Category Archives for "Current Affairs"

Mar 18

You Can Tell it’s Sunday Again

By kevin | Current Affairs , Rants and Raves

You can tell it’s Sunday because it’s time for the GOP hopefuls to go on the morning talk shows and say stupid things about foreign policy.  This from the WSJ . . .

Mr. Romney said that if he became president, he would work more closely with Mr. Karzai and consult with him “day to day,” in contrast with Mr. Obama, who has had more limited contact with the Afghan leader.

Ummm, no you wouldn’t.

I think it’s very plain to see that the conditions there [in Afghanistan] are not going very well,” Mr. Romney told Fox. “And I lay part of the blame for that on the lack of leadership on the part of our president, both in terms of his interaction with Karzai, with leaders there, as well as his relative detachment from our military commanders there, and the fact that he published a specific date for our withdrawal.

Why does this make me think of the famous scene from Princess Bride where the Man in Black challenges Vizzini to a “battle of the wits” involving Iocane Powder

Vizzini:  YOU’D LIKE TO THINK THAT, WOULDN’T YOU?  You’ve beaten my giant, which means you’re exceptionally strong, so you could’ve put the poison in your own goblet, trusting on your strength to save you, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But, you’ve also bested my Spaniard, which means you must have studied, and in studying you must have learned that man is mortal, so you would have put the poison as far from yourself as possible, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.

Man In Black:  You’re trying to trick me into giving away something. It won’t work.

Vizzini:  IT HAS WORKED! YOU’VE GIVEN EVERYTHING AWAY! I KNOW WHERE THE POISON IS!

Man In Black:  Then make your choice.

Vizzini:  I will, and I choose– What in the world can that be?

Vizzini gestures up and away from the table. The Man In Black looks.

Man In Black:  What? Where? Vizzini switches the goblets. Turning back. I don’t see anything.

Vizzini:  Well, I- I could have sworn I saw something. No matter. Smirks.

Man In Black:  What’s so funny?

Vizzini:  I’ll tell you in a minute. First, let’s drink. Me from my glass, Picks up glass. and you from yours.

They drink.

Man In Black: Pointing. You guessed wrong.

Vizzini:  You only think I guessed wrong! That’s what’s so funny! I switched glasses when your back was turned! Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well known is this:  never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!! Ha ha ha– Stops suddenly, and falls dead, to his right.

Yes, I can see clearly now Mitt, the right answer is to stay forever in the graveyard of nations, a place firmly locked in the Bronze Age with access to 20th century weapons (21st?) run by a guy who hangs onto his office because of American arms.  So riddle me this, what are you planning on talking to him about every day?

Not that facts matter to the only true conservative left standing, but the answer to the question is “no it is not.”

As in any other state, you have to comply with this and any federal law. And that is that English has to be the main language,” Santorum told El Vocero, a San Juan newspaper. “There are other states with more than one language as is the case in Hawaii, but to be a state in the United States, English has to be the main language.

And the question is: Is English the official language of the United States?

In other news, it was a bad week for lost innocence.

Mr. Smith went to Goldman and found out folks there had sharp elbows. So he quit. And it only took him 12 years to figure that out.

After taking the gullible western world by storm with Kony 2012 . . . (you pick)

  1. It turns out Invisible Children is a front for an evangelical group that is in Africa trying to convert the heathen.
  2. The producers turn out to subscribe to the doctrine of truthiness when it comes to, well most of it, in order to raise money.
  3. The locals hated the movie. Something about the white man’s burden.
  4. The co-founder of Invisible Children was arrested after quite visibly masturbating in public, high as a kite and drunk on his ass.

Mike Daisy admits to suffering from “truthiness” in his expose on This American Life. It turns out that Foxconn is only MOSTLY abusing the environment and taking advantage of workers in the name of profit (because that only goes on in China). He will now receive thirty lashes for embellishment.  (Bonus question, is truthiness about Foxconn the moral equivalent of calling someone a slut?)

The not-hit HBO series with the stellar cast (was Nick Nolte ever young?) called Luck was cancelled, the reason given because three horses died during filming (call it 4500 lbs. of horse meat).  No word on how many animals died in the making of the meals served to the cast.

It turns out that those rapacious slaughterhouse operators are putting weird stuff (the now notorious Pink Slime) in our ground beef.  Call for Mr. Sinclair, Mr. Upton Sinclair.

A decorated Non-Com on his fourth tour (but only his first in the country Mitt wants to adopt as our own) in a place where we’re not wanted, where the rules of engagement say we don’t shoot until the other guy shoots first, stuck out in the middle of fuck-all-nowhere surrounded by nothing finally snaps and goes medieval in a medieval land.  It’s sad for lots of reasons but the big surprise is that anyone is surprised and that it doesn’t happen more often (or does it?)

All of which puts me in mind of yet another movie.

Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds?

Captain Renault: I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here.

[A casino worker gives Renault a wad of money.]

Casino Worker: Your winnings, sir.

Captain Renault: [Quietly] Oh, thank you very much. [Loudly] Everybody out at once.

 

 

Jan 08

Happy Birthday Elvis

By kevin | Current Affairs

Attention numerology fans, Elvis would have been 77 today. In a weird coincidence, he died in 1977. Even weirder, during the 59 scheduled concert dates (9-5=2, 9-2 =7) in 1977, he wore the Mexican Sundial costume all but 17 times. And the world was created in 7 days (if you count God’s “personal day”). No wonder they called him The King! It’s true, you can look it up. 

And a warm welcome back to the Somali Pirates. Just when we thought you had abandoned the global stage back you roar with a fabulous guest turn on “When Navy Corpsman Speak Urdu.” To those who say that American education sucks, I say BAM. Gimme some of that Urdu smack down.

“I recommend and emphasize to the American carrier not to return to the Persian Gulf,” Iran’s army chief, Major General Ataollah Salehi, said on Tuesday.”We are not in the habit of warning more than once.” Note to A. Salehi, crow is best served spit roasted over a bed of couscous with a balsamic drizzle and a light garnish or pan seared Brussels sprout leaves. While reasonable people can differ on this, I think it best pairs with an ice cold Miller Genuine Draft. Screw the extra calories.

Let’s see, extend and deepen tax cuts, make no meaningful changes to entitlement programs, get tough on yet another country in the mid-east, toss compassionate red meat to the base, excoriate a Democrat for being soft on North Korea . . . other than Candidate Paul, can anyone point out a single meaningful difference between the current GOP hopefuls and Bush 43? Note to candidates Romney, Perry, Gingrich, and Santorum, most of us don’t consider the eight years of 43 a success.

Perhaps of interest only to current residents of the Jet City, SeattleSouthside helpfully lists a number of truly enticing tourism promos, number one of which is surely the “Escape Romance Package at the Seattle Airport Marriott”. Please be sure and use the LVU (note, not LUV) promo code.

Not that I’m paying any attention, but the “play every night” death march and “debate every night” schedule the NBA and GOP have instituted has not improved the quality or relevance of either.

Just guessing here but you have to believe Karen Santorum, wife of Rick Santorum (R) “I hate black, gay polygamists” would probably like to reprint her homeschooling fave “Everyday Graces: Child’s Book of Good Manners.” I know, nothing says family values like a forward by Joe Paterno, right?

For those regular readers of this rant, yes I’m thrilled that DeMarcus Cousins has dropped his demands to be traded from the Sacramento Kings (Elvises?) now that Paul Westphal has been fired (again).

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the man who raised taxes six times, signed an illegal immigrant amnesty bill, compromised repeatedly with a liberal Congressman from Massachusetts, and signed a gun control bill when he was Governor (to keep guns out of the hands of black people, oops, I mean African Americans) . . . please give a warm, warm welcome to that great defender of conservative values, Ronald Reagan.

Help me understand this headline: “Romney’s rivals running out of time to derail him”. True, the candidates and corporate-person-super PACS have collectively spent the GNP of Greece, but really? 100,000 Iowans kind of had a primary except that it was really more like Wednesday night Bingo where nobody kept track and the results didn’t matter anyway and the fat lady is ready to sing? Really? Can we at least drag this out through South Carolina so that several hundred thousand other non-young, non-minority, mad-as-hell and not going to take it anymore, Boeing subsidizing voters can weigh the relatives merits of Charles Lindbergh’s foreign policy, Bush 43’s fiscal policy, and Savonarola’s rules for good government.

Can we all just agree that any headline that includes the words “New Orleans,” “Saints,” and “march” should be summarily banned (as in “Saints march to blow out win over Lions”)? I mean, like, totally, wow, how’d you come up with that metaphor? The mind staggers at the possibilities leading up to and following the Saints vs. 49ers game next week.

For those still contemplating the awkward “escape romance” phrasing, I too didn’t realize that Marriott was now renting rooms by the hour.

In the don’t ask me why I care category. In 2003, in the follow-on to moving its corporate HQ to the Windy City . . .

Boeing extracted a package of research & development tax credits and cuts in Business & Occupation taxes (the state’s substitute for a corporate income tax), sales taxes and property taxes that together were estimated to be worth $3.2 billion over 20 years. As a result, the aerospace industry, which had been the state’s biggest source of business tax revenue, would see much of its tax liability disappear. The state also raised gasoline taxes to fund transportation improvements, overhauled the unemployment insurance system to reduce costs for employers and tightened up on workers compensation claims . . . It later emerged that the state also gave Boeing $32 million for training costs plus other “sweeteners. (Hat tip to Good Jobs First)

In 2003, the Kansas legislature offered Boeing a half-billion dollars in bond financing to build part of the 7E7 at its Wichita facility. Boeing would then be allowed to pay off $200 million in interest by collecting personal income taxes collected from its 7E7 workers. Boeing agreed to the terms, but in 2005 sold its civilian Wichita operations to Onex Corporation, a Canadian private equity company (Hat tip to Good Jobs First)

South Carolina was one of the “losers” in the 2003 competition staged by Boeing for its initial production facilities for the 7E7 Dreamliner. But in October 2009 Boeing announced that it would spend at least $750 million on a new 7E7 production line and create thousands of jobs. The state’s subsidy package was initially estimated at $450 million, a large part of which reflected generous property tax abatements. In January 2010 the Charleston Post and Courier published an analysis of the package that concluded it could be worth more than $900 million. (Hat tip to Good Jobs First)

Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace and defense company, will have 2011 revenues of approximately $68 bn, roughly half of which will come from defense and aerospace, which if I’m not mistaken is paid for with somebody’s tax dollars.

From 2004-2009, Boeing made $17.5 billion pre-taxes. That’s nothing to sneeze at. But they only paid $796 million in taxes, thanks to tax breaks on sales made outside the United States, and a full 38 subsidiaries in tax havens outside of the US. One estimate has the company’s 2007-9 tax rate at -0.8%; its tax rate since 2004 has hit a maximum of only 4.6%. Add the recent $35 billion federal military contract to the cockpit, and Boeing has a mighty sweet relationship with the government. (Hat tip to Business Pundit)

Viva “free” enterprise!

Dec 28

Oh What a Year it Was

By kevin | Current Affairs

No highly selective annual roundup could be complete without noting that last night the Portland Trailblazers, led by Jamal Crawford, Gerald Wallace, Marcus Camby, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Nicolas Batum defeated the Sacto Kings, led by DeMarcus Cousins, Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton, and some other guys . . . leading me to wonder, was it something in the water? Marcus 1, Marcus 2, LeMarcus and DeMarcus. David Sterns it’s Dr. Seuss on line 2.

In January, in a weird bit of symmetry, a food cart vendor named Mohamed (there’s a big friggin surprise) lit himself on fire launching what became known as the Arab spring in the dead of winter. Almost exactly a year later, at least some of us await the outcome of the Iowa caucuses hoping that a guy named Newt will spontaneously burst into flames on national TV.

Along the same lines, did anyone else note that in the same month, March, 1) The Donald (R) Gasbag, held a one point lead over Mitt Romney, (R) Vitalis by dredging up that favorite trope of the GOP, that Obama was born in on the planet Rewanhango 6, 2) Obama ordered US planes to join in the fun enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya, and 3) the Fukushima nuclear plant did a full Chernobyl? I’m blaming Fukushima on the Donald, The Donald on Mitt, and Romneycare on Obama, who is a secret pact with his Muslim controllers actually came up with the Massachusetts health care plan BEFORE Romney did and used his alien blue zap to hypnotize Mitt into making it law . . . right before he hypnotized Newt into praising it but after he held Newt at gunpoint and made him go on television with Nancy P.

(For those keeping track, yes I did skip February. Hosni resigned and Muammar cracked down. The rest of the month is a blur.)

And who can forget April? President Obama releases, again, his “long form” birth certificate and Newt Gingrich described Paul Ryan’s deficit reduction plan as radical “right wing social engineering” leading to a universal, month spanning WTF? Knowing that history is a gigantic looping reality show (or reality is a gigantic looping history show) . . .

  1. We can all now look forward to the President releasing his extra-long form, medium form, short-form with footnotes, free-form, and form-fitting birth certificates once the GOP picks a new liar in chief
  2. Newt will be back to saying stupid things that nobody cares about

All by April of 2012. Oh, and Prince William proved again, as did his father and zillions of other rich dudes before him, that you can be as homely as a horse and still get the total babe . . . as long as you are rich.

May saw the fall of Osama bin Laden thanks to Seal Team 6. In the “only in America” category, in that same month the following companies attempted to trademark the name of America’s Top Ninjas (read the list closely).

  1. Resco Instruments for “Chronographs as watches, Dials for clock-and-watch-making, Straps for wristwatches, Watch bands, Watch cases, Watch straps, Watches, Wristwatches”
  2. Justice is Done LLC for “commemorative coins; key rings of precious metals; cufflinks; jewelry; wall plaques made of precious metal”
  3. Jon Nami for “Series of fiction works, namely, novels and books”
  4. M.Z. Berger for “Clocks; Jewelry; Watches”
  5. Disney Enterprises for “Entertainment and education services”, “Toys, games and playthings; gymnastic and sporting articles (except clothing); hand-held units for playing electronic games other than those adapted for use with an external display screen or monitor; Christmas stockings; Christmas tree ornaments and decorations; snow globes” and “Clothing, footwear and headwear”,
  6. NovaLogic for “games and playthings, namely action figures and accessories therefor”

Disney? Disney? Really? In what can only be described as schadenfreude, all of the applications with the exception of Mr. Nami’s are listed as “dead.” Mr. Nami, there is a call for you on line two. Hello, hello . . . are you there?

June saw the the first GOP debate in New Hampshire . . . I know, it’s hard to remember a day when there wasn’t a GOP debate. Back then, God was taking the over on Michele Bachman (R) Seven Clothing Changes a Day, and everyone else was listed as “former.”

  1. Former Business Magnates Cain and Romney
  2. Former Governors Pawlenty and Romney
  3. Former Senator / House Speaker Santorum and Gingrich
  4. Former race war bater Paul

And just when you thought that the GOP had cornered the market on political foolishness, along came Anthony Weiner (D) BVD. We solemnly wait the turning worm wherein the man of 40,000 followers will surely do one of the following before summer.

  1. Take over from Charlie Sheen and the former Mr. Demi Moore in Two and a Half Men,
  2. Do a spread in Playboy posing as Lindsey Lohan posing as Marilyn Monrie
  3. Do a Fox reality show called Anthony’s Weiner

It’s hard to believe that it was just a few months ago, July to be exact, that our elected officials gave up even the slimmest pretense of competency or sanity by creating a “super committee” as the preferred strategy for not shutting down the government. S&P was clearly impressed but in the end it didn’t matter as it turns out that nobody wanted to sleep with the dollars ugly sister the Euro. Bye bye stock market.

Proving that all things revert to the mean, in August Michele Bachman got a bad case of what Stephen Colbert calls “truthiness”, what the GOP faithful don’t notice and don’t care, and what some of us call alternatively “lies,” “made up stuff,” or “OMG, did he/she actually just say that” and informed the nation that the founding fathers had “worked tirelessly to end slavery.” President Obama released his interim mid-form birth certificate in King James English and Arabic. Rick Perry rode to the rescue. The “Anybody But Mitt” crowd breathed a sigh of relief. Qaddafi fled Tripoli. In a poll of prospective Iowa GOP voters, 3% thought his name was Gaddafi, 32% thought that meant Obama had abdicated and Condi Rice was now President, and the rest stopped by The Pizza Ranch for the salad bar.

After a brief turn at the ball, Rick Perry’s brain heads back to Texas leaving the rest of him to duke it out with Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack on the weekly GOP debate show, To Tell the Truthiness. Fortunately, Herman Cain, (R) Supersize, is there with 9-9-9, a tax plan that kind of makes sense if you’re rich. In other news, a Canadian Magazine incites a bunch of lefties to Occupy Wall Street leading that Defender of the Constitution, Peter King (R) Weimar Republic, to say . . .

“The fact is these people are anarchists. They have no idea what they’re doing out there,” King told host Laura Ingraham. “They have no sense of purpose other than a basically anti-American tone and anti-capitalist. It’s a ragtag mob basically.” “We have to be careful not to allow this to get any legitimacy,” he said, adding “I’m taking this seriously in that I’m old enough to remember what happened in the 1960s when the left-wing took to the streets and somehow the media glorified them and it ended up shaping policy. We can’t allow that to happen.”

Yes, much better to hang a bunch of tea bags off their heads, fund them with copious amounts of money by the Koch brothers, and call them a spontaneous movement. Later that month, an informal poll showed that every potential GOP voter in Iowa had met every GOP candidate twice.

In October, Apple founder Steve Jobs dies and half the literate world goes into mourning. Note to self, Steve Jobs was hyper rich and an asshat. Must start treating people poorly. It wasn’t until December that uber Banker Jamie Dimon said . . . “Acting like everyone who’s been successful is bad and that everyone who is rich is bad — I just don’t get it,” said Dimon at the conference, which was organized by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. . . No dude, the rest of us don’t hate rich people, we just hate you. In other news, Herman Cain delights the faithful by admitting, actually I think bragging is the word I’m looking for, that he didn’t know what an Uzbekistan was, where Libya was, and who Angela Merkel is.

And wasn’t it just last month that the entire eastern seaboard admitted to having sex with Herman Cain and Rick Perry threw down on the three, no wait two agencies he would disband? Herman Cain’s response to his confusion about the whole truth, lies, making stuff up thing, “all this stuff twirling around in my head”, proved a terrific lead in to the super committee dropping a gigantic moist turd. Leave it to Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno to put it all into proper perspective. After several minutes of foaming and thrashing about simply horrible things, the game goes on.

Which brings us to December. Herman Cain finally suspends his campaign (so he can still get federal matching dollars), Newt soars into the lead (meaning he will be toast by next Wednesday), the NBA plays its first games of the aborted (not enough sadly) season, a nation is treated to the sight of the GOP voting against a tax break for the middle classe, and a millions of college football fans shake off that icky sticky feeling it got from the Jerry and Joe buggering fest to feast on . . .

  • The Advocare V100 Independence Bowl
  • The R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
  • The Bridgeport Education Holiday Bowl
  • The Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
  • The Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl
  • The SD County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
  • The BBVA Compass Bowl
  • The Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl
  • The GoDaddy.com Bowl
  • The Belk Bowl

I can hardly wait for 2012!

Dec 08

Idle Musings

By kevin | Current Affairs

I read today that the NBA Charlotte Hornets are considering a multi-team trade involving Chris Paul, Pau Gasol, Rajon Rando, Jeff Green . . . and in other news, it turns out that Miley Cyrus’ friends call her Marley Cyrus.  Get it, Marly, like Bob Marely? The Ganga King? Hello?  Hello?

Put this down in the “I’m shocked” category, apparently there was voter fraud in the most recent Russian elections.

Speaking of which, never have so many with so little to offer competed so ineffectively for the approval of so few who show so little enthusiasm based on such a completely incoherent set of ideas about what it takes to run a country.

Yesterday was the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.  With every passing year there are fewer and fewer to remember it first hand. So many possible lessons, not the least of which is that it takes a calamity of monumental proportions to focus the attention of citizens and legislators alike, something that apparently has yet to happen on either side of the Atlantic as the global economy gets ready to crater.

I’m nearly finished reading the superb new biography of Steve Jobs.  I draw these conclusions:

  1. As a young man Jobs was an arrogant asshole who grew up to become an arrogant asshole and died younger than he otherwise might have because he was an arrogant asshole.
  2. Almost without exception, the other technology giants of the same era were arrogant assholes. The same can be said of the founders of the current crop of “social networking” companies.
  3. He and they were all born within ten years of each other and started companies within an hour’s plane flight of each other. The same can largely be said of the founders of the current crop of “social networking” companies.
  4. The companies they founded and the products they created changed the world.
  5. Ergo, the key to success is to be a) an arrogant asshole, and b) lucky.

An accused murderer named Jesse Dimmick kidnapped Jared and Lindsay Rowley and then fell asleep in their house.  They escaped and called the cops who showed up and shot him when he ran. Dimmick is now suing the Rowleys for breaching an “oral contract” by escaping while he slept. It’s true, look it up. It makes me proud to be an American.

It’s been what, a week, and I already miss the Hermanator.

I put the over/under on the collapse of the Euro at December 20th.

Three months ago I would have said the Presidency was the GOPs to loose. So why is it that none of the stud horses in the GOP barn chose to run?

Taking up where they left off in 1963, Joe Kapp a 73 year old arrogant asshole former football player and coach got into a fist fight on stage during a promotional event for the Canadian Football League with a guy named Angelo Mosca. Line two for Mr. Kapp. Dude really?

You know, now that you mention it, it does make sense that all the Herman Cain, (R) Serial Philanderer supporters have swung in behind Newt Gingrich, (R) Serial Philanderer. In retrospect I should have seen that one coming.

Our health care system is 50% more expensive than Norway’s (next most costly per person) yet our life expectancy is 27th in the world, behind Chile. A coronary angioplasty costs about $14,000 (depending on who you are and how payment gets made) in the US and half that in France.  This is where all my knowledgeable health care friends sigh, point out that I don’t have the first clue the real problem, and then offer an explanation I won’t understand. Put me down for either a) a voucher system a la Paul Ryan or b) a single payor, fully socialized system like all those horrible countries that have lower costs, higher life expectancy, and better health care outcomes.  I don’t see any middle ground, but that’s just me.

Note to self: Next time I rig an election, I should make sure I actually win it. V. Putin

Nov 27

Abe Lincoln Was a Zombie Killing Traitor

By kevin | Current Affairs

In the spirit of the campaign season, and taking a page from the high art form Romney/Perry/Gingrich et al have made of quoting Obama (any words uttered by the other can be reassembled into a quote as long as they are used in the same order, mostly), I now have proof that President “complete failure at running the country” Lincoln was a Zombie killer . . .

Four years ago our fathers fought the dead to the last

And proving once and for all that Abe was an Arab from outer space bent on the destruction of this great country . . .

This nation conceived in war shall perish from the earth

And proving his callow hatred of god fearing, non-zombie Americans . . .

It is altogether fitting that the living shall die in vain

Can there be any confusion on these points?  Vote for Rick!

For further proof, consider the inflammatory remarks made by Zombie Killer Abe at Gettysburg

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Nov 22

Some Headlines Are Too Good to be True

By kevin | Current Affairs

As seen on CNN . . .

“Bachman and Perry clash on Foreign Policy.”

You really just have to sit and marvel at the thought of these two giants going at it on countries they couldn’t find on a map using Google and talking about people they couldn’t pick out of police lineup on a bet. I almost don’t want to riff on it because it’s just so perfect. But I will. It’s kind of like a headline saying . . .

Tinker bell and Dumbo clash on Camu vs. Sartre

Mantle and Berra mix it up on particle physics

Bert and Ernie weigh in on great taste / less filling debate

Laurel and Hardy spar over Patriot Act (oh, wait . . .)

Stuhldreher, Crowley, Miller and Layden debate Maimonides (ten points if you get this one)

Nov 12

It Just Doesn’t Stop

By kevin | Current Affairs , Random Walk

This just in, three out of four Perry supporters didn’t even know we had a Department of Engerrry.

“Republican primary voters see Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich as the presidential candidates most qualified to lead the military and handle a crisis abroad.”  Democratic voters see Romney and Gingrich as the most likely candidates to know where Europe is . . . and Cain as the most likely to know what “a broad” is.

Something you won’t hear at the debate tonight: “Imagine what the Deutsch Mark would be trading at if Germany had stayed out of the Euro!!!”

The SEC has just announced that eight employees have been disciplined over the Madoff unpleasantness.  Three received stern looks, two were sent to bed without their dinner, one was made to “take a time out”, another was required to write “I will not speak out of turn” 500 times, and one had the clean erasers after school.

Note to Candidate Perry on the eve of the Foreign Policy Debate in South Carolina: The one that looks like a boot is Italy.

You heard it here first.  There is going to be a 60 minute special on Sunday that will dare to suggest that all those members of Congress — you know, the ones to whom the ’33 act, ’34 act, The Insider Trading Sanctions Act of 1984 and the Insider Trading and Securities Fraud Enforcement Act of 1988 don’t apply — are trading ahead of the public based on “material non public information.”  Repeat after me, “I’m shocked, just shocked . . .”

I have to admit that I didn’t see the Gingrich upsurge coming. Nothing screams “values” like serial affairs and marriages, an academic pedigree, and a massive Tiffany’s bill.

File this in the “I’m shocked” category.  From the New York Times (so it must be true).

Halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, on a former cattle ranch and gypsum mine, NRG Energy is building an engineering marvel: nearly a million solar panels that will power about 100,000 homes. The project is a marvel in another, less obvious way: Taxpayers and ratepayers are providing subsidies worth almost as much as the entire $1.6 billion cost of the project. Similar subsidy packages have been given to 15 other solar- and wind-power electric plants since 2009. The government support — loan guarantees, cash grants and contracts that require electric customers to pay higher rates — largely eliminated the risk to the private investors and almost guaranteed them large profits for years to come. The beneficiaries include Goldman Sachs . . .

I know, right? A government program that is rigged to deliver risk-free rates of return on the order of 25% per annum and Goldman Sachs winds up with all the money?  Like I said, shocking.

Why is it I can’t stop giggling at the thought of Michele, Mitt, Rick, Herman, Ron, Newt, and the other three guys I can’t remember “debating” foreign policy?

Why is it that the first names of the current crop of GOP hopefuls reads like the starting line up of The Little Rascals?

Far too many athletes (and coaches) diminish themselves, their team, and their sport over the course of their career. Joe Frazier was not among them.

Nov 09

Just the Other Side of the Debate

By kevin | Current Affairs , Random Walk

I’m looking at the WSJ on my iPad.  Immediately underneath the headline “Herman Cain: “I have Never Acted Inappropriately” is a picture of the soon to be former PM of Italy and just below that is a caption that says “Italian bond yields jumped to staggering highs in a chilling replay of the market volatility that preceded bailouts of Greece, Ireland, and Portugal.”  Holy smokes, you mean it’s Herman Cain’s fault?

Just spitballing here, but when you wind up and pitch the idea that there are three agencies you want to do away with, you might want to have on the tip of your tongue which ones you have in mind Rick Perry (R) Three Times a Charm.

Phone call for Marco Rubio.  Next.

Was it just me or did Michele Bachman (R) God Told Me To Run, look like she had recently hit the tanning bed?

Phone call for Mr. Cain, It’s the shark you jumped on line two. “For every one person that comes forward with a false accusation, there are probably thousands who will say that none of that activity ever can from Herman Cain.”  Really?  Did you actually think about that before you said it?

The best part about having never once played fantasy football is that I’m not kicking myself for taking Peyton Manning first this year.

Best job in the world? GOP candidate. You get to not just make up the craziest sounding shit, but you get to say it out loud on television and people will cheer wildly. “I can see Russia from my house!” Manic applause. “I’m going to cut three agencies just as soon as I remember their names!” Standing ovation. “I’m going create a tax credit for evil dwarfs who can spin straw into gold.” Pandemonium. “Our scary black man is better than their scary black man!” Grown men weep.

All those who thought that the latest episode of Glee where some of the characters went all the way went too far raise your hands.  Anyone?

Well this is embarrassing, three different appellate courts have now turned back GOP-led challenges to Obamacare, the latest led by a rock-ribbed conservative Reagan appointee who wrote in the majority opinion, “The right to be free from federal regulation is not absolute and yields to the imperative that Congress be free to forge national solutions to national problems.”

Overheard: Gary Hart, Larry Craig, John Edwards, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, President Clinton muttering to themselves, “Why didn’t I think to say ‘Look at all the people I haven’t had sex with’? Crap.”

For those keeping score at home, it’s all Europe all the time and the game is only in the third inning.

News flash, GOP Super Duper Committee members announce they are now for tax increases! Is it just me or does eliminating the deduction on second homes worth more than $1.5mm in exchange for reducing the top bracket from 35% to 28% sound more like a tax cut than a tax increase? Kind of the fiscal equivalent of “For every one person that comes forward with a false accusation, there are probably thousands who will say that . . .”

And this weeks entry in the Reality TV hall of fame: “I’d like to use a friend on that one. Ron, what’s the name of that agency I want to kill?”

Note to the bankrupt GOP party (no, the party actually is out of money with no real prospects of paying off its debts) from someone who has voted GOP in the past and would be willing to in the future, “Do you think you could take the office of the President just a little bit seriously?”

One of the best books I’ve read this year: Citizens of London.  A must read for anyone with even a passing interest in WW II.  Brilliant book.

I keep trying to find something pithy to say about Joe Paterno, Penn State, college football.  Right now the best I can come up with is that the last college football game I watched was in 2004 at the recently departed Husky Stadium. Now I’m embarrassed that I even check the scores. Blah, blah, blah, billion dollar television contract, blah, blah, BCS, blah, blah, bullshit. The world would not in any meaningful way be impoverished if the entire shitbread enterprise called intercollegiate sports was shut down next Tuesday.

Paging Kermit the Frog, it’s the GOP on line 3.  Next.

Nov 05

Too Much Time on My Hands

By kevin | Current Affairs

Some oldies from a couple of weeks ago . . .

Okay, let’s see.  Michelle Bachman announced that her New Hampshire campaign is replacing the people that didn’t quit en masse (vigorously denied by the Bachman campaign) that weren’t getting paid so how could they quit because the campaign is out of money anyway. I’ve changed my mind.  I do think she’s the right candidate for the GOP.

The rumors that Mrs. Merkel is sizing drapes for the Acropolis are greatly exaggerated. She’s only asking for “all those wonderful little islands.”

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.  A Mormon and a black man with an Arab name go into a bar . . .

Here’s a show stopper . . . Herman Cain (R) Three toppings for the price of two, is a tax scofflaw.  I’ve changed my mind.  I do think he’s the right candidate for the GOP.

Just wondering.  If God told Michelle Bachman to run for President, and her campaign is out of money and near collapse . . . how does that work again?

Nothing says “originalist” like proposing term limits on the Supremes and disbanding the Ninth Circuit court.  Note to Candidates Gingrich (R) Third Grade History, and Santorum (R) God Likes Me Better Than Michelle, your interpretation of Article III is a stretch. A BIIIIIIIIIGGGGGGGGGG stretch.

And now . . .

Now that you mention it, nothing says Big East like Boise State.

I’m with Whoopie, the concept of our blacks are better than your blacks is beyond repulsive.

Call me old fashioned, wasn’t the first clue the porn tape?  Did you really need a second clue to guess the wedding was a sham?

Best line from the excellent movie “Margin Call.” “So, you’re a rocket scientist.”  You have to watch it.

There is a word for anyone that bought Groupon on the open.  Sucker.

Just wondering, is it still a high tech lynching when the guy leaking the dirt on Uncle Herman works for Rick Perry?

Show of hands, who on this line actually thinks the most important Kardashian defended OJ?

For what it’s worth, the worst case scenario with Greece is far worse than you think.

Mississippi has a ballot initiative declaring that a fertilized fetus is in fact a person.  What’s next, declaring corporations are persons?  Oh wait . . .

A bunch of years ago a firm called Refco went belly up.  Among their many transgressions, commingling customer funds with the firm’s capital (the net effect of disbanding Glass Stegal is that all firms with bank charters effectively do this, but whatever).  So a bunch of the execs went to jail.  And what, pray tell, happened to the rest?  They started MF Global.

For the fellas still trying to find it on the map, head up to 110th street and go left (that’s the hand you don’t shoot with).  That big body of water is actually just the Hudson River.  Keep going another 2148 Miles to 1910 University Dr, Boise, Idaho 83706.  It’s like the world’s biggest out pattern.

If a fetus is a person and a corporation is a person, does that mean a corporation is a fetus too?  Just wondering.

Hey all you Boise State alum, Ketchum is not actually in the “Midwest” and Provo is not “the east coast” as your new conference colleagues understand the term.

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