Saturday, April 30, 2011

Move over birthers, here come the skinners

If a debate is held and no one shows up, do the trees know or care?  The first Republican presidential debate is scheduled for this Thursday on Faux News and none of the major candidates are planning on attending.  Hmmm two hours of silence on Faux News, now THAT’s worth tuning in for.
In a related story, at this rate the potential GOP presidential debaters may include Joe ‘The Plumber’, Bristol Palin, Strom Thurmond’s corpse, and Ted Nugent.
In a little covered news story yesterday, the Treasury Department has granted exemptions to foreign exchange derivatives traded via over-the counter (OTC) swaps.  This loophole in the Dodd-Frank financial reform law was lauded by the banking industry.  Why do I have the sinking suspicion that investment banks JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, et al are already figuring out how to take advantage of this loophole for their own proprietary businesses?  Start the clock on the next financial crisis, I am betting 2018.
Watching Rocky II, did you ever notice that Mickey went from Irish in Rocky I and II and to Jewish in Rocky III?  The conversion scene must have been cut.
All this birther shit is an embarrassment and a joke.  I wonder when we elect our first Jewish President if the ‘skinners’ will require proof of circumcision.
Corporate profits are at an all-time high, S&P 500 is nearly back to pre-Lehmann Brothers collapse highs, US debt is still the safest investment out there, and yet inflation is increasing, unemployment is still too high, commodity prices are surging, economy is sluggish, our debt continues to grow, and future financial commitments are increasing.  Are we headed to a 1970’s style stagflation?  Is this the new normal:  US companies, like Caterpillar, hiring outside the US?  Will US corporations keep beating their tax bill?  Will the US Military being used as a modern day British navy and army to support the East India Trading Company? Will US Oil Industry making sure we stay addicted to oil?  We are in strange times: in China the government runs the corporations and in the US the corporations run the government.
Former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz imploded in his Nationwide Tour debut, shooting a 15-over 87 and missing the cut by 27 strokes at the South Georgia Classic in Valdosta. Smoltz started with an 84 and was even worse in the second round, and his 27-over total of 171 was nine strokes worse that any of the other 147 golfers who completed both rounds.  Perhaps Smoltzie should try bass fishing.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding and Royal A-Hole (that would be Trump)


Can someone explain how Donald Trump, a man who inherited a fortune and a business, and had to seek multiple bankruptcy protections during the 90’s is considered a business wizard and genius?  The man filed multiple bankruptcies in the 90’s…the 90’s…the decade when EVERYBODY made money?
Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) and TEA Party Caucus Heroine who must be on heroin tweeted this week “Tax Day may be over, but the deduction from your paycheck is a constant reminder of how much Uncle Sam takes.”  Really now?  The facts don’t back up Batshit’s anti-tax position.  According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the US ranks near the bottom in the developed world with respect to taxes as a percentage of GDP.
I love Apple’s response to the recent iPhone tracking controversy.  Apple is not tracking the location of your iPhone. Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so.”  Oh it must have been another user error like the iPhone 4 antenna? 
I wish Kate and Will all the best, but for the life of me, I cannot understand why Americans get so emotional about a wedding in another country involving people they have never met.  I swear wedding dresses are crack cocaine for so many women.  I look forward to your cards and letters.
Happy 50th Anniversary to ABC’s Wide World of Sports.  Here’s wishing Yankee, Jet, and Laker fans the agony of defeat for years to come.
Still waiting on a credible debt reduction, entitlement reform, budget balancing propisition from Congress or the White House.  Note to self, don't hold breath.
Let's go Bruins and Celtics.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I am not saying all Republicans are liars, but in this sample, they are all full of shit.


Courtesy of PolitiFact, I give you these whoppers from our elected officials and big mouths:
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus "We’ve lost 26 million jobs … since (Obama’s) been president."
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell New financial regulation "actually guarantees future bailouts of Wall Street banks."
Texas Republican Congressman Leo Berman: Says the hospital listed on Barack Obama’s just-publicized long-form birth certificate denies the president was born there.
Douche Nozzle Donald Trump: "CNN did a poll recently where Obama and I are statistically tied."
Minnesota Republican Congresswoman and Tea Party Heroine Michelle Bachmann: The government will "go out and buy my breast pump for my babies."
Ohio Congress woman Jean Schmidt: "For every 33 pregnant women that walk into a Planned Parenthood clinic, 32 receive an abortion."
Arizona Republican Senator Jon Kyl: Abortion services are "well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does."
Republican Presidential Hopeful Newt Gingrich: Inside the stimulus package "is anti-Christian legislation that will stop churches from using public schools for meeting on Sundays, as well as Boy Scouts and student Bible study groups."
Yes all of these statements are false and I mean the kind of false that is, frankly, you are full of shit.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday's Tidbits

-        Katie Couric leaving CBS Evening News.  I didn’t know CBS still had an evening news show.
-        If you watch Celebrity Apprentice or anything else to do with Trump you may be an idiot.
-        Why do I think Trump will have Joe The Plumber on next season of Celebrity Apprentice?
-        Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour will not run for President.  The Good Ole Boy couldn’t shake the Bubba Crackuh label.
-        As social conservatives continue their attacks on Planned Parenthood, I grow even more convinced that the government should INCREASE its funding of this crucial public healthcare service provider.
-        Gabby Giffords travelling to her husband’s shuttle launch this week is storybook stuff.  I know she has a long road ahead, but if this doesn’t touch you, check your pulse.
-        The increasingly deteriorating situation in Syria could hit super crises point in less than a week.  Will NATO, the Arab League, and the UN stand up?  Unlike Libya, Syria is of great strategic importance to us due to its ties to Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon.  The U.S. should already be working the phone lines to get global support for forcing al-Assad to step down.
-        Ron Paul is entering the GOP nomination ring.  Should be interesting to see how the Beltway Republicans attack him this time.
-        Does anyone else see the irony that it is now the Republicans having to defend themselves at town hall meetings this year?  Suddenly your Medicare changes are making you the masters of death panels.  Good luck with that.
-        The House Progressive Caucus submitted its budget plan and it is loaded with higher taxes on the rich and the end of the Bush Tax Cuts.  Where the Ryan plan didn’t include sufficient tax increases this one is too heavily reliant on investment killing tax increases.  Said it before, said it again, the right mix is 65% spending cuts and 35% tax increases.
-        Hooked on Game of Thrones.  Love the intrigue.
-        These polls asking Americans to decide what we should do in Libya or how we should stabilize our finances are essentially worthless.  It’s like asking 7 year olds to vote whether they should eat chicken fingers or Brussels sprouts.  Public polls don’t make public policy.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Secular, Proud, and Pretty Sure I am Not the Antichrist.

In lieu of our Monday Mishegas, I found it necessary to call out the Reverend Franklin Graham.  The son of the globally popular and reverend to the Presidents, the Evangelical Reverend Billy Graham, Franklin Graham has never been afraid of saying what is on his mind.  This time, however, he has gone too far.  Yesterday on This Week with Christiane Amanpour, Graham hit the daily double and not in a good way.
Exhibit One: "He (Obama) can solve this whole birth certificate issue pretty quickly," Graham said. "I was born in a hospital in Asheville, North Carolina. And I know that my records are there, you can probably go and find out what room my mother was in when I was born. I don’t know why he can’t produce that. It's an issue it looks like he can answer pretty quickly."
Exhibit Two:
"I look at the world in which we live today, and the secularism is anti-Christ, It's every bit anti-Christ. We can't talk about Jesus in our schools. God has been kicked out of our government. Whether it's Europe or whether it's here, yes. The spirit of anti-Christ is in the world today."
So Graham like his new hero Trump asks for evidence of Obama’s birth and when it is presented he doesn’t acknowledge it.  This is the same man who said "Now it's obvious that the president has renounced the prophet Mohammed, and he has renounced Islam, and he has accepted Jesus Christ. That's what he says he has done. I cannot say that he hasn't. So I just have to believe that the president is what he has said," Graham continued, adding that "the Islamic world sees the president as one of theirs."   Come clean Graham and admit you don’t like the President.  I am curious to know why: race, color, ideology, something he said, his daughters’ names, his cross-over dribble….
With respect to Exhibit Two, Mr. Graham has finally crossed the Diggaline.  A self-professed man of the cloth says that the secular world represents the anti-Christ.  What he is really saying is if you haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are not worthy; really now, how tolerant of you.  You are welcome to your political views and you are welcome to your religious views because the SECULAR Bill of Rights grants you have that right. 
My question for Graham Cracker, does this represent the views of his hallowed father?
This is the stuff that makes me crazy like a shithouse rat.  Muslims who call for fatwas over cartoons depicting Mohammed, Rabbis who believe all Palestinians should be driven from the west bank, and this ass-clown who equates the establishment clause as anti-Christ behavior. 
Well here is my take: people like Graham are men no different than you or I, they are not privy to any inside information to which you and I don’t have access, they are consumed by their ideologies, beliefs, and prejudices like all men, and their opinions are like assholes, everybody has one.
These are the times we need to hear from Christopher Hitchens.  Where’s the Scotch?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

What if Arabs played hockey?

Do you think warmongers like Senators Graham, McCain, and Lieberman, and neocons like Bolton, Wolfowitz, and Kristol keep pushing for increased action in Libya as a way of defending bloated defense budgets?  Create artificial demand to maintain or increase funding.
NHL playoff hockey is 10 times more exciting than NBA playoff basketball. 
No deficit reduction plan can be taken seriously that does not include some level element of tax increases.  The Ryan plan is a joke.  More tax cuts and history shows that more tax cuts don’t create jobs.  If you don’t believe me, look at this century.
Oil is a global commodity traded in dollars.  If the US was to produce more, it would not change the price significantly.  Just because we pull more out of our lands does not mean the price will drop back to 2009 levels.  After all, oil companies are sitting on granted leases and not exploring.  Why?  Bad business.  Oil goes up because more traders believe the price will go up and that is what they are betting on.
Unemployment rate sits at 20% in the Construction Sector.  With so many homes and building sitting in inventory and no major infrastructure projects coming thanks to spending cuts, the nation won’t see unemployment rates below 6% anytime soon.
New premium pay television series Game of Thrones (HBO), The Borgias (Showtime), and Camelot (Starz) have one thing in common: gratuitous sex and violence.  I am not saying it’s a bad thing, but after Rome and The Tudors, clearly the executives at these networks figured out how to make history and fantasy, a little more, well….fantasy-friendly.
Meanwhile on AMC is The Killing, a serial drama that covers the investigation and key principals following the murder of a high school girl in suburban Seattle.  Every character seems to have some secret or some mysterious past and each week, the show peels back just enough to keep you guessing.
Royal wedding this week; give it the royal flush.
Last year was Tunisia, last month was Egypt, last week was Bahrain, today is Yemen and Libya, tomorrow is Syria, and next week is Lebanon, next month is Iran, and next year will be Turkey.  The season of Arab and Muslim unrest will not be ending anytime soon.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Diggaduh Shrugged.


Do as I say not as I do.  GOP and its Tea Party Caucus say they will vote against raising the debt ceiling.  Yet these same fiscal conservatives voted along party lines (235-189) to approve fellow Republican and wunderkind Paul Ryan’s budget; the same budget that will take our $14Trillion debt to $21Trillion in 10 short years and repeated votes to increase the debt ceiling again and again.  Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you’re not a Tea Party loving douche.
The GOP backed plan is a farce and its budget cuts AND tax cuts for the wealthy is an insult to economists and the authors of Simpson-Bowles and Domenici-Rivlin.  Any plan to address debt and budget deficits without raising taxes is simply unrealistic. Republicans are bad for this country.
I love how some Republicans like to call themselves Libertarians because it can distance themselves from Bush years.  They are all for small government and low taxes and then when they talk you realize their only source of information is FauxNews, Hannity, Limbaugh, etc.  This is quickly followed by their rants against anything remotely progressive or moderate and the usual attacks on the ACLU, Clintons and Obama and their unquestioned adoration for Palin, Trump, Bachmann, etc.  True Libertarians would embrace the ACLU and its mantra to defend the Bill of Rights.
Triple FU’s to the Indiana state senate, house, and governor for their combined efforts to defund Planned Parenthood in Indiana by $3Million.  I am sure the 22,000 low-income women who count on Planned Parenthood for annual exams, pap and STD tests, treatment, and legal abortions don’t fit the Republican-approved demographic.
Muslims have now killed innocent UN workers in Afghanistan, Christians in Iraq and Egypt, governors in Pakistan, and now most recently Christians in Nigeria following the reelection of President Goodluck Jonathan.  This non-politically correct position that Islam and its followers cannot be criticized is pure bullshit, and where are the leaders of this religion condemning these attacks and seeking justice?  Control these murderers or we will face a religious war that will make the Crusades look like a sandbox fight.
Keep an eye on the growing dissention in Gaza as extreme militant organizations such as Al-Qaeda related Talwid wal-Jihad begin to target Hamas officials for even considering a moderate position or negotiations with Israel.  Hamas’ rocket and mortar fire has traditionally been targeted at open fields to pump up their status as fighting the Israelis.  However, this PR mortar campaign will not help them with the real radicals. 
Memo to TEA party members:  You promote Ayn Rand as your free market small government pure capitalism heroine.  Newsflash she was also a feminist, atheist, pro-abortionist, and anti-war.  Somehow I don’t see Michelle Bachmann appearing in public with the late author, and coming full circle to Mr. Ryan: you claim you made your staff read Atlas Shrugged, did they get it?  You wouldn't know John Galt if he sat next to you.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dichotomy and Irony

Mississippi annually is declared the most religious state in the country and yet a majority of its Republican Party members believe interracial marriage should be illegal.  Dichotomy: Christian God Loving Bigots.
Republican Senator John Ensign called for Bill Clinton to resign during the Lewinsky scandal, “He has no credibility left.”  The same John Ensign announced his resignation today.   The resignation comes nearly two years after Ensign acknowledged having had an extramarital affair with a former staffer. He was accused of helping the woman's husband - a top former Ensign staffer - obtain lobbying work.  Irony: Those that preach the loudest should probably shut the heck up.
Kentucky’s Creation Museum follows the Young Earth Creationists belief that the earth is only 10,000 years old and man cohabitated the earth with dinosaurs.  Now if dinosaurs were wiped out by a great flood, as preached by creationists, wouldn’t our Environmentalist ancestors have fought to save the dinosaurs as part of some nascent World Wildlife Fund or at least ask Noah to build a bigger ark?  Dichotomy: The ark was big enough for two of everything, except for dinosaurs?  Who did the brontosaurus piss off to not get invited?
The original birther scandal was born during the nasty spring days in the 2008 campaign when disgruntled Clinton supporters started challenging President Obama’s citizenship, and even going as far as creating fake documents.  Now three years later the GOP has taken this false conspiracy theory to all new levels.  Irony: The man your supporters attack one day, could become your boss some day and now you need to defend him.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Part IV Israel and the Middle East: Policy and Politics

On November 29, 1947 the UN General Assembly voted 33 to 13, with 10 abstentions, in favor of the Partition Plan, ending the British Mandate in Palestine and establishing a Jewish state and an Arab state in the territory known as Palestine.  This two state solution was to go in effect on May 14, 1948, the date of British withdrawal.  Immediately the Arabs refused to accept the Plan as did militant Jewish organizations such as the Irgun and its leader and future Prime Minister Menachem Begin.  Next month will mark the 63rd anniversary of the creation of the flourishing Democratic State of Israel and 63 years of foreign policy and political dealings unmatched in any other region of the world.

Did you know that the first country to recognize Israel’s statehood was the Soviet Union?  Did you also know that during the Civil War of 1947/48 and the 1948 War of Independence, it was the Soviet Union, through its satellite Czechoslovakia that armed the fledgling Jewish Agency in its war with the Arab nations of Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon?  For the first decade of its existence, Israel’s primary benefactor was the Soviet Union, while lobbying efforts in the United States, a nation dealing with its own post WWII and Korean peninsula issues, began to take hold.  So while the socialism inspired Jewish state began to take roots, the Arab world remained chaotic and disorganized as result of bitter infighting and revolutions.  The emergence of Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt harkened a new era in the region: the role of the Super Powers in the sand box.

Immediately after seizing power in the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, Nasser became a pain in the neck to the European regional powers France and Britain, while also opening relations with the Soviet Union, and exerting his influence on other Arab nations Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia.  He also commenced the crackdown and banning of Islamic organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood; a pot that would simmer for nearly 60 years.  Things came to a head in what is referred to as the Suez Crisis, when Israel, backed by France and Britain attacked Egypt in 1956 after Nasser announced he would nationalize the Suez Canal threatening the European powers trade routes and authority.  This ended badly for the Europeans as both the USA and USSR condemned the attacks, but it also weakened Nasser as his forces were completely overpowered by the Israelis, who were able to realize an increased security buffer with the mandated presence of UN forces.   This greatest impacts of this mini-war: the decline of the European powers in the region, the emergence of the USA and USSR as the power brokers in the region, the suppression of militant Sunni factions and Shia minorities, and the Egypt led pan-Arab commitment to destroy Israel. 

The violence and border skirmishes would continue for another decade and the emergence of terrorist organizations such as the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) would leave Israel in a constant state of alert.  Meanwhile, in Gaza, under the control of Egypt, had become a hot spot of terrorist activity dating back to 1948 when Arab’s fleeing the Jewish armies fled to the last bastion of Arab control.  The victory by the Jewish forces in 1948 was marred by their failure to wrest control of Jerusalem from the British led Jordanian forces known as the Arab Legion; a well-trained fighting force.  This all changed in June 5, 1967 when Israel preemptively struck the Egyptian air force while it sat on the ground. Over the course of the next six days, Israel captured the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt in the south, the strategic Golan Heights from Syria in the north, and the greatest emotional prize: Jerusalem from Jordan in the East.  It marked the high point in Israel’s military history; the outnumbered US and French armed Israel forces vanquished the Soviet armed Arab armies.  The one strategic failure was what Israeli forces did versus what they didn’t do: they captured Gaza from Egypt and thus cementing this hornet’s nest permanently in the middle of the Israel/Arab/Palestinian problem.

The Yom Kippur war of 1973, where Israel barely survived the sneak attack by Egyptian and Syrian forces, brought the concept of Arab economic unity to the forefront.  Threatening embargo to all nations who supported Israel, the Arab controlled OPEC could bring any nation, and its economy, too dependent on gulf oil to its knees.  It also marked the first time that Egyptian leaders began to realize that military conquest of the Jewish state was becoming a pipe dream.  The 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty signed by Anwar Sadat and former terrorist Menachem Begin led to the opening of the Suez Canal to Israeli shipping, returned a now demilitarized Sinai (captured in 1967) back to Egypt, and normalized trade relations between the two countries.  All guaranteed by billions of US dollars in the form of military and economic assistance.

This treaty would become the turning point for Israel.  Suddenly, land for peace could produce an economic dividend and with Egypt on the sidelines, the threat from other Arab nations became significantly diminished.  Israel could divert money from its military to economic and infrastructure development.  The subsequent treaty with Jordan in 1995 provided a sense of security on its eastern border, and while no treaty with Syria was ever achieved, the Syrians were effectively contained via isolation.  The one border that could not be secured or the one treaty that remained out of its grasp was an effective solution to the Palestinian situation. 

From 1979 to 1989, relations and policy in the region would be dominated by some major events that while they all may not have had a big impact at the time, they would cause significant shifts in the region,  The Islamic Revolution in Iran caused an immediate crisis in the region and in the United States,  For the next 30 years Iran would become an increasingly powerful player in the region through its own nationalism, but also through its disruptive and terrorist agents in Syria, Lebanon, and Gaza.  Remarkably, a Shia nation was able to influence and control Sunni leaders in Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad.  The rise of Iran led to the strange coalition of moderate Sunni nations like Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia to realize that peace with Israel brought US security.  Israel’s invasion into Lebanon in the 80’s to disrupt the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s terror campaign bought it some security, but with it the seeds were sown that the international love affair and support for the Jewish State had reached its apex.  As Muslim populations in European states grew, these governments became more eager to condemn Israel and condone the Palestinians out of fear of reprisals on the home front.  The Israeli bombing of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor at Ossirak and the tiny nations support of Iran during the Iraq-Iran war showed that it could operate tactically and strategically, albeit if it turned out to be wrong.  The attack on Iraq was met with the usual public condemnation and private congratulations, while the arming of Iran to fend off Iraq was based on a belief that Saddam presented the clear and present danger to Israel and that Iran, with its still sizable Jewish population, was more moderate with a possibility of normalized relations. The final big event at the end of the 1980’s occurred thousands of miles away.  The collapse of the Soviet Union would lead to an enormous emigration of Soviet and Eastern European Jews to Israel; Jews with advanced scientific educations and Jews with strong Zionistic beliefs that did not necessarily include the concept of a Palestinian state.

The next twenty years saw a massive shift in Israel’s economy, foreign policy, and domestic handling of the Palestinian question.  Peace treaties, an influx of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians, foreign direct investment, a shift from socialism to capitalism, and an improved security situation converted Israel from a sleepy agricultural-driven economy to a global high tech hotspot with liberal economic policies.  During this period, it also occurred to the Israeli’s that building walls and increasing counterterrorism activities could bring security but that also forging ties with the moderate Arab dictators and their military and intelligence chiefs could yield a win-win situation.  Sharing information on Shia terrorists or Sunni extremists would be valuable to both parties and while almost all Arab leaders could care less about the plight of the Palestinians, they did want info on possible troublemakers within their own borders.  And thus, Israel learned its greatest lesson: foster relations with strongmen and maximize leverage through internal fighting in the Arab and Muslim world.
But now in 2011 is Israel in a better security position following the winter and spring unrest in the Arab world?  Iran’s rise to regional power player is the least-often discussed ramification of President Bush’s adventure in Iraq.  While Saddam was a brutal dictator, he was a security buffer to Iran and now we have a Shia majority in Iraq that is all too close to Iran.  This coupled with Iran’s funding of Hezbollah and Hamas has kept the Israeli-Palestinian impasse front and center.  As we saw with Hamas’ parliamentary elections success in Gaza, western governments and politicians need to understand the negative results of ‘free’ elections in states that have a burgeoning class of militant nationalists or jihadists.  Israel will miss the security of Mubarak in Egypt and as everyone knows, change can be troublesome and deadly.  The crackdown in Syria by its tyrant Bashar al-Assad could become the penultimate test of Islamism and the West with moderate Arab nations forced to pick sides with all roads eventually leading to a showdown with Iran.  So if it all leads to Iran, does the Israeli-Palestinian problem really matter?  Or is it a grand distraction by Iran?  Can land for peace work with the Palestinians like it did with the Egyptians?  Is the hope for a peace settlement increasingly unlikely as both sides become more militant and more reactionary?

The answers lie in multiple tactics and strategies.  Continue to de-stable Syria, reach out to the Egyptians, continue to isolate Iran, continue to stoke Sunni fears of the growing Shia threat from Iran and within their own borders, continue to promote Arab disunity, and put a credible plan of Palestinian autonomy on the table.  Believe it or not, the last suggestion will be the hardest to accomplish due to the politics in Israel and the weakness of the Netanyahu coalition government.  Creating a two state solution will not solve all of the problems and there will always be self-serving politicians and demagogues who will claim the Palestinians got screwed.  But, it may be enough to unify the vast majority of Western and Arab nations against the instigators in the militant wings of the Shia and Sunni sects. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Back From The Abyss: Monday Mishegas

·        Donald Trump to CNN’s Candy Crowley “Either I’d go in and take the oil or I don’t go in at all…in the old days, when you have a war and you win, that nation is yours.”  Old days?  Like in the Middle Ages.  I am not shocked by this statement; one would expect a man who treats the business world like a game of Monopoly would view warfare like a game of Risk.
·        This just in: Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the Arizona Birther Bill that would have required candidates for President to present proof of birth in order to get on the ballot in Arizona.  "I never imagined being presented with a bill that could require candidates for President of the greatest and most powerful nation on earth to submit their 'early baptismal or circumcision certificates'… this is a bridge too far. This measure creates significant new problems while failing to do anything constructive for Arizona."  Diggapedia is still stunned.
·        The United States Armed Forces have been involved in over 100 armed conflicts.  Do you know how many times Congress has actually declared war?  Just five:  1812 (Britain), 1846 (Mexico), 1898 (Spain), 1917(Germany and Austria-Hungary), and 1941(Japan, Italy, and Germany).  I guess police action, use of force, and operations aren’t really wars and our troops really don’t die.
·        Dateline Netherlands.  Anti-animal cruelty advocates and anti-immigration zealots have joined forces to ban the practice of ritual slaughter of animals and thus denying Jews and Muslims their rights to practice their religion.   It is sad to see how reactionary and xenophobic the Dutch have become since the days of Anne Frank.
·        Businessman Bernard Baruch “Vote for the man who promises least; he’ll be the least disappointing.”
·        Lots of debate and revisionist history getting spewed from the South and TEA partiers about why the South seceded from the Union to start the Civil War.  It seems slavery was not the issue, but preservation of states’ rights was in fact the cause.  Really?  If the South was all about states’ rights then why did the Confederacy require all states to support slavery and commit men and material to the war effort?  Also, please explain this little ditty from Confederacy Vice President Alexander Stephens explaining that the South was fighting to defend “the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man” and that “slavery is his natural condition.”
·        Kevin Na carded a 16 last week on the Par 4 ninth hole at the Valero Texas Open.  I hereby declare that “I pulled a Na on that hole” will be the equivalent to “pulling a Munson” as portrayed in the Woody Harrelson movie Kingpin.
·        Dancing With The Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, Dance Your Ass Off, and The Dance Scene.    Deney Terrio was ahead of his time.
·        Jersey Shore has now spawned spin offs in the form of new shows for Snookie, Paulie, and Jwow.  Did I say how much I like dancing competition shows?
·        My favorite Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann’s latest truth bender  "Well, remember, again, already the top 1 percent of income earners pay about 40 percent of all taxes into the federal government. So if you want to talk about fairness, the top 1 percent are paying 40 percent of all of the income."  Unfortunately for the fact-challenged TEA partier, the correct answer is between 22 – 28%. 


  Chag Sameach Pesach

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mishegas

Sorry Donald, once you are subject of a celebrity roast on Comedy Central, you can no longer be considered viable to become President.
Donald, we all know you do not want to be President.  You are scared shitless of having to complete the financial disclosure statements.
Poor Sarah Palin.  First she gets eclipsed by the rising full moon crazy Michelle Bachmann and now she must jump on the birther bandwagon to keep up with Trump.  Sarah: Plain and Irrelevant, an afterschool special.
Saddens me to see that all weekend the talking heads and pundits were too busy arguing who won and who lost with respect to the government shutdown.  Welcome to Meet The Press and your host Charlie Sheen.
Check out Discovery Channel’s Human Planet: great stories and superb photography.  Four years of filming to produce this series and it is worth it.  Even Mrs. Diggapedia watched.
It is time to privatize TSA, Amtrak, Post Office, and all other government agencies and enterprises that are hopelessly mismanaged and poorly operated.  Watching three TSA officials staring at the same screen did not make me feel any safer, only more pissed off.
So the Arab League wants a no fly zone over Gaza.  Do the idiots realize that would include rockets and mortars COMING FROM Gaza to Israel?
Hang in there Rory McIlroy.  You will win a major soon.  Signed Jan Van de Velde.
Sox are only three games behind Yankees.  Sorry Rays, Jays, and Orioles, but you’re not who I am worried about this year.
NY Jets employee Jenn Sterger wants her life back after the whole sexting scandal with Brett Favre.  Yeah that phrase worked so well for BP CEO Tony Hayward.
People won’t want to admit it, but golf needs Tiger Woods to be competitive. 
I guess I am an elitist, but when I heard that the IndyCar stop in Alabama this weekend was called the Alabama Grand Prix I partly cringed and laughed.  Alabama and Grand Prix go together like Liberal KKK Member.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ryan's Hope and Prayer

While Paul Ryan, (R-WI) deserves credit for at least getting the balanced budget and debt eradication debate off the ground, calling him courageous is a bit of a stretch.  His plan contains these highlights and lowlights:
·        Cuts are attained off the backs of the elderly and poor.
·        No tax increases.  Even Bowles/Simpson and Domenici/Rivlin agree that tax increases are necessary
·        No increase in capital gains taxes.  Once again, you need to spread the pain to the rich.
·        Reduction in corporate tax rates via the elimination of loopholes…good luck with that
·        Vouchers for seniors to buy health insurance from the private sector.  That assumes there will be choices that create competition. 
·        Medicare reform will go into effect for those under 55 is a good idea to transition. 
·        Where are the defense cuts? He is only specifying what Gates has already proposed.  Not good enough.
·        Where are the cuts to farmer subsidies and gas/oil exploration?
·        Where is the investment piece?  We still need to invest in infrastructure.
·        He wants to push Medicaid to the states…the same states that are already cutting their Medicaid coverage.  The poor and unemployed will be screwed.
·        No mention of social security reform.  Raise the retirement age and increase the payroll tax.  Don’t even think about privatization.
Now President Obama needs to come forward with a credible plan of his own this week.  He needs to show he is serious about deficit reduction and spending controls.  If he does, he will convince the independents that he is serious and he can continue his counterpunching against the Republicans.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Rainy Days and Mundane Always Make Me Blog

Disney has begun construction on the $15Billion theme park in Shanghai, China.  We can’t make anything in this country, but we can export a man-sized mouse and his entourage.  Hope someone told the Chinese that Pluto is not food.
The heinous attack by Los Angeles Dodgers’ fans on Giants’ fan Bryan Stow is unforgiveable.  Congratulations Dodger Fan, you have now made baseball look like European Soccer.
Europe’s inability to maintain any semblance of an air campaign against Gaddafi’s forces without American assistance demonstrates that both NATO and the European Union are ineffective.  Many Europeans bitch about America’s often heavy-handed approach to global crises, and then cry when we back off.  Can’t have it both ways.
Memo to those same Europeans who love to criticize Israel: when Hamas fires a rocket at an easily identifiable school bus, you should condemn them immediately and order for complete disarmament in Gaza.  Israel’s response was both appropriate and justified.  Euro is scared shitless of its increasing Muslim population.
As for Muslims around the world, Americans have uniformly condemned the a-hole minister in Florida for burning a Koran.  Why haven’t you condemned the murders of innocent UN workers in Afghanistan?  And as for Afghan President Karzai, go screw yourself for inflaming the situation for your political gain.  It is time to pull the plug on this mission and use improving relations with India to contain Pakistan.
India’s celebration in winning the world cricket championship as short lived as matches for the 2012 championship had to begin immediately because it takes a freaking week to play a single match.
Is it me or is Tennis’ Davis Cup seem to be up for perpetual grabs?
51% of likely Republican primary voters do not believe President Obama is a US citizen.  Explains why Trump has gone all birther and why Obama will get re-elected.
Scary thought for the day: US storage capacity for spent nuclear fuel rods will be exhausted by 2015.  Hey, I suddenly found a reason to stay in Afghanistan.
According to USA Today, since January employment for Americans with a college education or higher is up by 521,000 while those only with a high school education has fallen by 318,000.  And we still need foreigners to fill high tech and medical positions.  We need to make college and education in Math, Technology, Science, and Engineering more, not less, accessible for our citizens.
Irony 101.  In a closed door ceremony President Obama received an award for transparency in government. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

I could be Beck's agent

So Glenn Beck finally wore out his welcome at Fox.  I will miss his crazy rants, and because I don’t want him to disappear totally, I have a few suggestions:
1)      Take Charlie Sheen’s place on Two and Half Men, change the title to Two and a Half Mormon.
2)      Get a part in Book of Mormon on Broadway.  He can dance with his chalkboard.
3)      Move into the Jersey Shore house.  Can you see Beck asking Snookie if she is DTF?
4)      WWE.  He will be the coolest heal manager since Classy Freddie Blassie.  His evil empire would be called the God Squad.
5)      30 Rock as the new fanatical head of NBC and Jack Donaghy’s (Alec Baldwin) new boss.  Show needs a fresh crazy factor.
6)      Appear as a doom saying preacher on AMC’s apocalyptic zombie hit Walking Dead.  Not a stretch role for him.
7)      Play the role of Phineas J. Whoopee in the live action production of Tennessee Tuxedo…he already has the chalkboard and glasses.
8)      Celebrity Apprentice where he can argue with Donald Trump as to who is the bigger conservative ass and then get bitch slapped by Busey.
9)       In Justified as a guy Tim Olyphant gets to slap silly every week.  Not much of a character development, but I would watch every week.
10)   Costar in a new buddy picture with Newt Gingrich as two warriors of God fighting Sharia law in “The Caliph-Ate my Bible”.

Are you freaking kidding me?

Things that make you say WTF:
Donald Trumpisms:
·        "(Obama’s) grandmother in Kenya said he was born in Kenya and she was there and witnessed the birth."
·        "The people that went to school with (Barack Obama), they never saw him, they don't know who he is."
·        "How come his own family doesn't know which hospital he was born in? How come-- forget about birth certificates. Let's say there's no birth certificate. How come in the hospital itself, okay? This is one of the...in the hospital itself, there's no records of his birth. In other words, it doesn't say how much they paid, where is the doctor, here's your room bill."
Mississippi
·        Ratified the 13th Amendment that banished and prohibited slavery and involuntary servitude on March 16, 1995; 130 years after the country ratified it.  Mississippi rejected it originally on December 5, 1865.
·        46% of Mississippi Republicans believe interracial marriage should be illegal.
Oil Exploration
·        TransOcean’s (operator of deep-water horizon rig) annual report: "Notwithstanding the tragic loss of life in the Gulf of Mexico, we achieved an exemplary statistical safety record as measured by our total recordable incident rate and total potential severity rate."
Rick Santorum (ex senator (R-PA) and potential Presidential nominee)
·        "A third of all the young people in America are not in America today because of abortion.”
·        “In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality.”
Arizona
·        Governor Brewer to sign into law a bill that will allow concealed weapons in public areas such as sidewalks and state universities.
·        Susan Brock, wife of a Maricopa County Supervisor Fulton Brock, was sentenced to 13 years for sexually abusing a 14-year old boy.  To make matters worse, Brock’s 21 year old daughter Rachel has been accused of molesting the same boy, and that abuse started when she was 17 and he was only 13. 
Government
·        If the government shuts down this weekend, Congress and the President still get paid.
·        The whole funding and shutdown battle comes down to the Republicant’s demanding $300Million in cuts to Planned Parenthood.  Assholes.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

20ish Questions

Why is Conservative Mike Pence (R-IN) misogynistic? 
Why can’t Michelle Bachmann answer a question?
Why did the media fail to mention that Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget included $5Trillion in tax cuts for corporations and the richest 1% of Americans?
Why do Democrats have no shame when they blame the GOP for not ending the funding debate, when it was the Democratic majority who failed to pass a budget in 2010?
Do you think Wisconsin voters are having voter remorse?
Is it me or does Scott Brown (R-MA) actually represent America; socially progressive, fiscally conservative?
Should anyone care what Alan Greenspan has to say?
If Glenn Beck disappears, will he be missed?  Will anyone care?
What ails Ailes?  Glenn Beck apparently.
How big would Bill Clinton’s margin of victory be today if he could run for President?
Is Sarah Palin jealous of Michelle Bachmann?
What happened to championship boxing? 
Why are airplane maintenance issues only discovered right before departure?
Why do I cringe every time I am told IT will be loading software updates?
Should we care that the Grammy Awards reduced the number of awards from 109 to 78?  That one was rhetorical.
If government shuts down on Friday, will anyone notice?
When will Newt Gingrich realize he is a caricature of a joke pretending to be a presidential candidate?
Who will tell Donald Trump he is fired?
Why isn’t Eva Green (Camelot) on TV every night on every channel?
Is it ironic that Germany, with its track record of warmongering, is the one NATO country opposed to military intervention in Libya?
Do you think President Obama drops the occasional F Bomb when dealing with Boehner and McConnell?
Is it Un-American to believe that some people like Pastor Jones and anyone from Westboro Baptist Church should lose his 1st Amendment rights?