Wacky Democrats

So today I received a “One question poll” on which Democratic accomplishments make me the most proud. Let’s examine these a little more closely.

Health Care Reform: You mean Romneycare 2.0? I concede that Obamacare is an improvement over what we had. However, it still “fixes” the problem by forcing us to do business with the very profitable corporations that got us into this mess. I’d feel better if there were a public option. I’d feel a lot better if there were some concession that kids can’t control coverage: they don’t have employers to provide it and they don’t have a way to make their parents able to afford coverage. Don’t tell me this can’t be fixed, because Howard Dean DID. By the way, it’s not in any way health care reform, but rather health care insurance reform.

60 Straight Months of Private Job Sector Growth: Tell that to JP. If the there’s so much job growth, how come there’s no wage growth? How come Forbes has to promise it will start any minute now? How come underemployment is such a huge problem?

Rescuing the Auto Industry: Yeah, I guess they did that. Of course the corner that used to have a HUUUUGE Chevy dealer in town is now a vacant lot.

Reforming Wall Street: Big reform. Now the bankers have to be more careful how they screw you. Too Big To Fail still exists, banks still only follow their own rules, very few corporate criminals have ever even been charged let alone convicted, and the attempts to water down an already watered down law continue.

Historic Action on Climate Change: Really? Activists had to work too hard to kill Keystone XL, the gas industry still markets itself as “clean,” and we’re all excited about a “target“?

Expanding Equality: I have not the faintest idea what they’re talking about.

So six items, all but one done at best halfway. I am not proud at all.

In closing: my mom would have liked that manager; still an awful idea; not all ideas are equal.

America the Beautiful

So, I got an email from “the White House” titled “Protecting one of America’s most beautiful places”. It included a link to this item on protecting the Arctic Refuge.

I immediately thought of another beautiful thing in America I’d like to see protected: The Bill of Rights, specifically the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. That is, our right to make phone calls and drive around and carry cash and use computers and read library books without being tracked as potential criminals by our own government.

A Follow Up: Heh yeah, like Uber cares about the law!

In Closing: At least “that librul commie Muslim Kenyan” has brought down the deficit!; changes how I see dating websites; heh; polls are funny; getting nervous.

Music Monday: “$50 for a T-Shirt??”

I thought the song was great. Then I saw the video.

In Closing: Sprint sucks and other reasons not to trust the GPS; Mexico City; that could be bad; shaving is officially no longer a “feminist” issue; on margarine; Colin tells it how he sees it; and this is how cold it is in Vegas today.

Hope?

It’s June, and I’m already really tired of the 2012 election season: delegate shenanigans; voter suppression (oh the irony of toting out the GOP’s token black man for this!); shoddy fact-checking; shoddy spell checking; fear mongering; birtherism; austerity. Blah! Some people are asking — and reasonably so — whether it’s even possible to have a constructive campaign this year.
But two things have me thinking that there may be a ray of hope. Maybe 2012 is doomed, but there’s signs that we may at some point in the future be able to talk reasonably about political issues, and maybe even find middle ground in the obvious places.
First, it looks like the IRS will actually be enforcing long-ignored rules about churches getting involved in politics. Nobody says your preacher can’t have an opinion and can’t have a political bumper sticker, but he’d better not preach that if you vote a certain way you risk eternal damnation. Damnation!!
Now it looks like the GOP is actually trying to get back to basics with people who  “stressed the need to work with Democrats to get things done in Washington.” Younger politicians who say stuff like “I think the government, again, should get off your back, out of your wallet and away from the bedroom.”
I sure hope that works out.
In closing: salt; stranger danger has gone too damn far; it turns out that unlawful intrusions are unlawful; is anybody surprised to learn that Facebook ads don’t work? Anybody? Bueller?; Fail; childhood poverty; don’t fight the ocean, it will win in the long run; too much of a good thing is bad; and anger management.

Things I Learned from the President

Nixon:

  • It’s possible to proclaim innocence too much.
  • Clean air and water are good things.
  • Chinese food is tasty!

Ford:

  • Be Careful!
  • Sometimes success is stepping up when you happen to be in the right place at the right time.

Carter:

  • It’s possible to be a good man and not-so-good a President.
  • Telling people the obvious won’t make you popular. Sometimes they just don’t want to hear it.
  • Being too diplomatic can backfire.

Reagan:

  • Sometimes a pithy one liner is the best “argument.”
  • Don’t lose track of reality when you are negotiating.
  • Call it “supply side” or call it “trickle down,” it still doesn’t work.
  • Tell an outlandish enough lie, and somebody will call you on it.

Bush 41:

  • Don’t make a pithy one liner you can’t keep.
  • It doesn’t pay to lose track of the little people and their concerns.
  • If you feel sick, you shouldn’t go out.
  • It takes a lot of skill to pretend to not know something that theoretically should have been discussed with you in the room.
  • You’re never too old to do something fun just because you want to on your birthday.
  • All your sons can’t grow up to be “the smart one.”

Clinton:

  • Take credit for things you do — or good things that happen when you’re in charge.
  • Do your dry cleaning promptly.
  • Sex with the help is a bad idea.
  • If someone wants to hurt you bad enough, they will find a way.
  • Just because you walked to McDonald’s doesn’t mean a cheeseburger is good for you.
  • Repeating one meme over and over is almost as good as a pithy one liner.
  • Don’t lose track of the important stuff. Stand your ground when it’s important.

Bush 43:

  • There are no Illuminati.
  • People will do almost anything if it’s for “safety” and “security.”

Obama:

  • We can elect a black man President and still have a big race problem.
  • “Liberal” and “Conservative” have changed so much that we call Mr. Obama a Liberal despite the fact that he’s well to the right of Mr. Nixon.
  • We really do have a plutocracy.

Technically I was alive during the Johnson Administration. I don’t remember any of it.

In Closing: death penalty; Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill isn’t over yet; Hurricanado; Women’s Equality Day; the sad state of humans when it comes to searching; terrorism since 9/11; this could be part of the illegal worker problem; school quality; why The Steve resigned now; debt; decoding book reviews; the role of metabolism in weight loss; Cheney takes credit (bet he never travels outside the country again); and Chemistry.

Shorties Horizon

Dead Zombie Horse: a few thoughts on health insurance reform. And Immaculate Infection.

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree: you make a fine fish habitat.

Laughing all the way to the bank: Only $3 billion? Pshaw! Let me get my checkbook.

Speaking of Banks: FDIC may sue executives of failed banks to try and get some of their money back. Oh and if we won’t do anything about too big to fail, Europe will.

Just Call Him Phoenix: a real life superhero in Seattle.

Nice: The Westin St. Francis washes every coin it receives.

Nuts: the rift between environmentally conscious Christians and nutjobs who think Jesus will just fix the environment.

The Dude Abides: Well no, it’s really just Jeff Bridges.

Obligatory January Weight Items: most Americans think their weight and dietary habits are just fine, thank you. Here’s the 8 worst diet and fitness fads of 2010. And for the motivated, a kick-start workout guide (don’t forget to eat healthy foods in moderate quantities!)

On Poverty: officially and in reality. At least it’s creating jobs at Dollar General, for what it’s worth.

Nevertheless: I hope you never need to know this information.

On Republicans: Go ahead and read the Constitution. How do they get away with telling the same lies so much we start to believe it’s true? Three Cups of Tea (tell ’em, Howard!). Hey big businesses, what laws do you want to not follow anymore? Guide to Governance. The sane people are concerned. And an open letter.

On all the other parties: Ha! Seriously though, I’d like to see a big, televised debate between party leaders of all these “third parties,” live during prime time. It would be a great laugh (have you ever read some of the published party platforms??), and the few good ideas will get picked up by someone who can run with it.

Delicious: Bison.

Oops: I mean oats.

Immigration Reform: it’s more complicated than putting up a fence.

Images: ranging from merely amusing to mind-blowing.

Welcome to 2011.

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.