Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bye Bye Beck

Be careful what you wish for.  Bill O’Reilly is going after Media Matters by challenging whether its tax exempt status under IRS status 501(c)3.  According to tax filings, the main 501(c)3 branch of Media Matters -- Media Matters for America -- earned nearly $7 million in 2009.  Bill’O and Fox are basing their case on the anti-Fox reporting done by MMA.  If Fox challenges the tax exempt status in court, MMA will be enter Fox’s reporting as evidence and what is more damaging: MMA losing its tax exempt status or Fox having to disavow its ‘fair and balanced’ tagline?
Adios Beckster.  Where Bette Midler sang the farewell song to Johnny, Beck gets Judy Collins and “Send in the Clowns”.  Go join Olbermann in the wilderness and save a place for Hannity, Schultz, and Maddow.  Blowhards on either side are getting on my nerves.
WTF? Fall River authorities say the body of a woman who died in a public pool went undetected for days as swimmers continued to use the pool before the victim was found floating. The body of Marie Joseph, 36, was discovered by teenagers Tuesday evening in the Vietnam Veterans Swimming Pool.  OK, this isn’t a Baby Ruth floating in a country club swimming pool, this is a grown woman floating for two days while people CONTINUED to swim around her.  “Look dude they have an inflatable woman float in this pool”.
MSNBC suspended frequent guest/analyst and Time editor-in-chief Mark Halperin for saying "I thought he was a dick yesterday," about President Obama.  Halperin and the Morning Joe crew apologized immediately and Halperin has been striking a conciliatory tone since the statement.  I loved how Joe Scarborough immediately called for the bleep delay only to realize the new associate producer wasn’t trained on how to use the bleeper.  In related news, Mitt Romney is still a dick.
Which brings us to Rick Perry, Governor of Texas and potential Republican presidential candidate who in a recent Public Policy Poll trailed Obama in TEXAS.  Cheez, dude if you can’t win Texas and you are from Texas, and you are a Republican, you may be a redneck Republican failure.  I guess it must be tough to win when you call out Obama as a Socialist, mock the stimulus, rail on Washington and yet when facing a $6.6 billion shortfall for its 2010-2011 fiscal years it plugged nearly all of that deficit with $6.4 billion in Recovery Act money, allowing it to leave its $9.1 billion rainy day fund untouched.
Speaking of hypricrites.  As GOP presidential candidate, Tea Party Heroine and Minnesota Congresswoman  Michele Bachmann tours the nation criticizing government as too big and too expensive, she has come under mounting scrutiny over public money flowing to family business interests.  There’s $259,000 in federal subsidies paid since 1995 to a family farm of which Bachmann is a part-owner. Another $30,000 went to Bachmann and Associates Counseling Clinic in the last five years from various Minnesota government agencies, including one small payment logged the day after the congresswoman’s official 2012 kickoff.  In addition, at least $137,000 came from Medicaid-backed programs for patients using the mental health clinic run by her husband, Marcus Bachmann.  All of the money poured through legitimate channels and yet Bachmann has fashioned herself as one of the fiercest foes of government spending.  Brilliant. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Why are the Stans bad for us?

Many on the right and left are calling for an immediate pull out of U.S. troops from Afghanistan based on the killing of Bin Laden and the reported decimation of Al Qaeda in the war torn country.   I believe the President is doing the right thing and people have forgotten that the Pakistan of 2001 versus the Pakistan of 2011are two different places.  Its proliferation of nuclear weapons, the rise of an Islamic terror organization, the overthrow of one government, the murder of a popular leader, the terror attack in India, and the rise of China have forced us to change the mission and the desired outcomes have also changed.  Also, the counterinsurgency policy works only if it leads to a peaceful diplomatic solution that must involve the Taliban in the government in some form.  It is neither clean nor perfect, but then again what is in the world today.
I remember the old Steven Wright comedy bit about how he named his dog Stay, and would tell him “Come here Stay”, and the dog would get all confused.  It’s kind of like what the world wants the U.S. to do every time a hot spot flares up somewhere: save us, now leave, why did you come, when are you going to leave.  I now understand why Superman said fuck it and moved to the Fortress of Solitude.
So why is the U.S. pressing Europe to keep Greece from failing?  Because if you thought the Lehman Brothers failure shocked the financial system, a Greek default would send the globe back into recession.  In related news, you ever notice how the economics intelligently challenged (that would be you Sarah Palin) think that it is a sign of weakness when the dollar drops.  Actually a lower dollar helps our exports which help the economy especially when domestic consumption is meager.  I wonder if Palin watches the currency exchange and screams USA USA when the dollar goes up against the Euro.
Further evidence that we are lemmings.  A Washington woman drove her SUV down a boat ramp into a lake because her GPS system said so.
President Obama’s argument that we are not engaged in hostilities in Libya is pathetic.  I wonder if he is trying to double down on his Bin Laden killing and back a Gaddafi daily double.
Still don’t believe we are in the midst of climate change?  As of last weekend, we have over 4.3million acres of burned land while we suffer floods in the middle of the country.
Did you know lawn care is a $40billion/year industry?  Now if we can convert grass clippings to biofuel…
Weiner report: During his 14 years as a congressman, Weiner sponsored 191 bills and none of them passed.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The New Republican Party: dangerous to your well being

Why are Social Conservatives so damn hypocritical? Take Michelle Bachmann in these two separate quotes:
“And I think the most eloquent words ever written were those in our Declaration of Independence that said it's a creator who endowed us with inalienable rights given to us from God, not from government,.”
"In 5,000 years of recorded human history... neither in the east or in the west... has any society ever defined marriage as anything other than between men and women," Bachmann said during the latest installment of the Iowa Family Leader's presidential lecture series. "Not one in 5000 years of recorded human history. That's an astounding fact and it isn't until the last 12 years or so that we have seen for the first time in recorded human history marriage defined as anything other than between men and between women."
Conclusion: According to Bachmann and the rest of the Evangelical Social Conservative only some of us are endowed with some of God’s unalienable rights.  I think even Atheists are praying for a Bachmann nomination.
Why are Republicans dumb as a bag of rocks when it comes to economics?   Fareed Zakaria wrote in Time Magazine “Consider the debates over the economy. The Republican prescription is to cut taxes and slash government spending — then things will bounce back. Now, I would like to see lower rates in the context of tax simplification and reform, but what is the evidence that tax cuts are the best path to revive the U.S. economy? Taxes — federal and state combined — as a percentage of GDP are at their lowest level since 1950. The U.S. is among the lowest taxed of the big industrial economies. So the case that America is grinding to a halt because of high taxation is not based on facts but is simply a theoretical assertion. The rich countries that are in the best shape right now, with strong growth and low unemployment, are ones like Germany and Denmark, neither one characterized by low taxes.” 
How can Republicans be so mean and so stupid?  After passing their landmark anti-immigration legislation, Georgian lawmakers have placed themselves to the right of the Arizona bigots.  So what has been the economic impact in Georgia?  Well farmers are looking for 11,000 workers to harvest crops and they are coming up short as immigrants are fleeing the state for other states and guess what?  White people don’t want to work in the fields and the state is still suffering from a 10% unemployment. 

So today’s lesson?  Today’s Republican party is socially, economically, and financially dangerous .

Friday, June 24, 2011

Will Chris Christie be floating over Macy's this Thanksgiving?


Republicans still sticking with their tax cuts are net revenue raisers.  Really?  They also love to point to Ronald Reagan’s 8 years as proof that tax cuts have a net benefit to federal finances.  Simply not true.  When looking at tax revenue as a share of gross domestic product, the total federal revenues fell from 19.6 percent of GDP in 1981 to 18.4 percent of GDP by 1989, indicating revenues were $66 billion lower in 1989 as a result of Reagan’s policies.  This is not surprising given that no one in the Reagan administration ever claimed that his 1981tax cut would pay for itself or that it did. Reagan economists Bill Niskanen and Martin Anderson have written extensively on this oft-repeated myth. Conservative economist Lawrence Lindsey concluded that the behavioral and macroeconomic effects of the 1981 tax cut, resulting from both supply-side and demand-side effects, recouped about a third of the static revenue loss.
The World Bank is encouraging  developing countries to buy insurance in the derivatives markets as a hedge against skyrocketing food prices.  These hedges could be worth $4Billion.  With JP Morgan in the middle of the deal, I have to say: (1) JP Morgan just paid a $154Million fine in a fraud case involving misleading investors in a CDO (derviatives) deal, (2) these swaps are no more like insurance than the CDS AIG sold in the mortgage-backed securities, let’s call them what they are: bets, and (3) you just poured gasoline on the food price volatility rocket  as now speculators, the same guys who drive up fuel, cotton, etc., can jack up prices even further.  Brilliant.
So Cantor, Boehner, and the rest of the no tax pledge Republicans have walked out of the Biden deficit reduction discussions.  What happened to the “we’re going to have an adult conversation with the American people” line?  Freaking children these Republicans, who once again proved that the GOP favors big business and millionaires.  They walked out at the Democrats suggestion that those making over $500k/year should have a higher tax rate and that oil, gas, and ethanol subsidies should be eliminated.
Speaking of which, what’s up the GOP and its pledges?  No new tax increases and now the anti-abortion pledge.  Come to think of it, Pawlenty does look like Pinto and Christie could be Flounder from Animal House.  “Is that a pledge pin on your uniform?”  Santorum is Niedermeyer. 
If the GOP is claiming that there fresh batch of Republican Governors’ falling approval ratings is due to the necessary tough fiscal medicine that they are enacting in their respective states, then how do you  explain Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 68% approval rating in the face of similar cuts?  That being said, I have no problem with New Jersey’s recent benefit cuts to state employees.  These employees have had it too good for too long and they needed a reality check.  I still think Christie is a douche. 
It is time for President Obama to come out for same sex marriage.  Share the misery.
How's this for a Felix and Oscar moment.  Liberal Democrat Barney Frank and Libertarian Ron Paul both want to legalize marijuana.  What's next: Ahmadinejad and Netanyahu come out for same sex marriage?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dense governors and wildfires: Texas and Arizona joined at the hip.

The latest from shoot first aim second Arizona Senator John McCain.  While visiting the Wallow fire in northern Arizona Senator Senile claimed brush fires are started by illegal immigrants.  When pressed about which fire, McCain could not answer.  No one should be surprised by this statement as McCain also claimed that Phoenix was the kidnap capital of the world without offering any data to support the false allegation.  Paging Wilford Brimley, please take Senator McCain to the Cocoon pool please.
While the fate of the New York state same sex marriage law remains uncertain, no one can argue that Republican state senator Roy McDonald didn’t make the proceedings a lot more interesting with this quote explaining why he was switching his vote in support of the bill:  You get to the point where you evolve in your life where everything isn't black and white, good and bad, and you try to do the right thing.”
"You might not like that. You might be very cynical about that. Well, fuck it, I don't care what you think. I'm trying to do the right thing.
"I'm tired of Republican-Democrat politics. They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background. I'm trying to do the right thing, and that's where I'm going with this."
Congratulations Neil Armstrong.  Kraft Foods’ Tang has passed the $1Billion in sales, 54 years after its introduction by General Foods in 1957. I shall raise a celebratory glass of the orange stuff with my Swansons’ Fried Chicken TV dinner (apple cobbler for dessert).
Add Chris Wallace to the list of Faux Newsmen who have tried and failed to out-funny and outdebate Jon Stewart.  Stewart is a comedian by training; Faux News is funny by accident.
So everybody is talking up Rick Perry and the Texas miracle because so many jobs have been created there.  Well the truth is so many jobs have been created there because so many jobs were lost there.  Texas ranks right in the middle of the pack at #24 with an unemployment rate of 8%.  For the record, Massachusetts and its Democratic governor Deval Patrick are ranked 20th at 7.6%.  Does that mean Patrick should run for President in 2016? 
Thanks to the documentary GasLand, public awareness of the dangers of hydraulic fracturing or fracking has increased.  So when the 1st state to require gas companies to disclose the contents of their fracking fluid many thought it would be the anti-business, anti-energy, pro-regulation liberal bations such as Massachusetts, Oregon, or New York.  Shockingly it was Texas.  Texas Gov. Rick Perry has signed a bill requiring drillers to publicly disclose the chemicals they use when extracting oil and gas from dense rock formations. 
Remember how the Palestinians and Arabs were celebrating the Cairo accord that would surely lead to the reunification of Fatah and Hamas and create a singular Palestinian state that would no doubt be recognized by the UN?  Funny, reports of the great unity were greatly exaggerated as a scheduled meeting between the rivals was cancelled.  Some reunions are easier to pull off than others.
Which brings me to chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat’s editorial in the June 20th Financial Times where he claims the Palestinians deserve Obama’s support in September when a vote for Palestinian statehood is brought up in the UN.  Deserve?  Funny choice of words.  The proper phrasing would be earned, but alas the militant Hamas has not earned anything of the sorts as long as it swears to Israel’s destruction and continues to launch rockets at innocent Israeli citizens.  As soon as Arab leaders realize they are not entitled to anything, the better off their people will be. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

For a group with no new ideas, the Tea Party loves to bitch about light bulbs

Still waiting to hear something new from the Republicans on job creation (lowering taxes doesn’t work and zero regulations…well we know how that turned out) and something from the Democrats on deficit reduction.  Not holding breath.
Some Tea Party activists in Florida are offering a weeklong summer camp in Florida that teaches kids that government issued currency is worthless.  And they claim Obama was indoctrinating kids.
A bad sign for yours truly.  A New York man was thrown off an Atlantic Southeast Airlines flight when a flight attendant claimed he was being disruptive while the flight sat on the ground during a 45 minute delay.  “What’s taking so f—king long?” was enough to get Brooklyn’s Mr. Robert Sayegh kicked off.  Yep, I am so screwed.
The Dutch government is planning on passing new laws preventing non-Dutch citizens from buying hashish in the country’s famed ‘coffee shops’.  These anti-tourism laws will likely lead to increased street dealing.  In related news, French officials have announced only French citizens can visit the Eiffel Tower.
After getting shit canned by MSNBC, Keith Olbermann has taken his show Countdown to fledgling network Current TV.  This begs the question if a blowhard is alone in a cable TV forest, does anyone hear him?
Who the hell killed Rosie Larson?  Looks like I am waiting a year to find out.
I love how the Tea Party is making a stand on the switch from incandescent light bulbs to longer lasting fluorescent bulbs; their claim is that the Obama administration is taking away our freedom by mandating longer life light bulbs.  Funny thing is the law was passed by the Bush administration in 2007.  The other funny thing was how none of these alleged patriots said a word when the government passed the Patriot Act which trampled on our civil liberties.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Do the Arizona wild fires symbolize our descent into hell?

Republican leadership conference is being held in New Orleans.  Not since Katrina have so many snakes and rats been in the streets of the crescent city.
Circle August 2nd on your calendars.  That is when the federal government will hit the debt ceiling and the United States would be in default to its debt holders.  Now I am sure Treasury Secretary Geithner can play some tricks with what gets pad first, but to those that do not think this is serious, you are sadly mistaken.  If the U.S. defaults, its debt rating will be lowered from AAA to junk and our costs for borrowing will sky rocket.  If you thought our debt was unbearable burden now….
Florida Governor Rick Scott wants to institute mandatory drug testing for all recipients of state aid (not including food stamps) and all government employees.  Here are the issues with this approach.  One, there is legal precedence that this type of testing for welfare recipients and state employees violates the 4th Amendment with respect to unreasonable search and seizure.  Two, the moral question that it is acceptable to pick on the weak and those that we do not like but do we drug test farmers who get federal subsidies.  Three, my favorite, Scott is a Tea Party hero who is against the overreach of government and the size of government, AND yet how do you rationalize mandatory quarterly drug testing?  Perhaps that is why he is currently at a 29% approval rating.
My final comment on the Wiener scandal; in order for there to be a sex scandal, doesn’t one need more than just the Weiner?  I mean where are the melons or taco?  Well the closest thing we have for a counterparty is Georgian Cheerleader coach Traci Nobles.  Flanked by two lawyers, how’s the book deal coming, Ms. Nobles appeared neither contrite nor Christian when she said she didn’t think about Weiner’s wife when they continued their on line romance.   Apparently she must also be a victim as her employer the Young Women’s Christian Organization is standing by her in the wake of the scandal.   Christians 1 Jews 0.
The latest Arizona embarrassment comes from Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal.  Like his predecessor and current Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, Mr. Huppenthal has had in for the Ethnic Studies program popular in the Tucson School District.  Last week Mr. Huppenthal declared that the Tucson school district must abandon its ethnic studies or face the loss of significant state funding.  Huppenthal claimed that the $170,000 study the state paid to a handpicked firm to investigate the Tucson ethnic studies found violations to the state anti-ethnic studies law that states:
A school district or charter school in this state shall not include in its Program of instruction any courses or classes that include any of the following:
1. Promote overthrowing the U.S. government;
2. Promote resentment towards a race or class of people;
3. Are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic race; and
4. Advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.
The fact is the study drew no such conclusions in fact here is a sample of the report’s findings:
“The findings of the auditors agree student achievement has occurred and is closing the achievement gap based on the re-analysis and findings of TUSD’s Department of Accountability and Research.”
“It is apparent that students enrolled in MASD courses in high school graduate in the very least at a rate of five percent more than their counterparts in 2005, and at the most, a rate of 11 percent more in 2010. Students who complete a MASD course during their senior year f high school are more likely to graduate than compared to non-MASD counterparts.”
“No observable evidence exists that instruction promotes overthrow of the U.S. Government. During the audit team’s visits, the American government was taught as it exists in terms of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. At no time was any conversation even remotely relevant to the overthrow of the U.S. government.”
“No observable evidence exists that instruction within Mexican American Studies Department promotes resentment toward a race or class of people. The auditors observed the opposite, as students are taught to be accepting of multiple ethnicities of people.”
“A majority of evidence demonstrates that the Mexican American Studies Department’s instruction is NOT designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group.”
“No evidence as seen by the auditors exists to indicate that instruction within Mexican American Studies Department program classes advocates ethnic solidarity; rather it has been proven to treat students as individuals.”
In consideration of this finding and recent anti-immigration and anti-homosexual legislation I can only conclude that the government of the State of Arizona is bigoted and possibly racist.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

They have effing crazy eyes

How amazing is Boston as a sports city?  All of its current coaches of the four major sports have won titles for their respective Boston franchise.  All four major teams have won a title in the last seven years.  The longest title-free streak?  The Belichick-Brady led Patriots.  Yo Foxboro time to get your act together…slackers.

Republicans on the House franking commission, which screens the content of mass mailings paid for with Congressional funds, have become more sensitive since the May 24 special election in New York. 
The commission has objections to language stating that the GOP budget would “end” Medicare. The commission asked a Virginia Democrat to rephrase the passage to say the plan could “change” or “could privatize portions” of the federal health insurance program for seniors and the disabled…
Similarly, the commission asked Rep. Ed Perlmutter to strike the words “eliminate” and “dismantle” in favor of the word “change” in a flier about the Medicare proposal. The commission also asked the Colorado Democrat to remove references to Ryan, replace “voucher” with “premium support system” and change “privatize” to “revise government program with support from private insurance companies.”  This reminds me of the late 1970’s when Boston Sports radio host Eddie Andelman and his crew on the Sports Huddle were told by station management to cut the criticisms of then-Red Sox manager Don Zimmer because the Red Sox were threatening to move their broadcast rights to another station.  Not to be coerced into silence, Andelman and his crew simply started referring to Zimmer as Chiang kai-Shek.  So instead of saying “The Ryan plan will end Medicare and replace it with a voucher system”, how about “Willy Wonka wants you have to have an everlasting gobstopper as long as you have a golden ticket.”

Is it me or do Republican women have the crazy eye?  Callista Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann, and Cindy McCain.  Where’s Kim Carnes when you need her?  Also, could someone dedicate some foreskins to these ladies so they could have eyelids?




   
Way to go Vancouver, between 130 and 140 people were sent to hospital, including three people with stab wounds and two suffering trauma, while a number of others were treated in the courtyard of a downtown hospital for the effects of tear gas.  Most people were treated for tear gas and pepper spray effects, lacerations, facial trauma, substance abuse and head injuries.  I guess we should be lucky they don’t have our liberal gun laws in Canada.

The Senate voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to eliminate billions of dollars in support for the U.S. ethanol industry, sending a strong message that the era of big taxpayer support for biofuels is ending.  The 73-27 vote may ultimately be symbolic since the White House has vowed not to repeal ethanol subsidies fully and the bill the repeal language is attached to is not expected to make it into law.  Kudos to the Senate, and shame on the White House.  This $6Billion savings would be a great start to show the world that the days of corporate welfare are over.  The White House needs to understand, while this bill is far from perfect, it does represent a move in the right direction.  Good is not the enemy of perfect.
John Boehner is either a chicken or a traitor.  Boehner is playing the War Power Resolutions Act card and is telling the President that come Sunday Mr. Obama will no longer have the power to continue to wage combat activities in Libya.  I knew Boehner and Gaddafi looked a little too cozy at that tanning salon outside Cincinnati. 
Congratulations to Ayman al-Zawahiri.  He has been named the new leader of Al Qaeda. According to his Facebook page, al-Zawahiri loves Swedish porn, playing Angry Birds in his PJ’s, large compounds in the Tora Bora region along the Afghan/Pakistan border, and Dancing with the Mullahs.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Paging Dr. Kevorkian, your services are required by Tim Pawlenty's campaign

So the GOP is all about free markets.  Then explain why they consistently protect farm subsidies?  I know the elephant is the symbol of the Republican party, but based on the amount of pork in their budget it should be changed to the pig.  Sadly, these ethanol and farm subsidy driven sycophants would rather cut aid to low income mothers and children than take away corporate welfare from these ‘poor’ farm owners that make over $750k that get thousands of dollars.  Yeah, the annual bill to pay for food and farm programs next year would cut food aid for low-income mothers and children by $685 million.  Wake Up America.
What is burning hotter Wallow fire or Palin as she has been usurped by Michelle Bachmann in the hearts and little minds of the Tea Party?  Yes, crazy eyes has taken the mantle. Hey Sarah there is always Mayor of Cave Creek?
Not a good sign for Rick “anal lube meets fecal matter” Santorum.  In Republican polling in his home state of Pennsylvania he trails both Mitt Romney and some guy named Undecided.  Worse yet, he trails President Obama by 11 points in a head to head poll.  Old adage in DiggaPolitics:  before you enter a presidential race, make sure you can carry your home state. 
Bald Eagles have been attacking customers at Post Office in Dutch Harbor, Alaska.  Quick hits:
·        Alfred Hitchcock hates the Post Office too?
·        Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night nor pissed off symbols of American Freedom stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.
·        That explains what happened to Palin’s hairdoo.

US Airlines collected $5.7Billion in baggage and other extra fees in 2010.  I am thinking the next fees coming to your favorite airline could include Bellman and concierge service where an airline employee will carry your bags onto the plane for you, reserved overhead bin space, and Netflix movie service.
Monsoon season has officially arrived in Phoenix.  Time to get out of dodge.
Too bad Jack Kevorkian isn’t around to allow the Pawlenty, Santorum, and Gingrich campaigns die in dignity.
Proving how ignorant and petty the mental midget media (a.k.a right wing) can be, they can’t understand metaphors.  The President was responding to a question from Ann Curry regarding why job growth isn’t as fast as hoped for by stating that investment in automation has replaced employees: “You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM; you don't go to a bank teller. Or you go to the airport, and you're using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate.”  So what do the mental midgets do?  They jump on him saying he doesn’t understand business.  Really?  How’s this, he DOES understand.  He understands that the hourly employee jobs are going away and will not be coming back.  He understands that the higher paying jobs that come with post high school education are the key to our future.  And you know what, those software engineers who right that code for those ATM’s and kiosks, they’re in India because we aren’t producing enough engineers.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mitt vs Michelle, Mormon vs Evangelical, No Caffeine vs TEA Party

Michelle Bachmann is going out of her way to show America that she is a better, brighter, and brainer version of Sarah Palin (take about setting low goals).  Where the Wasillan Wolf Hunter couldn’t name a single newspaper, magazine, or major Supreme Court case during the gotcha Couric interview of 2008, Bachmann went into full name dropping mode during a recent interview with the overly obsequious WSJ reporter Stephen Moore.  When asked about her favorite economists, the Golden Gopher responded that she admires the late Milton Friedman as well as Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams. Really?  The self-professed proponent of the Free Market would obviously love Freidman and his University of Chicago economic theory, but how does she explain her support for farm and oil subsidies?  Subsidies, along with minimum wage, tariffs, and taxes were the anathema of Friedman and his followers.  I guess when your family farm has received tens of thousands of dollars, like Bachmann, you tend to like the FREE part of free market economics.
A recurring Mitt Romney sound bite is to go on about how the President is out of touch with mainstream America and has done nothing to promote job growth.  I guess saving the 1 million jobs in the US Auto Industry doesn’t count.  Oh it doesn’t count because it was government nationalization of the industry and that GM and Chrysler should have filed bankruptcy the old fashioned way.  Unfortunately the old fashioned way is not the best way when the nation is in the midst of its biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression. 
The UK’s Daily Telegraph reported that last month’s Nakba Day clashes on the border between Syria and Israel were orchestrated by the Syrian government to distract the world from the al-Assad government murder of its own civilians.  This Syrian government document that the Telegraph gathered describes 20 buses which were to be dispatched on Israeli Independence Day, May 15, also known as Nakba Day, when the Palestinians mourn the creation of the State of Israel.
Standard & Poor has reduced Greece’s credit rating to the lowest on Monday; insuring Greece debt today is twice the price of insuring Pakistani bonds.  Seriously how bad is your sovereign debt when Pakistan is considered less risky?  Next step default and watch the global markets implode again and which of the PIIGS (Portugal Ireland Italy Greece Spain) will be next?
25 year old Crystal Harris called off her wedding with 85 year old Hugh Hefner this weekend, proving once and for all that Viagra, big house, and a big bank account can only take dirty old men so far.  Perhaps it was the thought of consummation that…oh damn I just swallowed some vomit.
I think Newt Gingrich’s only hope is if he eats the rest of the GOP field.  
Who are the Democrats kidding when they say that the Weiner affair is a distraction that is keeping them from their business?  Within two weeks we’ll be on to the next D.C. drama, or at least wondering what Lady Gaga’s wearing.    

Monday, June 13, 2011

I cut $300Billion from the federal budget and it's not even time for lunch

Talk about irony.  The cause of the deadly E.coli outbreak in Germany that has killed 33 and sickened thousands  was organic bean sprouts grown in Germany.  Hmmm, I thought organic foods were supposed to be healthier?
I will hold a special place in my heart for the Mavericks victory over the Heat in this year’s NBA playoffs like I hold the D-backs over the Yankees in 2001, Saints over the Colts in 2010, and the Avalanche over the Devils in 2001.  I felt bad that I missed a lot of the 4th quarter last night, but it also looks like most of the Heat players did as well.
I sent a request to the state of Minnesota for Tim Pawlenty’s birth certificate as I am convinced the GOP Presidential candidate was actually made by Gippetto, which would make him Italian.
While former IMF chief and alleged sexual assault perpetrator Dominique Strauss Kahn awaits trial, his former employer is looking at his replacement, and the leading candidate is Frenchwoman Christine Lagarde, the current French Finance Minister.    Well that’s all well and good, except Ms. Lagarde is currently being investigated by the French judiciary in connection with a $410M payment to controversial businessman Bernard Tapie.  No formal charges have been filed against Lagarde, but it makes you wonder if the IMF would not be better served looking to Asia or Latin America for its next chief.
I love how the Turkish government was pretty passive towards Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as he murdered his own citizens in a continued brutal crackdown.  Then suddenly the crackdown spreads to the northern Syrian towns resulting in a tide of refugees seeking help over the border in Turkey.  Suddenly, the Erdogan government in Turkey ratchets up the rhetoric calling for al-Assad’s resignation.  Why?  Like a contagion, the Turkish government didn’t want the unrest to spread to its Kurdish minority.  Kind of reminds me of the pro-marijuana people who suddenly get nervous when the medical marijuana dispensary wants to open in their neighborhood. 
Ed Schultz is the progressive Rush Limbaugh.  A loud mouth bully who needs to STHU.
Thanks to Cathy D. for sending me the link to nathannewman.org so I could play Paul Ryan (minus the ears and Eddie Munster doo) and balance the federal budget.  I came up with a 65%/35% split between spending cuts and tax increases and came up with $300Billion in deficit reductions.  Big hits were felt in Defense, non-Medicare Health, Medicare, Civilian Retirement, Aid to Low-Income Families, and Social Security.  Those that had their budgets maintained or increased included: education, transportation, children’s healthcare, and military servicemen medical benefits.  Tax increases will be felt across the board of individuals and many corporate loopholes will be closed.  Are these cuts staggering?  Hell yeah.  Would they solve our financial problems?  Tough to say, with these deep cuts a double dip recession could ensue which would further reduce revenues.  The point of my budget was to demonstrate that to be intellectually honest our politicians are going to have to piss EVERYBODY off.  Everybody, that is, except the bond traders who will see this as necessary to cure our long term financial sickness.    Sadly, if I went public with this plan, I don’t think my own mother would vote for me, Rachel Maddow would call me heartless, Britt Hume would call me a Socialist, and Rush Limbaugh would call me that job-killing schizophrenic.  Oh well, pass the oxycodone. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Surgeon General Warns Republicans Can Be Bad For Your Health

Monday night will be the 2nd Republican debate.  This one will happen at St. Anselms college in New Hampshire and will include Mitt “The Job Slayer” Romney, Tim “Tax Rates Less Than Zero” Pawlenty, Herman “And You May Ask Yourself, How Did I Get Here” Cain, Michelle “AAA TripTik” Bachmann, Rick “Counting On the Fetus Vote” Santorum, Newt “Oh What a Lonely Boy” Gingrich, Ron “CrackPots and PanDering” Paul”.   Quick prediction, all will slam Obama and Bachmann will be especially tough on The Affordable Care Act which will make Romney squirm.  Ronald Reagan will be mentioned no less than 20 times, and Ron Paul will hold onto the title of the King of Crazy Talk.
As for Pawlenty’s plan, it is best qualified to be served as toilet paper.  His tax cut proposal would cut taxes by an average of $490,000 per millionaire in 2013, while people earning $40k - $50k would get an average tax cut of about $700, or less than 2 percent of after-tax income.  The Tax Policy Center estimates that the proposal would cut revenues by $7.6 trillion over the next 10 years.  Add in additional interest on the debt and the total cost would be more like $9 or $10 trillion.  BRILLIANT.  Oh and his claim that this plan will create 5% growth makes the works of J.R.R. Tolkien look like nonfiction.  For the record, growth has averaged about 1.7% during the past decade and about 3.42% during the 1990s. 
A low cost and high return idea to decrease unemployment and reduce the deficit is the Obama proposed National Infrastructure Bank.  The NIB would replace all of the public funding of infrastructure (talk about socialism) with private sector participation.  Through the issue of bonds and low interest rate driven borrowing costs, we could borrow and reinvest in our infrastructure.  This NIB would also eliminate earmarks with a meritocratic cost/benefit analysis.  Sounds good?  Unfortunately, Republicans would rather win an election than put Americans back to work WHILE reducing the deficit.  Wake up America, the Republicans do NOT have your best interests at heart.  By the way, the best way to reduce deficits is to get people to work and collect income taxes and sales taxes.  Clearly the Republicans are against that.
Skeletor is back.  Ann Coulter has a new book out and even bigger Adams Apple.
The current Governor of Texas Rick Perry is considering a run for President.  For those of you unfamiliar with Perry, he is the choice of Conservatives who thought George W., Bush was too cerebral.
Journey-Foreigner-Night Ranger on tour.  Don’t Stop Believin’ you Hot Blooded Sister Christian.
Retiring Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was spot on when he slammed NATO and the governments of the member states for being ineffectual.  The fact that the U.S. had to rush precision guided munitions to the British and French to keep up the bombing on Libyan targets and that the Italians were only able to complete half its promised sorties.  So while everyone overtly slams U.S. involvement across the globe, they covertly beg and borrow our resources.  The solution: NATO is no longer a viable and functional entity and we should start bringing our troops home from international bases.  The days of Team America: World Police are long over.
How can Republicans actually say they are for jobs creation by offering manufacturing incentives AND still call themselves Milton Friedman loving Free Market Men and Women?  Easy, they are intellectually dishonest and emotionally bankrupt.

Friday, June 10, 2011

One part Bible, one part Constitution, 3 parts crazy

I love Conservatives.  Not really, but I do love it when they wrap themselves in the flag, set their heads down on the ten commandments, wallpaper their homes in pages from the Bible, and use reprints of the Constitution for place mats.  Whether it’s Bachmann telling us how the founding fathers fought to end slavery, Santorum telling us gay marriage will lead to man on dog sex, John Boehner mistaking the Declaration of Independence for the preamble of the Constitution, and Palin told us to go back to what our founders and our founding documents meant -- they're quite clear -- that we would create law based on the God of the bible and the ten commandments, and then there’s Herman Insane in the Cane.  Check out this from the latest Conservative darling during an interview with Lord Beck of Moronistan:
CAIN: The exact language was when I was asked, “would you be comfortable with a Muslim in your cabinet?” And I said, “no, I would not be comfortable.” I didn’t say I wouldn’t appoint one because if they can prove to me that they’re putting the Constitution of the United States first then they would be a candidate just like everybody else. My entire career, I’ve hired good people, great people, regardless of their religious orientation.
BECK: So wait a minute. Are you saying that Muslims have to prove their, that there has to be some loyalty proof?
CAIN: Yes, to the Constitution of the United States of America.
BECK: Would you do that to a Catholic or would you do that to a Mormon?
CAIN: Nope, I wouldn’t. Because there is a greater dangerous part of the Muslim faith than there is in these other religions. I know that there are some Muslims who talk about, “but we are a peaceful religion.” And I’m sure that there are some peace-loving Muslims.
Obviously the Constitutionally challenged Cain must have forgotten Article VI of the Constitution:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
Yep Cain fits right in with the Republicants.
Captain Bligh, Commander Queeg, and now presidential candidate Newt Gingrich in the list of infamous mutinies in fiction and fact.  Apparently, Mr. Gingrich and Calista thought it was a good idea to visit the Greek Islands when a campaign was launched.  Hope you enjoyed the Souvlaki on Santorini because your campaign just got skewered.  Secondly, hasn’t Greece suffered enough?
So much for that Hamas-Fatah reunification in the name of peace.  Both Israeli security forces and Fatah forces have been arresting Hamas operatives in the Fatah-controlled West Bank.  At least 8 possible terrorists have been arrested in the last two weeks.  Looks like Netanyahu won’t have to worry about the Obama peace plan because Hamas has no intention of meeting its commitments.
So Alabama is threatening Arizona’s position as the nation’s most xenophobic, backwards, and ignorant state.  Its governor signed a new anti-immigration bill that even exceeds some of the more draconian elements of the Arizona Bill.  The same elements that were ruled unconstitutional meaning the Alabama law is headed for the same fate.  Footnote: mostly white legislators need to stop saying that these immigrants are taking away jobs from native born Americans.   Are some uneducated, those without a high school diploma, native born Americans losing out on jobs?  Probably.  But there is no denying the economic gain the nation gets from immigrant labor.  But it’s a lot easier to pick on the weak.
Here is the funny thing about cheap undocumented labor from an economic perspective.  Republicans are typically anti-immigrant and anti-union, while being pro-business and pro-security.  The problem is the pro-business side wants low labor costs to improve business profits and the pro-security anti-union side gets them in bed with the unions.  Immigrant labor drives down costs.  What’s a poor Republican to do?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Schwarzenegger, Edwards, Weiner oh my.

I was a big fan of Congressman Weiner.  He is always god for a sarcastic comment and a vociferous argument on the floor of the House.  Now, I think what Weiner did was reprehensible and how he handled it inexcusable.  That being said, it is not up to Congressional leaders to determine if Weiner should resign.  I get that Pelosi, Hoyer, and others can apply significant pressure on him to resign, but whether he serves or not is the decision of his constituents.  Everyone thought Charlie Rangel was a fool and rule breaker, and at the end of the day he was re-elected in a landslide.  Ultimately it is Weiner’s decision, though if he does decide to resign, I think Eliot Spitzer just found his new cohost.  In related news, there is no confirmation that Brett Favre is now following Anthony Wiener on Twitter.
Frazier-Ali, Munson-Fisk, Borg-McEnroe, Fischer-Spassky, Leno-Letterman….and now Palin-Bachmann.  So before the claims about sexism and Lame Street Media start coming out, remember it was Bachmann’s campaign manager, Ed Rollins, which fired the first salvo.  And is it a double standard of reporting the ‘catfight’ between these two Right wing Tea Party social conservatives and talk about their looks while this doesn’t come up with Pawlenty, Romney, Cain, etc?  Yes it is.  But keep in mind this is America in 2011 where we track the latest trials and tribulations of Lohan, Hilton, and Spears, so this is less about sexism as it about sensationalism.  Besides, who doesn’t like a good Alexis-Krystle knock down drag out fight in a lily pond?
I cannot believe I am doing this, but because I am enjoying the Game of Thrones series so much on HBO, I bought the whole book series and starting reading it, in paperback no less.  That’s right a complete book series about a medieval fantasy world sans Kindle.  I forgot what fiction was.  Yeah right, listen to any politician.
If Lady Gaga’s fans are called Little Monsters, should we call Sarah Palin’s followers Little Minds?
Still waiting to hear the Republican plans to increase jobs.  They have gone after PBS and Planned Parenthood and want to focus on spending cuts.  Spending cuts don’t create jobs.  Spending cut based job creation is like: jumbo shrimp, compassionate conservative, articulate Sarah Palin comment, and anti-government liberal.
Notice how quickly the Japanese nuclear problem, Libyan civil war, tornados in Missouri, and Euro zone fiscal crisis don’t even appear on the news thanks to Weinergate.  Are we still that puritanical or do we still just love the sordid rag stories instead of real news.
Had dinner tonight at Mario Battali’s Babbo in the village.  I just may be the finest meal I have ever had.  Bolognese was perfect and the Calamari Sicilian Life Guard style was to die for.  Oh yeah, Mrs. Diggapedia loved her Veal Chop.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Too bad there aren't any layoffs planned at Faux News

Obviously the May jobs numbers were disappointing. And like good politicians the Republicans are piling on the President with the usual attacks: failed stimulus, excessive regulation, uncertainty, anti-business policies, spending, etc.  You want to know why our employment recovery is lagging and consequently dragging down the overall economy?  Lack of demand.  Unemployment in the construction industry is at 16%, down from the January high of 22.5%, but a long way from the pre-financial collapse of 5.3%.  Construction fuels this economy, and we have a glut of residential and commercial properties on the market.  It is why Ben Bernanke quipped we should burn down vacant houses to get them off the market and reduce the supply.  As for the other GOP playbook attacks, what excessive regulation are you talking about?  You mean financial reform?  I suppose when you go from zero regulation to some regulation, some people would call that excessive.  Uncertainty?  The only uncertainty out there is coming from the Republican attempts to overturn the Affordable Care Act and the Tea Party threats not approve increasing the debt limit.  Talk about uncertainty.  And there you have it ladies and gentlemen, the Republican master plan, stall the economic recovery for political gain, and while they’re at it pick on the weak, impoverished, sick, and elderly.  Brilliant.  Lee Atwater would be so pleased.
Is it me or is Mitt Romney the older brother of Phil Dunphy form Modern Family; lovable dufus who tries to be cool and is laughable when he tries to talk tough (remember the episode when he had to play bad parent to the girls)
So I was watching Rick Lazio on Bill Maher this week.  Lazio a former four term congressman from New York is best remembered as the guys who got his clock cleaned by Hillary Clinton during the 2000 race for US Senate and most recently the man lost the 2010 GOP Gubernatorial primary to whack job Carl Paladino.  Lazio remains a blowhard lobbyist for the financial industry and also habitually challenged by facts.  Lazio called the stimulus a failure and started comparing the Great Recession with all previous recessions and that the recovery is slower this time because of Obama, and like all card carrying Republicans he is compelled to make comparisons to Reagan.  Lazio went on to say how Reagan took a worse situation than Obama and led to a stronger, faster recovery.  Problem with Lazio’s theory, Reagan was lucky to inherit Paul Volcker as fed Chairman, and it was Volcker’s Monetary Policy that stabilized the financial system and allowed Reagan to pump more liquidity into the system with tax cuts and spending.  And for his reward, Reagan chose to replace Volcker in 1988 with a new Fed Chairman, a Fed Chairman who would aggressively deregulate the financial system: none other than Alan Greenspan. 
Violent crime fell again in 2010 to the lowest level in nearly 40 years.  Great news, but shockingly no one can explain why. 
On the news of the passing of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, I share with you a Gallup poll: 45% of Americans think doctor-assisted suicide is morally acceptable and 48% say it is morally wrong.  Move over gay marriage and abortion, here is the next culture war issue.  Why?  Watch what happens when healthcare services start getting rationed to save costs.
Too bad the boys club in DC will scuttle Elizabeth Warren’s bid to run the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  This is all too reminiscent of when Greenspan, Rubin, and Summers shut down Brooksley Born who tried to place regulations on derivatives during the Clinton administration (how did that work out for us…See CDO), and the constant battles that FDIC chairwoman Sheila Bair faced against the financial sector and its champions in DC. 
Sarah Palin back on Fox News Sunday with her 80’s big hair, cross (must have returned the Star of David) still clueless as ever.  She threw some buzzwords about Quantitative Easing and money supply, fact is she is probably the most ignorant person ever to hold office or to seek higher office.  Ever notice she talks and talks and doesn’t say anything and then she stops abruptly like a school kid winging their way through their answers to the teacher’s questions.  Drivel Baby Drivel.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Shmendriks on the right of me Meshuganas on the left

I think I am the sane one.
Exhibit One: No one knows the sex of Storm Stocker a 4-month-old baby from Toronto. Only the parents, midwives and two older brothers have ever peeked beneath the diaper. That's because his -- or is it her -- parents, Kathy Witterick, 38, and David Stocker, 39, want to raise their child genderless.  What the heck is genderless?  Memo to these Canadian Crackpots, gender is hardwired, you don’t discover it.
Exhibit Two: The Christian Coalition’s Queen of Crazy Michelle Bachmann: "I am convinced in my heart and in my mind that if the United States fails to stand with Israel, that is the end of the United States . . . [W]e have to show that we are inextricably entwined, that as a nation we have been blessed because of our relationship with Israel, and if we reject Israel, then there is a curse that comes into play. And my husband and I are both Christians, and we believe very strongly the verse from Genesis [Genesis 12:3], we believe very strongly that nations also receive blessings as they bless Israel. It is a strong and beautiful principle."  Wow!  A member of the U.S. Congress and potential candidate for President is guided by the Old Testament and not the rule of international law.  And they say Obama is Un-American.
Exhibit Three: Republican controlled states of South Carolina, Oklahoma, Georgia, Texas, and Kentucky have undertaken significant prison reform to reduce costs and reduce crime.  The law and order crowd have finally seen the folly of unnecessary incarcerations when for the last two decades crime rates have fallen and yet prison populations have risen. Well sort of.  In the same week that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that California needed to reduce its prison population prompting conservative judge Antonin Scalia to call it a ‘judicial travesty’.  Kudos to these state leaders for realizing that possession of five grams of marijuana shouldn’t warrant prison time.  As Pat Nolan, former Republican legislator from California who served prison for racketeering turned prison minister said “we build jails for people we’re afraid of, and fill them with people we’re mad at.”
Exhibit Four: Republicans are already running that the President’s $787Billlion 2009 Stimulus plan was a failure because unemployment is still at 9.1%.  Perhaps we would be better off, if the plan wasn’t diluted with $200Billion in Republican mandated tax cuts.  Also, between March 2010 and March 2011 over 300,000 public sector jobs have been eliminated as $200Billion in states’ funding in the stimulus has run out.  Without that funding, we would have hit 14% unemployment.  Oh by the way, the massive tax cut just signed in December 2010 will cost $858Billion, $70Billion more than the stimulus, and is likely to produce zero jobs.  Tax cuts don’t work, yet Republicans still convince people that they do. 
Exhibit Five: FiFA, the international soccer body re-elected Sepp Blatter to another four year term in spite of rampant bribery and corruption.  It seems Blatter was cleared of any wrong doing by the internal ethics panel he created.  Come again?  Wow we thought Congress was corrupt and working  a fixed game.  I guess that’s why the Soccer body awarded future world cups to Qatar and Russia and stiffed the U.S.; we aren’t nearly corrupt enough.  Hmm, anyone wonder why Americans hate international soccer?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Around the globe in a daze.

The Parents Television Council ripped cable channel BET and Rihanna for the video for her new single ‘Man Down’ that features the pop star shooting a man in cold blood.  Get real people.  Have you seen what’s on TV, at the movies, and inside your kid’s Xbox? 
The odds of a Greek sovereign debt default are steadily growing and now are on par with the odds that Lindsay Lohan will have a drink sometime.  Moody’s downgraded Greece to Caa1 from B1, putting it on a par with Cuba, and strangely the fate of Greece lies in the hands of German Chancellor Angela Merkel as the preponderance of bond underwriting is provided by the Germans.  At what point do you reach the conclusion you throwing good money after bad? 
Speaking of bond ratings, Moody’s also warned BoA, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo that they could be facing a ratings hit because they will no longer have the backing of the U.S. Government thanks to the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act.  Withdrawal of Federal Government support has been hanging over the banks since TARP.  In related news the Manhattan District Attorney will be subpoenaing Goldman Sachs for its role in the financial crisis and whether it was party to a conflict of interests between bank clients and hedge fund managers.  Why should we are about these stories?  Because, it actually shows government agencies showing balls and the ratings agencies getting out of bed with the banks. 
The California Medical Board says it will revoke the license of the Beverly Hills fertility doctor who helped "Octomom" conceive eight children. A six-person panel of the board ruled Dr. Michael Kamrava "did not exercise sound judgment" when he performed the embryo transfer in July 2008 on Suleman, a single mother of six existing children.  That’s an understatement.  Strangely, they can revoke a doctor’s license a lot easier than firing a bad teacher. 
Listened to about 15 minutes of Boston Sports Radio this afternoon and I can tell you I don’t miss it.  The whining and bitching about Bruins’ coach Claude Julien is embarrassing.   The man has taken a team of blue collar overachievers to the Stanley Cup.  What’s he need to do, don a filthy hoodie and illegally tape another team’s practice?
By the way, do you want to know how big the Boston Bruins are in this country?  Nationally, last night’s Stanley Cup Finals Game 1 drew a 3.2 overnight rating and 6 share, the highest ratings for a Stanley Cup Final Game 1 since 1999, which featured the Stars and the Sabres and it marked a 14% increase over last year’s Game 1 between the Penguins and Blackhawks.  What’s even more impressive for NBC, is the ratings do not include the Vancouver market which watches the game on CBC (Canadian Broadcast Company).  Oh yeah, it was a great freaking game too.
Congratulations to Sukanya Roy, 14, of South Abington Township, Pa., wins National Spelling Bee after successfully spelling cymotrichous.  Don’t ask me what the heck it means.
The deadly outbreak of a new strain of E coli in Europe has killed 18 people, sickened more than 1,600 and spread to at least 12 European countries since early May.  The trouble is European officials haven’t yet pinned down the source of the deadly E. coli infections. Raw cucumbers, tomatoes and leafy greens have been implicated in the outbreak, but it remains unclear how the vegetables became contaminated.  And with this news, parents hope to get their kids to eat their veggies went out the window.