5 Things Happening that are More Important than Cliven Bundy




Ok, the Bundy thing is still going on, and I do appreciate that it’s a local news story with national coverage. Not sure why anybody cares who says what about him on Facebook. However, while all of us are watching the circus, here’s 5 things we’re not paying attention to:

The President is in the Far East trying to get the TPP rammed through. Never mind the fact that it’s bad for most people.

Did you know that Afghanistan had a presidential election? Abdullah Abdullah faces a run-off, but he may well be the next Afghan head of state.

Iraq is having an election too. It’s this coming week. They also have some unrest ahead of the event.

Issues are not resolved in the Ukraine. Yeah.

Meanwhile in the United States, severe weather blows. Yeah, ok, bad pun.

And a bonusThe FCC wants to “save” Net Neutrality by destroying it.

All this and two new Saints in the realm of Catholicism. Even elections in far-flung lands probably have more bearing on you than the actions of one Southern Nevada rancher. But no, we prefer to hear about some guy who wants to let his cows wander his neighbor’s property without paying for the privilege.

Music Monday: How To Lose A War


I was reading the news over the weekend when I happened upon this Reuters story:

Four soldiers belonging to the NATO-led force in Afghanistan were killed by insurgents during an operation on Sunday, while a fifth was shot dead by a security guard over the weekend in the country’s south.

Of course I am saddened that at this late date, we are still generating dead soldiers in Afghanistan. But I have one question: Why do a bunch of armed soldiers need security guards? 

The answer of course is that these days, we hire contractors to do all kinds of things on a military base: build things, maintain things, serve food, and apparently provide “security” to men with guns. Back in the old days, these are all things that were done by men and women (ok, mostly men) in uniform. For example, the Seabees. Their motto is still “We Build * We Fight.”

Instead, we now have a large complement of civilians who must be defended in a war zone. At least if the camp cook was a soldier, he could use his knife against an attacker on base just as easily as against a potato. Can you imagine General George S. Patton marching the Third Army 60 miles in 2 weeks with a bunch of Sodexo employees in tow? Neither can I.

Outsourcing is officially interfering with the ability of our Military to function in an actual war.

In Closing: Ok, here’s your assorted links on the government shutdown, the impending debt ceiling battle (Yoohoo Yoho! Making our bonds worthless would not help world markets!); ain’t that the truth; some obligatory NSA items; most of the time that would be a crime; the War on Drugs has been lost; school anti-bullying programs often have the opposite of the intended effect (how about the adults insist on everyone treating people with respect instead of some fancy-assed program?); don’t forget that the Supreme Court goes back to work today, shutdown or no; and I couldn’t make it up if I tried, Thanksgivukkah.

Quite Possibly the Most Offensive Christmas Song Ever

Don’t play it if you don’t have a sense of humor. Don’t play it if you don’t want to hear “bad words.” You probably shouldn’t play it at work.


In Closing: the choice to fail; the majority of Americans want common sense; tweeting pope; and you thought American banks were bad; on the economy; explaining Iceland; let me save you some reading; NDAA sucks and the new version is no better; “And when a story has enough obvious holes in it that small children roll their eyes, its literal truth is going to be a tough sell”; all the econo-talk you can stand in one place; on Grover Norquist; avoiding the cliff; and the smartest thing I ever read about small business taxes is “My company and my competitors never made a decision based on taxes.  They made decisions incorporating what the tax structure is because we can’t change it.”

The Shorties Inside

Japanfilter: Mt Fuji is at risk of eruption.

Expect Republicans to call for NASA spending cuts in 3…2…1….: NASA explains the last decade.

A few items on Employment, Unemployment, and Job Growth: Why have millions of Americans given up looking for work? Why mostly young people? How many jobs do we need to create each month to keep up?

No kidding: Prince Harry is considered a high value target.

Did you know we had one?: Las Vegas Chinatown.

Hold your nose and vote: Amen Jill.

No argument from me: Unlike most “liberals” and “progressives,” I’m not a fan of gun control. After all, the Founding Fathers who wrote the 2nd Amendment overthrew the government. Money quote: “The real point is that gun control fails because gun control laws are only effective against law-abiding people.”

Well, something is repressed: a quick quiz.

Empty Apology: Yeah. Just trying to help. Sure. I hope a real woman runs against her using this as ammo.

The Italians Noticed: The right to vote is imperiled in America.

One Miiiiiiiiiilion Dollars! Muahahahahahahahaha!: That’s what Larry Flynt is offering for Rmoney’s tax returns. Heck, I wonder if that’s enough money for Ann Romney to send them in.

Why was it there in the first place?: ~21,000,000 compromised medical records, 54% due to stolen computers, including laptops where the data should NEVER have been in the first place.

Mental Health Parity: What if we treated every illness the way we treat mental illness?

And Finally: Fireflies.

And Now for Something Completely Different: A “Life Well Lived” Special Post

Ok, I know this isn’t what most of my readers are used to. If it isn’t your cup of tea, I bet you can find the “In Closing” bits in their usual location at the end.

I’ve been asked by the nice people at BlogHer (see that banner ad over there? Great!) to write a post on “How do you care for your hair in the colder, drier months?” If you would like, go take a look at the official tips first. Back yet? Great. Add your comments here for a chance to win $250.

So what do I do about my hair? The sad truth is “not much”:

  • I make sure I don’t go too long between hair appointments. A lot of bad hair days are caused by split ends and growing out of a good trim. I know it’s tempting for a lady to grow hair out over the winter, but that’s only a good idea if you love ponytails… Every. Single. Day.
  • I already live in Vegas, where it’s “drier” most of the time. There is no substitute year round for a quality everyday conditioner, and perhaps a weekly deep condition. My hairdresser insists I need a leave-in, and I admit that helps on days where my hair is fighting all efforts to be combed.
  • Again, this is one I can only get away with because I live in Vegas. Never ever do this if you live someplace it freezes in winter. I am lousy with a hair dryer, so I just don’t use one! I just “gel, scrunch, and go.” As a result, I don’t have to deal with heat damage.

So no, I don’t do a lot special on my hair in winter. My skin is another story! I get very dry skin, and I have a strategy to deal with it. Of course, it involves a moisturizing sunscreen on my face. It also involves a good quality moisturizer on my hands and legs. But there’s more: my daily supplements include fish oil and Vitamin D (which I’m not getting through sun exposure); and quality anti-aging products selected with the help of a physician.

In Closing: yeah, we’ve really made things better for Afghan women, not! (I particularly like the line about “Shockingly” this is common!); using “facts and logic” — I  know the bumper sticker says that should confuse a liberal like myself — to prove CRA didn’t cause the housing bubble; How to talk to people at Thanksgiving who are likely to have read “How to talk to a Liberal, if you must” and other family members; the new poor; maybe they liked the scenery; the banks finally stole too much; police bust down the door and kill the dogs… over a stolen Xbox that wasn’t even there (ya know, I bet Microsoft would have gladly told cops what IP address it was on!); as usual, Dave Johnson is long-winded but correct (I’d add “water and sewer” to his list); Grayson is hilarious (and knows the Bible); and Shatner on Turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Ignore Them

I am completely disgusted with pretty much all politicians, and even more so with politicians that try to position themselves as “I’m a [insert noun] first, not just another politician.” Those ones are dangerous because half the time they don’t understand what the heck they are dealing with. I’m talking to you, Dr. Joe Heck!

I’m tired of politicians who think we can balance the budget without increasing taxes.

I’m tired of politicians who think we can balance the budget without addressing our 2 1/2 wars.

I’m tired of politicians who think that just because I’m not 55 yet, I just need to kiss Social Security goodbye.

I’m tired of politicians who are so ignorant of history that they think there can be a “private sector” solution to Medicare.

I’m tired of politicians who use the phrase “death tax,” when only a few thousand people will ever pay it.

I’m tired of politicians who use coded words to whip the ignorant into a frenzy. (“Domestic enemy”? Why not just call him Satan or the Anti-Christ? What a shame that you really mean he’s an “uppity ******”!)

And most of all, I’m tired of the other politicians who won’t call them out on this nonsense. Don’t even get me started on the media that lets them lie on the air and call it the truth.

Go ahead. Close down the government. Do it! Do it right at “tax day” and completely screw yourselves.

In Closing: defense; a man and his boat; two takes on dessert sushi; WHY??; if you won’t stop for humane reasons, or justice reasons, how about fiscal reasons?; about time; I like Kathy; it’s all about cheap labor; gaming inflation through housing prices; if you haven’t heard about the real Tea Party yet, watch it today; resist BAMTOR; I knew this would happen! Throw the book at them!; and a picture of a random cat. If anybody knows the source, put it in comments so I can attribute it:

International Women’s Day

Maybe I’m not the world’s best feminist. I believe that if I do the same work as a man to the same quality, there’s no way in hell I should earn less money than he does. I believe I should have the right to go where I please, do things that are legal, and manage my life without requiring the input or protection of a man. There are differences between men and women, and that doesn’t make either one superior. Nevertheless — despite my failure to stop shaving or do any other stereotypical radical feminist things — I couldn’t very well let the 100th International Women’s Day go by without any comment whatsoever. President Obama celebrated by making March Women’s History Month.

We’ve still got no woman President — nor even really a candidate I can vote for without serious reservations. This is despite the fact that many other developed nations have managed to have female rulers. Maybe next generation.

We’re still fighting and re-fighting very basic battles on women’s issues — and family issues! — as if the last 50 years never happened. Women‘s and worker‘s rights are being pushed back in some cases 100 years. All the things both men and women cherish — safe workplaces with sane hours, voting, control over our own persons, control over our finances — are under fire. Women may catch the worst of it, but men and women need to work together to overcome the class warfare that is actively trying to turn our nation into a haves and have nots society.

At least we can say women have it better here in the United States than in Afghanistan or Egypt.

In closing: ayatori; 4 Wall Street time bombs; Romneycare doesn’t work; probe Scott Walker good; bait and switch; if the Federal Budget is such a mess, start by defunding this crap!; resveratrol; and a delightful Chinese prospective on Charlie Sheen, reminding us that his father used to be the President. On TV, anyhow.

Wouldn’t that be nice?

Taken at Clark High School in Las Vegas.

In Closing: Foreclosure mess (update, Bank of America has halted all foreclosures nationwide); new 300 year old Vivaldi concerto; progressive agenda; we have to be better; I hope the FDIC bankrupts these [redacted]; always check your work; on Afghanistan; 30% of unemployed have been out of work for at least a year, and the number of jobs in the economy went down last month (no wonder bankruptcies are up); good idea; speaking of food stamps; “none of the above“; new style CPR; sometimes it’s how you say it; and cell phones don’t and can’t cause cancer (“physics shows that it is virtually impossible for cell phones to cause cancer”).

Oh and one more thing! Surf over to Vegas Video Network to see my new show later today!

Senate Republicans Acting Like Toddlers

Or, Senate Decides its Just Fine to be a Wholly Owned Subsidiary of the Fortune 500 and Special Interests.

Seriously. The Senate voted 57 to 41 on largely party lines to defeat what Harry Reid called “a bill whose principles both parties once supported and that 9 in 10 Americans want us to pass,” despite the fact that none other than the Supreme Court encouraged Congress to clarify the law on required disclosure of political donations.

Color me disgusted. They are in effect saying “NO! I want candy for dinner and you can’t stop me!”

Now don’t get me wrong, I think the disclosure requirements shouldn’t have loopholes for the NRA or unions. Then again, I honestly think you should have to demonstrate that you can actually legally vote for a candidate to give them money! Still, this act was a lot better than nothing. And as for Senator Snowe’s criticism that it was written too fast? How quickly she forgets how fast the mammoth pile of legislation known as the PATRIOT Act was passed. Where were her objections to swift legislative answers to problems then? Oh yeah, buried under a blanket of largely unfounded fear that the terrorists were going to try to get us again any moment now.

Got a Republican Senator? Remember come November.

In Closing: Goldman shows us where the money went; next time somebody talks about how great it would be to gamble invest Social Security money in the stock market, remember these 10 stock market myths from, of all places, the Wall Street Journal; No, I do not want bacon in my martini!; Susie‘s right again; “The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction says the US Department of Defence is unable to account properly for 96% of the money.”; employees becoming as mercenary as their bosses (no wonder); housing consolidation; “Document Leak May Hurt Efforts to Build War Support” (no really? D’ya think??); open letter to Lindsay Lohan from the ACLU; Angle Update; health insurance and small business; and a pile of big yellow dinosaurs that won’t die.

The Shorties Saga: New Moon

Merry Zappadan: It has been brought to my attention that Zappadan began last night. Felicitous greetings those who celebrate, and of course the admonition to dance like a fool and not eat yellow snow.

Can’t He Eat Dinner in the Toilet? Geez!: That is what some ignoramuses are really saying when they tell a lactating mother to go nurse in the bathroom. Get over your bad selves; the original purpose of breasts — God Given if you believe in God — is to feed babies. Why don’t you go eat dinner in the toilet?? Now that being said, most mothers try to be discreet: they nurse at home before going out, they use modesty covers, they pump. But **** you if you disagree, anyplace it’s ok for a baby to have a bottle, it’s ok for him to eat the all natural diet that was intended for him.

Banks do as they please, we pay the fees: 6 more bank failures yesterday. That brings us to 130 for the year and no sign of slowing down in 2010. But the surviving banks aren’t accountable to their customers — an obvious breach of free market thinking, wherein banks that screwed customers should be the first to fail as we take our business elsewhere. Instead, they have to be “pressured” to do the right thing, and “regulated” to keep them from screwing us harder. We can’t just take our business elsewhere because either our small local bank will fold and be sold off to Faceless Conglomerate Bank Co or our mortgages will be bundled and sold piecemeal to them. And while it’s easy to say “I’m not doing business with Chase, close my credit card account and move my checking account”, it’s hard if not impossible to control who owns your mortgage. How nice that B of A suddenly has the money to rid itself of its largest and most meddlesome investor. Since when doesn’t the Fed have the ability to regulate them anyhow?

Say goodbye to all this, and hello to oblivion: (obligatory) Escalation in Afghanistan is teh win… for the bin Laden anyway. Heaven forbid we should learn from those who tried to fight “the good war” there before us.

It’s the Jobs, Stupid: The people want to go to work. They want to work more than they are worried about the deficit or much of anything else, and that’s actually kind of smart: you see, working people pay more taxes than those who don’t work! If we don’t get these people jobs, we risk losing the middle class altogether. (Yeah, I know I swore off HuffPo, but it’s Elizabeth Warren). Here’s a handy fact sheet.

Obligatory Health Insurance Reform Roundup: Remember, if the insurance companies want it, it’s probably bad for consumers — and that’s what Forbes says! Women have unusually high stakes in this thing. Poor Aetna having to cut all those customers so they can remain fabulously profitable! And remember that when they talk about “cost controls” they aren’t talking about controlling your premiums, but rather what your doctor and hospital gets paid. Oh, and this clip, wherein Shatner wishes the Vulcan neck pinch and mind meld were real… and that Nimoy were standing behind his guest.

Why Police Confiscations Must Be Further Regulated: “We think your passenger is a hooker so we’re taking your car… Oops we’re mistaken, you owe us $1400 to get your car back!”

And Last: A handy Wall Street to English translator.