Terror Alert Level

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Mr. Clemens!

One of my favorite authors!

According To Conservative Economic Theory....

The Employment Pony should be shitting jobs left and right.

After reading the article and looking at the numbers, the only logical conclusion is that conservatives are full of crap. There is indeed class warfare being waged; its the well-heeled that are on the offensive.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

No Thank You, I'll Take The Train


Of course, I've all but given up on flying to avoid the groping and the perv-o-scans of TSA. The train is more relaxing as well, and costs just $52.00. If you want the more comfortable business class, its still a reasonable $76.00, compared to the nearly $700.00 USAirways will soak you for.

Nice Little Tuition Assistance You Have Here

Wouldn't want anything to happen to it now, would you?

Principals in the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh were told last month that parents who received tuition assistance had to lobby state legislators to pass a school voucher bill -- and document it -- or lose their funding.

The Church has since corrected Assistant Superintendent Ronald T. Bowes directive, which included this threat:

"we must be relentless in our efforts to help pass school choice this year. I am asking you to inform parents that have received tuition assistance that they must contact their legislators and return the contact form attached to you in order to receive a grant next year. I then want you to return these contact forms to me. This way we can insure that a solid effort is being carried out by our diocese."
The attached forms ask for the date, the name of the parent and the school, the name of the state senator and state representative, the number of times contacted and how, the legislator's position and "if oppose, why?"

Yes, nothing like a little arm twisting of those receiving a helping hand to get them to do your political bidding for you, is there?

After Ronald T. Bowes, assistant superintendent for policy and development, emailed those instructions to the principals Oct. 20, the diocese sent out its own directive Nov. 16, saying Mr. Bowes had "misstated long-standing diocesan policy relative to the distribution of financial aid to parents."

Hmmm...nearly a month later. I suspect the Church corrected the memo as such a directive could potentially cost Catholic schools their tax-exempt status, but then again, I'm a cynic.

And Another One

Herman Cain's shot at the presidency is pretty much over anyway, but why not pile on?

Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain faced new allegations Monday concerning his conduct with women, this time from an Atlanta woman who claimed that they had a 13-year affair.
In an interview Monday night, Ginger White told WAGA, the Fox News outlet in Atlanta: "It was pretty simple. It wasn't complicated. I was aware that he was married. And I was also aware I was involved in a very inappropriate relationship."

We live in a hypocritically prudish society. Personally, I care not a whit if Cain, or any other politician is married, not married, cheating, or nor cheating. It has no real bearing on wether or not he can get the job done, in the same sense that a CEO's private life, or a ballplayer's, or a garbageman's has a noticable effect on how they go about earning their pay. I DO find it amusing that self-proclaimed "family values party" has so many cads within it, as Cain's recent spot in the sun is now occupied by serial adulturer Newt Gingrich. There seems to be an awful lot of stepping out by many, many married folks!

However, from the above story, I find this quotation from Cain's lawyer to be quaintly charming:

"This is not an accusation of harassment in the workplace — this is not an accusation of an assault — which are subject matters of legitimate inquiry to a political candidate. Rather, this appears to be an accusation of private, alleged consensual conduct between adults — a subject matter which is not a proper subject of inquiry by the media or the public."

1998 anyone?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Service Interruption

I will be in Gettysburg this weekend for Remembrance Day, and am spending the following week in North Carolina with my extended family. Have a wonderful holiday week, and I'll be back in a week!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dollar For Your Thoughts??

Eliminate the dollar bill?

One of the proposals the congressional supercommittee is considering to cut federal spending and decrease the national debt would eliminate the paper dollar bill from circulation and replace it with dollar-denominated coins.
At a time when the nation faces a $14 trillion deficit and every dollar counts, the U.S. Government Accountability Office estimates that replacing the $1 note with the $1 coin could save taxpayers $5.5 billion over the next 30 years.
But Americans have a strong affinity for the iconic dollar bill, and old habits die hard.

I'd disagree with that last part. I don't have any particular attachment to the one dollar bill as opposed to the coin, and most of the people I know don't either. Sure, that's just anecdotal "evidence," but let me explain.

When I go to Canada, and break a twenty, I'm very likely to receive as part of my change one and two dollar coins (Loonies and Twonies). I spend these, along with the quarters, nickles, dimes and pennies I may have in my pocket. Folding money in one and two dollar denominations isn't circulated in Canada.

However, here in the 'States, when I fork over a Jackson, I get one dollar bills, even when the dollar coin is an option. I don't think U.S. citizens are less apt to use dollar coins, its just that if you want them, you generally have to go to the bank (or a casino) to get them. When I withdraw, say, $100 from my account, I get five 20's, not four 20's, a ten, a five and five one dollar coins. If you want me to consistently use the dollar coin, make it convenient for me, and stop printing dollar bills!

According to this site, the average life of a dollar bill is less than two years. According to the U.S. Mint, a coin's average lifespan is 25 years. I routinely use coins that are more than 40 years old, and frequently encounter coins that are much, much older and still in circulation.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Ends Justify The Means

So what if you happen to commit a felony along the way?


Is it any wonder our opinion of Congress is so low?

Rules are the little people. And Martha Stewart.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Rioters For Rape

The entire Penn State cover up of Jerry Sandusky's alleged raping of young boys is one of the most disgusting things I've witnessed outside the Catholic Church covering for pedophile priests, but to have the students riot when Penn State rightly fires Paterno for doing next to nothing to protect children from a sexual predator? The University should make every effort to identify students who were involved in property destruction and move to expel them from the school. How big of an asshole to you have to be to support a man who through his inactions helped protect a child molester?

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

A Good Day

Many excellent outcomes in yesterday's polling.

Firstly, voters in Mississippi rejected a ridiculous proposal that would have conferred "personhood" to zygotes. The vote was expected to be close, but it wasn't. The proposal was soundly rejected. Had it passed, I'd have considered retiring to Mississippi, if only to collect my retirement benefits nine months earlier. Amanda Marcotte has some intriguing insights on what happened in Mississippi:

It's not something I've ever seen an extensive study on, but the folk wisdom of pro-choice circles is "pro-life in the streets, pro-choice in the dark", as it were. In other words, there's an intense amount of pressure to identify as "pro-life" in conservative communities, even if you secretly disagree. To be vocally pro-choice is to be marked as a pervert and a feminist, and so it's avoided, to the point where some polling data suggests that half of people who identify as "pro-life" are actually pro-choice, at least to some extent. Certainly enough that they're not willing to see women thrown in jail for having miscarriages. Because of this intense social pressure, I suspect many people who side with pro-choicers on this law or that law won't say so to a pollster over the phone. Not only are you admitting out loud something that can get you marked as a "pervert" in your community, you may be doing so in front of friends, colleagues, or family members who overhear your conversation with the pollster. No wonder so many people say they're "undecided". But when you actually have your ballot in hand and you know that no one will ever find out how you voted, a solid percentage of voters go with common sense (and with sex!) instead of prevailing community pressures. Frankly, the way the poll numbers turned out, it appears many people who said they would vote yes on 26 instead voted no.

Secondly, Ohio voters spanked Faux News Governor John Kasich with an overwhelming rejection of a law that would make union members second-class citizens. As Zandar notes over at Balloon Juice, Issue 2 was a disaster for Ohio Republicans.

Kasich is toast, folks. The failure of Republicans to coalesce around this issue not only backfired miserably, it had the completely opposite effect, creating an off-year grassroots surge that knocked the blocks out from under Cincy conservatives. He cannot be jettisoned fast enough in the Buckeye State and Republicans in Ohio are now in a deep hole. The network to bring Ohio back into the blue column next year is already in place. The overreach was brutal, and a significant number of Ohio GOP voters jumped ship on this measure and mobilized Democrats to boot.
The coattails on the Issue 2 No vote completely reworked the government of one of the more conservative cities in the state and made it overwhelmingly progressive, not to mention creating a majority African-American council to back Mayor Mallory.

Keep pissing off working people, Republicans! Its a winning message!

Thirdly, Arizona recalled sitting state Senate President and uber teabagger Russell Pearce. Pearce was the force behind Arizona's anti-immigration law SB 1070.

Considered the de facto governor of Arizona, the seemingly invincible and right-wing extremist Pearce became the first state Senate president in American history to be thrown out of office in a recall election. Led by an inspiring citizens movement, Pearce's downfall marks an extraordinary sea change in Arizona politics, especially in the areas of the changing electoral demographics and immigration reform policies.

Far-right extremism took a beating yesterday, although I doubt the pundents in the so-called liberal media will notice, as they'll continue to insist we are a "center-right" nation. I wonder if Governor Bought 'n' Paid For is taking notice?

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Bimbo Eruptions

And another one.

Bialek alleged that Cain instead "suddenly reached over and he put his hand on my leg under my skirt and reached for my genitals." She said he also pushed her head toward his crotch.
"I was very surprised and very shocked, and I said, 'What are you doing? You know I have a boyfriend,' " she told the news conference. '' 'This isn't what I came here for, Mr. Cain.' "
Bialek said Cain replied, "You want a job, right?"

Curiously, they do not seem to be having an impact on Mr. Cain's prospects. A case of IOKIYAR perhaps?

Election Day!

I understand one of those election thingies is going on today. So go vote!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

What Does A Terrorist Look Like?

These guys, for four examples.

Frederick Thomas, 73, of Cleveland, Ga.; Dan Roberts, 67, of Toccoa, Ga.; Ray H. Adams, 65, of Toccoa; and Samuel J. Crump, 68, of Toccoa, were arrested today relating to plans to obtain an unregistered explosive device and silencer and to manufacture the biological toxin ricin for use in attacks against other U.S. citizens and government personnel and officials.
U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Sally Quillian Yates said, “These defendants, who are alleged to be part of a fringe militia group, are charged with planning attacks against their own fellow citizens and government. To carry out their agenda, two of the defendants allegedly purchased purported explosives and a silencer, while the other two defendants took steps to attempt to produce a deadly biological toxin. While many are focused on the threat posed by international violent extremists, this case demonstrates that we must also remain vigilant in protecting our country from citizens within our own borders who threaten our safety and security.”

Four elderly white guys. This is a perfect illustration of why profiling based on religion, race, or national origin are stupid ideas

Republicans Say The Darndest Things

Orrin Hatch and Jeff Sessions edition, defending Herman Cain:

Republican senators have accused the media of a double standard on Herman Cain, whom they argue is enduring tougher treatment because he is a conservative.
The Republican senators ripped the media for their reporting of anonymous sexual harassment allegations against the presidential candidate, saying a Democrat would not face the same kind of reporting in the absence of a public accusation.
“It’s easy to take potshots at conservatives,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who described the media’s treatment of the Cain story as “overdone.”
“I do think that conservative candidates tend to get more rigorous criticism than liberal candidates,” echoed Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).

I guess they've never heard of Anthony Weiner, Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Eliot Spitzer, and Gary Hart, just to name a few. The issue isn't the media coverage, the media loves a juicy sex scandal and are generally equal opportunity sharks when one breaks. Given that we are in the midst of a Republican primary, my guess is the genesis of this story is with one of the rival camps, but Cain's handling of the scandal is abysmal.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Oooohh! That Looks Like It Really Hurt!

Pierce disembowels Brooks. Rhetorically speaking.

For three decades, as the Congressional Budget Office reported last week, most of the wealth of this country flowed upwards into it. Over the past decade, that privileged class, without a peep from people like David Brooks, turned the American economy into a dog track, and it didn't matter a damn whether you went to college or didn't go to college, or whether you were having babies "out of wedlock" (Jesus, what a priss) or not. That privileged class enriched itself and to hell with the rest of us. "Disorganized social fabric"? Holy hell, people are just trying to keep from getting tossed out into the street and all he's got by way of an explanation is that too many people are getting knocked up and too few are going to college, even though we all woke up sometime in the autumn of 2008 and discovered that nobody had any fking money anymore.

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