Wednesday, January 28, 2015

It's the Roman Games Circa 2015

It's a shameful thing that as a society we allow our fellow citizens to jeopardize their future for immediate glory.

“That’s what the NFL is banking on these next few years—hypocrisy, basically—as more stories emerge about the tortured lives of retired players. Many of them can’t walk, sit down or remember anything. Some battle debilitating headaches and gulp down pills like they’re peanuts. A few weeks ago, Jim McMahon confessed in an interview that his short-term memory was gone, then admitted he wouldn’t even remember the interview as he was giving it. You hear these things, you sigh, you feel remorse, you forget … and then you go back to looking forward to the next football season.

Seems more important than under-inflated footballs.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Thank You, Mr. Pitts

Leonard Pitts has a wonderful column in my local paper today. I'd just like to point it out and bookmark it.

Tucker Carlson said on Fox more children die of bathtub drownings than of accidental shootings. They don’t.

Steve Doocy said on Fox that NASA scientists faked data to make the case for global warming. They didn’t.

Rudy Giuliani said on Fox that President Obama has issued propaganda asking everybody to “hate the police.” He hasn’t.

John Stossel said on Fox there is “no good data” proving secondhand cigarette smoke kills nonsmokers. There is.

It gets even better from there.

And speaking of things that keep getting better, there's Sarah Palin. She must've been jealous over the Donald getting the Hometown spotlight yesterday. There are no words except the Thank You she got from the DNC to describe her appearance. And as they did fro Trump's idiocy, the audience gave La Sarah a big hand. Go and see the video.

The New York Daily News reports that Palin's teleprompter froze, forcing her to ad-lib some of her remarks.

I thought it was just President Obama that needed a teleprompter.

Conroy also reported that Palin left the stage to a standing ovation and the Taylor Swift song, "Shake It Off."

Not everyone in Iowa is a moron, I hope.

Also, too, thank you Tbogg:

Good news, America!

Two of the most reprehensible people on the Internet — and that is not an exaggeration — are duking it out; revealing Breitbart family secrets, opening up old wounds, and saying things neither of them  will ever regret saying because they are are the kind of people who will say anything for a website click and a buck because they are amoral soulless monsters.

It's a beautiful day as I await Snowmageddon.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

This is Better Than Having Palin Run

Guy who plays a billionaire on TV (not as well as Jim Backus) Donald Trump has declared he might deign to lead our great nation.

"I am seriously thinking of running for president," Mr. Trump said as he took the stage at the Iowa Freedom Summit. "We have a presidential election coming up. We have some good people – nobody like Trump, of course."

He can't be for real. Half of these Republicans are just performance artists. Aren't they? Back in the real world, Trump offered his services as nominee for the Republican Party in its efforts against the evil King Andrew of (New) York. the stipulation was that Teh Donald not have a primary opponent. What's hilarious in the video (go there and see it, you have to) is that he trashes Bush and Romney are the crowd goes wild, as they say.

What may be most telling is that this audience seemed to agree with Trump, especially of his assessment of Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney. 

Nor did Trump stop at criticizing the competition; he slammed Republicans in Congress as well, saying, “I'm very disappointed by our Republican politicians, because they let the president get away with absolute murder.”

Whatever the Democrats are paying him is not enough.

Other speakers at the summit included Republican hopefuls such as former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Alaska governor. Sarah Palin, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who received a warm welcome.

I don't know how they all fit in the clown car.

Neither Bush nor Mr. Romney were in attendance.

Good idea? Bad idea?

Go here and see Charlie Pierce write about it:

There were too many groups with too many agendas driven by too many fears and grievances for anyone to unify them all in any meaningful way. There were the anti-immigration people, the goldbugs, the pro-lifers, and the ever-expanding universe of free-range activists driven by the ever-expanding odd-lot of causes and issues.

Yes, today's Grand Old Party. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Say It Ain't So, Nearly Shoeless Joni

And after her rebuttal nearly brought tears my eyes. If I'd watched anyway.

Joni Ernst, the new Republican senator from Iowa who delivered the GOP response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night, called in her address for cuts in government spending and described how her views grew out of her own “simple” upbringing, one in which her family diligently watched ever scarce penny, to the point where she owned only one pair of shoes.

Tears at my heartstrings at least. Of course, my brother and I had breadbags over our socks, too. So, I was really empathizing. Not that I remember that as particularly being a hardship of any kind. Of course, my family never received a half million in government handouts. My parent's were both union papermakers.

But the District Sentinel investigation showed that Ernst’s own father, Richard Culver, received $38,395 in taxpayer handouts, almost all of which went to corn subsidies. The Iowa senator’s uncle, Dallas Culver, made out even better, soaking up almost $370,000 in federal agriculture subsidies.

The total subsidies enjoyed by members of Joni Ersnt’s family came in upwards of $460,000

Ernst failed to mention her own family’s reliance on government assistance in her speech touting the virtues of self-reliance.

Really? I'm sure her opponent 5 years from now will bring it up.

In news of other right wing loons:

In the wake of international ridicule levied against the ill-reputed network, Fox issued a rare public apology last week for its inaccurate depictions of purported Islamist-controlled communities in Europe.

In one broadcast, self-declared radical Islam expert Nolan Peterson compared areas in Paris to war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. He claimed that many parts of Paris are under Shariah law where French police will not enter.

“It was pretty scary. I’ve been to Afghanistan, Iraq, Kashmir, India, and at times it felt like those places in the no-go zones,” Peterson said. “You see young men wearing Osama bin Laden T-shirts. In a hookah shop, I saw a speech by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was leading an insurgency against American troops in Iraq at the time. It just, it seemed very mainstream and very accepted.”

And yet, we have citizens who hang on every word from Fox News and roam our streets freely. They should be in "no-go zones. Ironically.

Love this, from JoanWalsh:

Palin and Ernst have other things in common. The GOP’s answer to feminism, its strategy for winning female votes without changing its anti-female policies, seems to be recruiting sassy frontier gals who hunt and ride motorcycles and, yes, castrate hogs, but do it all in lipstick and (camouflage) pumps. And hey, in Iowa, it worked.

Bella Abzug need not apply.

Never heard of Curt Clawson but he is one boring motherfucker. Congrats on the Implody, Ted Cruz.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

More Victims of the Second Amendment

From my local paper today comes the story of three more of our citizens who have lost their lives so that we may be free to possess firearms. The first was a cardiac doctor in Boston:

A man shot and fatally wounded a doctor inside a leading Boston hospital Tuesday before killing himself.

Authorities said Stephen Pasceri, 55, entered Brigham and Women's Hospital sometime before 11 a.m. and specifically requested the doctor.

Pasceri, of Millbury, shot the doctor twice just outside an examination room on the second floor of the Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Cardiovascular Center; he then turned the gun on himself, police said.

The second was the shooter himself and the third was a 9 month old:

The boy found his grandfather’s .22-caliber magnum revolver that was being kept on a shelf built into the headboard in the master bedroom, Nodaway County Sheriff Darren White told The Washington Post. The baby was in a crib in the same room when the gun went off, and a bullet struck him in the head.

But rest easy:
Most people are very safe with them and this was just one of those cases where everything went together in the wrong way,”

Yeah, that's why I could pick stories out of the paper like these everyday and post them on my blog.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Are These Guys the Frontrunners?

If they're doing that badly, maybe we can run someone better than Hillary.

According to a NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey released Monday, both  2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) are less popular than they were last year. 

Last September, when Romney was repeatedly insisting he would not run for president again, 32% of Americans and 60% of Republicans viewed him favorably. 

Romney's popularity has since dipped. According to the NBC poll, just 27% of Americans and 52% of Republicans have a positive rating for him. The drop comes after Romney revealed his interest in a potential 2016 run in January. 

Bush's ratings have also taken a small tumble since December, when he announced he was taking a major step toward running for president and forming a leadership PAC. In November, 26% of Americans and 44% of Republicans viewed Bush positively. Now 19% of Americans and 37% of Republicans say the same.

I studied blogging under the auspices of the great Donald Douglas. I went to his den of depravity to see what his feelings were on President Obama's idea of free community college. Thought he might give our Dear Leader a thumb's up. Didn't see it mentioned. Oddly, I did see this

Ms. Fisher has a post up at Facebook about how she was all famous and hot to trot once her Twitter fame exploded. She didn't handle it well and now has gotten back to God and family: 

This is all about someone named Holly Fisher, described by Donald in the post title as "Army Wife and Conservative Hottie." Ooh la la! My god, but he's forgiving when it's a Right-wing hypocrite:

I'll say though, for someone who went viral mocking the hell out of hate-addled leftists, she's fallen pretty hard. But then, we're all fallen. We're human. Owning up to it is the start of getting things back together. Hopefully her husband's going to be forgiving. I'd hate for them to divorce. Their baby would get the worst of it. She's still just a little thing.

Although I know nothing about the woman, I'll mutter a nihilist prayer for her. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Balancing the Budget on the Backs of Sinners

Here's the latest installment of the Kansas death and/or apocalypse watch.

Kansas would nearly triple its cigarette tax, raise taxes on alcohol and slow down promised income tax cuts to balance its budget under proposals Republican Gov. Sam Brownback outlined Friday.

Eeek! Tax hikes!

Brownback presented detailed recommendations to the GOP-dominated Legislature for eliminating projected shortfalls totaling more than $710 million in the current budget and for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

$710 million? How many smokers and drinkers do they have in Kansas? And do you hope for a lot in order to balance the budget or not a lot in the interest of general welfare?

Why people of Kansas? Why?

Of Geese and Bakers

This was just a cool story in the CSM and I hadn't thought of being as goose as being awesome before, but I do now.This was from a study researching the flying habits of the bar-headed goose.

these birds change altitude as they traverse the Himalayas, hugging the mountainous terrain. By flying close to the ground as the mountainside rises and falls, their flight pattern resembles a roller coaster ride.

And I learned the word orographic which I'll never work into a sentence. My spell check doesn't even like it.

if you considered how much energy they expend flying upward, this sporadic and thrill-seeking flight technique might seem wasteful. This might be true, except for the fact that the migrating birds are aided by a phenomenon called orographic lift.

Orography is very cool.

“If a wind hits a mountain ridge in the ground or a large wave at sea, then some of it will be deflected upwards and create an updraft,” Bishop said. “A bird can use this to help it when climbing – it increases [the bird’s] rate of climb, reduces the energy required to climb at some rate, or a bit of both. When flying horizontally, it decreases the energy that needs to be supplied to the air to fly along.”

And a thank you to Mark Frost for running a photo of Joe and Peter Villa from 1980 in this week's Chronicle. I can't reproduce of link to that, but this is a link to a Saratogian article on the bakery I'd like to save.

Pete’s grandfather came to the U.S. from Italy in the late 19th century, landing in New York City like millions of other immigrants. For a brief time, he lived with relatives in Cohoes, a thriving industrial town whose mills provided labor for women in the family. Then he heard about a bakery for sale in Glens Falls and decided to take it over.

And while I'm on bakers, want to throw on this link to my neighbors in the Green Mountain state at Elmore Mountain Bread

Elmore Mountain Bread is a wood-fired micro-bakery, located in Elmore, Vermont. Our breads are carefully hand-crafted, hearth-baked in our wood-fired brick oven and feed our local community.

Long may Villa's live and bake in GF.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Thoughts On The Shootings In France

It's nice to see that many of the people who once embraced freedom fries are now bravely tweeting "Je Suis Charlie." As if most of them had the balls to publish under the threats that the writers at that paper were under. It's easy to blame it on religion, but I look at religion as an excuse for horrific actions whether committed in the name of Jehovah, Allah, Elohim or Whatnot.

Anyway. From today's local paper:

No harm, no foul in this one. Thank God (choose the name you like).

An Indiana couple faces charges after investigators say they found cellphone videos showing the woman's 12-month-old daughter putting a handgun in her mouth.

Innocent bystanders didn't fare so well in the next case.

A gunman killed three people and wounded another during a shooting spree Saturday at three locations in Moscow, Idaho, the authorities said.

And the American Right's favorite neighborhood watch volunteer is back in the news.

Florida authorities say George Zimmerman, whose acquittal of murdering an unarmed black teen sparked a national debate on race and self-defense laws, has been arrested for allegedly throwing a wine bottle at his girlfriend.

He's been busy lately.
Since his acquittal, Zimmerman has had several brushes with the law:

- He was arrested on charges of aggravated assault, battery and criminal mischief after his then-girlfriend said he pointed a gun at her face during an argument, smashed her coffee table and pushed her out of the house they shared. Samantha Scheibe decided not to cooperate with detectives and prosecutors didn't pursue the case.

- Zimmerman was accused by his estranged wife of smashing an iPad during an argument at the home they had shared. Shellie Zimmerman initially told a dispatcher her husband had a gun, though she later said he was unarmed. No charges were ever filed because of a lack of evidence. The dispute occurred days after Shellie Zimmerman filed divorce papers.

- Zimmerman has also been pulled over three times for traffic violations since his acquittal.

And this:

George Zimmerman, who was acquitted in 2013 in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, has had another encounter with police in Lake Mary, Fla., this time over an alleged road-rage incident, according to local media.

I'm predicting that he will kill again. Hope Sean Hannity has his back the next time. Keep all the scum together. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Brownback For President?

Probably not anymore.

Brownback, a former U.S. senator who briefly sought the presidency in 2007, isn’t ruling out another run for the White House.

Since he left the nation’s capital to become Kansas’ 46th governor in 2011, Brownback has gone largely unnoticed by the national media. His quiet yet ambitious work in Kansas has proceeded without major controversies of the sort that have helped define Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who fought a pitched battle with public-sector unions, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was a magnet for viral controversies even before the recent allegations of misconduct surrounding the closure of George Washington Bridge lanes.

Just bankrupting the state of Kansas wasn't enough

A federal grand jury is looking into loans made to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback's re-election campaign and has ordered the state's ethics chief to testify next week as part of its investigation, according to a subpoena obtained by The Associated Press.

It's cold here in northern NY and Andrew Cuomo is a dick, but at least I don't live among a bunch of right-wing loons who would knowingly send this guy back to the governor's mansion. It was already apparent before the election that following Laffernomics was leading the state to bankruptcy. The only person in this country whose opinion might be less valuable than Laffer's is William Kristol. 

Kansas Democrats, if you exist, run an out and out populist next time. What have you got to lose?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

On Elise's First Votes In Congress

I want to join Matt Funiciello in keeping an eye on our new Congresswoman Elise Stefanik. I'd have to say she's off to an uneven start. She apparently voted to keep RINO speaker Boehner in his job. This is an obvious fuck you to Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin:

Palin told host Sean Hannity that she backs Rep. Louie Gohmert for the speakership, adding that America needs “new energy and time for commitment” to campaign promises, an apparent shot at Boehner.

This is a bit of a mixed message since Stefanik's youth was intended to add new energy and new ideas to the Congress. Having pissed off the mama grizzly, expect to see a primary opponent for Elise in 2016. You saw it here first. I hope.

Possibly attempting to make up for that faux pas, Stefanik indicated that after much deliberation, she will vote for the Hire More Heroes Act. No word on how she intends to vote on the Mom And Apple Pie Act. Out of curiosity I went to wikipedia.

The Hire More Heroes Act of 2013 (H.R. 3474) is a bill that would allow employers to exclude veterans receiving health insurance from the United States Department of Defense or the United States Department of Veterans' Affairs from their list of employees. This would have the effect of keeping their list of employees shorter, allowing some small businesses to fall underneath the 50 full-time employees line that would require them to provide their employees with healthcare under the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. This change is seen by supporters as a way to incentivize small businesses to hire more veterans.

Just taking a casual glance, it appears to be as much aimed at allowing businesses not to provide health insurance as it is about hiring more heroes. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

My Letter Writing Idol

I haven't wrote to the Post Star much lately. Something about not wanting to look like a crank and the fact that I've gotten back to blogging a little more in the few times a week I actually enter the matrix of the world wide web. Al Scoonzarielli is one of my heroes, and he had a letter published today. I'd love to meet him and shake his hand someday. In the meantime, I'll settle for sharing his vision of the Republican future with anyone passing through. And also move down my mention of the unmentionable from Long Beach who besmirched my blog. Enjoy Al Scoonz!

’Twas a while after Christmas in Republican Land, and the right was preparing their desperate stand. They needed a candidate who’d take back the presidency, but is such a candidate actually in residency? 

They tried Willard Romney. They had to be joking. If they run him again what on earth are they smoking? McCain’s a tad old, Perry’s too lazy. Gingrich has baggage and Santorum’s plain crazy. Chris Christie could be a formidable pup. I can hear him now “Newt! Sit down and shut up!” Could he really win, this enormous man-o and if so, are we ready for President Tony Soprano? 

If they pick the wrong guy he’ll be put in a pillory and held nice and still for a beating by Hillary. Even the right guy, if he’s actually there, will have a hard time just mussing her hair. Say what you will about Bubba’s gal Hill, I think she learned a few things from Bill. Like winning wars with no harm to our troops and catching terrorists without saying oops. Bill tracked them down, caught ’em, and tried ’em. If our laws had allowed it, he for sure would’ve fried ’em. He did it without even spending much money or stupidly invading an uninvolved country. 

So you right-wingers can start your moaning. In 2016 you’re gonna be groaning. On Newt, on Mitt, on you too, Perry. It’s time to gear up so the Dems can make merry. We’re counting on you guys to blow it agin (sic) and we can’t wait to see you take it right on the chin! Please try to think straight and maintain your decorum. Can you really see Hill getting beat by Santorum? 

As I conclude this tirade of zingers, I feel no pity for those nasty right-wingers.

It reads very Seussian to me. I think Ted Geisel would have loved it.

Just for giggles, here's some wingnut yang to go with the lovely and poetic yin above:

His actual words:
“The reason we’re now coming out is because all of those stimulus dollars spent are now drying up and government spending as a share of GDP is falling very sharply, which is leading to a modest recovery right now, and I think it will continue and I’m very optimistic about the long term, but the reason why we’re having any growth now is because of stimulus spending running off and not being there any more.”
This is pretty far out of left field, even for ardent trickle-down economist Laffer. But no matter how wrong he is, he’ll always have a home at Fox.

I've only taken micro and macro, and I believe I could make more sense talking about economics than Laffer.  Why would anyone listen to him?

Friday, January 2, 2015

Views on Affordable Care Act

I try to never, ever link to Donald here. And starting the year by doing so doesn't augur well for a shiny new turn of the calendar. But, here's DD linking to fellow right-wing rage demon Michelle Malkin. Anyone going to either site should wear protective gear and bring lots of hand sanitizer. So, to MM, "Obamacare" had a Annus Horribilis. Not surprsingly.

I did want to put up a post linking to someone of rational mind who doesn't spew bile at the mention of Barack Obama. With that in mind, here's a New Republic piece that provides a more balanced and sane view.

Let's see, more people have health insurance and it is improving their physical and mental health. No wonder MM and DD are pissed. The rise of health care costs is lower than it has been historically and the federal budget is being reduced.

I'm paying $129 a month for insurance that retails for $400. Without the ACA, I'd be paying $330 for lower quality insurance. Rage on, Clowns!