathway for undocumented residents to achieve citizenship within 4 years.
a.       All citizens will have identification cards
b.      English comprehension will be mandatory
c.       Felony convictions will result in deportation
d.      Conservatives will cry ‘amnesty’ I say that the vast majority of the undocumented are established in the community and are good citizens why not give them a pathway.
e.      More individuals in the system means more people paying taxes
f.        Pass the DREAM Act
g.       Register to vote.  Ahh that is the real conservative worry.  Latinos tend to vote heavily on the Democratic side and that scare the GOP more than an African American Presidential candidate with Jewish and Hispanic parents.
2.       Simplify tax code now
a.       Establish across the board effective corporate tax rate of 25% by eliminating all loopholes, deductions, and credits.
b.      Return individual tax rates to the Clinton era level in 2014 including raising dividend and capital gains tax rates to 28%.
c.       Now if someone much smarter than me can figure out a simple non-regressive flatter tax code that increases tax revenue, I’m all ears.
3.       Government shall establish a progressive social agenda
a.       The progressive social liberty agenda is actually the agenda of  small government
b.      No DOMA, no discrimination in adoption
c.       Reproductive services to ensure all women have access to care and consultations
d.      Defend Roe vs. Wade
e.       Medicare and Social Security changes will be required to ensure benefits are available for future generations.  No one over fifty shall have their benefits impacted by this change.
4.       Defense spending will be returned to 2000 levels
a.       US Military will need to focus on anti-terrorism activities not nation building
b.      Develop weapon systems to enhance our ability to project our power in southeast Asia and maintain shipping lanes
c.       Get out of Iraq and Afghanistan by end of 2012
d.      Focus on preventing cyber-attacks on infrastructure, grids, and computer systems.
e.      Build regional alliances to deal with local issues such where the U.S. provides logistical and tactical support.  We don’t have to do it all.

Recap of the CNN GOP debate

Sound bites from last night’s GOP Presidential Debate
·         Mitt Romney: “I’m rubber you’re glue whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you.”
·         Rick Perry: “I’m not touching you.”
·         Michele Bachmann: “Quit looking at me.”
·         Herman Cain: “Your mama is so fat…”
·         Rick Santorum: “No fair, it’s my turn.”
·         Ron Paul: “When’s recess?”
·         Rick Perry: “When’s nap time?”
·         Mitt Romney: “Mr. Cooper they’re picking on me.”
·         Anderson Cooper: “Ricky go stand in the corner.”
·         Newt Gingrich: “Do I have to climb the rope in gym class?”
·         Michele Bachmann: “I don’t have cooties.”
·         Rick Santorum: “A sphincter says what?”
·         Mitt Romney: “What?”
·         Newt Gingrich: “I know you are, but what am I?”

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Popular political applications of the new iPhone 4S Siri:

Herman Cain: “What the hell is 9-9-9?”
Michele Bachmann: “Was the Battle of Saratoga fought in Florida?”
Jon Huntsman: “Why don’t republican primary voters like me?”
Sarah Palin: “Is refudiate a word?”
Rick Perry: “Where is the closest Toastmasters International location?”
Herman Cain: “Would an electrical fence require 110V or 220V?”
Mitt Romney: “Who is Buzz Lightyear and why do people keep calling me that?”
Rick Santorum: “Google Santorum”
Michele Bachmann: “Am I more popular than Sarah Palin?”
Newt Gingrich: “Where is closest Buffalo Wild Wings?”
Ron Paul: “Siri?  Siri who?”
John Boehner: “Where is the closest tanning booth pub?”
Eric Cantor: “Siri why did you say I sound like a whiney toad?”
Anthony Weiner: “Hey Siri, like what you see?”
George W. Bush: “I said nuculur.  Honestly, why can’t this thing understand me?”
Rick Perry “When was the American Revolution?”
Dick Cheney: “Siri, where are the WMD’s?”
Newt Gingrich: “Does this phone make my ass look big?”

Monday, October 17, 2011

Arizona has poll position in the Gran Prix Race to the Bottom

Here is just a sampling of the Arizona legislation during the last two sessions:
·         SB1070, the sweeping anti-immigration bill that put Arizona at ground zero of the current debate.  The law, signed by Governor Brewer in 2010, has not gone into effect pending court review of the law’s constitutionality.
·         A bill banning teachers with heavy accents from teaching in public school system.
·         A bill requiring school teachers and administrators to determine the immigration status of all students. 
·         A bill requiring hospitals and other medical care facilities to determine the immigration status of all those seeking care
·         A bill allowing guns on university campuses and other public property
·         A law removing the need to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
·         A law allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons into bars.  (bar owner has option to ban guns)
·         A bill requiring all presidential candidates to provide a birth certificate the Arizona Secretary of State in order to get on the state’s ballot
·         A law establishing the Colt revolver as the state’s official firearm
·         A law establishing heterosexual couples with higher priority over homosexual couples in the adoption process.
On top of that:
·         Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is under investigation from the Justice department for a number alleged violations
·         Arpaio had to fire his top two lieutenants for significant breeches of conduct and misappropriation of funds
·         Pinal County Sheriff and FoxNews regular Paul Babeu being investigated for losing evidentiary rape kits and failing to maintain chain of custody in hundreds of cases.
·         Sheriff Babeu recently bought a helicopter while his department has been running a deficit.  Further, the sheriff has been told by county supervisors he will not get funding to make the aircraft airworthy or funding for fuel and maintenance.
·         Former Maricopa County Attorney and Arpaio buddy Andrew Thomas, along with two top lieutenants, is presently going through an ethics hearing covering years of abusive of power.
·         Governor Jan Brewer had two senior aides, her deputy chief of staff and her re-election campaign manager, deeply involved with a private prison corporation (CCA) and guess what Arizona will spend more than $1 billion to incarcerate prisoners, which will skyrocket when Arizona adds as many as 6,500 new prison beds over the next five years.
Oh and another thing, Sarah Palin bought a house here this year.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Part I of the Diggapedia Long Term Plan

Our problem isn’t China.  It’s us.  Our name is the United States of America and we have a problem.  The problem is we lost our way and our vision.  Now I am not proposing we hire a high paid consultant to help us craft a mission statement, what I am saying is that this country needs to describe what good looks like, where do we want to be in twelve years and  then create the plan to get there using SMART (Specific-Measurable-Actionable-Realistic-Timely) goals.  Now the defeatists will say that we can’t do that because of election cycles, politics, and partisanship.  Bullshit.  Lincoln did it in 1960, Roosevelt during the Great Depression, Kennedy set our nation on a trajectory in 1960, Reagan did so in 1980, and we need to do it again.  Ed Harris portraying Gene Krantz in Apollo 13 uttered the famous words “Failure is not an option.”  Amen brother.
So let’s get down to it.  Vision:
We aspire to be a nation of optimistic educated, healthy citizens free of unnecessary regulations, corporatist cronyism, bigotry, excessive debt, and government encroachment into our lives while unequivocally maintaining ourselves as the world’s greatest nation.
OK, it may be kind of lame, but I wrote at 36,000 feet in my oh-so-cramped flight and lap top on my lay because the seatback would require me to type like a T-Rex.
So what are the goals and specific actions?  Here is the first pass on energy, healthcare, education, and border security.
1.       Within Twelve years establish an economy that is not susceptible to a .5% reduction in GDP as a result of energy supply shocks.
a.       Expand use of alternative transportation fuel sources such as electric  and CNG by investing in refueling infrastructure
b.      Employ safe and environmentally sound techniques in the exploration and transportation of energy sources
c.       Invest in nuclear energy while scaling back reliance on coal.
d.      Increase oil purchases from non-OPEC nations
e.      Develop private-public partnerships to become global leader in solar, geothermal, wind, and other non-fossil fuel technologies
2.       Within twelve years implement true health care reform that limits costs to 8% of median household income without cutting coverage.
a.       Establish community exchanges and interstate competition
b.      Offer wellness tax exemptions to people
c.       Enforce individual mandate
d.      Offer pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers and collect premiums
e.      Employer sponsored plans should offer tiered options of services to employees.
f.        Reduce prescription drug costs by expanding supply chain options
3.       Return to the top five globally in education
a.       Study the best and copy.  Look at the successful Knowledge In Power Program, the Harlem Children’s Zone, and the Phoenix Collegiate Academy.
b.      Take the best parts of No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top and establish a federal initiative that creates a broad based culture of learning between parents-teachers-students-administrators
c.       Utilize standardized testing as a tool, not the ONLY tool in the kit
d.      Reward the best educators and remove the worst as measured by an educational cultural index.
e.      Provide training and opportunities for teachers to develop.
f.        Unions have their place but meritocracy has be part of the union process.  Last in first out is WRONG.
g.       Establish technical preparatory pathways for students that excel in Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics (STEM) core concepts.
4.       Reduce smuggling by 80% across the Mexico/US border
a.       Re-establish federal controls on the sales of assault weapons and ammunition, neither were renewed by Republican Congresses.
b.      Legalize marijuana
c.       Work with Indian and Israeli security officials who have employed advanced methods in identifying and preventing border penetration
d.      Use early warning airborne monitoring systems to track activity
e.      Employ fixed border establishments to redirect smuggling to specific sectors.
f.        Use law enforcement personnel and methods to capture and prosecute cartel members
Just a start.
Next edition will include plans for immigration, tax reform, social services, trade, and the military.