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.

Mama Economy

Remember Tay Zonday? He’s back, and he understands economics.

In Closing: Autopsy; Castro; Google thinks I’m a dude too (clearly I need to search more for shoes and makeup); Just for fun, read the first paragraph to somebody before telling them it’s Bob Dole; Because surely her hair is more important than anything else; Okay, maybe that’s a problem; and have a great weekend.

Oh Sharron.

I hate to waste a lot of space on a Senate race, but this is Harry Reid we are talking about. Since he is the Majority Leader of the Senate, and it is polite to say that our other Senator is “embattled,” this is a big deal.

Senator Reid’s opponent, Sharron Angle, has really been saying some interesting things.

I think the most mind-boggling thing she has said is that the “Reid agenda” violates the First Commandment (that’s Commandment, not Amendment):

And these programs that you mentioned — that Obama has going with Reid and Pelosi pushing them forward — are all entitlement programs built to make government our God. And that’s really what’s happening in this country is a violation of the First Commandment. We have become a country entrenched in idolatry, and that idolatry is the dependency upon our government. We’re supposed to depend upon God for our protection and our provision and for our daily bread, not for our government. And you’ve just identified the real crux of the problem.

Now, for context, she did say this on a Christian radio show. Her comments were intended to reach a very particular audience: one that takes the Bible very literally. Ok, literally except for the keeping Kosher part that is outlined later in the book of Exodus. It would be interesting to know when she last fed the hungry, gave water to the thirsty, clothed the naked, invited in strangers, looked after the sick, or visited those in prison.

But somehow she seems to think — and since this was all said during the primaries, I am inclined to think it’s pretty close to what she does believe — that Social Security Insurance payments, Unemployment Insurance payments, and the like are causing the “half” of all Americans who “aren’t paying taxes” treat the Federal government as a god. Right. Because taxes don’t buy things like roads, which are enjoyed by the rich and the poor alike. And nobody ever pays [attention to the fact that they pay] for Social Security and Unemployment Insurance right out of their paychecks.

Nor is Sharron alone in this strange train of thought. Her communications director just the other day released a statement saying “Only the supreme arrogance of Senator Reid would believe that he has a divine right to rule over mere mortals by ramming through Obamacare, billions in reckless spending, and yes, buying cocaine for monkeys.”

Cocaine for monkeys?? What?? Can we please have a reference on that so we know what the heck he’s talking about?

Sharron also thinks that the Federal government should have no say in what any schools teach, private or public. Does that mean she wants to see an ending for abstinence only sex ed? Well, no. Then what does she mean? The the Feds can’t insist that schools teach reading, writing, and math, or any other set of critical must-know things that employers and communities expect high school graduates to know. Oh, and she thinks your preacher should be able to tell you who to vote for (despite the church’s tax exempt status and the First Amendment). Oh and one more thing, she thinks gays are icky. No, she didn’t really say icky, only that they don’t deserve the protections of law.

But let’s not forget her most recent embarrassing moment, a moment so bad a Fox News reporter laughed:

We needed to have the press be our friend…. We wanted them to ask the questions we want to answer so that they report the news the way we want it to be reported.

Sorry Sharron, Senate candidates don’t get to spin the news whatever way they want it. Ones who want to get elected answer the questions that voters want answered. Maybe Steve Wynn could convince reporters to only ask what he wants to answer, but you can’t.

No wonder Harry’s looking a lot better in the polls than he was mere weeks ago. I sure do hope my neighbors don’t actually elect her!

In closing: On Social Security and Medicare; Is the Fed using phony numbers (why would they switch to the real ones now?); Goldman says “Ok, we’ll follow the law” (how nice of them); Kagan‘s in; new efficiency standards will save you money while helping the environment (and hey, somebody’s gotta build this stuff); on wage cuts (really, only feasible if we have mortgage cuts, but hey); Uh, Mr. President? Employers are doing just fine shipping jobs overseas without your help! (whose side are you on??); a true comic; and a funny baseball card.

Candidates “R” Us

Lisa Benson

Today I’ll be doing a little follow up on Tuesday’s Nevada Primaries, specifically the Republican nominees. If you aren’t curious about who Harry Reid is running against, scroll down to In Closing.

Harry Reid will be running against Sharron Angle, who has been endorsed by at least one “tea party” group. But it seems that some of the stances that got her that coveted support might not sit too well in the general election. Her website has been cleansed of some of her more… controversial positions. Apparently the teaching of phonics is way too hot an idea to be confessed now. But she also thinks the Department of Education should be abolished, so who exactly will be insisting on phonics at the Federal level? She also ran for the nomination on saying global climate change is a hoax (tell it to a Las Vegan this week, honey), “free market” retirement alternatives should replace Social Security (maybe some sort of defined benefit pension plan?), we should drill everywhere, to hell with regulation, and she’s eligible to have a concealed carry permit. How impressive.

So, did the GOP discuss these minor changes to her site for greater electability, or did a brain cell go off in her campaign headquarters?

Meanwhile, voters in the Northwest side of Las Vegas have the opportunity to vote for incumbent Dina Titus, or challenger Joe Heck. Dr. Heck is an ER Doc who did a tour in Iraq and therefore thinks he has all the answers to our healthcare, economic, and security problems. As I’ve mentioned before, Vegas is a mighty small place when it comes to our medical community but I don’t know the man. Even though we have a Republican Governor, Dr. Heck brags about having the endorsement of Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney, the Governors of 2 states that are not Nevada. Heck had originally planed to run for Governor himself, so it’s quite understandable that he doesn’t exactly have Jim Gibbon’s backing. His platform seems to be classic Reaganomics: “a fair and predictable tax system and the elimination or reduction in some taxes, including estate taxes and long-term capital gains taxes, to encourage business growth. He argues for bringing back manufacturing jobs to bolster the economy, too.” No word on how to bring back those jobs. A really big lasso, perhaps? You can read a lot more about his views in this interview, which shows that he has a remarkable amount in common with Ms. Angle.

The more radical elements of the Republican party might have started as a made up movement, but it’s gotten momentum of it’s own. In the words of Pearl Jam, “Oh, but we unleashed a lion.”

In Closing: It is surely a sign of the apocalypse that I mostly agree with Glenn Reynolds, but he’s not the only one who wonders if “everybody ought to go to college” is what we really ought to be telling high school students; Massachusetts health insurance reform win and fail; bankruptcy filings back up to pre-“reform” levels; why the economy isn’t getting better; do negative calorie foods exist?; Afghanistan is now officially the longest war in American history; on teaching and poverty among children (who, you may recall, don’t have jobs and aren’t really responsible for their own poverty, conservative think tanks notwithstanding); the good news is there will be 400,000 new jobs driving trucks in the next 18 months, but the bad news is those jobs will be as long haul truck drivers; terrorists don’t even need real bombs anymore; don’t buy something just because the lady in the vitamin store says it’s good for you (pro-tip, do research at home, heavy on scientific papers as references, and take a written list of what you want!); economic opposite day; good advice; Congress can’t be bothered to make sure your Doctor gets paid properly; as if you didn’t know that retirement savings were endangered; on metabolic syndrome; on solar power; and it turns out that GTA doesn’t corrupt every soul that plays it.

Wake-Up Call

Wake up call! Come home from the polls
With another one in my Senate!
Don’t you care about Ted anymore?
Care about Ted? I don’t think so!

No 60 votes, health care bill in trouble
So I had to shoot it dead.
Won’t come around here anymore.
Come around here… I don’t feel so bad!

Yesterday, everybody went crazy trying to figure out what went wrong and what was going to happen next. So what went wrong? You can’t blame it all on Coakley’s terrible and tone-deaf campaign as much as some people would like to. The party has to take some blame for not delivering on very darn much.

Very interesting that all of a sudden today, we are talking about financial services reform. The administration spent a year playing nice and begging the banks to do likewise, and now we’re playing hardball. Go figure! My theory is that it’s a combination of quid pro quo (they didn’t do their part towards making sure that seat went to a Democrat, any Democrat), and a desire to at least appear that they are finally going to protect the American people from the predatory financial services industry that has been robbing the economy blind.

So, let’s hope the Democratic party takes the situation in Massachusetts for what it is: a wake-up call. They have 10 months to get their act together! That means doing The People’s Work, and not just for show.

In closing: reasons profiling won’t catch terrorists go beyond Tim McVeigh; don’t feel too bad about your house’s value, even the White House lost value last year (hold the jokes about the President, please); better shoelace tying; and giant cattle.