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.

Gridlock and Opportunity

The next session of Congress is either going to be complete gridlock, or an era of great bi-partisanship. I say this based on this chart from Nate Silver. In case you’ve forgotten, that’s Nate “the man who got all the numbers right when everybody else got them horribly wrong” Silver:


Let me point out the obvious. It takes 218 votes to get most things done in the House of Representatives. Neither the mainstream Republicans nor the Democrats (with or without the Blue Dog crowd) have those votes. The Tea Party has become a de-facto third party. To get anything done, there will have to be a coalition and/or a compromise: either between the two parties, or with the Tea Partiers. This should be obvious to both Mr. Boehner and Ms. Pelosi. The President already said it out loud. As Mr. Silver points out, on this and pretty much every bill in the next session, Mr. Boehner “will need to win the support of at least some liberal Democrats. And a bill that wins the support of some liberal Democrats will be an even harder sell to Mr. Boehner’s Republicans. For each vote that he picks up from the left, he could risk losing another from his right flank.”

Nobody knows if the glass is half-empty or half-full. Was Mr. Boehner’s ill-named “Plan B” a symptom of his increasing irrelevance, or an attempt to enter a Post- Norquist political world? Will the 113th Congress be a more sane and bi-partisan body, or a place where the right hand and the left hand quite literally don’t know what the other is doing? Let’s hope for sanity.

In Closing: military research saving lives on battlefields and eventually on American streets; why re-invent public education with things we aren’t even sure work when we can just crib off Massachusetts?; yeah, it turns out there were good guys with guns at Columbine and it didn’t help (at least the good guys didn’t injure more students); and maybe this deserves more thought.

Get the popcorn…

Somebody once said that all politics is local. Local meets nationwide today in a city called Sparks.

So the Nevada GOP and the National GOP are having a little disagreement. The RNC has threatened not to seat Nevada’s delegates to the national convention if there are “too many Ron Paul supporters.” The Nevada party, on the other hand, says that we have a set of rules we agreed to and we are going to follow them, regardless of the outcome.

Our caucus was held all the way back at the beginning of February, and there were simply more candidates then. The Experts decided that “Romney is supposed to get 20 now and Paul eight….” However, The Experts don’t get to pick the delegates to the national convention; the delegates selected in February to go to the state convention today do that. State officials agree that there will be no “loyalty test” for those selected to represent Nevada in Tampa. This clears the way for Ron Paul’s supporters to take over.

Maybe not, but it will be a train wreck.

In closing: unemployment and labor participation; somebody smack Nancy upside the head with reality; and it’s a sad day when Ted Koppel thinks that Comedy Central has the best news reporting.

Too Mad to Write about Politics

Seriously. If I write about any of the crap spewing from Washington — whether from Congress, Timmy Geithner, or our gutless President who is more conservative than Nixon or Reagan — I’m likely to say something regrettable. So here’s what some other people have to say. As it is, I use a little more salty language than normal, so deal with it.

Here’s something on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. You know, the group of fatcat businessmen that President Obama was begging to create jobs? What a bunch of “greedy fucks.”

Here’s what an 11 year old girl has to say about Gitmo. Notice where she admits that some of her information may be biased? I have hope for the critical thinking skills of the next generation, somewhat less hope that the War on Terror will ever end.

There’s a lot to be said about Egypt today. How about we start with a picture:
Bill Day

But really, this sums up my thoughts well.

There’s really a lot to say about the Anti-Woman forces calling themselves “Pro-Life”, but I’ll let Nancy start the parade. Remember, HR3 has a much wider reach than most people know. That’s even before we start talking about conscience clauses that would allow ignorant ******* to turn people away whose pregnancies can kill them. That’s before we talk about the fact that if these ******** had their way, women whose “babies” would be born with fatal birth defects would be forced to carry that corpse to term, endure dozens of well meaning people asking “Is it a boy or a girl? Have you picked a name??”, go through all the complications of pregnancy including the possibility of death in labor, all so some ******** can pretend he — and I do mean HE — is preventing abortions. People who think that is acceptable can rot in hell. Republicans want to cut family planning too, so we know they don’t really give a damn about preventing abortions.

Here’s something on states declaring bankruptcy to get out of paying people the retirement funds they were promised — and remember, state employees pay no Social Security taxes, so those pensions may be all they’ve got.

Speaking of bankruptcy, here’s something on how the bankruptcy “reform” of a few years back contributed to the foreclosure mess.

Nobody seems to remember that almost all regulations are put in place to protect somebody. Of course it’s dumb to say that regulations are automatically “job killing.” If the people whining about “job killing” gave a shit about jobs, maybe they wouldn’t be trying to cut and gut jobs programs! Here’s an urgent message for our elected officials: JOBS are still the number one issue on Americans’ minds. Put people to work, and some of the other problems — national deficit, social security, foreclosures — might start to fix themselves.

But this one really makes me mad. Ornery has it right when he calls the move to cut emergency funding for heating in the middle of a colder than average winter “so fucking tone deaf it boggles my fucking mind.” Heaven forbid we should raise taxes on people making, say, a million dollars a year when we can just freeze Granny to death! Who needs a death panel when you’ve got a blizzard? Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot!

See how mad I am, and all I’m really doing is quoting other people? Over the weekend I promise to have something happier to say… about something.

In Closing: Kafka-san; tip of the iceberg?; junk fees and foreclosure; too lazy; secret air travel; pot of gold; is it snarky if it’s true?; the status quo is bad; on conservatives and the Bible; city-states; zero tolerance means zero thinking; vaccinate; the budget.