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.

Thoughts on the State of the Union Address

The President characterized the Trans Pacific Partnership as “Americans writing the rules.” It would have been more accurate to say corporations writing the rules. I did like how he dealt with Republican clapping when he announced that he’d run his last election. I wonder if maybe he didn’t ask Senator Franken for some tips on dealing with hecklers. Here’s somebody who actually knows something about economics talking about some of the President’s tax ideas. I do hope his college proposal doesn’t just extend the time when youngsters have the security of not having to necessarily have any skills.

The Republican rebutting the President (whose voice I find patronizing and annoying, but that’s on me) called Keystone XL a “jobs” bill when it is nothing of the sort. And once more I ask: if this stuff is so great and it’s going to create so many jobs, how come the Canadians are letting us ship it here rather than processing it there?

On good and bad habits: it’s apparently easier to do yoga while sober (I’ve never done it drunk, so I don’t know); thinking and doing; America isn’t the only nation that has a racism problem; healthy eating tips; avoiding salt doesn’t necessarily have to be one of those tips.

In Closing: fair housing and Ferguson; sensible; pointlessly gendered; 100 students; not a bad simplified explanation of how viruses work; the boy who rode his bike; and exploding kittens.

But What Would be the Point?

Wednesday, I thought I’d put up an open letter to the President to the effect of “Hey, listen, America needs you to be a grown up when Congress inevitably sends you piles of doggie doodoo.”

But, as my title says, what would be the point? He not only hasn’t delivered on a bunch of things he said were important, he’s outright backtracked on some of them. I don’t see him leading on curbing unconstitutional surveillance — in fact I see government agencies wanting more power to trample my rights in their quest to find mostly imaginary terrorists. I don’t see Gitmo closing. I keep hearing about job creation, but then I keep seeing homeless guys on nearly every major corner. I don’t see things getting better for Joe Average. TPP hasn’t been crushed under the threat of veto by the President of the United States. I guess at least there are attempts to whittle down Too Big To Fail.

So that’s where I’ve been all week, mentally at least.

The Town that Dreaded Shorties

Dinosaur Mystery: This huge-armed dinosaur is stranger than imagined.

Underwater Mystery: Amazing shipwreck pictures.

Women’s Issues: OTC birth control pills?

Obama: Apparently somebody else realized that the guy is a tweak to the right of Nixon. Oh yeah, and how dare he actually work with others around the world rather than just telling them all how shit is going down because we’re America and we know best.

A few random food and diet items: milk; resistant starch; sweetened soda isn’t just bad for you, it’s bad for your chromosomes.

Taking care of business: some of the oldest operating businesses in the world; and the history of money.

Halloween is coming: and that means sexy costumes are coming for no good reason.

Mormons: They would like us to know that it’s not really magic underwear.

Some random economy items: rent is going up faster than wages; wealth is growing faster than income, too; and of course that assumes that workers are being paid at all.

I hope nobody is surprised: banks behaving badly.

And check out some new music: Mixtress B.

Only Shorties Left Alive

Ok, I know why some of you are here: to get your sweet sweet dose of NSA links.

Turns out not: There’s no shortage of STEM workers. There may, however, be a shortage of STEM workers who want to work for crappy wages.

Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me: Which of these inventions is likely to be fake? Two teenage girls invent new bomb detector that could revolutionize getting around their home town, teenage boy makes browser plugin that allows you to see who a politician’s major contributors are with a simple mouse-over, or Egyptian military invents a gadget that can detect AIDS and Hepatitis C without taking blood samples? Regrettably, I cannot promise that Carl Kassel will record your voicemail message.

Sick of Politics and November is So Far Away: Pelosi thinks immigration reform is now a longshot (because hey, we can’t have a Democratic Kenyan President signing that into law or something). Republicans don’t like it when President Obama does things that President Bush and President Reagan did frequently. Maybe Senator McCain shouldn’t talk about ISIS anymore. And the Koch agenda.

A Couple Items on Abortion: Southern Beale points out that abortion restrictions don’t keep women from getting abortions, just from getting safe ones. And someone I’ve not had the chance to link to in a long time, MahaBarbara on “What If Banks, Not Abortion Clinics, Needed Buffer Zones?”

Have you ever wondered what these signs mean?: In short, the higher the number, the more dangerous it could be.

I’ve said it before: In areas where schools push the high school start time back, student traffic accidents dropped 70%. Oh yeah, and their grades improved.

Have you read this one yet?: It’s been making the rounds, just want to make sure everybody’s seen it.

And finally: A gun safety ad that doesn’t involve a made up tragedy.

I’m not actually an optimist, but I play one on the Internet

The problem with the unexpected is that, well, it’s unexpected.

A decade ago, some guy was running for Senate in Illinois as a Democrat. I’m not sure anybody thought he had a chance — after all, he’d already lost in a bid for a seat in the House — until the unexpected happened. In this case, details about the divorce of the front running Republican from his very pretty actress wife happened to be disclosed by the courts to the Chicago Tribune. And the details regarding his sex life were absolutely devastating.

The end result of this *ahem* unfortunate turn of events is that the Republican candidate was replaced by someone deemed “more electable,” and the underdog Democrat went on to win a seat in the Senate. Just a few years later, that man went on to become President of the United States.

So, when Serious People say that a Democrat’s only shot at winning is “a Republican screwup“, remember that stranger things have happened.

A quick break: To bring you a metric ton of NSA and NSAreform” and Ed Snowden and NSA related items.

And, In Closing: on the Class of 2014; someone noticed; given up; most popular Google searches by state; and ironic photos.

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.