Terror Alert Level

Monday, January 31, 2011

Why Does Pat Toomey Hate Americans?

Our very own Senator Looney.

"I intend to introduce legislation that would require the Treasury to make interest payments on our debt its first priority in the event that the debt ceiling is not raised," Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) wrote in a Friday Wall Street Journal op-ed.

If passed, Toomey's plan would require the government to cut large checks to foreign countries, and major financial institutions, before paying off its obligations to Social Security beneficiaries and other citizens owed money by the Treasury

Remember, Toomey doesn't represent the interests of Pennsylvanians. He represents Wall Street and overseas bankers. Always has, always will.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Just Another Isolated Incident

No connection at all, and how DARE anyone suggest otherwise!


Friday, January 28, 2011

On The Dole

Well whaddayaknow! Looks like Ayn Rand was one of those very parasites she so freely criticized in her scribblings.

Also too! Paul Ryan.

Bring On The Crazy!

Pennsylvania has famously be described as Philadelphia on one end, Pittsburgh on the other, and Alabama in the middle. More proof of that from the same area that brought you Kitzmiller v. Dover!

Tom Ritter, who taught physics and chemistry for over a decade, has filed a federal lawsuit against The Blue Mountain School District in the Middle District of Pennsylvania (13:11 – CV – 116), where he resides. This same district that rendered the infamous Kitzmiller decision in 2005. The argument presented in full:Evolution is Unscientific.

You can read the rest of it, but its a whole bunch of crazy.

Loved this line:

Atheism is a religion. And it is illegal to teach religion in the public schools.(I am not defending creationism or intelligent design. But evolution has not proven its case, and until it does, saying it is the only explanation for present life is Atheism.)

Erm, no. Atheism isn't a religion. It is just the position that there are no gods. Period, full stop. Regardless, atheism as a position has nothing to say one way or another about evolution by natural selection, although its a pretty good bet that the vast majority of atheists accept the theory. Saying that "evolution has not proven its case" is also a silly statement. If you want to "disprove" evolution via natural selection, simply propose a hypothesis that offers a better explanation for what we see in nature and the fossil record.

My guess is that this lawsuit will quickly be laughed out of court.

UPDATE: The actual complaint! (its even funnier than the abstract)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Need A Penny (Or Two)

Best healthcare anywhere!

Vietnam vet Ronald Flanagan has been battling cancer for more than two years. Two weeks ago, Flanagan was getting prepped for a bone biopsy at the local Exempla Rock Creek Medical Center. But at the last minute, his wife called the hospital and told them to stop the procedure because she had just received notice that they no longer have insurance. The reason why? The couple had accidentally underpaid their insurer by two pennies and it decided to drop them from their plan.

Wow, just wow.

Via Spork.

Doug Hoerth Dead At 66

R.I.P. Uncle Dougie, you were certainly unique among talk show hosts, and one of the few I enjoyed listening to. The article in today's P-G on his life and death is rather sad. I ran into him at the Bellevue Eat 'n' Park last year, (we sat in the booth next to him). I apologized to him because our baby was being a little fussy, but he was very nice and pleasantly told us that he didn't mind at all. I've missed hearing him on the air these last few years, and now he is gone.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

FAMILY GUY - Bird is the Word!

Nazis? NAZIS!!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
24 Hour Nazi Party People
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Late to the party on this one, but I'm not feeling well today, so I'm mailing it in.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


World Nut Daily is insane, but you already knew that.

Luckily, we have an actual biologist to refudiate the claim.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Some focus group thought this was cute. I think its one of the most disgusting commercials of the decade, and I've seen political ads!

My favorite comment from the You Tube Site:

are children defecating so violently these days that catastrophic diaper failure is actually a problem?


Of course, if anyone actually acts on this, it can never, ever be the responsibility of the author. Conservatism means never having to say you're sorry.

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Devil Dog

What a delightful, Christian woman!

A 65-year-old woman is accused of killing her nephew’s dog because it had chewed on her Bible, and she said it was a “devil dog.”...

Long-time neighbors told News 4 that Smith is a religious fanatic.

"She wasn't right in the head,” said John Worthy. “She read the Bible and interpreted in her own way. She's not a monster. She's good natured.”

"I don't care how cold it is. Every Saturday, she's on the porch reading her Bible."

Love the quotation about her not being right in the head and reading the Bible every Saturday!


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Your Sunday Morning Cartoon

Friday, January 21, 2011


Founding Fathers' style!

In July of 1798, Congress passed – and President John Adams signed - “An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen.” The law authorized the creation of a government operated marine hospital service and mandated that privately employed sailors be required to purchase health care insurance.

Keep in mind that the 5th Congress did not really need to struggle over the intentions of the drafters of the Constitutions in creating this Act as many of its members were the drafters of the Constitution...

The law did a number of fascinating things.

First, it created the Marine Hospital Service, a series of hospitals built and operated by the federal government to treat injured and ailing privately employed sailors. This government provided healthcare service was to be paid for by a mandatory tax on the maritime sailors (a little more than 1% of a sailor’s wages), the same to be withheld from a sailor’s pay and turned over to the government by the ship’s owner. The payment of this tax for health care was not optional. If a sailor wanted to work, he had to pay up...

The law was not only the first time the United States created a socialized medical program (The Marine Hospital Service) but was also the first to mandate that privately employed citizens be legally required to make payments to pay for health care services. Upon passage of the law, ships were no longer permitted to sail in and out of our ports if the health care tax had not been collected by the ship owners and paid over to the government – thus the creation of the first payroll tax in our nation’s history.

Well now, how about that?

Find Another Profession

If your conscious prevents you from doing your job, maybe its time to find another line of work.

Idaho Board of Pharmacy Executive Director Mark Johnston confirmed that the board received the complaint alleging that on Nov. 6, a Walgreens pharmacist refused to fill a prescription ordered by one of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest’s Boise-based nurse practitioners.
The prescription was for a Planned Parenthood patient for Methergine, a medicine used to prevent or control bleeding of the uterus following childbirth or an abortion.
“Methergine is not an abortifacient and it serves multiple purposes in postpartum care,” the practitioner wrote in her complaint. “I believe the pharmacist wrongly applied the conscience protections....

Planned Parenthood officials said in the complaint that the pharmacist inquired if the patient needed the drug for post-abortion care. The nurse refused to answer the question based on confidentiality of health information.
According to Planned Parenthood, the pharmacist then stated that if the nurse practitioner did not disclose that information, she would not fill the prescription. The nurse alleged that the pharmacist hung up when asked for a referral to another pharmacy that would fill the prescription.

That is the problem with these so-called conscious laws. One, the pharmacist is making an assumption about medical care that the pharmacist isn't entitled to know, and two, the pharmacist is setting herself up as knowing what's better for the patient than the patient's doctors. That is inexcusable.

Pharmacists do have a very important role to play, in spotting possible harmful interactions between different drugs, expecially if the doctor is unaware of other medication the patient might be on, but in those cases the pharmacist consults with the doctor to confirm the prescription.

Extending this concept of pharmacist conscious laws to the absurd (where the weakness or strength of a law is often found), would a pharmacist who happens to be a racist be legally protected if he denied a lifesaving drug to a minority patient, because his conscious dictates that he shouldn't assist mudpeople?

Bottom line, as on the top: If your conscious prevents you from doing your job, its time to find another line of work.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

We're Number One!!!

Road Raging

I've driven in D.C., Chicago, and New York City and I always get a chuckle when I hear people in the 'burgh complain about traffic. Folks, you have no idea what traffic is.

The most sophisticated number crunching done on traffic congestion says the average Washington area driver loses 70 hours a year - almost three full days - crawling along in traffic, tying the region with Chicago for worst in the country. Los Angeles, the perennial king of congestion, comes in third, with 63 blown hours.

We rank 29th on the Travel Time index, 26th for annual delay and 33rd for travel stress out of the 101 cities studied. As were ranked 26th in terms of population, I'd say we're pretty average.

Of course, this could change in the future, as mass transit cuts force more commuters onto the highways.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


If you wonder why atheists are so sensitive to church/state speration issues, all you have to do is listen to Alabama governor-elect Robert Bentley.

"There may be some people here today who do not have living within them the Holy Spirit," Bentley said. ''But if you have been adopted in God's family like I have, and like you have if you're a Christian and if you're saved, and the Holy Spirit lives within you just like the Holy Spirit lives within me, then you know what that makes? It makes you and me brothers. And it makes you and me brother and sister." Bentley added, ''Now I will have to say that, if we don't have the same daddy, we're not brothers and sisters. So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I'm telling you, you're not my brother and you're not my sister, and I want to be your brother."

Nice to know that you classify who is worthy and unworthy of being called brother or sister on the basis of their religious beliefs. Bentley's office quickly backpedaled:

Bentley's communications director, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, when asked about Bentley's comments said, ''He is the governor of all the people, Christians, non-Christians alike."

Certainly the case, but based on his statements, one has to wonder if Christians will get preferential treatment from the government?

UPDATE: Good for him!

"What I would like to do is apologize," Gov. Robert Bentley told reporters, according to The Birmingham News. "Should anyone who heard those words and felt disenfranchised, I want to say, 'I'm sorry.'

Blow Out

Pine Township is looking to sell its wind turbine.

"It was a great idea that just didn't pan out," said Scott Anderson, assistant township manager.
The reason, he said: "No wind."
"We just don't have the adequate elevation in the township where it would work," supervisors Chairman Michael Dennehy said.

Again, the problem with trying to rely on alternative energy sources comes up. What happens when the wind doesn't blow, or the sun doesn't shine? I am an advocate for alternative energy sources where their use is practical, but from what I've seen of wind turbines in SW PA, they usually aren't turning. That's not to say that wind and solar don't have a role to play, but if you think they alone can supply our energy needs, well, you're nuts.

If we want to get away from the pollution caused by burning fossil fuels to generate electricity, there is only one viable option that can be applied throughout the nation. Nuclear power.


Bomb Discovered at MLK Day Parade

Luckily, the explosive device was detected and neutralized before it detonated.

The FBI confirmed Tuesday that the Swiss Army-brand backpack contained a bomb that could have caused “multiple casualties” and credited Spokane city employees who noticed the suspicious bag and alerted authorities in time to re-route the parade. A $20,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.
“It definitely was, by all early analysis, a viable device that was very lethal and had the potential to inflict multiple casualties,” said Frank Harrill, the special agent in charge of the Spokane FBI office. “Clearly, the timing and placement of a device – secreted in a backpack – with the Martin Luther King parade is not coincidental. We are doing everything humanly possible to identify the individuals or individual who constructed and placed this device.”

No word yet on who might have placed the device or why.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Compare and Contrast

Monday, January 17, 2011


Win or lose next week, I'm just happy that New England is out.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Onorato Wont Run

Looks like we'll soon have a new County Executive.

"I've been in elected office for a long time," Mr. Onorato, 49, said. "It's time for me to move on." He did not rule out future runs for political office, but he said he had made no decisions.

Personally, I'd love to see Bill Peduto get into this race, but I suspect he's happy on City Council.

'Tis The Climate

More threats.

Federal prosecutors in Seattle described statements left by Habermann in two Dec. 9 phone calls as an "expletive-laden" effort to influence McDermott's vote on tax policy. According to charging documents, Habermann to have threatened to kill McDermott's friends and family, then, in the second call, threatened to put McDermott "in the trash."
Contacted by the investigators the day after the messages were left, Habermann allegedly admitted to threatening McDermott and an congresswoman not identified in court documents.
"He said he was trying to scare them before they spent money that didn't belong to them," FBI Special Agent Dean Giboney told the court.
"Habermann stated that he never had any intention of hurting anyone," the agent continued, "and that he had too much to lose -- referring to his $3 million trust fund -- to ever do anything which could get him sent to prison."

Trust fund? He threatened a congressman because he was worried about taxes on his three million dollar trust fund? That bum should try getting a job and actually working for a living.

Federal prosecutors contend Habermann was investigated in March after making similar threats against a member of the California State Assembly.
In that instance, Habermann was escorted from the assembly member's office.
"During the meeting Habermann began ranting about the current federal health care bill and how Habermann was 'very well off' and did not want to support immigrants and Latinos,"

And a bigot to boot!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

But It Snowed!

2010 tied with 2005 for the warmest year recorded.

The Earth's average temperature in 2010, as in 2005, was 58.12 degrees, which is 1.12 degrees above the 20th-century average of 57 degrees.
It was the 34th consecutive year that the global temperature was above average, according to the data center. The last below-average year was 1976.

Think about that. You would expect even as temperatures rise, that roughly half of the time you'd record a below average temperature year, yet that hasn't happened in 35 years. Jimmy Carter was president the last time we recorded a below average temperature year.

This is global surface temperatures. For oceanic readings, this is the third warmest on record, and the year tied with 1998 for the warmest as recorded by satellite temperature records.

But it snowed, so there. And Al Gore is fat.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Who Is He?

We still really don't know what motivated Jared Loughner to mass murder in Arizonia, but the SPLC thinks he may be influenced by the far right-wing anti-federal government movement, although there are no indications that he belongs to any organized group. Of course, with the intertubes, it wouldn't be hard for someone to pick up on an ideology without formally affliating with a movement.

One thing that seems clear is that Giffords, who was terribly wounded but survived, was the nearest and most obvious representative of “the government” that Loughner could find.

Meanwhile, the more "everyday" right-wing continues to freak out over the suggestion that their mainstreaming of eliminationist rhetoric (rhetoric that in many cases can be traced to individuals and groups on the fringe) could have had any influence at all on the actions of mentally disturbed individuals with access to firearms. As David Neiwert notes in The Eliminationists:

"such rhetoric has played a critical role in giving permission for it to proceed, by creating the cultural and psychological conditions that enable the subsequent violence."

Oh, and they weren't "gunsights." They were surveying symbols.

John Cole has more on right's aggressive efforts to deflect any possible criticism of them brought on by violence-tinged rantings:

I have learned this week that it is completely inappropriate for people to be upset about violent rhetoric and crosshairs over politicians after one of the targeted politicians is almost assassinated by a deranged lunatic. Normal people might think this is reasonable, even if the assassin wasn’t directly motivated by said rhetoric. It’s just the sane way to look at things, or so I thought. I’ve also learned, interestingly enough, that opponents of gun violence have a moral obligation to just shut the fuck up about gun violence whenever there is… horrible gun violence. Additionally, I’ve discovered that when you say “We need to tone things down a bit and tamp down the violent rhetoric,” you are actually launching a full frontal assault on Republicans. Who knew?

A mirror is being held aloft, and these folks do not like what they see reflected within it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

No Shame or Decency


"What Mr. Loughner knows is that he has the full support of a major political party in this country. He's sitting there in jail; he knows what's going on. He knows that a Democrat [sic] Party -- the Democrat [sic] Party -- is attempting to find anybody but him to blame.

"He knows if he plays his cards right that he's just a 'victim.' He's the latest in a never ending parade of victims brought about by the 'unfairness of America.' The 'bigotry, racism, homophobia' of America. The 'mean-spiritedness of America.' [...]

"That smiling mugshot -- this guy clearly understands he's getting all the attention, and he understands he's got a political party doing everything it can, plus a local sheriff doing everything they can to make sure he's not convicted of murder."

But its the Democrats who are politicising this tragedy. Seriously, why isn't Limbaugh shunned by decent Americans?

The Letter

Monday, January 10, 2011

DeLay Sentenced

The Hammer gets three years in the Slammer.

The sentence comes after a jury in November convicted DeLay on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. DeLay was once one of the most powerful men in U.S. politics, ascending to the No. 2 job in the House of Representatives.

Senior Judge Pat Priest sentenced him to the three-year term on the conspiracy charge. He also sentenced him to five years in prison on the money laundering charge but allowed DeLay to accept 10 years of probation instead of more prison time.

The maximum of life in prison was absurd for this crime. Three years behind bars and a decade of probation seems just.

Nails It


Where’s that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let’s not make a false pretense of balance: it’s coming, overwhelmingly, from the right. It’s hard to imagine a Democratic member of Congress urging constituents to be “armed and dangerous” without being ostracized; but Representative Michele Bachmann, who did just that, is a rising star in the G.O.P.

And there’s a huge contrast in the media. Listen to Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann, and you’ll hear a lot of caustic remarks and mockery aimed at Republicans. But you won’t hear jokes about shooting government officials or beheading a journalist at The Washington Post. Listen to Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly, and you will...

So will the Arizona massacre make our discourse less toxic? It’s really up to G.O.P. leaders. Will they accept the reality of what’s happening to America, and take a stand against eliminationist rhetoric? Or will they try to dismiss the massacre as the mere act of a deranged individual, and go on as before?

I suspect they'll ultimatly choose the latter path.

Now Why Would You Come To That Conclusion?

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Member of Congress, Shot, Wounded. Three Dead

This is horrifying.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was shot in the head Saturday when an assailant opened fire outside a grocery store during a meeting with constituents, killing her aide, a child and a federal judge. Several others were injured, some critically, during a rampage that rattled the nation.

Giffords was among scores wounded, and the hospital said her outlook was "optimistic" and that she was responding to commands from doctors. The hospital said a 9-year-old child was among the killed, and a federal judge was also fatally shot in the attack.

The 22 year old gunman is in custody. Giffords has been the target of harassment and vandalism in the past, but I'm hoping this is just some random loon, and not politically motivated.

UPDATE: There may be a connection to the White Supremacy movement. (via Spork)

UPDATE: Evidence that the attack was planned, premeditated. Tenuous link to the white supremacy movement appears to be fading.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Memory Hole

Violate the Constitution? No problem! Just dissappear it!

The Republican-controlled House voted this morning to wash away the massive fail caused by Reps. Pete Sessions' (R-TX) and Mike Fitzpatrick's (R-PA) decision to skip Wednesday's swearing-in ceremony in favor of taking the oath to a television set at a Capitol complex event for Fitzpatrick.
By a vote of 257 to 159, the House voted in a special rule written for Sessions and Fitzpatrick to essentially rewrite Congressional history so the votes they cast as unsworn members-elect Wednesday and Thursday never happened.

I still find it hilarious that these clowns thought they could be sworn in by watching TV with their hands raised. This Congress will provide a gold mine of material for comedians. Oh, and that event they were at? Looks like they may have violated Congressional ethics rules. I'm sure the House majority will be able to retroactivly change the rules on that as well.

The "Neener Neener Neener" Act of 2011

They seriously named their effort to repeal health care reform The Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act?

These aren't lawmakers, they're third graders.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Kids Ask The Darndest Things

I like to poke fun at the sanctimonious, yet I found this piece on certain smells rather charming.


Political Theatre

What a waste of time. Don't these people have better things to do, like stripping children of health coverage and making sure grandma has a fewer tins of cat food for dinner? I also like the way these "original intent" fetishists decided to leave out the parts that might embarrass them, like the 3/5th clause.

Climate Change Committie Killed

Because pretending that data doesn't exist is good public policy!
These clowns are like children sticking their fingers in their ears and shouting.

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Jenny McCarthy, Get Out Your Checkbook

The entire anti-vax hysteria championed by doofuses like McCarthy was based on a fraudulent study.

A now-retracted British study that linked autism to childhood vaccines was an "elaborate fraud" that has done long-lasting damage to public health, a leading medical publication reported Wednesday.
An investigation published by the British medical journal BMJ concludes the study's author, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, misrepresented or altered the medical histories of all 12 of the patients whose cases formed the basis of the 1998 study -- and that there was "no doubt" Wakefield was responsible.

I wonder if McCarthy at all interested in making things right to the families of the children she helped to sicken and kill through her outrageous efforts to encourage people not to vaccinate?

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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Cheaters Shut Out

I'm something of a baseball purist. I hate the designated hitter in the AL, and I'd be very, very dissappointed if the BBWA sent any of the Steroids Era cheaters to the Hall. Looks like the writers are of the same mind.

All-Star sluggers Rafael Palmeiro, Jeff Bagwell, Mark McGwire and Juan Gonzalez didn't come close in Wednesday's election. No telling if they ever will, either, after Hall voters sent a clear message: The drug cloud isn't going to cover Cooperstown.

"I will not vote for any player connected with steroid use, because I believe cheaters shouldn't be rewarded with the sport's highest honor," Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle said in an e-mail.

Bagwell might be getting a bum rap, as there is no evidence that he was one of the cheaters> His numbers are excellent, but not into the realm of the absurd. He hit 47 homers in his best year (at 32 years old), and averaged just over 29 per year for his career. He hit more than 40 home runs only 3 years. Compare that to Bonds, who averaged close to 32 HR's a year in his first 14 years in the majors, and then averaged over 39 HRs a year for his final 8 years, beginning when he was 35 years old! Babe Ruth averaged just over 37 HR's for his final 8 years, but averaged over 40 home runs in his first 8 years with the Yankees (Ruth hit 49 HR's in 6 seasons with Boston, but he was used as a pitcher, not an everyday player there). Ruth's best year was when he was 32, Bonds when he was 36. Hank Aaron averaged over 33 HRs a year over a 23 year career. His best year for HR's was in 1971 when he hit 47 at age 37, but Aaron throughout his career hit around 35 t0 45 HRs per year. Another factor to look at is speed. During their most productive years, Bagwell, Ruth and Aaron were base stealing threats. Once he started juicing, Bonds' SB totals went through the floor.

Bagwell never tested positive, there were no public allegations against him and he was adamant that he never used illegal drugs. Still, many voters and fans aren't sure yet how to assess the huge numbers put up by the game's top hitters.

"That stuff's going to happen in this era," Bagwell said on a conference call. "People are going to have suspicion in the era I played in."

"People are going to think what they want to think. If they don't think that anybody was good in this era, then that's fine. Like I said, I'm one of the first ones to come up in that era. I'm OK with it," he said. "There's nothing I can do about it."

Barry Bonds can kiss his HoF hopes goodbye, as can Roger Clemens. Bonds was a Hall shoe-in until his enormous ego was wounded by cheaters like McGwire and Sosa. I really wish someone in San Francisco had pitched Bonds, his recliner, and his entourage onto Jamestown Avenue and told him never to return until he got over himself.

I also can't stand the apologists for these bums who squeek "Baseball didn't have a rule about steroids then!" So what? The steroids in question are, and were at the time, controlled substances. Unless one of the cheaters can produce a prescription for the drugs, I don't want to hear it. Since when does a sport need to enact a rule to prevent players from engaging in actvities that are already illegal?

Pete Rose can get lost as well.


We Have Found A Witch, May We Tax Her?

How bizarre.
Angry witches are using cat excrement and dead dogs to cast spells on the president and government who are forcing them to pay taxes. Also in the eye of the taxman are fortune tellers, who should have seen it coming.
And President Traian Basescu isn't laughing it off. In a country where superstition is mainstream, the president and his aides wear purple on Thursdays, allegedly to ward off evil spirits...

The tax on witches went into effect Saturday as part of the government's drive to crack down on tax evasion in a country that is in recession. Like any self-employed person, they will pay 16 percent income tax and make contributions to health and pension programs.
And it's not only witches: Astrologers, embalmers, valets and driving instructors are now considered by law to be working real jobs, making it harder for them to avoid income tax.


Tuesday, January 04, 2011


Molten Light


Save The Date!

The Rapture is set for May 21!!

Since its pretty much a given I'll still be around on May 22, may I have your stuff if you are one of the lucky few? I promise to take good care of your things until the world is consumed by fire five months later. I'd prefer some sort of legal papwerwork transferring ownership of your things to me, because I'm also fairly sure most of the lawyers will still be here and I'd like clear title to your homes, cars, etc.

Don't forget about your left-behind pets!

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Earlier, Not Later Retirement

An interesting proposal from James Galbraith.

In the United States, the financial crisis has left the country with 11 million fewer jobs than Americans need now. No matter how aggressive the policy, we are not going to find 11 million new jobs soon. So common sense suggests we should make some decisions about who should have the first crack: older people, who have already worked three or four decades at hard jobs? Or younger people, many just out of school, with fresh skills and ambitions?
The answer is obvious. Older people who would like to retire and would do so if they could afford it should get some help. The right step is to reduce, not increase, the full-benefits retirement age. As a rough cut, why not enact a three-year window during which the age for receiving full Social Security benefits would drop to 62 -- providing a voluntary, one-time, grab-it-now bonus for leaving work? Let them go home! With a secure pension and medical care, they will be happier. Young people who need work will be happier. And there will also be more jobs. With pension security, older people will consume services until the end of their
lives. They will become, each and every one, an employer.
A proposal like this could transform a miserable jobs picture into a tolerable one, at a single stroke.

Employers are already looking for ways to cut older, higher paid employees from their rolls, and replace them with younger, cheaper workers. Allowing older workers to retire a little earlier(rather than firing them) looks like it could a achieve a better outcome rather than laying off older workers, who then scramble to find work to carry them to "retirement age." Older workers who can retire with dignity also aren't in competition with younger workers for entry level jobs in an effort to avoid resorting to Friskies for meals.

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Bought And Paid For


I really don't care who the Republicans choose as their party chairman, but why on earth was the question "How many guns do you own" asked at the candidates' debate? How is that even relate to the job of party chair, other than some sort of purity test? Isn't it possible to support the right of people to own guns without actually owning one, or several, yourself?


Monday, January 03, 2011

The Carnival Comes To Town

Darrell Issa.

The Republican congressman who is taking over responsibility for congressional oversight called President Barack Obama's administration "one of the most corrupt administrations" on Sunday and predicted that the investigations he is planning over the next two years could result in about $200 billion in savings for U.S. taxpayers.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the incoming chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, was bullish in laying out his agenda for the new Congress with Republicans in control of the House.
Mr. Issa, who as chairman will have subpoena power, said he will seek to ferret out waste across the federal bureaucracy. While he used fiery rhetoric in describing the Obama administration in a series of television interviews Sunday, he said he will focus on wasteful spending, not the prosecution of White House officials.

"Waste"= Stuff Darrell Issa Doesn't Like. I also like the way Issa calls the Obama administration "the most corrupt ever" without offering any examples of how, exactly, it is the "most corrupt ever." He just makes the assertation, and offers no evidence whatsoever to back up his claim. I'm sure that wont stop him from wasting millions, if not billions of tax dollars on investigations designed to ferret out "waste."

Its 1994 again.


Private Dining

I was down in Virginia for the New Year's weekend, visiting with the wife's side of the family. My father-in-law took the clan out to dinner Saturday night to one of the local buffet restaurants, a wise option with hungry teenagers in tow.

As is my habit, I went to the men's room to wash my hands before queuing up at the troughs. As I was washing up, an older gentleman entered, a fork and plate full of food in his hands, who proceeded to one of the stalls, entered, and locked the door.

Perhaps he wanted to eat in solitude?

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Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!

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