Saturday, December 31, 2011

As we lower the curtain on 2011...

I leave 2011 with some more of the impudence, impertinence, and irreverence:
San Diego State University and Boise State University will be joining the Big East Conference in 2013.  No wonder American kids suck at geography.
Today’s 24/7 news cycle and political pundits can make or break a candidate in 2011 faster than a real crisis; might as well have Simon and Paula become political analysts.
To those Obama 2008 supporters thinking of backing Romney, you need to ask yourselves why you supported Obama to begin with, because Romney is more like McCain than Obama.
If I am President Obama I discover my emotional intelligence side and start connecting with folks.  The emotional aspect of voting decisions cannot be underestimated.
If vaccines can make you retarded, then Michele Bachmann’s supporters remain the most inoculated demographic in America.
While America focuses on the presidential election, the Walker recall election, likely in May or June, will provide some potential insight into the national landscape.
With all of the campaign and Super Pac funding available, residents in Ohio, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana, Colorado, and other battleground states will be getting bombarded with campaign ads.  MTV’s Jersey Shore may be more appealing.
Speaking of Jersey Shore, another season starts on Thursday.  Not since the Olive Garden commercials has TV done more to damage perception of Italian Americans.
Thought your 401k took a beating in 2008?  Imagine what will happen with “Ladies and Gentlemen President Ron Paul”.  Markets don’t like uncertainty and they hate crazy.
A final 2011 reminder that Bowles-Simpson failed to be approved by the bipartisan private/public committee thanks greatly due to Republican congressmen Hensarling, Camp, and Ryan.
Once more Hillaryites, she won’t be on the ticket for 2012.  Give it up and come to grips with the fact she is a damn fine Secretary of State but WON’T be VP.
Ryan Seacrest, Carson Daly, and Dick Clark hosting ABC’s New Year’s Eve show.  Never mind water boarding; that is some serious torture.
I guess I missed the exceptionality of Warhorse.  A very good movie, but I didn’t feel it.  And who names a horse Joey?  What about Rusty?
Ron Paul wins the Iowa caucus; Mitt Romney declares victory.
….and coming in 2012 more political, socioeconomic, sports, current events and entertainment news and analysis.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Assessing the Presidential Field

Ron Paul:  Says he is a libertarian and the defender of freedom.  Yet the man who would legalize drugs opposes abortion.  So the crack pipe is the symbol of freedom but the uterus is government property.  Mr. Paul espouses a U.S.  Global disengagement when the world is hyper connected.  If isolationism sank the USSR 20 years ago, what would happen to the U.S. today?  Finally, Dr. Paul believes in delegating federal power to the states.  With state fiscal situation direr than the federal situation, delegating responsibility to the states will be the quickest way to kill any hope of education, welfare, and healthcare reform.  Paul is the perfect candidate for 1781 to promote the Articles of Confederation; he is the most out of touch in 2012.
Rick Perry: If it were not for Mitt Romney, Rick Perry would be the poster boy for flip flopping.  The man has moved all over the map on immigration reform depending on the various reactions of debate attendees and his poll numbers.  This week alone he has changed his abortion position twice to try to out-conservative the conservative standard bearers Santorum and Bachmann.  Never has one man squandered so much going for him: jobs record in Texas, two term governor, no moral baggage, an understanding of immigration, and big funding in an attempt to become President.
Newt Gingrich: The man was briefly at the head of the pack due to the anti-Romney movement not buying into the Ron Paul Libertarian views and not believing Perry, Bachmann, or Santorum could win a general election.  With respect to ideas, Gingrich has some beauties: taking over the judicial branch by subpoenaing judges whose judgments he disagreed with, appointing John Bolton Secretary of State, space based laser systems (atmospheric Maginot line), and establishing a 2nd class of citizens comprised of long term undocumented church going workers.  For a man as prolific at writing, Newt is a lazy candidate; the man couldn’t even get on his home state ballot.
Michele Bachmann/Rick Santorum: The nuttiest of the right wing nut jobs; anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-education hypocrites.  Santorum served the people of Pennsylvania when he voted for the budget busting spending spree during the Bush years and yet still calls himself a conservative.  Bachmann has singlehandedly ruined the reputation of the House Intelligence Committee.  The woman claims to be a constitutionalist and yet has no idea what the document stands for, let alone anything about our nation’s history.  These people are fundamentalists and fundamentally dangerous.
Jon Huntsman: The darling of the professional left because he is educated and compared to his competition, he is socially liberal because he acknowledges climate change.  Fact is, Mr. Huntsman is socially and fiscally conservative and his fiscal plan is more tax cuts and less regulation.  We tried that before and what we ended up with is S&L failures, Long Term Capital Management meltdown, and the Great recession of 2008.  Governing Utah is not the same as governing the U.S.
Mitt Romney: I believe Mitt is a decent man and if my business was looking to maximize shareholder value n the short term without any consideration of employees I would hire him.  That does not make him a good Presidential candidate.  He is a politician who has shifted to the right to appeal to the right tilting see-saw that is the GOP.  What we he do as President?  Who knows?  Part of me thinks he could be socially progressive like his time as governor of Massachusetts, but part of me also worries he is too tight with the pro-business get rich quick schemers.  I can’t take that chance.
So I am back to President Obama.  Is he perfect?  Far from it.  He lacks the emotional intelligence found in great leaders (Bill Clinton oozed the stuff), as does Romney, and he is less transformational than I hoped.  Could he have done more to help the economy?  Perhaps.  But his window to make the necessary changes was limited to the first two years before the GOP made its mid-term gains.  He chose to come up with a middle of the road stimulus to appeal to Republicans that got him nowhere and he expended his personal capital on Healthcare reform.  At the end of the day the political formula would have been to go big on the stimulus and table Healthcare reform.  But he didn’t and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is not perfect, but he did get it enacted when all others have failed.  At the end of the day, assuming it survives judicial review, the ACA will be hailed as major progressive success like the Social Security Act and Civil Rights Act.  When it’s all said and done, he is still the candidate I will back.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Random Thoughts from a Vacation Day

If Islamic martyrs do go to paradise to be with 72 virgins the twisted part of me hopes it is 72 Justin Biebers singing Baby in a nonstop loop.
People are upset that the Saints rolled up the score last night against the Falcons so that Drew Brees could break a record.  Hey Falcons fan, if you don’t like it, tell your team to stop them next time.
Did I miss something?  I keep seeing these adds about some doomsday event happening in the U.S. as predicted by the same guy who called the GM and Fannie/Freddie collapses.  OK it’s December 27th and the clock is running dude.
I hear the Muslim Brotherhood Super Pac’s are doing a number on the secular liberal candidiates in the Egyptian parliamentary elections.
Tonight was supposed to be Trump Debate.  I guess I will settle for watching One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Love the Karen O, Atticus Finch, Trent Reznor cover of Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo opening credits; a perfect Fincher opening sequence.
Gary Busey withdraws his endorsement of Newt Gingrich and instead says he will wait until there are only two candidates.  How Palinesque.
Tewbowites are calling for a boycott of HBO (I guess that means subscription cancellation) because the self-procalimed atheist tweeted last Saturday "Wow, Jesus just [screwed] #TimTebow bad! And on Xmas Eve! Somewhere ... Satan is tebowing, saying to Hitler "Hey, Buffalo’s killing them”.  Hey cancel your subscription because the network cancelled “How to Make it in America”, not over some tweet.  Grow up.
2011 recap: Most inaccurate quote Sarah Palin to Chris Wallace "I know my American History."
105 women Kobe?  Jesus, how many of Wilt’s records are you trying to break?
Unsung Democratic political hero for 2011? Harry Reid.  His use of the pocket veto provided much needed cover for President Obama by preventing many potential tricky pieces of legislation from ever getting to the White House.
Saw the movie trailer for Ghost Rider II, starring Nicholas Cage.  I know that movie isn’t necessary, but come the fuck on.  Why?
And another thing, 21 Jump Street starring Jonah Hill?  Seriously who is green lighting these movies?  Maebe Funke could make a better movie executive.  (Reached for that reference…anyone anyone?)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Things that make me go huh, holy cow, and WTF

·         Skaneateles High School (NY) cancelled its winter ball to stop students from grinding on the dance floor.   Sorry school officials, Footloose and Dancing with Your Hormones can neither be stopped nor contained.
·         Fort Worth pastor Greg Beutel’s car was badly damaged when a street light fell on it.  When seeking $2,000 of compensation from the city, the city denied the request citing “It was an act of God”.
·         Top three most annoying verbal fillers from Marist College: whatever, like, and you know.  Or as many Gen-Y’ers call it speech.
·         Hackers from China illegally accessed the massive lobbying group The U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Ironic that a group of political hacks were hacked.
·         Attorneys for Pfc. Bradley Manning claim their defendant’s superiors are the ones to blame because they failed to revoke his security clearance even though he had been demonstrating ‘uncontrollable behavior’.  That may be true, but it’s your client who stole classified material.
·         Former NYU professor Jose Angel Santana is suing the school claiming he was fired for giving actor James Franco a ‘D’ in his “Directing the Actor” seminar.  Irrespective of the circumstances of Mr. Santana’s dismissal, can we agree that James Franco is an above average actor, a shitty student, and an awful Oscar host?
·         I love listening to the social conservatives like Bachmann and Palin go on about how the Pilgrims left England to escape religious persecution to come to America to be free.  They will then segue into the secular liberal war on Christmas.  Yet it was these 17th century freedom seeking ancestors to the founding fathers Puritans who made it illegal to celebrate Christmas.
·         If Twitter was around in 1739, here is the best tweet ever.  Benjamin Franklin on Christmas “O Blessed Season! Lov’d by Saints and Sinners/For long Devotions, or for long Dinners.”
·         I am sure Gingrich, Santorum, Bachmann, and the rest of the homophobic right will blame the LGBT community for this.  Only 51% of Americans 18 years or older are married, down from 75% just 50 years ago. 
·         Sad but true research data: nearly 1 in 5 women claim to have been rape or sexually assaulted, while 1 in 4 women report having been beaten by a boyfriend or husband.
·         Compensation for the S&P 500’s CEOs was up by a median of 36.5% in 2010.  McKeeson CEO John Hammergren earned a paltry $145million in 2010.  Yes, by all means let’s give these poor SOB’s more tax cuts.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I found a few things underneath the Christmas Tree

Our leaders can come up with a long term Fiscal Stability Act that includes $3 of spending cuts for every $1 of revenue  increases without choking off recovery.
Our leaders come up with a long term energy plan that includes the safe and environmentally sound extraction and refining of natural sources here, as well as development of future renewable sources, while limiting our economic, political, and security dependency on Middle East sources.
The people of Israel and its leaders realize that further antagonism and unilateral actions against the Palestinian Authority and the rest of the world may win a skirmish, but will lose the public opinion war and eventually lead to economic suicide.
Europe’s leaders and its central bankers achieve stabilization of its banks and its sovereign wealth funds.  The new globalized world will sink into a deep recession if the Eurozone fails to achieve stability.
Liberals and Progressives realize that the numbers don’t add up and that Medicare and Social Security changes are required.  Also, punishing the wealthy may feel good, but it cannot solve our fiscal issues.
Conservatives realize that taxes must go up and that those at the top will get hit with higher marginal rates on income and investments and the loss of some deductions.
Neocons realize that Defense Budget is the biggest piece of the spending pie and therefore must be the biggest source of cuts.
That Americans realize that the $15Trillion debt number is money ALREADY spent.  You cannot cut the debt unless you narrow then eliminate budget deficits.
Healthcare reform will happen and guess what, there will be rationing.  Demographics, limited supply, and limited resources guarantee it will happen.
There will be increased violence in Iraq, and President Obama’s removal of U.S. troops will be blamed.  Fact is, Iraq is tribal and was only governable by a tyrant.  Joe Biden’s assessment that perhaps Iraq is really three nations (Sunni, Shia, Kurdish) may not be so far off. Look what happened to Yugoslavia?
The harder the Tea Party pushes its candidates to primary against incumbent Republicans could open the door for several Democrat opportunities.  Watch what happens in Indiana, Arizona, and Massachusetts to name a few.
Immigration reform will only happen when a method and process is in place for the undocumented to become citizens while securing the flow over our border.
Those that supported the Patriot Act and now complain about airport search methods: you get the government you deserve.
At the end of the day: No business or government lets a crisis, real or imagined, go wasted.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Stocking Stuffers

Better than Hanes and tube socks
President Obama will defeat Mitt Romney 310-228 as the President offsets the losses of Indiana, Ohio, New Hampshire, and North Carolina by carrying the battleground western states of Nevada, New Mexico, and Colorado while holding onto Florida, thanks Rick Scott, and Virginia.
The Republican nomination picture will appear be cloudier at the end of January than it really is.  While Rom Paul, Mitt Romney, and Newt Gingrich will all claim victory during the early contests, Romney’s war chest, organization, and party backing will win the war of attrition long before the Florida convention.
Al-Assad will not be in power for long in Syria and neither will Saleh in Yemen.  Egypt will compete its parliamentary elections and then the battle will ensue as the military will resist giving up any control while the Muslim Brotherhood fights a two front battle with the military and the militant Salafists. 
The Netanyahu government in Israel will continue to be a disservice to the people of Israel as its anti-Palestinian policies will further isolate Israel. 
Sadly the U.S. news media will pay more attention to the Kardashians, American Idol, Justin Bieber, J-Lo, and other celebrity bullshit instead of covering critical issues like education, the environment, voter suppression, and poverty.
Things will be looking up in Arizona in 2012 as Jon Kyl retires and America’s Worst Sheriff Joe Arpaio resigns in discgrace.
The Supreme Court will uphold the Affordable Care Act while striking down key provisions of the Arizona anti-immigration law, also known as SB-1070.  The rationale will be based solely on precedence for the former and the constitution for the latter.
The U.S. economy will chug along at 2-2.5 % GDP growth while unemployment hovers around 8.3%;this is in spite of strong economic headwinds form the Eurozone recession.
What won’t happen:  Criminal charges against any Wall Street or GSE executives for their part in the financial collapse of 2008?
Turkey will be the most significant party in the Middle East with respect to containing Iran and brokering the leadership of transition in Syria.
Tiger will win the Masters, the Saints will win the Super Bowl, the Angels will win the World Series, the Heat will win the NBA title, the Bruins will win the Stanley Cup, and at least 10 professional athletes will get charged with a violent crime.
Hollywood will continue to make big budget comic book based films written by teenage boys on an iPad.
I will continue to mock, snark, tweet, blog, comment, challenge, argue, and debate with the usual concoction of sarcasm, cynicism, realism, optimism, and secularism.
…and to all a good night.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Some Hanukkah Kvetching

1.       News anchors that hold iPads and stand in front of the camera to look hip and in touch.
2.       College football teams with 6-6 records making it to a bowl game.
3.       Debate formats that aren’t debates but beauty pageants; debates involve one on one intellectual competition.
4.       Calling Bradley Manning a victim
5.       Ignoring the fact that one man, Manning, was able to access and steal such delicate information
6.       Commercials that include bastardizing Christmas Carols (bad enough) with awful lyrics (Most wonderful sale of the year)
7.       Lazy people who can’t walk 20 feet to put their shopping cart into one of the many available receptacles in the parking lot
8.       Talk shows with more than four people in the roundtable. 
9.       News talk shows that don’t report anything new.  (Maddow is the exception)
10.   Weather reporters (can’t even call them meteorologists) who insist on telling us the temperature in every city and town within the viewing area.
11.   Waiters who ask me if I want ground pepper on my Caesar Salad before I’ve tasted it
12.   Those come to the Gulf advertisements sponsored by BP.  “Yeah we poisoned the area but c’mon no harm, no foul”
13.   Flight attendants that make Nurse Ratched look like Florence Nightingale. 
14.   Media outlets that give Donald Trump the time of day.
15.   A national culture that shuns individual responsibility, eschews compromise, embraces the zero sum game, and craves the need to place blame.
16.   Ill prepared political talk show hosts who don’t challenge guests when they either lie or refuse to answer the question asked.
17.   Professional Progressives who are disappointed in President Obama and say they won’t support him like they did in 2008.  That’s like Cubs fan suddenly becoming a White Sox fan.  Yes, I am talking to you Oprah Winfrey.
18.   National Presidential Polls that don’t mean anything thanks to the Electoral College.
19.   Pop music and the death of the long playing concept album.
20.   Liberals that can’t come to grips with spending cuts and conservatives who can’t accept tax increases
21.   Citizens United and Super Pacs; officially making elections a spending race.
22.   Mock outrage fueled by Fox News and MSNBC when an off-color comment is elevated to racism, sexism, etc.
23.   Solicitors standing outside supermarkets.
24.   Overt voter discrimination and suppression
25.   Claims of War on Christmas when Christmas music is being played in public as early as October.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

President Obama's Leadership Grade

The Republican attack machine has so little to go after President Obama with, they are using the trumped up allegation and charge that he has failed as a leader.  Chris Christie, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and all of the GOP Presidential hopefuls lead the charge claiming the President has demonstrated no leadership in dealing with the economy, Iran, China, and a whole slew of other topics.  Granted, most of this is simply political posturing and grandstanding, but it begs the question: “What makes a good leader?”
When we hear leader we typically rattle of heads of state, businessmen, sports coaches and stars, and military men.  You know who I am talking about: General George Patton, Abraham Lincoln, Henry Ford, Vince Lombardi, etc.   But what makes them good leaders?  I have studied leadership traits and theories and I tend to assess the relative strengths of leaders using the criteria established by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner in their landmark book: The Leadership Challenge.  Derived from years of research and thousands of interviews and analysis, the authors distilled their findings into five key leadership traits:
1.       Inspire a Shared Vision
2.       Challenge The Process
3.       Model The Way
4.       Encourage the Heart
5.       Enable Others to Act

Here is a fair and balanced assessment of President Obama based on this criteria.

Inspire a Shared Vision: Inspiring a shared vision takes more than flowing speeches and soaring rhetoric.  It is also not to be confused with demagoguery such as the cases of Hitler or Mussolini.  Inspiring a shared vision involves getting intellectual and emotional buy-in from one’s followers.  FDR’s address to the nation after the Pearl Harbor attack is a classic example of inspiring an entire nation to sacrifice and support the war effort in any number of ways or means.  But what of President Obama?  Clearly, Candidate Obama was able to inspire the young to mobilize on his behalf and the moderates to vote for him based on his vision of transparency and no more business as usual in DC.  But President Obama has struggled here at times as it is difficult at times to put a hand on what he truly believes and unlike FDR he has been unable to inspire the people during difficult times.  His landmark legislative achievement, Healthcare Reform remains only tepidly popular.  I give him a B- here.
Challenge The Process is about rejecting the status quo.  It is about not accepting the old paradigms of how things need to be and it often requires flying into the headwinds of general beliefs and popular opinions.  Harry Truman ordered the Armed Forces to desegregate a decade before the Civil Rights Act was approved.  Similarly Mr. Obama has reversed this nation’s course on DADT by signing its repeal and he has vowed not to enforce DOMA.  While he has struggled to inspire citizens with respect to Healthcare Reform he has accomplished something that all of his predecessors failed to do.  Further, his doctrine of building international consensus and collaboration is a major shift in U.S. policy of unilateral action; which in the long run will benefit the U.S. financially and diplomatically.  On the downside, we are still facing the same old mess in Washington of partisan politics, opaque transparency, and special interests domination.  I give him a B.
Model the Way is about setting a high standard of performance honesty, and ethics that others will see as the gold standard and yearn to achieve.  It is simply walking the walk and talking the talk.  Now many will point at The President’s smoking habit as setting a poor example and hardly the stuff of modeling the way.  However the real evidence lies in the administration itself and how it acts.  After nearly three years, this administration’s biggest failures have involved the Solyndra and Operation Fast and Furious debacles.  In comparison to the previous administration, not the greatest example of executive performance, this administration is nearly perfect.  No terrorist attack, Iraq war fiasco, Katrina debacle, and financial meltdown.  Thousands of lives and trillions of dollars makes Solyndra and Operation Fast and Furious look like boogers.  Further, this administration has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to any degree of impropriety, all of which results in an A- grade
Encouraging the heart embodies making others feel important about what they do by creating a sense of optimism.  This is not about cheerleading, but getting others to go above and beyond the call of duty.  The downside of No Drama Obama is he can be too cool.  No doubt, he has some folks in his administration that would run through a wall for him. But I don’t get the sense that President Obama can encourage like candidate Obama in 2007.  That being said, I think he has encouraged people around the globe to seek a better life and that his refusal to back Egypt’s Mubarak sent the message that America stands with liberty and freedom seekers.  I give President Obama a B.
Finally, enabling others to act is not just delegating, but providing the necessary physical and emotional support for them to succeed.  Next to encouraging the heart, enabling others to act is often overlooked as a leadership trait because it requires the leader to check his ego and let others take the lead.  The best example of this can be found in President Obama’s handling of the Libya crisis.  The U.S. led the creation of the coalition and the endorsement from the U.N leading up to hostilities.  Once the kinetic phase kicked in, it was the U.S. providing necessary logistical and technology support for NATO and the Arab League.  This represents a new chapter in U.S. history: going it alone can be lonely, but getting others to act is priceless.  To this I give the President an A-.
The composite leadership grade for President Obama is a B+.  How does that stack up to other Presidents using the same criteria?  Here are a few other scores:
George W. Bush: C-
Bill Clinton: B
George H.W. Bush: C+
Ronald Reagan: A-
Jimmy Carter: C
Richard Nixon: B-
JFK: A-
Harry Truman: B
FDR: A

So with all due respect, none, to the Obama haters, you’re wrong.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chanukah Chommentary

How would the nation react to a Cinderella Muslim quarterback who thanked Allah for his team’s success and his physical skills?  What if he placed an Islamic prayer rug behind the bench to thank his God at the end of the game?  I am pretty sure he wouldn’t end up in any Lowe’s commercials.
Speaking of Tim Tebow, America’s favorite religious nut bag, Pat Robertson was railing on SNL for its Tebow satire.  Robertson went on to describe a war on Christianity.  Yeah must be that same war tied to Lowes Home Improvement Stores pulling its sponsorships from the 700 Club’s All-American Christian.
As expected Asian markets were spooked following the death of North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Il as the one certainty in finance is nobody likes uncertainty. 
Staying on Kim, did you happen to see that GOP Presidential candidate and every student’s best bell curve buddy Rick Perry referred to the deceased dictator as Kim Jong the Second?   The man makes Michele Bachmann look like a Rhodes Scholar.
The Arab League is sending in its Syria team in on Thursday.  No word if Hank Williams Jr. will be singing the opening credits theme song.
A Ukrainian man faces potentially serious consequences including caning after being charged for allegedly groping a Singapore Airlines flight attendant last month on a Moscow-to-Singapore flight.  Imagine that, a man could get caned for Cane-ing.  Herman lives.
Tonight Florida International University and Marshall are playing in the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl.  Beef O’Brady?  Is that how far we have fallen in the Bowl naming rights competition? 
If the GOP nomination were like the BCS, Romney would be the SEC Team and everybody else is Boise State, Oregon, or Oklahoma State.  Except for Jon Huntsman, he would be the team from the Big East that has no shot.
On this, the first night of Hanukkah, I hope the people of Israel come to their senses and replace the Netanyahu government.
As Russia descends into third world status, shouldn’t it be forced to give up its permanent Security Council seat? 
Nothing is as hilarious, maddening, pathetic, embarrassing, hateful, and ignorant as the comments in news posts or social network sites.  That’s not elitist talk, that’s just an educated person’s opinion.
May your latkes be firm, your dreidel always come up Gimel, your gelt be plentiful, your candles be dripless, and your Manishewitz Concord Grape be Cakebread.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Wrap Up

I think it’s disingenuous for Bradley Manning’s defense team to claim he did what he did because of his homosexuality and the pressures of DADT.
Greatest thanks a nation can give its troops is to never elect a government that uses this precious resource frivolously and flippantly.
European nations will have to decide if the environmental concerns associated with hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, outweigh dependence on an ever growing nationalistic Russia for natural gas.
Tim Tebow is an average quarterback at this stage of his career.  What he lacks in experience and skill, he makes up with in heart, desire, and courage.  Will he get better?  Absolutely.  But it is premature to anoint him to the same class as Brees, Rodgers, and Brady when he has yet prove he is in the same class as Rivers, Stafford, Bradford, and Fitzpatrick.
Republicans can’t keep saying things like regulations are killing jobs without citing and quantifying which new regulations are actually killing how many jobs. 
I think it’s funny and sad that George W. Bush and the GOP could run in 2004 on the premise that under Democrat control we would be less safe, but President Obama cannot run on how bad things would have been without the stimulus and auto bail out.  Reminder: the GOP was in control during both 9/11 and the financial crisis of 2008.
I really liked the Barney Frank and Robert Reich vs. Paul Ryan and George Will debate today on This Week.  I did lose count on the number times Team Republican was unable to cite any examples to support their argument when challenged by the Democrats.  Yep sounds like the GOP alright, talking points and no facts.
Tea Party darling South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is taking a beating for endorsing Massachusetts individual mandate creating Mitt Romney for President. 
But who is the real Tea Party candidate?  Gingrich?  He was a lobbyist.  Santorum?  He was in office during the borrow and spend days of the in 2000-2004.  Bachmann?  Her family business and farm receive tax payer subsidies.  Perry? Check out the size of the Texas state government.  Huntsman?  He is strangely the most fiscal conservative of the candidates and no one is even listening.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sheriff Joe Arpaio: America's Biggest Threat to Democracy

America’s toughest sheriff:
·         Arpaio fired his two top aides: Chief Deputy Dave Hendershott and Deputy Chief Larry Black, both of whom have been accused of crimes and misconduct.  Hendershott was an Arpaio favorite and from 1996 to 1999, Hendershott's salary doubled, from about $60,000 to $120,000. In 1999, Arpaio allowed Hendershott to quit, begin collecting a pension of $51,000 annually, then get rehired to his same position at the same $120,000 salary. Four years ago, Larry Black took a $386,000 one-time pension payment, retired, and was rehired as one of Arpaio's top aides. Can you say double dip?  Conclusion, there is no way Arpaio was unaware of his top deputies actions. 
·         Failed to investigate sex crimes.  His MCSO allegedly botched more than 400 sex-crime cases, including some child molestations with victims as young as 2. In many cases, after taking the initial report, sheriff’s deputies failed to do much else -- even when an alleged victim knew the suspected attacker.  Why?  Did investigating sex crimes divert precious resources from his headline grabbing crime sweeps?
·         A three year DoJ investigation wrapped up this week concluding Arpaio’s department committed a wide range of civil rights violations against Latinos, including unjust immigration patrols and jail policies that deprive prisoners of basic Constitutional rights.  This is why the state’s SB1070 anti-immigration law was so heinous and threatening.  In essence that law would have legalized Arpaio’s anti civil-rights crusade.
·         Due to his actions and the DoJ findings, Arpaio has lost funding and authorization from the Department of Homeland Security.  Meaning, his misuse of funds, betrayal of trust, and violation of civil rights will likely lead to some very dangerous smugglers escaping detection.
·         Arpaio and former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas have been subject to a grand jury investigation regarding abuse of powers and witness intimidation in an ongoing farcical tax payer money wasted series of lawsuits and counter suits.
Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Hey Rick Perry congratulations on your endorsement from Arpaio.  You did as nice a job vetting Perry as McCain did on Palin.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Nights in White Satin Sheets to the Winds of Change

·         I miss Christopher Hitchens.  An original
·         Excuse Hollywood Foreign Press:  How do you ignore Melissa McCarthy, Friday Night Light’s Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton, Breaking Bad and it’s co-stars Aaron Paul and Giancarlo Esposito, Justified and its dynamic stars Timothy Olyphant, Walton Goggins, and Margo Martindale?
·         Kobe Bryant getting divorced, pending approval by NBA Commissioner David Stern
·         Loud mouth opinionated hockey commentator Mike Milbury has been charged with assault and battery on a child after an incident at a pee-wee hockey game.  It seems Milbury’s boy was roughed up and dad stepped in.  Not many people will be shedding  a tear about Milbury’s predicament.
·         The Securities and Exchange Commission sued six former Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives on Friday for misleading the public about the mortgage giants' exposure to risky subprime mortgages as the housing bubble deflated.  That’s a start.
·         Ancient Mayan doomsday countdown is underway. Experts say the date is the end of a cycle of 5,125 years since the beginning of the Mayan Long Count calendar in 3113 B.C.  December 21, 2012 is when the earth ends.  If Gingrich ever gets elected President, we may go Mayan
·         The island nation of Samoa will not have a December 28 as it switches to the other side of the International Date Line to move closer to Australia, its primary trading partner.  This would mess up my DVR big time. Meanwhile in the U.S. our legislative branch is only capable of naming post offices.
·         Penn State coach Joe Paterno testified during grand jury proceedings earlier this year that "(he) knew inappropriate action was taken by Jerry Sandusky with a youngster".  I am dying to know what transpired during the top brass meetings at PSU and how they rationalized the cover-up.
·         A two month extension of payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits has been negotiated by Congress.  Keep kicking the can Congress.
·         Only Michele Bachmann could get a “Pants on Fire’ from Politifact on her statement that she got a 100 % true by the very same organization when in reality she had a “Mostly True” and “Pants on Fire”  She is pathological.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Anti-Hypocritical Oath

1)      You can’t say you are for holding people accountable and then not criticize the terribly flawed execution of the Fast and Furious operation
2)      You can’t say Bill Clinton cut and ran out of Somalia and not do the same about Ronald Reagan after he hurriedly withdrew our troops from Lebanon.
3)      You can’t hammer the George W. Bush administration for its methods prosecuting its war on terror and then give President Barak Obama a free pass
4)      You can’t call out the current administration for spending if you were silent during the Republican borrow and spend administrations of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush
5)      You can’t be a Red Sox fan and charge the Yankees with trying to buy a championship
6)      You can’t be ‘for the troops’ and then boo a gay soldier
7)      You can’t be a Christian and then applaud when someone dies on a hospital gurney due to lack of health insurance
8)      You can’t say you love the Constitution and then tell someone to shut up when you don’t like their message.
9)      You can’t tweet via your iPad that capitalism is evil.
10)   You can’t say fracking is safe, then refuse to drink tap water
11)   You can’t call the senate rules antiquated and then filibuster a proposal to change them
12)   You can’t be for a balanced budget amendment and not honor mandatory sequestration cuts.
13)   You can’t say you believe in the right for people to be free, and then criticize President Obama for not propping up Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak.
14)   You can’t be pro-life while idly watching children starve to death.
15)   You can’t complain about cheap Chinese made products while shopping at Wal-Mart.
16)   You can’t oppose legalization of marijuana while you pop another Oxycontin
17)   You can’t call yourself Holy Father after covering up decades of physical, mental, and sexual abuse of children.
18)   You can’t bitch about OPEC while driving around in your Hummer
19)   You can’t say you are for small government and then support DADT and DOMA.
20)    You can’t support Arizona and Alabama anti-immigration legislation while using undocumented workers to build your new patio.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesdays with Diggie

Trump cancels his debate aka the chat.  Did taste and professionalism win out over sensationalism and Bull shit?  Did the fact that Gingrich and Santorum said yes make them look desperate or diminished? 
Ever notice when Ron Paul gets excited he gets that high pitched squeal and sounds like ex-Colts Head Coach Jim Mora?  “Playoffs?”
Remember a few weeks ago when the media reported that our drones had been hit with a virus that was capturing and logging all of the drone operators key strokes?  With two drones going down in less than a week, are we seeing the results of a cyber-attack?  Or is it some kid playing Call of Duty?
The rate of mysterious explosions in Syria and Iran has been increasing over the last few weeks.  Is it the Israelis, Americans, or both conducting covert operations against the regime?  Probably, but you see Mitt, Newt, Rick, and others, there called COVERT operations because you’re not supposed to let the other side know what you are planning.  Children.
What will be the political impacts of the Supreme Court rulings in 2012?  The Affordable Care Act and the federal suit against Arizona and its anti-immigration SB1070 law are on the docket.  If President Obama and the federal government to prevail in both cases, would he see a boost in his approval rating and voter support?  What if he loses?
Keystone XL pipeline project is neither the job creator the proponents claim nor the inevitable environmental disaster its detractors claim.
I believe come November there will be at least four names on the top of the Presidential Ticket: Obama (D), Romney (R), Paul (L), and Bloomberg (AE).  This will further enhance President Obama’s chances, but it could also cost the Democrats in the other races as the multiple rightist candidates could yield high Republican voter turnout.
House Majority Leader and perpetual whiner Eric Cantor (R-VA) killed the Louise Slaughter (D-NY) sponsored Stock Act in committee.  The STOCK Act would have made it illegal for Congressmen to practice insider training.  That’s why Eric gives me the creeps.  By the way the Bill has 180 co-sponsors.
Syracuse Men’s basketball is ranked #1 in the country.  And that’s not why they’re in the news.
Mitt Romney is so desperate for good news out of Iowa, he travelled to Otumwa to get Walter ‘Radar’ O’Reilly’s endorsement.
Yo Herman Cain, how you don’t write anymore?
I really hope Ron Paul visits the baseball field in Field of Dreams and is inspired to go the distance.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Mishegas: December 12, 2011

·         Just because I don’t drink the Tim Tebow Kool-Aid it doesn’t mean I am anti-Christian.  I only want to know why he gets all of the love for basically doing what Mark Sanchez has been doing?
·         You can disagree with the President’s policies, but you should never negligently challenge his patriotism.
·         You cannot support a balanced budget amendment and then ignore an agreed upon deficit reduction plan (pssst that means you. Yeah you congressional Republicans)
·         Bachmann opposes Wall Street Bailout and financial reform.  In other words we should accept systematic financial failure over and over again.
·         Newt Gingrich is definitely the quickest and snarkiest of the GOP debaters.  Making him a great candidate and a shitty President.
·         As great as President Obama’s national security team has performed, his justice and economic teams have been commensurately mediocre.
·         After President Obama wins re-election he needs to replace Geithner, Holder, and his economic team.  In fact he may have to do something before next November.
·         Why is the income redistribution that occurs when the rich get richer and no one else does called something as innocuous as The Free Market but when someone proposes to rebalance the rules it is evil?
·         How many jobs has small business owner and hedge find manager John Paulson created?  First 5 guesses don’t count.
·         Latest GOP Governor approval ratings (cue How Do You Like Me Now?)
o   Rick Scott (FL) 26%
o   Nikki Haley (SC) 34%
o   Scott Walker (WI) 42%
o   Jan Brewer (AZ) 42%
o   John Kasich (OH) 38%
o   Rick Snyder (MI ) 19%
·         The attacks against TLC’s All-American Muslim by reactionary ignorant interests led by the Florida Family Association have led some significant American iconic firms to pull their advertising.  While Lowes, received most of the press others including Bank of America, Wal-Mart, McDonald's and General Motors have also fallen in line.  Ignorance may be bliss but stupidity is contagious.
·         And I leave you with movie updates with GOP candidates: