Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Since This Jerk Is My Governor... Michigan's Anyhow

Thanks to some mis-firing brain cells and a certain actually good reason I moved to Michigan, Rick Snyder's Michigan.  It seems that there is some buyers' remorse setting in.  Gov Rick is polling underwater at 56% sucks to 37% approve.  I guess I have a couple thoughts... and they're not exactly complimentary to my "fellow" Michiganders.

Which one of you assholes who is sorry now failed to notice the goddam (R) after his name?

Which one of you sorry idjits couldn't be bothered to notice that the (R) designation means "hate unions" among hate other things?

Is it any consolation for you sorry bastards that a whole bunch of those who share your "sucks" sentiment didn't vote for him and get to live with the stupidity of your vote?

Hey, union brothers and sisters who voted for this guy... you really suck bad and I hope you're really, really satisfied with yourselves.  Tell that butthead next to you just how pleased you are he isn't paying dues along side you.  Yeah buddy, that'll teach them Unions to be nice to gays and browns.

There are enough assholes anywhere without you adding to the quota of stupid ones.

You don't like that kind of talk?  Kiss My Ass, I was smart enough to live in Oregon when you elected this twit and his fellow traveler twits.  Yeah, they've tried this crap there... nope.

National Review Gets Sued, Finally Some Good News?

Once, in the dark ages before Blogs, I took a six month subscription to The National Review with the idea that maybe something Buckley had a hand in wouldn't be intolerably stupid.  The writing was childish (you get better here, if that's saying anything) and Buckley's only contributions were some sort of "Emeritus Letters" that clearly showed the man was well past whatever prime he had.  The subscription ran out... thankfully since that meant that I didn't need to read the waste of my money.  It isn't so much that I disagreed with them (I do, pretty much unequivocably) but that I don't care to pay for and read HS Freshman thinking and writing.  At NRO the ability to string words together has improved somewhat, but the logic and thinking still approximates the three year old's, "I want this now, don't tell me about facts!" screaming.  (I've had kids and I know they don't talk like that)

Now Michael Mann, a Penn State climatologist,  is suing NR for libel and defamation of character.
filed in District of Columbia Superior Court, Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, claimed that a July 15 article not only falsely accused him of misconduct, but crossed a line by comparing him to Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State football assistant coach convicted of child molestation. He also sued the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a think tank that ran a piece about Mann on its staff blog, OpenMarket.org.  
This place right here doesn't worry about calling somebody like Rick Santorum names or even saying Mittens is a liar.  Some of that has to do with the fact that they deserve it, but I'm sure I can get away with it because they're quite public enough in their assholery for me to be shielded.  I'm afraid that Mann has been enough of a public face on his own hook that NR could pretty much call him any damn thing they pleased, and just claim satire.  The part about accusing him of fraud may cause them a bunch of difficulty.

It seems it has:
As many of you know, National Review is not a non-profit — we are just not profitable. A lawsuit is not something we can fund with money we don’t have.
You may not know much about NR but I'm pretty sure you do know that they are great whacking bangers of the "Free Market" drum.  They are not a news magazine any more than this site is so they don't have the excuse of running a large information gathering staff eating their income.  What they have are opinion writers that the market doesn't value highly enough for them to earn a profit.  That market would be the right-wing grifting machine that has given us Newt and his plastic wife earning a fine lifestyle and Dick Morris not looking at all as if he's missing meals.  You could run down a pretty fair list of right-wing noise makers (Rush?) that don't seem to be poor, though begging is big with all of them.  Somebody/s are being over-paid, there is that little matter of deficit spending or even the Right To Work For Less.

To be sure, the profit their investors are looking for isn't from $$$$s generated under that "Masthead" but from the benefits of keeping the marks in line and on script so "not profitable" works for them.  It doesn't have a damn thing to do with the "Market" they're always on about - it has everthing to do with manipulating politics to subsidize their betters - the antithesis of their individuality fetish.  NR is essentially paid advertising for all the rest of the RW grifting and their plutocratic overlords.  They're not pointless, that machine managed to get a Mitt Romney sort of close.  You only have to think about that in relation to everything else going on for about a minute to be very frightened... or at least a bit ill.

Anyhow, it is an early Xmas gift. 

Conservatism With Age?

I've heard over the years that men tend to become more conservative with age.  I have to admit that I'm a bit more chary of some risky actions - I really don't want to go into just how crazy I was when young, my mother reads this thing (she's already past grey, but...).  Really, short of reducing the chances of my physical destruction and that of others innocently involved I've not noticed any particularly rightist thinking creeping in.  It is generally found that the youth cadre is more liberal in its outlook than the general population and I've watched this with a certain interest.

What I've found is that the young set is not anywhere more liberal than I am.  Now to be sure my experience is not a predictor or predicate of anything.  I am, however, a bit disturbed.  What bothers me is that statistics say this cadre will grow more conservative with age.  I admit to being well left of most elected Democrats and, obviously, most Democratic voting people. 

While you can  make a significant arguement that the voting and dialogue's shift right is not followed in attitudes when stripped of political trappings that does not change the rightward reality.  If this is the case, what does the future hold in political policies if these folks do shift right?  I do not find this cadre a bit to the left of those of us who were leftish in the 60s and 70s and we are where we are today (it would be easy to over estimate the size of that group).

I don't know, I sure the hell hope people just reaching and just past voting age will do a hell of a lot better running the show when they age than has been managed by the cadre who were young when I was.    

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Patriot And Hacks - Guess Which Is Susan Rice

This is what a patriot looks like...
Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
and this is what camera hogging partisan hacks look like.
Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
As for the media... piss on that bunch of weasles.

Mississippi On The Great Lakes

Many of you (a few) know that until mid-Oct I lived in Northeast Oregon, and then moved to Northern Michigan - Petoskey, to be exact.  For those of you not from here and know something about geography the title N MI may confuse you with that big old chunk of Michigan north of here also known as the UP - Upper Peninsula.  OK, so here's the deal - this place is socio-economically... divided is a polite word.  The Mitten (you get that, right?) is split up into the urban South, the farmlandish central and the lake splattered wooded cooler north of tourism/summer residency.  You can get to the UP from the rest of Michigan by boat or The Bridge.  The UP was timber and mining, now more toursim but it is sparcely populated and heavily wooded.  Frankly it is a socio/economic-geopolitical nightmare.  My political pals from Oregon will recognize a bit of this stuff, but here it is really a mess and you can drill even deeper down by noting that the western part is... conservative/farmland.

As you might guess, the more rural the area the more GOPer infested it is.  I know my friends from E OR would consider the area I'm in something other than rural considering how many people there are here per square mile but there simply are a bunch of quite small towns.  Petoskey is the big town in the area with a population of about 6300 (year around - triple in "the season").

I'm enough of a foreigner that I can't do real specific political analysis, but frankly the urban part of the state is pretty fractured politically.  This state was hit hard in a socio-economic sense by urban flight and a bit after that the collapse of manufacturing.  The Michigan that was such a driver in Unionism and progressive policies hasn't existed for some time. Charlie Pierce has taken to referring to this place as Michissippi, which I'd have used in the title other than not liking to do complete rip-offs.

I could go into the post-WWII influx of southerners and particularly the rise in black employment as some of the drivers of  what is going on here.  If you're not particularly aware, while the Unions were  busy being a part of the vanguard of social progressivism a good sized chunk of the rank and file were busy voting GOPer dogwhistling, fag bashing, and hippie kicking... and fleeing to the suburbs.  Yup, in a lot of ways this place is a lot more Mississippi than it is what you've thought of as Michigan.  If you gave me a choice between living here and shit on a stick I'm afraid I'd opt for the stick but for a pretty good reason I'm stuck here.  It looks as though the only path to some sort of peace of mind is to learn to ignore the doings of my betters and just not care.

yeah, right.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

How To Cure GOP Demographic Blues

If you read this maybe you could explain to me why it is that the GOP has  Them Old Time Demographic Blues.
“I see that the way we will get the Hispanics and the other groups, the Asians, as part of the Republican Coalition is to get them first part of the great American Coalition. Make them think of themselves, not make but, persuade them to think of themselves primarily as Americans. Restore the overarching, all-encompassing concept of an American identity, which we used to have, which we knew how to bring about and which in the last 20 or 30 years very largely as a result of the democrats wanting to emphasize ethnicity rather than American-ness. We have lost that and frankly one of the reasons we have not regained it and doing very badly at the moment is because the Republicans have neither had the imagination nor the courage to think how they could appeal to these other ethnic groups as Americans and craft an appeal that won them over. They have got to do that.”
I think they may be onto something (or maybe on something).  You really don't expect me to comment on this... do you?

Saturday, December 01, 2012

GOP And Taxes

Just to get people to think about just how damn difficult this tax and budget business is going to get, I'd like to propose this:
Getting the GOP to agree to tax increases on the rich and not gutting social security and medicaid/medicare is like trying to get a Fundamentalist Christian to acknowledge Evolution or one of you to become an entirely different religion.

You are not dealing with facts and numbers here, you're dealing with a religion.  You can't go so far as to call it an ideology because of the faith backed nature of it.  Listen up, the Earth was not created six thousand years ago and supply side economics does not work.  Neither of them works because they ignore reality and facts in favor of faith.  Now why in the hell supply side has become a religion is way beyond me, but then Creationism is also.  Now I suppose that since there have been a couple books around for thousands of years that talked about the Garden there is some damned excuse for Creationism still being around, but for Cripes Sake this supply side nonsense only has St Ronnie, not God on its side.

None of that matters because it still is a religion and pushing the GOPers out of it is going to take a hell of a lot more than being nice to them.  What it is going to take is a choice between damnation and survival - most of them are way too big of cowards to chose martyrdom.  Now, you figure out what that is going to take.  Mr President and fellow Dems?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

How To Ruin The Job Creators

The President-elect ran a campaign determined to mine enthusiasm for raising the top marginal tax rate from 35% to 39%.  The GOP has assured us that such behavior will mean economic Armageddon through the ruination of the people who "create" jobs.  Some sort of magic occurs at 35%.

I do not and no one I know hires a fourth person to do three people's work, that is just stupid.  Everyone I know of that hires people hires someone because three people can't do four people's work, which means that there is that much demand for the product.  If you're going to follow along on this "job creators" theme you're either telling people that rich people having some more money means they will gratuitously hire or that they spend enough money in the market place to drive that kind of demand.  I think we've dealt with the gratuitous hiring part but the demand part is ought to be as easy, 2% of the taxpayers do not buy all that much of anything (well, most yachts).

So what is the real impact?  Let's start with what marginal rate means - anything above an amount.  So, $250,000, after deductions, is taxed at the previous rates and anything above gets hit.  This would mean that of $260,000 after deductions $10,000 would be taxed at 39%.  Follow along, 10,000 x 0.39 is 3,900 and 10,000 x 0.35 is 3500 which is a grand total of another $400.  Holy shit, your taxes on Adjusted Gross Income of $260,000 will go up $400 and with that you will buy... what?  OK, sure we all know this is more about millionaires than than that 250K bunch so here's that number (assuming - ridiculously - that you somehow have $1M in ordinary income) $750,000.  Alrighty, more simple damn math: 750,000 x 0.39 is 292,500 and 750,000 x 0.35 is 262,500 so your 750K costs you $30,000 more.  That will buy one car that these people won't be seen driving or at the Federal Minimum Wage of $7.25 earning you $1580 at 40 hours for 52 weeks a whole $15,080, just less than two jobs washing the cars they actually would buy.  (no, we're not talking take-home pay)  Why does that millionaire need two additional minimum workers?  Nobody will tell you, they just squeal "job creators."

If people don't have goddam money they don't spend it on products and services.  Those people are called consumers and they produce jobs by consuming.  If 80% of the consumers are competing for 7% of the wealth there isn't going to be a lot of consuming going on out of that share.  What is actually the case is that the "job creators" are destroying jobs by sucking every last cent out of the economy.  It isn't the conservatives' bug-a-boo government that is sucking the life out of the economy, it is their protected class that is doing it.  It is real damn simple - the money is not moving around in the economy.

You can feel free to call it socialism, communism, or "punishing success" to advocate using the one tool the governement has at hand to change economic behavior, taxation, to address this concentration of wealth - but real simply, capitalism can't survive under the current conditions.  Most of the country can do pretty well under capitalism, those who can't can be addressed with an adequate safety-net, but we have today the Reaganism version of capitalism to live with and it ain't working.  Welcome to The Gilded Age aka Robber Baron Era.

People have serious doubts that the President can stick to his 39% rate which will do spit to address the problem and are worried about the safety-net...  Christ on a pogo stick.  Liberals seem to think this recent election did more than stave off absolute disaster.  Can this nation get any stupider about its plutocrat enabling?

The short answer, of course, is - Yes.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How To Become A GOP Foreign Policy Leader

If you want to lead a Party on foreign policy there seem to be some pretty specialized qualifications, not easily obtained by just anybody.   You should start out by being an Admiral's son, then you can learn to crash jet airplanes without ratting out your fellow prisoners.  If that seems a bit threadbare and only suited to making you famous, there is actually more.  You need to throw bar-b-ques for reporters and spend lots of time talking to them... about not much of anything, until you get a reputation as a reasonable guy in the face of what you actually propose and vote on.  If you've managed that, run for President with a particularly noxious version of know-nothing Alaskan and lose that rather badly.  Part of the bona-fides for running to have that office should include assertions that the invasion of Iraq will be easy and that we'll be welcomed as liberators and while campaigning singing about bombing Iran or ... well various things as silly as announcing that we're all Georgians now (not the one with Atlanta) or maybe the other Rice, Condi...  If all that worked out pretty good you'd be named Sen. John McPOW McCain.

If you'd like to waste time looking back into foreign policy and security difficulties for this nation you will find McPOW on the wrong and stupidly wrong side (short of torturing our prisoners) in damn near every instance.  I don't mean wrong morally or some such, just plain old factually wrong.

Since the Senator is going to term limit out of the one important committee he sits on it might help if he could get a Watergate type special committee going to sit on, though the Sunday morning talk shows can't seem to get enough of him, now.  It is puzzling how Susan Rice (no, the other Rice) became such a lightning rod other than the obvious - female, black, Pres. Obama...  She's been the UN Ambassador for some time now and they're not pointing at what she did in that job, but repeating the intelligence (loosely applied) agencies' talking points.  I guess it is enough that she has been out in public to make a good coathook for McPOW.  Don't get me started on Lindsey Graham and Kelly (who???) Ayotte - 2012 NH O/R 52/46 might say... publicity is important.  Of course, Lindsey (uh-huh) may be having primary problems.

I don't hold any brief for Susan Rice for any office or appointment, if the President wants her for something I figure he has good reasons and ought to get his way unless there's something outrageously bad lurking.  If there was something, I'm pretty damn sure he'd avoid her like the plague - he knows how to do that.  If this doesn't demolish the credibility of these three, well... this is the US and we're Exceptional(ly stupid).     

Governor Chris Christie Fer Christ's Sake

Gov. Christie is running for re-election to be Governor of New Jersey - that would be Republican Governor of that Blue State of New Jersey.  That would mean that he will have to run for that re-election as a Republican governor of a blue state with policies designed to win in a blue state, a northeastern blue state.  There has been talk about Gov. Christie running in 2016 for the GOP Presidential election.


The GOP Primary voters really didn't like Mitt Romney, you know - the Blue State Republican Governor - but he did manage to money bomb and campaign competence bomb his rivals into extinction after his 180 on being a Republican Blue State Governor - barely (see Santorum).  Consider that damn near anybody breathing polled higher than Mittens for awhile.  The GOP ran a fairly democratic Primary this last time and the results were... disappointing for the GOP.

I'm sure the GOP can manage to jury rig the Primary process to get something closer to their desires but I'm not sure they can tilt the field enough to get the Confederate Party of Republicanism to swallow Christie, even as abrasive as he can be.  Tough talk isn't going to cover the realities of being a blue state governor - especially not in The Old Confederacy (and The New Confederacy).  Well, the Media needs something to talk about...

there's always Jeb BUSH

ahahahahaha, please do that.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Turkey Day

Sometimes nice things happen to you, even in Northern Michigan, on Thanksgiving. This picture isn't real good, but I was squatting on the center line of US31 on T-day with my camera phone.

It was almost 70F and the sun was shining and it was behind me when I got to this spot. Today, the next day, at 3:30pm it is 30F, snowing hard - sideways. Yeah well, welcome to N MI. That is looking west onto The Big Lake, aka Lake Michigan, just south of Petoskey, MI where I now live.

It is blowing hard enough to cause the wall mounted bathroom exhaust fan external flappers to clap - that is making my landlady's dog, I'm dog sitting, crazy. He is a Jack Russell so... I hope everybody had as good a T-day as I did.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

To Pay Taxes, Or Not To Pay ...

There is no doubt in my mind that more Americans should be paying Federal Income Taxes.  The operative word in that sentence is "should."  There is a damn good reason why the word isn't "can" without severe economic consequences.  It has everything to do with how the economic pie is carved up and what the reality of Taxes, in general, is in this model of economic dysfunction.

The first thing to address is what those non-Fed paying are paying and one my move out of Oregon has emphasized to me.  Most Americans pay sales tax and depending on the model in operation in a State, just how much the low and middle income pay for their State's operation.  This mess of a tax seems to range from about 5% to 7+% and though what is subject varies, food groceries are mostly out, every day needs are hit along with the more major purchases like vehicles and this hits a much larger share of income for low and lower middle income groups than anybody else.  There is an unholy mix of sales tax along with State income taxes and most of them are pretty damn regressive.

If you take a wage or salary anything up to $110,000 is subject to a tax of about 14% and there is no deduction on that (that rate can easily revert to the 15.3% rate).  You can go ahead and consider Mitt's published rate of about 14% on his millions of income.  Unless you're a church or favored Corporation you pay property tax and whether you own, "own", or rent you're paying these.  There are, of course, all kinds of specific taxes and fees like gas taxes and maybe the most insidious and nasty where tip receiving employees have their minimum wage slashed.

If you look at wages and salary that have been flat or falling versus inflation over the past 30 years you begin to get a sense of the impact of Federal Income Tax.  But that is really only a small part of what is going and talking about a symptom wealth distribution and, yup, taxes.  In 2007 the top 1% had 43% of the financial wealth in the US compared to the lowest 80% at 7% of the wealth.  Take into consideration that conditions have severely worsened since then.  There are structural reasons for this and there are policy and tax reasons for this.  I believe you can make the case that the structural reasons have much more to do with policy and tax policy than world conditions and even if they do not they are huge contributors.

It is frequently asserted that economics is not a zero sum game, as though this somehow mitigates conditions and quite basically ignores that at any given moment economics is exactly a zero sum game.  At any given moment there is exactly so much wealth within the system and how that wealth is distributed has everything to do with whether or not people earn money and spend that money and get taxed on those earnings.  If 80% of the population is competing for 7% of the wealth the system produces  they are going to take small portions and have small portions of a system that supports us all.

I really don't care what economic model one hews to from communism to unfettered libertarian capitalism the simple fact is that wealth is produced and protected by the infrastructure and various agencies.  These systems must be paid for, somehow, money has got to be put into creating and maintaining them.  If not enough people can afford or are willing to pay the piper the thing falls apart.  If you cut the share in wealth of the general population they cannot afford to support those essentials and if you allow the small percentage of the population to refuse the thing is broken.  The reason you have inability and the ability to refuse is all about the share of wealth.  If you concentrate sufficient wealth at the top you give them the ability to keep it that way and refuse responsibility through application of minor amounts of that wealth to the political system.

It has taken decades to get to this point and trying to do something real about it in a sudden manner, even if possible, would have undesirable consequences to the economy.  Forcing wealth back down into the general population will take time even if it is seriously addressed.  The problem is the the will to do it will take an awful lot work and time - the thinking that has led to this mess has been inculcated over decades and become some perverted common sense.  Waiting for politicians is simply foolish, they will react to common sentiment not common sense and worse yet - that sentiment has to overcome the political advantages of wealth.  Yeah, I think most Americans should pay taxes and that involves being able to pay them and that means that the real Takers in the economy have to give up quite a lot.  A hell of a lot which is just chump change in their world.  So don't hold your breath or any stupid like that...

By the way, if you're not in the top 1% or even better 0.1% you're getting hammered by percentage of income paid in taxes compared to them.  Absolutely hammered.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Dealing With The GOP

I've already laughed at the idea of GOP reassessment so one need not fear I'm going to repeat that.  I've listened to two of John Boehner's blatherings now and while I appreciate the cheekiness of offering to compromise all the way to the President's opponent's position on taxes and spending, it is pretty silly to think a bunch of Democrats will get along with it.  A bunch of media is all aflutter with fiscal cliff themes which is a serious over statement of what is going on.  There is not only no damn rush to deal with it, it is strategically stupid to do anything before we topple over... er actually, step down the slope.

Mitch McConnell managed to tell the President that he could go ahead and offer up a Republican House Bill....  Now, admiring the cheekiness of Orange John is a bit different than saying something nice about complete and utter lunatic ramblings by Mitch One Term McConnell.  The House is not "Republican" it has a Republican majority which is a bit of a different thing.  It is quite possible for the Tea Baggers to stay loyal to their idiotology and fringe while other GOPers come out to play.  That of course depends on just how scared the rest of them are of Teabaggery.

The GOP has proved itself willing and adept at taking hostages so being put in the position of step forward or have the edge of the cliff crumble under them whould turn on some lights.  They're perfectly aware of the efficacy of making the choice of going along or facing the absolute wrath of the citizenry and the plutocratic interests.  The plutocrats might not much like paying higher taxes and in another deep recession could probably buy up even more of what's left, but payment to those pissed off peons could be real bad - like pitchforks bad.  Not to mention that some of the wealthy actually do depend on doing actual business, you know, the making of or doing things which you don't do in a crashed economy.

I don't propose that the President and Democrats march into Congress and insult the GOP, as deserving as they are, but that they put them into corners that force reasonableness onto them.  I am, however, real tired of hearing about "middle ground" where the GOPers will meet the President.  The GOP can be dragged or forced into meeting the Democrats on their side of the divide, otherwise all the talk about not just being red/blue but the United States will simply end in RED.  The real trick will be to get the media past the wishful thinking of magical Bipartisanship.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Why The GOP Lost, So They Say

A couple things about GOP loss excusing were pretty obvious years ago and so were included today to nobody's surprise featuring the oldie goldie:

Conservatism cannot fail, only be failed...
ie: Mitt sucked at being conservative

But for real gold you had to mine fine minds like Hannity and O'Reilly,  Bill O' started his evening off with a mantra I later learned is the new GOP talking point - the election was bought by O'Bama (heh, couldn't resist) from the over 50% that want their gubbmint free stuff.  This was the center piece of his little peroration that went from the opening theme to the pre-commercial announcement of his guests which induced uncontrolled gagging on my part and a quick click to the XBox that was idling for just such an eventuality.  There were some other bits surrounding the lazy no good takers part that I won't credit Bill with since what I remember may be confused with some other GOPer stuff.  He sure didn't like the demographics, St Ronnie hadn't had that problem.

I returned from the fictional XBox endeavors to the alternate reality of Hannity who also opened with a title screen to first commercial sermon, and to my less than great surprise its center piece was the failing of the gubbmint teat sucking Americans to act in a moral way and elect the rMoney guy.  This one also brought in an oblique "more later" reference to the Librul Media efforts on behalf of that not Irish Obama and some extensive going on about the dirty campaign run by "that guy."  The words lying, sliming, and defaming in regard to Mittens' self were in emphatic usage as was the qualifier "the most... in memory"  I'm happy to point out that Hannity has a very short memory and extremely selective attention span.  In Hannity's case I was willing to stick around for the after commercial first guest Ann Coulter, despite what better sense told me.

The first order of business was to get Ann to agree that the moral failings of the teat suckers had to be corrected in order to... hmmm, it gets a bit sticky here... achieve happiness through self-reliance and return the Hannity version of Conservatism to power... or something like that.  Ann's short, "I agree," sentiment seemed to contain a bit of annoyance at having Hannity put words in her mouth while using up her on air time.  Ann managed to sort of apologize for drifting off reservation with her Christie/Romney/we loose jabber earlier on.  She'd thought - well after some fourth grader political analysis - that (do you have any idea how difficult it is to sort of repeat Ann Coulter and be sure you're making any kind of sense in what you're relating?)... anyhow, that incumbents are hard to beat and O'Bama (ooops, wrong show) Obama is popular and so was Christie and, aw geeze, free stuff and lies and rMoney was really a good candidate and Sandy screwed the works and...crap,  the hell with it.

Both BillO and Hannity were pretty much in agreement that there is no problem with GOP right wingery and both seemed to wax philosophical about how America would come running to them to right the insults to Americanism of the O'Bama crowd and seemed to think '14 should do pretty well as a time line and their crowd had best not despair...  ayup, conservatism cannot fail, it can only be failed.  Oddly enough a day later and they were still holding fire on rMoney although O'Reilly had some fairly harsh criticism of the staff for not making their point strongly enough and surging back after Sandy and he did want Axelrod.

So, what we've got here is that with the help of the compliant liberal media the sinning suckers were bought with cheap trinkets and lies about the fine fellow Mitt who was let down by his shitty staff while being ambushed by a hurricane named Sandy to the point where the non-traditional electorate of loser types would fail the conservatism that would come roaring back to save them when through the ministrations of some undetermined agency they would return to their senses after the Democrat Party failed them and we go bankrupt while being killed by the foreign boogeymen and what did O'Bama know and when did he know it...

Or - in short - most Americans are shitty people who failed a shitty campaign and both failed Conservatism but not to worry, it's coming back... soon.

Really, in a sad sick way they were damn near as funny as the Comedy News guy John Stewart.  Well, there is the part where he is deliberately being funny...  and he's waiting for the laughter when he says really stupid stuff.

Have I mentioned that watching people talk about the GOPers re-assessing and returning to reason leaves me ROTFLMAO?

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Goodbye Mr rMoney - Please...

I would hope, that after 7 years of running to be POTUS, that Mr rMoney will take what I consider to be a very well earned retirement from politics.  For god's sake Mitt, go concentrate on scraping the last cent of value out of companies or even better dancing horses.  I really don't want to hear any more about this guy being the head of the GOP.  It is bad enough that I have to listen to Orange John repeat your Mittens' tax plans as though somebody elected you.  There are car elevators to be ridden, speed boats to be driven, and dogs to be strapped on roofs (no, don't do that one) and I'm sure the LDS can use some of your help and expertise to... something.

I don't want or need any more of your version of political speech which was debased enough prior to your campaign.  I can get your idea of discourse any time I'm willing to insult my intelligence with Rush Limbaugh or half of the House GOP Caucus.  It is quite possible to take a measure of Corporate Spending on your failure and wonder just how many products at what price could have been made or employees hired or (horrors) given raises.  Business bemoans the insurance costs of the employee mandated insurance and yet were the drivers of the demise of a public model and threw even more money away on a corporate raider as though he was experienced at adding value to the economy.

Mitt's failures as a candidate were manifold as were the GOP failures as a campaign machine and resulted in Electoral College disaster and popular vote loss.  But those failures of charisma and machinery were nothing next to nothing compared to the failure of messages.  Racism will work in some House districts and even in a lot of the Confederacy but in the nation at large and most larger states it just flatly sucks - and your scared white vote just isn't big enough any more to do the job.  St Ronnie's demographics are gone (at least partly due to his Amnesty) and America is reaping the "benefits" of the voodoo of Reaganomics.  It is beginning to look as though the results of voter disenfranchisement efforts may be backlash and upped vote enthusiasm from those groups - though hard numbers to back that feeling will be near impossible to garner - and those insulted by those efforts will most likely never support the bastards who did it. 

I expect 2016 to be a replay of of 2012 and even 2008, though probably the racism directed at the actual candidate will be a bit lesser, mostly because I don't see another dark skinned candidate in the wings although female isn't out of the question.  The racism regarding policies Democrats support won't be lessened, probably even heightened since there is so little room to go another direction.  The plutocratic politics will not be touched because while the GOP can't remember history in any accurate manner, they can read checkbooks.

G'bye Mr Mitt, please go much farther away and much quieter than Sen McPOW.  I won't miss you.

A New GOP?

The media seems all a-flutter with the theme of a GOP civil war and how the GOP is going to address the President running the table on the so-called swing states and a pretty clear majority vote.  The first things to look at are the numbers in Congress.  The Senate gains by Democrats were unexpected by most a year ago but it falls far short of stopping filibusters and the House is still... well, I can't think of a polite adjective - Republican.  Then there is the electorate, that infamous 27% number makes up over half of the GOP and if this election cycle didn't make their point of view clear, I'm unsure just how big a hammer it takes to get your attention.

Regarding the Senate elections, the Democrats picked up seats (sort of - considering who some of them are) thanks mostly to the GOP Primary results.  If you think there is a lesson for them in that, I'd like to point you back two years and the results of GOP Primary voting that time and the balance in the Senate.  New Senate rules could have some effect on pure obstructionism, but don't hold your breath on that happening.

At one time the Senate was the much more stable entity and the House the volatile one, thanks to gerrymandering that is no longer true with Senators facing a state wide popular vote threshold that includes sufficient mixes of Party loyalties and other sensibilities to elect something other than lunacy in enough states and the House candidates getting their predetermined mixes.  When people like Bachmann are able to hang on for cycle after cycle you know that something is seriously amiss.  The House GOP lunatic caucus has proven safe and whatever sort of pragmatism John Boehner might like to practice, they'll have no more part of that this time around than they did the last two years and their numbers are not inconsiderable for Boehner.  I don't like Boehner and I think his politics stink but they're less egregious assholery than his colleagues' idiotology but he has essentially no levers to move them with and is scared spitless of them.  Any House GOPer to the left of wingnuttery knows their wing will Primary them into extinction if the break rank.

It may be a fact that if the GOP wants to win statewide and national elections outside the Confederacy and Confederate sympathisers it has to change directions, but that does not mean there is any Primary impetus to do so.  That 27% is not subject to the reasoned discourse that involves something outside their ideology and compromise means doing that and winning those big elections means doing it.  They do not want to win at the cost of betraying that hard core ideology and believe in their hearts that they'll start winning by sticking to it and even going harder in that direction.  Their Conservatism cannot fail, it can only be failed.  While all the long term developements look for the GOP just about like they did for the Confederacy versus the Union that war didn't end before the almost utter destruction of their ability to function, either.  Faith is a peculiar thing and not particularly subject to reality's intrusions.

This also includes the idea of making the GOP something other than the Confederate Party of Republicanism ie: Racism.

All this is a pretty long way of looking at this GOP civil war idea and saying, "Please pick my laughing my ass off self off the floor." 

Monday, November 05, 2012

Getting Here

Truck speed limit is 25 mph and follow distance of 100 feet so it wasn't much of a risk to shoot these pictures through the windows while moving. Yeah, this is a damn big bridge that connects the "UP" with "The Mitten." Despite a lot of Michigan north of here in the the UP, this is referred to as Northern Michigan. They make a lot of maple syrup here and tourism is huge especially if water is involved.

I've got to tell you that a seriously loaded 26' bed U-Haul with a K5 loaded to the gunnels with tools on a trailer behind is quite the show, longer than a lot of semis. Using the words gas mileage in any other respect than connected with horrid doesn't address this mess. There was a vacume gauge on the dash that had green for best mileage and red for 'there's a vast hole in the bottom of your tank', it spent little time out of red and when out of it just barely. One two hundred mile stretch involved the wonders of just short of 5mpg, yeah - that's about 75 cents per mile for gasoline - though I did get around 8mpg other times and even saw 10mpg which would get it down to forty cents a mile. Did I mention 2200 miles and four days?

For all of those wishing me a good trip, no crashes or other disasters. A couple eye widening and jaw dropping moments, though. The horse in the opposite lane just over a hill at 60mph at dusk in MT was a surprise. Drove through several snows, enough to stick to the road in a few places and in the UP I got a real surprise.

Cresting a rather long hill in the UP at 60mph I found the whole show 45 degrees left on the road looking out the passenger window at the center line and I thought, "I can handle this." I cut back into the slide and nothing at all happened until I gassed it. That worked a bit too much and I was 45 degrees right and same thing with nothing happening till I gassed it and yup, right at 45 degrees and I thought, "This really sucks, my stuff will look stupid scattered in the trees." I cut it back as soon as it started coming around and got the vast improvement of 20 degrees right and managed to use the shoulder to get it pointed in the right direction. All that was, uh, disconcerting black ice is... difficult.

Arrived here in a driving rain and the radio talking about flash flood warnings, spent the night in a motel and the next day unloading in... rain. Everything except the dining room table made it in good shape, the table required extensive repair and while not perfect, is pretty good now. The important thing, the Harley, made the trip unscathed. I really like the landlady and the house is quite nice, if a lot smaller than the one I left. Living in the actual country is pretty darn nice and since I sit on a hill I have a view - and wind.

The New View From My Window

A couple weeks ago I made a rather long move - like a 2200 mile move - from Baker City, OR to Petoskey, MI. I'm still trying to fit a three bedroom house with a garage/shop into a one bedroom with storage. Packing, driving, unpacking, and suffering from geo-social shock explains my absence from this blog.

Looking somewhat SW from my sliding window in the living room. Petoskey is over in that general direction, past the hill and on the edge of northern Lake Michigan.  Depending on which side of town you're trying to get to it is about 5 miles.  (Click Pics For Full Size)

Out to the NE is my landlady's house and my '74 K5 Blazer. Previous to the move I sold "the fleet." While I have no use for it, I'll sort of miss the old '50 Chevy COE. I'll much more miss the '62 Chevy II and for driving and gas mileage the '04 SSR is a real loss. I needed money and I needed to not have a huge insurance bill. I've driven the '78 K20 Chevy work truck longer than any other vehicle I've ever had, but I could move one vehicle and a utility bed truck that could get all of 8 mpg and seat three tightly just wasn't in the cards.  The driveway is very light colored because it is sand, if you scrape the ground anywhere around here you get sand and it takes some work to not track it all over the house...

Since you can't go much over 10 miles in any direction with out running into water, lakes, I figured I probably needed something that floated better than the Harley which is parked in the garage past the "hole in the water you throw money into."  This thing is a '94 18' Four Winns with a 5L 215HP Ford V8 and it can scoot - the test drive showed it making 50 mph, which is darn fast on the water.  While I was paying for it and doing the paper work the shop winterized it - so I have a large expensive yard decoration that, unlike the Harley, I can't ignore... all damn winter.  Yeah, it's 11AM and 39F and over cast which isn't too bad for the last two weeks - at least it isn't raining or snowing, like it has been.  Baker County is semi-arid - which means a couple less inches precipitation and you've got desert - did I mention shock?

There are a number of reasons why this move happened and not a bit of it had to do with wanting to leave my friends and the country side of Baker City. I shut down the construction contracting business last fall since I couldn't afford to subsidize it any more and this summer my wife and I decided to divorce which meant selling the house since she was moving and neither of us could afford to buy out the other. All that and my mother's age of 85 years and the closest child 3 hours away made it seem that with little employment opportunity it sort of fell on me to get within her neighborhood. Mom's place is about 25 minutes away, close enough that I can help her out whenever she needs it and still far enough that she can - heh - still like me.

It is odd and kind of claustrophobic to ride the country roads and not be able to see anything unless you're topping a hill.  The humidity is sky high compared to Baker City, though most places aren't that dry.  The air does smell clean and 'The Big Lake" is present - in damn near everything.  The snow fall is an issue, the lack of it the last couple years - but I think I'll have to do it to judge exactly what they mean by "lack."  I lived near here for a while 30 years ago and the lake effect snow fall was considerable.

I'll make new friends and get used to the climate.  There are a lot of roads to ride and it is rural (well, crowded compared to Baker County) and I'll have plenty of water to fish and play on.  Large change is never easy and I've not only lived in Baker City for the last 24 and change years but also 22 years in my house there after never living in one place in my adult life for more than a couple years. 

Maybe I'll start putting stuff on this page a bit more regularly.  Anyhow, hi to all my readers.

Oh yeah, I won't suffer political shock of any big degree, this area is as "Red" as OR2 - lots of NObama and Defeat Obama signs, I guess with rMoney it's hard to know what to be for...

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Well, I Watched The Debate...

If you were a Democrat it sucked, if you were an Obama fan it really sucked.  I realize it can be pretty difficult to counter someone who lies every other sentence and presents about a dozen alternate reality versions of himself - but... really? I know being a Democrat is a fairly complicated proposition and reality has an unfortunate tendency to screw with our desires - but... really?

I have one piece of advice for the President to use in the upcoming debates: Whatever it was you thought you were doing, STOP IT!

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Polling The 47% Statement

NBC/WSJ did some polling and one of the questions was how did Mitt's 47% comment affect your view of him?
More positive ......................................................... 23
More negative ....................................................... 45 
Not much difference .............................................. 24 
Don’t know enough ............................................... 8
Despite the media's obsession with this tape and its effects this thing shows what I've been dismissing. Yeah, a 45 more negative view isn't helpful, but look at the rest of it, if you add the rest together you get 53% that aren't pushed Obama's direction. I'm more than happy to go with the idea that the statement froze some leaners in Obama's camp, but that is far from agreeing with the idea that the statement is persuading people into voting for him that weren't already there. I'd be more inclined if that "more negative" number was in excess of Obama's general polling but it isn't.

The media loves "a moment" in campaigns, the ones that change everything, so this thing takes on a life as one of them.  The slow drip drip of GOPer bullshit from the Primaries on to now as an r-Money definer seems a lot more reasonable backed up by what this poll says.  This is the guts of what I find offensive by the "a moment" theme in this case.  If the definition continues on, what will happen is that r-Money gets the blame as a clueless bumbler for a loss that was avoidable minus this particular fumble. 

If you think some really charismatic person could sell the bill of goods that Mittens has been peddling I'm really frightened for the America of that vision.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Debate Game Change...

Gov. Christie predicted that the Wed debate would be... well, huge.
"This whole race is going to turn upside down come Thursday morning,"
I'm not sure exactly what it is that r-Money could do or get Pres. Obama to do that would turn things upside down.  Mitt had something to say about his strategy, though I'm unsure of its wisdom.

I don't know that a campaign that's said what this one has said about facts should wander out onto that limb.
“Fact checkers come to this with their own sets of thoughts and beliefs, and we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers,”
Now I certainly understand the need to make something as short as an ad pop and dig into the viewer's consciousness but this ad about welfare has run right along side the campaign speeches given by the R/R pair saying the same bullshit.  This isn't some "independent PAC" saying something over the top, it is the team so there is a risk involved in questioning the President's truthfulness.

It seems that the R/R campaign is hoping to gain a special moment.
Mr. Romney’s team has concluded that debates are about creating moments and has equipped him with a series of zingers that he has memorized and has been practicing on aides since August. His strategy includes luring the president into appearing smug or evasive about his responsibility for the economy.
I don't know that the President is a trout to be distracted by a shiny object and I'm real doubtful about r-Money pulling off a comedic enterprise despite how funny his family seems to think he is.  I know better than to tell jokes - I can turn a ROTFLMAO joke into... not funny.  It just isn't in my skill set and I've seen no evidence that it is in Mitt's.  I'm sure there are some competent writers at work for Mitt but great lines can't undo piss-poor delivery.

I haven't seen the President thrown off stride by anyone but I have seen him get too far into the weeds answering questions or addressing issues and I have seen him veer away from a question.  I'll say this at the risk of seeming snarky but Mitt going after smug really strikes me as a funny idea.

I don't have any advice for r-Money, I'm not a GOPer shill and I can't fix his ideas or his charisma.  It seems it is Mitt's job to convince people he's not the guy they've been watching since this spring and I have no idea how the hell anybody would do that - much less r-Money.  I'm also not going to wish him any luck.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mitt Is Not Winning?

How the hell is it that r-Money is not winning?  No, really.  This economy absolutely sucks and has sucked for the entire Obama Administration, not sort of - badly.  Yeah, less badly now than in early '08 but it is a bit like the difference between hitting yourself in the head with a sledgehammer and a ball bat.  Afghanistan drags on and on badly and... crickets.  Not one thing has been done about the abuse by the 1%ers much less the 0.1%ers and the Big Casino called Wall Street and the Banksters keeps ticking right along doing what they were doing that landed us here.  The Middle East is as queer as it ever has been and just as damned messy.  I can sit here and go on and on and on* and Mittens is losing.

The GOP couldn't have asked for a much better set up to kick an incumbent President to the curb, take the Senate and consolidate their handle on the House.  And it is all going awry.  Nate Silver has r-Money at 18.1% chance of winning in Nov - not right now, then.  The control of the Senate not only looks damned unlikely but as though the Democrats might gain.  House seats look to be going away, maybe not enough to swing it... but oops.  Why, oh why, oh why?  2010...

The problems for r-Money are one, charisma is not a word you use in any relationship to his name and two, he's a GOPer.  Just not being Obama isn't quite enough with more people than it takes to win (how that for awkward?).  The GOPer part isn't about not being a Democrat, it is about what it took to win the GOP Primary and then keep them.  That mess means endless lies and mouthing stupidities and some people catch on after awhile.  Once you get past Party tribalism and racism as locking mechanisms there are people who decide on some other basis.

2010 is the basis of a lot of the mistakes the GOP is making.  They've gotten the idea that the election meant that their stuff was really appealing to more people than it is.  It isn't that the GOP business friendliness has turned into anathema or even that god, guns, and gays can't work but damn - they've thrown the sluts (otherwise known as women) on to the mix, made sure the Hispanics are insulted, and made fire sirens out of dog whistle racism.  Whatever there is about the 47% statement, people are just not buying into the idea that tax breaks for wealth is a good idea, in point of fact most think raising taxes on wealth is a good idea so when the obvious rich guy makes the other case central to his cause...  The thing about god, guns, and gays isn't that it doesn't work at all, but there comes a limit to the volume and the derision that previous buyers can't swallow - whatever changing demographics are.  Guns fall apart a bit in the face of a complete lack of offense by the Admin, on the God front the headliner GOPer is a real argument for religious tolerance of something that at least sort of resembles Christianity.  People might have a bit of a problem with listening to a Mormon lecture them on "traditional marriage" - it isn't as though Mormon polygamy is a big secret or a slightly known fact.  Then there is the little issue of Obama-care not turning into the Apocalypse.

2010 is a piss poor model to use in this Presidential Election, it isn't a low turnout mid-term with a bunch of spineless Democrats busily running away from their own damn Bills and trying to be GOPer-lite.  I'm not trying to give Democrats credit for backbone, but they are fighting back this time... and maybe the most spineless are already gone.

I'd say that if r-Money were running as a 'near' Obama he could be winning but then if he were running as a near-Obama he wouldn't be running in the GOP of today.  There is always, that.

*what has actually been done or left undone and the stupidity of Congress is not germane to a discussion of voter attitude

Monday, September 24, 2012

Saving President Mitt

Well now, the GOPer punditocracy has been a bit rough on r-Money for about a week and change continuing on this week.  The stuff got to be enough that Mrs r-Money was reduced to snapping, "Stop it!"  The difficulty for Team Mitt is that, "Stop it," didn't do the job and it continues on.  Ayn Ryan complained that Conservative Pundits (GOPers) do that, complain about imperfections.  A late poll shows a bunch of swing states with the President at 50+/-% and r-Money at mid-forties which might qualify as a real imperfection.

I've heard all kinds of prescriptions for Team R/R, from unleashing Ayn, to R/R "Going Rogue," to not pretending to be human and going with the CEO persona and even to putting out detailed plans. (OMG, Mitt just referred to himself as St Ronnie)  All the 'scripts seem to revolve around salesmanship by either the professionals or the candidates.  It doesn't seem to dawn on the GOPer Punditry that maybe, just goddam maybe the problem isn't so much with which version of r-Moneybot they tool up it won't sell their shit to people who've just stopped buying or never did.  It isn't that the GOP has been a big secret, the secret has been just how much they believed their stuff.  They don't have to worry about the votes of the Obama-haters but the ones who aren't exactly satisfied with Obama want some place to go and batshit crazy doesn't exactly appeal to them.  (It does begin to look as though a big chunk of r-Money support dislikes Obama but doesn't like r-Money)

How about this, you want to save the election for Mitt maybe you ought to let him run on something other than the GOP Ticket.  Maybe the whole problem is the GOP.  God knows r-Money has all the charisma of a paper bag but even St Ronnie wasn't trying to peddle this crap while he was dog-whistling his way to Sainthood.  The Sainted RR was actually bringing something new to the table and now it is old and worn and... failed.  We've had the ongoing efforts of building on Reaganism and the outcomes so they're starting much farther along than St Ronnie talked about (despite where he wanted to go) and St Ronnie never asserted that his version of looting would end in the 07/8 debacle. (S&L lays there... rotting stinking corpse of a warning)

I suppose the r-Moneybot V 0.(whatever) that ran for Gov MA might have a chance, but if he could run as a GOPer that would probably mean we would have a President he's running against that does actual progressive things... ummm, back to the actual nation.

See ya around

Friday, September 21, 2012

Ducking The 47% Tape

I said the 47% tape means spit to the election.  In the face of conservative pundits, GOP candidates backing away, and most of the press I still say so.  r-Money's campaign agrees with me by doubling down and folks like Rush Limpthing are banging away on the point.  Most of those pols that've backed away from the 47% sentiment are going to get right back on board as soon as they see how little practical effect that sentiment has on the poll numbers and how much the GOPers agree with it. (gotta keep that base happy) 

Yes, the statement and the rest of the tape was obnoxious, provided you weren't in the least inclined to vote r-Money.    If you think I'm being a Cassandra, then go tell one of your conservative fellows that you're pretty sure pays no Federal Income Tax that r-Money says he's a moocher and see just how much it changes his mind.  He'll tell you who the goddam moochers are...

There is about a 6% Undecided vote left to fight over and somebody would like me to believe that cadre isn't pretty well split half and half on, "Moochers...WTF" and "Them There Moochers" ?  Really?  You've never seen GOPers panic?  Do you want me to remind you of "The Moooslims Is Comin' To Get Us All"? 

Do you think r-Money dumped his 2011 taxes today to change the subject?  Or do you think maybe he dumped them to keep it all buried in the noise?  14.1% is still lower than the 47%er's payroll taxes, you know...


CBS News reports on Anne Romney's Iowa radio comments:
Amid ongoing criticism over the management of her husband's presidential campaign, Ann Romney on Thursday responded to the critics in an interview on Radio Iowa: "Stop it. This is hard. You want to try it? Get in the ring," she said. "This is hard and, you know, it's an important thing that we're doing right now and it's an important election and it is time for all Americans to realize how significant this election is and how lucky we are to have someone with Mitt's qualifications and experience and know-how to be able to have the opportunity to run this country," Romney said.
I'm sorry to have to tell you this Anne, but this ain't your damned Country Club or the Office where Mittens is the undisputed king and all around dictator. People who are on your team or putatively on your team get to tell you you're doing it wrong.

 Now I do disagree with, oh say, Peggy Noonan that the problem is the campaign because they're working with what they've got - and that is the candidate and the message. r-Money's personality disorder isn't something that is easily addressed in a short term campaign, this mess goes waaaayyyy back and everybody that has anything to do with him (he has inflicted himself on all of us) is just plain stuck with it.

The message is the legacy of the GOP, it just is what the GOP wants for the nation. I don't know just exactly how that gets prettied up, much. The election of 2010 certainly encouraged the GOPers to "go for it." The mistake they've made is conflating a low turnout midterm with cowardly incumbents for a national election for President, even in a sucky economy. Unlike Peggy, I don't have any winning advice for that campaign - other than maybe quit being GOPers...

Anne, it is always hard to run for major office and I don't think anybody who pays any attention is unaware of it. In point of fact, most of those people wouldn't do it on a large bet just because it does suck to do. What does seem to be pretty clear is that people in general are under-whelmed by their luck in having Mitt's qualities aimed at the Presidency. I don't mean he won't get plenty of votes but those are beginning to look much more like anti-Obama than pro-Mitt.

Anne, your guy sucks - he just sucks a little less than Santorum or Ron Paul and had a lot more money. Your package bought this chance and he just plain sucks at what he bought and folks on that side don't much like it.   Oh well...

Chaos Improved

Some of you know that I'm selling my house.  Half of this house is pre-1878 Victorian (pre-dates earliest city plat) re-built by me and half of it is my 1996 construction designed to blend.  Not only do I have a lot of work into this, I've also lived in it for 22 years and so it isn't too easy to leave.  That got a little easier today.

The wife of the couple who are buying the house stopped by today, a bit of work for her because she has somewhat recently had very extensive back surgery and just within the last week or so allowed to fly from CO.  A week ago she got to see the house in person for the first time, her husband has been here for awhile, and I stuck around to show them both what is going on with the place beyond what a realtor would know or include in a tour.  I liked them as much as such a short acquaintance would allow - and my disinclination to sell the place.  Anyhow... get on with it Chuck.

She came to the door apologizing for making contact that is discouraged by the real estate business, something I find a bit ludicrous, BTW.  I assured her that it was fine and asked what I could do for her.  She wanted to assure me that they knew I'd put a lot of myself into the house and that they would care for it - really heart-warming and re-assuring in the sense that someone would want to let me know that.  OK, I know I'm supposed to be pretty hard-bitten (and I am) but I was charmed.  Now as to this blog - she told me she had stumbled across this thing by accident and really hoped I'd continue to write because I have a way with words.  I pointed out that preaching to the choir is pretty easy, but she insisted anyhow.  I don't hear that much so it stroked my not inconsiderable ego a bit.

OK, I'll go ahead and keep this thing going and maybe even post a bit more regularly (maybe).  So this is a very public thank you to the lady from CO who went out of her way to improve my day.  There are a hell of a lot of people in this world who could take this example to heart, I'll sure try to.  Think about how much improved this sorry old world would be if...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Romney Tape Means?

I know a whole lot of the few folks who read my scribblings feel like the 47% moochers theme of the r-Money tape will sink his campaign.  I disagree, as thoroughly offensive as I find the comments.  It has been noted a lot of places that the insult contains a bunch of r-Money's base, which will mean spit for the same reasons that the tape will mean spit.

The SS/FICA moocher seniors know Mittens wasn't talking about them since they paid into that fund.  The redneck foodstamp and unemployment moochers throughout the South know damn good and well that it is the fault of the black guy in their White House that they're on "the dole" and besides... GOD.  What they all know is that Mittens is talking about those others, shiftless blacks and other browns and the white trash that don't... well GOD.

I'm sorry to be a downer, but if you think this will do much of anything you fail to understand the level of xenophobia and lack of empathy within the electorate. Given any excuse these folks will excuse themselves and blame someone else.  They know damn good and well that r-Money is nothing like them, that he is totally disconnected from their experience and that means nothing.  They are dimly aware that he is proposing a redistribution scheme for his class and not theirs and... SOCIALISM. 

The fight is for the six or seven percent of Undecideds.  You have to stop and think about what exactly it is that makes them undecided.  If you think that is the result of considered evaluation of the policies of the competing candidates... well hell, huh?  You know as well as I do that they haven't been paying attention to any of this and they aren't going to delve deeply into it in the next 6 weeks.  They'll finally decide on the basis of some buzz word ads and feelings if they haven't already actually made up their minds and just didn't say so.

Maybe you haven't noticed, but we are exactly where we are economically because the electorate is an idiot.  I'm not running for anything and I'm not campaigning for anyone so I can insult the electorate just like that by telling the truth about them.  I know... you're reading this so you're not an idiot - you're sufficiently outnumbered to be immaterial.  You don't want to be outnumbered?  I don't know what to tell you, the deck is pretty heavily stacked against curing that.

Maybe it's not hopeless, go ahead and tell me an idea or two...  Yes, really.  

Friday, September 14, 2012

Magic Mitt

Most of us are aware of the Mitt Magical Underwear, what we didn't know was that Mitt is imbued with even more magical qualities.
“There’s a pretty compelling story that if you had a President Romney, you’d be in a different situation,” Richard Williamson, a top Romney foreign policy adviser, said in an interview. “For the first time since Jimmy Carter, we’ve had an American ambassador assassinated.”
I guess I'm just stupid enough to have missed the magic all those other Presidents possessed.  You'd think that given the GOP sainthood  bestowed on St Ronnie of the Reagan they'd have stopped for a second to think... well, OK - do something resembling thought. 
Williamson added, “In Egypt and Libya and Yemen, again demonstrations — the respect for America has gone down, there’s not a sense of American resolve and we can’t even protect sovereign American property.”
I'm not real sure just exactly what this cretin thinks a US Marine barracks in Beirut qualifies as, but I'll bet the soldiers thought it was US property and didn't take their lives to be worth less for the Marine label.  Now, I'll admit that St Ronnie's resolve demonstrated by invading Grenada and letting the barracks bombers get clean away with it doesn't impress the hell out of me - but then he's their Saint not mine.

It might have missed him that this isn't the only time US Embassies have been attacked and destroyed since Carter.  But, given Williamson's background and who he held influence under, his spot as an r-Money top advisor probably ought to give pause to any consideration of ascribing any intelligence to anything he says.  I don't know, you might be able to pay  me enough to say things this stupid, I'm not immune to money - but there isn't enough currency in the world to get me to believe anything this stupid...  Nope, I take it back - I do have standards and no you couldn't pay me to say it.

Chuck For... In Chaos

I don't propose that any of you readers are supposed to give a damn about this but I thought I'd share some background so you'd get some kind of feeling for why this site has gotten into the state it's been in for awhile.  Essentially I, the scribbler at this little endeavor, am surrounded by and engaging in chaos.

Here's the deal, the little economic dip we've been mucking around in finally took out my contracting business.  I spent a couple years subsidizing the thing but last fall ran out of resources to keep it.  So, out of resources and not having any luck getting hired to do anything meant some stuff had to go.  Yeah, some guns, some cars, some tools - stuff that had held value but didn't return what it should went.

My marriage finally finished dying, the amicable split was a mercy killing.  That also meant that something like the house I'd rebuilt and built was going to have to go and have to go in a market that... well, sucks.  It went on the market priced to sell, in a market with an average of 200 days on sale, and has sold - short of closing being done.  My wife has moved several hundred miles away, taking most of what she wanted and could manage, so I've been here alone waiting for a sale and now looking at how I'm going to pack up a place I've lived in for 22 years.  Closing is supposed to be Oct 1.

My father died at 85 a bit over a week ago and my mother is also 85 and living in N MI without my sister or I within nearer than 2 hours (me a lot more).  Given that and the realities of trying to make a living here in my home with the business gone and my house gone - I'll be moving to N MI.  This means I leave a climate and country-side that I love and my close friends for somewhere pretty far away.  That stings more than a little.

OK, that's enough to give you some idea, it isn't all of it - by any means, but there you go.  No, I don't need any sympathy, it's just how things go and I'm dealing with it (a little unevenly at times).  I've been thinking over time about shutting this blog down.  Unless I blogwhore it someplace like BalloonJuice there are no more than a few readers - that is a decision in flux.  There is a lot that I have to see about, so...

Mitt's Advance Excuse

Mitt seems to now have made his pre-excuse for the debates.
“I think the challenge that I’ll have in the debate is that the president tends to, how shall I say it, to say things that aren’t true,” Romney said. “I’ve looked at prior debates. And in that kind of case, it’s difficult to say, ‘Well, am I going to spend my time correcting things that aren’t quite accurate? Or am I going to spend my time talking about the things I want to talk about?”
I think the last sentence is the real meat.  This is where he gets us ready for him to do a 'Palin' in the debates.  This is the assertion that nothing of substance will be put forward by the President so r-Money can just go to his talking points without addressing anything on topic.  What is missing and I'm pretty sure will get made up for is the theme of "liberal media bias" and in the Obama tank media and, by extension, moderators putting Mittens in the position of not even having to marginally address the moderator's questions.

The other aspect about truth is just flak to cover r-Money's own deficits in the ever saying something true category.  It isn't as though there has been a seldom occurrence of a miscure by the R/R campaign or a couple outside organizations bending the truth; we've gotten to the point where "the lie of the month" has had to be supplanted by the "lie of the week" and coming up as a too long a period for that campaign.

If you're expecting something of substance or an actual debate from Mittens, I've got a bridge in NY to sell you...

Too Bad God Forgot Intelligence

It seems some folks are mad at Dr Pepper. The Doctor made the egregious error of using the word Evolution in a rather silly Internet ad. It really is a shame that a corporate behemoth (encouraged no doubt by Obama) has kicked the snot right out of religious freedom violating all sorts of... I don't know, somethings.

I suppose that you can deny the clear trail of evolutionary evidence in fossils and existing species by making some sort of deal about the word Theory - but you know the Theory of Gravity doesn't mean we'll all float off the earth if we quit praying.  There is always the issue that Jesus stuck to the Earth (well there is the water thing) ((oh damn, I can feel my feet getting light)) and dinosaurs... well opinions differ between people riding them and Satan planting fossils.  A whole chain of oddity crops up once Evolution becomes the Satan's Tool.  If science finds something that doesn't match the exact words of a Holy Book it is Satan interfering with belief.

Some of this derives from the inability of even educated people to understand that words frequently have more meaning than the simplest interpretation or definition and that gets even more complicated once they're strung together into, you know, phrases or sentences.  There is a rule about those red octagonal signs that say STOP and if you don't follow it you can get into some trouble - maybe real bad trouble.  Now, it says STOP but there is something else involved - an understanding that it isn't all you're supposed to do, otherwise every one of those would be a trap where people starved because they never moved; yeah, "then GO" is missing from the sign.  The point being that absolute literal interpretation of words is... STUPID.

Language is a complicated thing for a couple reasons and the first is pretty simple to grasp - there is an absolute upper limit of the number of words we can function with so they will cover more ground than is absolutely simple.  Then there is the little matter of language also being a thing of beauty and art - a piece of marble on the side of a mountain is a simple plain thing but in the hands of a sculptor it can become a thing of beauty and art and language is just that.  I have to acknowledge that in my hands language is a pretty plain thing, but in the hands of some it becomes beautiful and magnificently expressive - it is art.

The idea of the literal interpretation of Holy Books is that the words are extremely limited in function, that those "divinely inspired" authors trying to communicate a basis of spirituality were that limited in their capacity.  Plainly said, it means that God has no artistry with words. God, creator of a Universe, is that limited.  I don't ascribe to any of those Books, but... WTF?

"God created man in his image," means... um, what exactly?  I sure the hell don't look much like my neighbor so literally one of us can't be that image or, hmmm - any of us?  Speaking of literal, we've already strayed way off the limits, so something more is meant.  Since the can of worms is opened then where we're at is self-imposed limits on the artistry involved and that starts to get to the issue of intelligence... or lack there of.

OK, I really don't care - but these people are so insistent on imposing their stupidity on the rest of us that even a goddam Presidential election starts to revolve around their complete and utter inability to understand their own damn Book and artistry.  Folks, we may be seriously screwed here...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mitt Should Have Waited... Huh?

Lately I've been hearing or reading that Mitt's mistake was not waiting and getting accurate information.  I'm afraid such an idea assumes things not at all in evidence.  The idea seems to be that Mitt wouldn't have said things about apologies and weakness in the face of no apology and death.

The lack of information seems to be the crux of the argument and the whole thing falls apart in the face of previous Mitt behaviors.  Starting a ways back there is no tape, transcript, or verifiable instance of the President apologizing for the US.  The bust of Churchill is still in the White House - easily verified.  The "when" plants closed is a matter of public record.  The HHS guidelines for Welfare to Work waivers were available to anyone.  The details of the Medicare savings were right in front of any one's nose who cared to look.  The employment numbers and economic metrics for the last five years are quite handy.  The point is that in these and other instances all the information is readily available and has been for an extended period and yet Mitt hasn't managed to include the truth.

It should be pretty clear that he'll say whatever the hell he thinks will be to his advantage at any given moment, despite truth or costs to the nation.  Considering the low bar of my lack of respect for this guy that he'd have to try really hard to lower it - damned if he isn't managing it... 

Mitt Ain't Like Most Of Us - Fortunately

Mitt leaves the podium after speaking about the Consulate killings in Benghazi

I'd say there is something wrong with the expression on the face of a man who'd just finished lying about the deaths of Americans in the service of their country - whatever political advantage he figured he'd just gotten over... that black guy in his White House.  I've read all sorts of reactions that involve all kinds of pyscho-babble trying to establish just what kind of... asshole he is.

I've said it before and I'll repeat myself - The Deal is all that counts; truth, honor, and decency toward your fellows are immaterial in service to The Deal.  You little people don't get it - YOU DO NOT COUNT, you are simply the capital to be accrued and spent in service to the ends of The Deal.  There is no need for complicated analysis of the man's psyche - he figures he's a shark in a pool of minnows that don't even qualify as bait.  Anne supposedly asked him if he could save the nation - no such thing is going on; this is the BIG DEAL.  He's made more money than Daddy, he's made and broken more companies than Daddy, now he wants the big prize that Daddy couldn't get (and Daddy couldn't get it because he counted those things called truth, honor, and decency).  r-Money learned the lesson and the rest of us may just get to find out what that means if he can play enough marked cards.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Romney And God And Lies?

For someone who doesn't claim any religion and is pretty darn sure no religion would claim him; I know a bit about the various Gods.  One of the things that is pretty clear about all of them is that they don't like lies or the lying liars that tell them - there is some debate about whether non-adherents deserve equal treatment under their God.  Mr r-Money and his campaign and the GOPers make a really big deal about being all Godly.  I'm perfectly willing to let them claim their variants on Gods and leave it go... assuming they let me do so.

I'm pretty sure that all these claimants to Christianity are aware that their God doesn't make exceptions for exigencies like campaign polling deficits.  Now the fact that I don't like liars a bit has nothing to do with a God, it has a lot to do with their inclusion in a list of liars, cheats, and thieves and that liars are generally engaging in the rest of the lists actions.  I don't claim to know why Gods don't like lying but they don't.  r-Money doesn't seem to much care about those Gods opinions regarding lying and today is another example when the Egyptian Embassy did NOT apologize to its attackers.

Hey God, the President did not apologize to attackers, he did not loosen welfare work requirements, he did not raise your taxes, he does not want to take you off our coins, or several other things Your Candidate has said.  How about you do some of that smiting?  No shit, if you're all concerned about what's going on in this nation maybe you ought to get with the program like the GOPers insist you will.  I'm not suggesting lightning bolts are necessary, how about a bad rash or maybe an uncontrollable gag reflex upon lying?

OK, how about I just quit snarking and get to the point?  You r-Money supporting theocracy fluffers are total and complete hypocritical pieces of... stuff.   There's not much I can say to most of the rest of the r-Money bunch since they don't claim all that Godly stuff other than they're idiots or mean natured bigoted sons a bitches... oh hell, why am I being so nice?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Really Mr Rather? Paul Ryan Isn't Who You Thought He Was?

I watched with a certain amount of disbelief as Dan Rather blurted out something I considered rather unobservant on Rachel Maddow's 9/10 Show... words to the effect that he was astonished that Paul Ryan has done so poorly in television and other interviews.  Rachel in a rather nice way tuned Dan up.  She pointed out to him some of what I'm about to go off on.

Paul Ryan is exactly as much of an intellect as you could expect from someone who takes Ayn Rand seriously once out of puberty... or high school, anyhow.  This ought to be a starting point for anyone talking about Ryan's abilities.  Ayn Rand's writings are about stoking the testosterone fueled imaginings of superiority over 'the other' - the ones who don't run things and just do.  You are aware of 'just do' - they cook your food, they build your house, they clean your house or others houses, they don't get the big bucks and they don't get their pictures in the 'nice' magazines.  Worker bees.  Not one goddam cent the Ayn Rand Superiors have is generated by their own sweat and blood - some pissant worker bee makes the things and gets them their income and those folks are disposable, they are "the takers."  They're takers because they make the shit and buy the shit and want to get paid something for it and they're not grateful to the great men who'd as soon they starved while they work.  If they don't work thanks to the decisions of their betters then they can just starve, or if they can't work because they got dealt a real shitty hand - they should have found a better dealer - like running mate Mitt did.  It is a simplistic world where force and influence are all that matters and where the only consequences are when the truly great are inconvenienced - only a very limited intellect would be impressed.  That is for starters.

Paul Ryan has "shone" within the simplified world of the conservative media and amongst his similarly minded and within a pissant CD in the same state where Michelle Bachman has prospered in a similar venue.  Results are quite understandably different when the surroundings aren't composed of his friends and sycophants and include people who are willing to look at a record and analyze talking points policy.  Wanting something to be so does not make a four hour plus marathon into a sub-three hour one and it does not make the fevered imaginings of Ayn into workable policy and it doesn't make ideology into goddam mathematics.  The real rules of the world say that you can't make money in to match money out without actually doing it - ideology be damned.  The real world says that you can't make rape into several other things without really pissing off anyone who gives a damn about women and after you've tried to do it you don't get to claim it is all a misunderstanding.  Some people pay attention to these things and will question it outside Janesville WI and the GOP House Caucus. 

Why the hell Dan Rather is surprised that a pip-squeak ideologue doesn't do well when challenged on his bullshit is way beyond me.  Paul Ryan's ideas have been in full view for some time and they've not been misrepresented and they stink in practical terms.  To put it simply - they are in practice stupid, if ideologically sound.  Paul Ryan has to deny that a vote for Sequestration was a vote for Sequestration and do it in front of people who say, "What the hell?"  This is from the Party that accused John Kerry of flip-flopping for voting differently on two different variations of a Bill.  Paul says he did it to force a better deal... he voted for what he voted for outcomes be damned and wants to pass that off as principled action.  Yes, he thought he was playing hostage taker just as those GOPers thought the rest of their Debt Ceiling hostage taking was a good idea - real world outcomes be damned.

The unexplainable doesn't get explained by Paul Ryan and Dan Rather is surprised.  When you try to do things that make no damned sense at all it is real hard to make it sensible, or even make sensible responses to questions about them.  The measure of an intellect is not the ability to parrot stupidity and pass it off as policy, the measure of intellect is an ability to face reality and do a somewhat good job of matching your desires to it and working within its constraints.  Buying the idiotic punditry that making stupid policy involves nerve and out-of-the-box-thinking is asking to be disappointed or astonished that its object can't live up to its billing.  An actual intellect knows how to adapt and innovate and improvise in the face of conditions, not hew to wishful thinking that things will just work because it wants them to.

Paul Ryan is a chimera of the right and the teabaggers, not anything more and his resolute stupidity is going to cost the GOPers for uplifting it into something is doesn't in the least resemble.  And yes, they deserve anything they get for it... and if the electorate buys into it, well hell, then we'll get what we as a nation deserve and too bad for those who knew better...