Friday, November 9, 2012

GOP's Problems, David Betrayus

"Mitt Romney was very gracious in his remarks in his concession speech. Shortly after Mitt Romney conceded, Paul Ryan was untied and set free." –David Letterman
"Congratulations to President Obama on being reelected president of the United States. Turns out it is not all bad news for the Republicans. It seems that depression is covered by Obamacare." – Jay Leno 
"Exit polls show that President Obama did well with women, beating Romney by 11 binders." – Jay Leno 
"Some more good news – the president announced today he is not going to raise taxes on the entire 1 percent, just Donald Trump." – Jay Leno
"I really think in all of what happened yesterday, the only person who should be considered a 'loser' is Donald Trump. I'll tell you why. He went on Twitter demanding a revolution. So far no one's listened to him — because he's Donald Trump! After that, Trump tweeted, 'The world is laughing at us.' I'm thinking, No, Donald. The world is laughing at you and this is why. It is because you're wearing an orange face and a crazy wig. This is the uniform the world over of a clown! Nobody laughs WITH the clown. They laugh AT the clown. Then when the clown gets angry, it is funnier." – Craig Ferguson

Now that the election is over, the time to point the blame for the GOP's failure begins. Karl Rove wrote in the Wall Street Journal, pointing the finger in every direction but himself. Depending on how connected to organized crime Sheldon Adelson is, Karl may soon disappear from this earth some dark and gloomy night... When I saw Karl having his hissy fit on Fox Tuesday night, I first thought it was some kind of guerilla theater, especially when Megyn Kelly mentioned that they had rehearsed her walk to the back of the studio to the decision desk... I hope that Fox replaces brain-dead hosts like Steve Doocy and Sean Hannity with more classy and intelligent women like Megyn, after all, how much longer can she dumb it down every night?

It seems there are hundreds of reasons why the Republicans lost, the best ones come from letters to the editor, in this case these came from the NY Times:

"Perhaps their underlying problem is arrogance. Perhaps the problem is scorn for the common plight. Perhaps the problem is  the morality or nostalgic thinking trapped in a thankfully bygone era... But I think that the most likely reason of all is simply that the Republican heart has grown two sizes too small."

"... They are not talking about examining the core principles that turned off many voters... If they continue to be more interested in getting votes than in getting at the issues that are important to the changing face of America, they will continue to lose. And they will slide further towards irrelevance."

Unfortunately, among the crazy conservatives who want to drag the rest of us into the depths of their depressions, we get emails like this: "The bottom line is the revolution is nearing completion. We have lost our privacy, soon we will loose our right to self defense, and then The Bill of Rights will be no more. This is no longer the Republic we older people once knew. Re-electing this man is unforgivable. All of our descendants will curse us for betraying and mismanaging this beautiful idea that was once America. We have sentenced them to a life without personal rights, class mobility, or the joy of being truly free. Get ready for the era of Executive Orders, a european socialist form of government. We are now a nation of 350,000,000 dead men walking. Including the people who consider themselves liberal. What a joke on them."... I'm sorry you feel so negative about the election results my fellow old fart; I wonder where you got your doom and gloom philosophy... Maybe it would be better for all of us if you just went ahead and committed suicide... I may be grumpy, but I'm not a self-deluded idiot...

Err, forgive me, too much caffeine. But, by far my favorite letter is from Michael Lazare from Boise, Idaho: "I'm an old white guy (80). I've voted for every Democratic presidential candidate since Adlai Stephenson. My age allows me to be crotchety, so to all you newspapers, networks, pundits and pollsters, just one request: Stop categorizing me. I don't like it."

What impressed me the most about this election was the larger portion of citizens interested in policies, foreign policy, and economics, educating themselves so that all those years spent in college paid off... A smarter, more engaged electorate forced the news media to be more challenging to the candidates and the spin both campaigns gave to events. Hopefully, this trend will continue, but I do think that the energy we put into our national debate will not be as intense if Hillary decides to run.

The hot news today is the resignation of the Army's golden boy, David Petraeus. I had been wondering what he had been up to because he'd be keeping a low public profile once he became director of the CIA. That didn't stop Leon Panetta from making regular press releases when he was director, but David didn't speak out when Iran shot down a drone, or his listening post in Benghazi was attacked this last 9/11. Turns out he was too busy horn-dogging around, having an affair with the woman who was his biographer, Paula Broadwell.

Coincidentally, the FBI is investigating if Ms Broadwell could have had access to any private emails or military intelligence since David became the top spook, which may have defined the timing of his resignation, before the situation got ugly. Kiss your marriage of 37 years good-by champ...

What bothers me, and makes me want to call Mr Petraeus a coward, is the fact that the affair had been going on for several years, and it was called off only after it had been discovered by the FBI. If this hadn't happened, they could have continued the affair indefinitely.  It's always activites like these that reminds us that we are led by flawed human beings, so different from the people we put on their golden pedestals... Usually, the CIA takes care of their own investigations. The FBI would have to be invited to investigate within the CIA, so it looks like someone didn't get along with the head honcho very well... Revenge can be a bitch, sometimes...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Obama Is Elected, And It Wasn't Even Close...

"Mitt Romney is reminding everybody about changing your clocks. He's urging his voters, his constituents, and all Americans to turn your clocks back to 1954." – David Letterman
"Good news for the Republicans: Once the polls close on Tuesday, they’ll be able to bring out Paul Ryan again. He’s been hiding with Mitt Romney's tax returns." – David Letterman
"What happened is Romney had a rally where they bought $5,000 worth of canned goods from Wal-Mart, handed them out to their supporters, and then had their supporters pretend to be giving them to the victims for the cameras. Because that's what Mitt is all about -- people. People pretending to help people. Later on he gave blood, then stole it back and chugged it." – Bill Maher

The presidential election went just about how the statistics guys predicted, and Barack Obama won both the number of voters and the electoral college to win another four years. The only people in denial was Karl Rove on Fox News, who threw a hissy fit on camera, and the other newsreaders tried to accommodate him. He thought that it was premature to declare Ohio for Obama when there were some precincts that were historically voting Republican that had yet to report in.

Then, Fox News did something that resembled guerilla theater rather than a serious news program. They sent Megyn Kelly, with a camera following her, back through the studio to ask the "election desk" why they had decided against Mr Rove, who has spent over $300 million in super-pac money in commercials against Obama. ThinkProgress wrote: "With neither side backing down, senior producers had to find a way to split the difference. One idea was for two members of the decision team, Mishkin and Fox’s digital politics editor Chris Stirewalt, to go on camera with Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier to squelch the doubts over the call. But then it was decided that Kelly would walk through the office and interview the decision team in the conference room. “This is Fox News,” an insider said, “so anytime there’s a chance to show off Megyn Kelly’s legs they’ll go for it.” The decision desk were given a three-minute warning that Kelly would be showing up..." The Fox statistics guys basically said that Rove was blowing smoke out of his ass, said that the amount of votes outstanding was 140,000 in the Republican areas, and 750,000 outstanding from the Democratic areas, and there was no way that Romney would win in Ohio. The cameras cut back to Karl Rove, who stupidly repeated his argument and continued his red-faced fit. He also called the Romney campaign, causing a delay of two hours before they admitted defeat... Luckily for Fox, they went to commercials, and when they came back, Mr Rove had been removed from the spotlight...

Conservative pundits had all predicted a Romney landslide, despite all of the math against them. Peggy Noonan, Dick Morris, and Karl Rove all were living in their own la-la land, and Donald Trump, who is in the angry first stages of Alzheimer'ss, called for a revolution... It won't be much longer until he loses his television show, which helped feed his autocratic ego... Those same pundits are now calling for Obama to move further to the right, or as they call it, towards the middle, so that there can be bi-partisan solutions to our problems. As Lee Siegal in the NY Times put it: "It was startling to hear, on CNN, the assembled pundits almost unanimously agree that President Obama had to find the “middle ground,” move to “the center” and “build relationships” with Republicans. Where have they been for four years? Mr. Obama had been trying desperately to find the political center for his entire first term, only to be stymied by Republicans trying to recapture the White House by rejecting his every attempt at compromise and then blaming him for being unwilling to compromise."

Nine out of the ten swing states all went for Obama, and Mitt Romney's home state of Massachusetts went for Obama... Even the county where Paul Ryan makes his home in Janeville, Wisconsin, voted for Obama... The factors that went overwhelmingly for Obama were the Black vote, the Latino vote, young people under 30, and the female vote. Nationally, more women voted than men, resulting with a whole binder full of women elected to Congress. 20 were elected last night, including Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Duckworth, both whom I'm in awe of... The high turnout from these new strongholds will change the face of our future elections. For example, adios to Tod Aiken, Allen West, Joe Walsh, and Richard Mourdock, all tea party idealogues...

Here in my home state of Colorado, Obama won, twice in a row. His winning in 2008 caused the pundits to list Colorado as a swing state. One of our best kept secrets, now out in the open, is that even Conservatives enjoy getting stoned. Marijuana is a wonderful drug to ingest while spending time outdoors in the Rocky Mountains. Now, we even put it on the ballot, making it legal for anyone over 21 to buy a personal amount of marijuana, and it passed last night. In fact, marijuana got 50,000 more votes than Obama did... My brother-in-law and I were laughing at this, and I asked him if he would now try and buy some. He replied that no, he stopped smoking it years ago, but it's nice to know that the opportunity is there... I discovered that sometimes smoking a joint before going to sleep, it helped me on days that were very painful. I stopped when I moved to Colorado, never signed up for medical marijuana, and wouldn't know where to get it even though that may soon change. But my doctor has prescribed tramadol for the pain, and it works pretty well, so I doubt that I'll be searching out where my local distributor is located... When I was younger, I swore that I'd never let myself end up taking pills as I got older, yet here I am taking a small handful twice per day. Getting old sure sucks... Just like my religious and political beliefs, I may not be partaking in this social experiment, but I don't mind if others do... God Bless a Stoned America...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Nov 6th, 2012

As of Tuesday morning, Nate Silver, from the NY Times, makes the prediction that Barack Obama's chances of being re-elected are at 90.9%, making Mit's chances of winning at 9.1%. That's a larger margin than I would have given, but he is a lot smarter than I am, so I'll go with his numbers...

Unfortunately for the GOP, after their defeat a whole bunch of ugly old white guys will be saying that the problem is that they haven't found a candidate who is properly Conservative enough... But the primary candidates this season were all extremely right wing, and they made the race to the primary look like a carnival run by the clowns... And now the Dick Morris's, Joe Scarborough's, Bill Kristol's, and Sean Hannity's all look like they shared in taking some of Rush Limbaugh's Oxycontin... That leaves Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin as the standard bearers, to chew at each other like weasels during the next 4 years...

Mitt Romney
Barack Obama
-14.0 since Oct. 30
+14.0 since Oct. 30
270 to win
-13.5 since Oct. 30
+13.5 since Oct. 30

Monday, October 29, 2012

My Vote, Putin's Reprisal

"Experts say the entire 2012 election could come down to just eight states. The states are: confusion, dismay, depression, apathy, shock, disbelief, despair, and anxiety. Those are the eight states." – Jay Leno
"Do you know who is endorsing Mitt Romney? Lindsay Lohan. It may seem silly to you but not to the Romney campaign. They're very excited. They said they have a chance now to get the shoplifter vote." – David Letterman
"A new poll found that 59 percent of Americans would rather eat a burger with President Obama while only 41 percent would eat one with Mitt Romney. While most Americans don't care who they're with, as long as they get that burger. " – Jimmy Fallon

I spent the weekend filling out my ballot, it's now ready to be mailed in. Actually, I don't trust the mails around here, so my brother-in-law will drop off our ballots on his way home from work. I think that just about everyone in America has already made up their mind who they will vote for, especially after the last debate. So, please let's outlaw political commercials on the television and on Youtube, from the last debate until November 6th... I find that most of the time that I end up yelling at the television is during one of these commercials made by a superpac, I get too wound up responding to the flat out lies they spout as if they were facts... Of course, we could have debates all the way up to election day, that could be entertaining. And just not candidate vs candidate, it could be debates that we choose who the debaters are, say, Bill Clinton versus Sara Palin!!! When Barack Obama was on the Jay Leno show the other night, he was asked how he felt now that the debates were over, and he replied that he felt like he was just warming up... On the other hand, Mitt romney's campaign is making sure that Mitt will not be giving interviews and speaking to reporters until after election day, to make sure that he doesn't say anything controversial or stupid, especially since the subject of rape came up on the national radar... Last year there were over 120,000 instances of rape reported, and 80,000 of them resulted in pregnancies. In an opinion piece in the NY Times on Sunday, Nicholas Kristoff also related that about 80% of the rape kits that have been done on suspects are sitting on shelves in evidence lockers in police depts, and have never been processed. I guess the world is still run by old, white men, nudge, nudge, wink, wink... Hell, I know for a fact that in California it's easier to get away with murder than it is to commit voter fraud...

Those who miss the debates can take solace in the daily poll reports. Just remember, as my father so often said to me, "There are lies, there are damned lies, and then there are statistics..." I often wonder if there's a correlation between those who put their faith in political polls and those who use statistics in the mental health field. I'm trying to bend this into an argument that most right wing conservatives are mentally ill, which is why we see so much crazy behavior from their candidates and spokespeople... After all, they can't all be using prescription anti-depressants...

What happens to the old, discarded heads of state once they are no longer in office? Here in the US, we let them found Foundations and let them wander all over the globe, while in places like South America, Africa, the Ukraine, and Italy, they charge them with corruption and put them in jail. Helluva retirement benefit... Silvio Berlesconi, Italy's richest man and who was Prime Minister for several years has just been sentenced to six years in jail for some silly thing trumped up as corruption. He has yet to face more serious charges of partying with prostitutes and paying an underage girl as a prostitute... In Russia you don't even have to have been elected before being put in jail; all you have to do is run against Vladimir Putin to have charges like treason and encouraging unlawful assembly brought against you... Maybe the Russian people will figure out how far out there, just how crazy Putin has gotten when he starts putting their heads on pikes in front of the Kremlin, then stands beside them shirtless for a photo op... Ahh, for the good old days when they all moved to the south of France...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Addendum To Previous Post

"Fox News is upset that empty headed puppets are trying to brainwash and indoctrinate Americans. Perhaps they could sue them for copyright infringement." - Jon Stewart 
"A new poll found that only 47 percent of voters find Mitt Romney to be trustworthy. Then Romney was like, 'Well, I hope it's not the same 47 percent I don't care about.'" –Jimmy Fallon
"Can you believe it's only another month until we start arguing about whether the election was stolen or not?" – Jay Leno

Not only is Iran's economy tanking, but their ability to print more money is at a critical point. Like many countries, Iran is dependent on European currency production companies to provide printing presses, engraving paper, and anti-counterfeiting technology in order to create the perfect rial. There are three main companies in Europe which are no longer doing business with Iran because of sanctions. If the conversion rate of the rial continues to plunge, and last week it was 36,000 rials to one US dollar, then we may see the economy implode real soon. This is a devastating dance to play over a silly match of pride and ego...

The weird part is that Iran used to be on friendlier terms with the US and Israel, though mostly through back-room deals while keeping a fierce public stance. It wasn't too long ago that Iran bought US arms through Israel in a deal brokered by agents of the Ronald Reagan administration, sending the cash to the right-wing Contras in Central America... Also, Iran has been heavily patrolling its border with Afghanistan and Pakistan, in order to catch drug smugglers. Yes, they've joined in the US's War On Drugs. Evidently, administrators in Tehran are worried that there are more young people addicted to drugs than there are those who volunteer as suicide bombers...

I live in Colorado, considered as one of the swing states in this year's presidential election. We are famous for the mass shootings of our citizens by college and high school students, then rewarding them by passing laws allowing the carrying of concealed weapons onto our colleges and state parks... My congressional district is famous for being one of the most conservative districts in the US, mainly thanks to all of the retired military personnel. The generals retire to estates in Virginia, while the grunts who are so good at following orders and not thinking for themselves retire in places like Colorado Springs. Our latest foray into the national spotlight was when a woman was filmed registering voters, but only allowing people to register as Republicans, while claiming that she was paid by the county clerk's office. Hint to understanding this: it is illegal to deny anyone who wishes to register to vote, no matter what party they want to belong to. Punishable by time spent in a federal jail...

The company that actually hired this girl and trained her in her illegal practices was one contracted by the GOP. It was started in Arizona by the local head of the GOP, and was involved in fraud back in 2004. Not only did it commit voter fraud here in Colorado, but it was also caught doing illegal acts in Florida, like throwing out registrations for the Democratic Party, and putting the names of dead people onto the rolls of registered Republicans. Ironic that everywhere else tea party groups like True the Vote couldn't really find examples of voter registration fraud, so they had to make it up themselves...

It will be interesting to see how the latest presidential debate is reported on Spanish language stations like Univision and Telemundo, since the Hispanic vote could very well carry the election... Romney tried to clarify what he meant by the phrase self-deportation. He's not going to round up 12 million people then process them back to their home countries, no, he's going to deny them driver's licenses, health care, and legal jobs until they feel there's no other options left but to leave. Obama, for his part, evaded the fact that he hasn't done anything concrete towards finalizing legislation like the Dream Act, so he has problems, too. At least neither candidate referred to the act of self-deportation as the order in Star Trek to "Beam me up, Scotty..."

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Presidential Debates, Tehran Lottery

One of the health problems I have been dealing with has been a form of dementia. One side-effect has been that I had forgotten that I had a blog, and just recently remembered when I came out of my mental fog. One of the reasons I started this blog was to try and keep my mind sharp and not lose my sense of humor. I also forgot about my Facebook and other social media accounts, and tomorrow I will have to attack the 10,000 or so emails that have accrued... So, some of the things I say may seem a bit dated, at least until I catch up on current events. At least I subscribe to the paper edition of the New York Times, and I will have to renew my subscription to the Denver Post, but I still have the news to read with my morning cup of coffee...

A couple of weeks ago was the General Assembly of the United Nations, and the annual practice of walking out on the speech given by Iran's Mahmoud Achmadinejad. Ahmadinejad's 4 year term runs out this year, and he's not eligible for re-election, so this was the last time that Western diplomats would have to snub him in public. If it was up to the Iranian congress or the ayatollahs, Ahmadinejad wouldn't be allowed to leave the country, what with the guaranteed embarrassment he causes them. But, he is their president, so whatcha gonna do?

The Iranian economy is in the tank, it's on the verge of bankruptcy, thanks to the sanctions that cut off the central banks from the rest of the world. New sanctions from Europe began on Monday that will add to the crippling... A rial went from 24,000 rials per one US dollar, up to 36,000. People were desperately trying to change as many rials as possible into US dollars, and many companies were insisting on payments for goods in US dollars only, putting further stress on the banks, which could only get a limited amount of dollars from Europe, and dig deeply into the central banking reserves.

Ahmadinejad was able to bring along an entourage of over 140 lottery winners, who took advantage by spending their time shopping in New York, making a group trek to the Harlem COSTCO, loading up on foodstuffs, clothing, and computers to take back home. This story reminds me of the Russian concert pianist I met while in Thailand several years ago. He had a couple of palettes of blue jeans that he had bought on the black market, and was planning on smuggling them back into Moscow, where he could realize a profit selling them for over $200 per pair, top dollar if the labels read Levi's...

I just finished watching the second presidential debate, and the overwhelming emotion that I felt was that I wanted to punch that arrogant bully Mitt Romney in the face. It's obvious by his dismissal of the moderator, and the disrespect he showed to Obama, even where he told him to hold on, you'll get your turn... Besides whatever gobbledegook the candidates had to say about their policies, I was struck by how much I dislike Romney and his arrogant, mean-spirited personality. It makes me wonder about his wife, who has said how funny Mitt is, that he is always making her laugh. Either she has the same mean-spirited sense of humor, or she is so used to being demeaned and trivialized by Mitt, and her fostering such a co-dependent relationship... OK, Mitt isn't as bad as Fox News was after the Biden - Ryan debates, where they hired a doctor to wonder if all of Biden's smiling was because he was coming down with Alzheimer's... almost as much fun as a binder full of women...

When Obama was elected, I was happy that we finally had someone in charge that is smart enough to look at issues from all angles and not go running off making decisions without enough information, like George Bush seemed to. And I believe that Obama will win re-election because his opponent is a robot, who really doesn't care for you and the rest of the American people, and who still won't publish his economic plan and policies on his web site.Then, if we can drive the tea partyers, those mindless marching morons, back into the hinterlands, it will make the task of rebuilding the GOP a lot easier. But, somehow I doubt that will happen, and we'll witness them raging in the dying light, whining, bitching and moaning into that good night.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Innocence Of Muslim Riots

"A new CNN poll shows that President Obama now has a six-point lead over Mitt Romney. You can tell Romney's depressed – last night he just sat on his couch and bought the Häagen-Dazs corporation." – Jimmy Fallon

"A recent poll found that most Americans believe President Obama would be a more loyal friend than Mitt Romney. In other words, Obama is the guy holding your hair back in the bathroom while Romney uploads the drunk photos to Facebook." – Jimmy Fallon

"Actually, members of Mitt Romney's own party are starting to criticize him for being too vague. When asked if that bothers him, Romney said, 'Maybe.'" – Jimmy Fallon

Notice incredibly cheap fake beard...
Well, what a long, strange week it's been. In the aftermath of the political conventions, Republicans had to pretend that Clint Eastwood's Alzheimer Moment with an empty chair was actually an inspired piece of acting,  while Bill Clinton showed why we should have hired him to give weekly fireplace chats to explain policy to the masses. Then, this weird anti-Muslim film trailer surfaces...

The Middle East is home to most of the bizarre conspiracy theories, with Texas and Florida a close second. Yet, turning one of the more twisted ones into reality shows that truth can be stranger than fiction... It seems that a strange combination of people got together to help write and finance a movie based on the life of the Prophet, yet showing him in an unfavorable light. The folks were a wimpy, self-proclaimed preacher in Florida, whose past claim to fame was burning a Koran in his church, another right-wing anti-Muslim from Texas, with ties to many other right-wing Christian militias around the country, and a Coptic Christian, originally from Egypt and now living in Southern California, with a record of credit card identity theft and creating 15 other false aliases with paperwork for himself...

Nobody knows if a whole movie was made, the only thing that has shown up is a 14 minute trailer, where the anti-Muslim slurs were dubbed in after it was made. It didn't catch on, was mostly ignored for about a year, until someone translated the whole thing into Arabic, re-posted it on Youtube, then made sure that relatives and friends in Egypt got the ball rolling and have people begin watching it. The idea was to piss off as many Muslims as possible so that the resulting riots and protests would show the Middle East in an unfavorable light in time to celebrate 9/11...

 At one point, the US government asked Google to take it off Youtube, but Google refused. The American Embassy in Cairo issued a statement hoping to calm the situation down, but six hours later a bunch of emotional young men stormed the Embassy, threatening the workers inside. In Libya, another group hit the US Embassy grounds at Benghazi, and ended up killing the American Ambassador. To date, there have been protests in Tunisia, Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Malaysia, and the Phillipines...

When asked by the news media why they were protesting, many people said that they didn't understand why the US government didn't censor the film, that it showed lack of respect for their beliefs. I think that they are right about the need to have more respect, but it's also a two-way street: respect can be freely given, but so often it has to be earned. It also shows an unfamiliarity with American culture and what we mean when we debate free speech. We may be the dominant culture in the world right now, but most people get their impressions of us from television shows, movies, and music gossip, a rather two-dimensional representation with a base in the dramatic and sensational... In the Middle East, most of the current population is under the age of 25, and are not very educated. The lack of jobs and depressed economies will only make these kind of demonstrations worse and more commonplace, especially when food and water gets more scarce in the next few years...

Mitt Romney tried to turn this tragedy into politics, and issued a statement that the Obama administration was handling things badly, that the calming statement from Cairo was as good as an apology, and we should never apologize for who we were... Besides misunderstanding and getting the situation totally wrong, he never apologized himself and kept up the tough-guy facade, saying that if he were President, no-one would have dared kill one of our ambassadors because they would all be overwhelmed by his Integrity and Resolve, feared the overwhelming response that he would have unleashed on their unwashed bodies... The GOP distributed talking points for those who felt like supporting him, like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld did... The rest stood around and looked embarrassed... Even Rush Limbaugh said that ultimately, if you vote, you don't have to vote for Mitt Romney the man; you are actually voting to keep Obama from a second term.

I keep reading these articles saying what a smart man Romney is, two graduate degrees, a law degree, a successful businessman, etc. But what I see from his speeches, commercials, and writings, is someone who has skated through life with little effort, and has become mentally lazy, at that age when the brain cells are killing off the important ones. There really isn't an interior intellectual life, and he consistently shows no interest in understanding foreign policy or any complex issue... Ronald Reagan was our first president to come down with Alzheimer's while in office, Mitt Romney, if elected, will be the second...

Friday, September 7, 2012

Democratic Convention, Afterwards And Forward...

"It is day two of the Democratic convention, and apparently they had a huge lighting problem in the convention hall today. They worked all day on it. They still couldn't get President Obama out of Bill Clinton's shadow." – Jay Leno
"Apparently last week the Republicans had originally planned to have a Ronald Reagan three-dimensional hologram speak at the Republican convention. They decided against it. I guess they were concerned that Reagan would come across as more life-like that Mitt Romney." – Jay Leno
"In her speech, First Lady Michelle Obama said her husband has dinner with his girls where they strategize about middle school relationship. Which explains why today the Pentagon ordered a drone strike on that lying bitch Ashley." – Conan O'Brien

What I was struck by both political conventions was how similarly they were structured, as if the planners for both parties plugged in their agendas into a common template. If it's Tuesday, then the candidates wives will speak... That being said, the quality of speeches during the Democratic convention was better than the Republicans. The two best orators of this century happen to be Democrats, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

I don't think that any of the speeches changed my mind, I've already made up my mind whom I will vote for. Bill Clinton was the winner and comeback kid, giving the most substantive speech. He went over his time allotment and frequently went off script, but unless you had a copy of the speech in front of you, you couldn't tell, or see the teleprompter tearing the hair out of his head, trying to keep up... He also rebutted each complaint made by Republicans, in language that was non-rancorous and humorous, propping up Obama's policies and decisions better than anyone else has done. Overall, the Democratic convention had speakers who gave less cynical and more upbeat speeches, more supportive of our military and veterans, and more positive regarding our further economic recovery.

The big loser was Paul Ryan, who has been exposed as a congenital liar. Don't take my word for it, fact-check his speech. Weirder, is that he also boasted to a reporter that he had recently run a marathon under 3 hours. The actual time was over 4, and it was recorded, and so he had to apologize for the blatant boast. Since he's a young guy, and theoretically has a long career ahead of him, one can only wonder the string of lies and boasts that will follow him like a trail of toilet-paper stuck to the sole of his shoe... We've all known someone like him, who feels compelled to make stuff up to make themselves appear more important than their abilities, and the persons we end up feeling the most sorry for are their kids, who have to put up with their shit all of their lives... If Paul Ryan is allowed to speak spontaneously to the press before election day, this single bad habit of his may sink his and Romney's chances.

And if the Democrats can use Bill Clinton for several more soundbites, especially after each debate, then they will have the best chance of getting Obama re-elected.

Friday, August 31, 2012

GOP Convention Part 2, The Lost Hours...

"Did you all watch the Republican convention last night? It's good to see scripted television finally making a comeback." – Jay Leno

"Hurricane Isaac turned out to be not much of a threat to the Republican convention. But to their credit, the Republicans had a contingency plan. If the hurricane did hit hard, delegates were instructed to evacuate to Mitt Romney's tax shelter." – Jay Leno
"The White House is now brewing its own beer. Republicans say the White House beer is actually pretty good. Just don't drink the Kool-Aid." – Jay Leno

It was left to the very end, for Mitt Romney to show that he was a caring family man who built a successful business; that he was a man of ideas who could solve our economic crisis and find jobs for millions of Americans. He did well on the first part, matching the tone of the brief speeches beforehand telling us what a generous and compassionate guy he is. He wisely never mentioned that his great grandparents and great-great grandparents were federal fugitives, chased out of the US and moving to Mexico where they could preach and practice polygamy. One grandfather had twelve wives... That's why his dad was born in Mexico, and it would be interesting to see Mitt's birth certificate to see if he has more than one mother listed...

I also was hit with the impression that Mitt Romney's smile reminds me of the cartoon smiles I've seen on a shark or in a Batman comic book. The basic problem with the rest of his speech is that it lacked content. It was satisfying on an emotional level, interesting where it was designed to appeal to voters of both parties who have become disillusioned with Obama's performance. But not once did he veer from bland platitudes and give any real policies or plans to steer our economy and create new jobs, nor does his web site list anything, either. He promised 12 million new jobs, but one independent study had predicted that those 12 million jobs would be created naturally over the next few years. In other words, even if Romney or Obama did nothing, the natural recovery rate would create that many jobs, still short of the 23 million needed...

Speaking of cons, what was up with Clint Eastwood? On the positive side, he showed that California Republicans aren't like the ones in the rest of the nation. On the flip side, he demonstrated that he can't carry a conversation unless he has a script in his hand, nor does he have much of a sense of humor. There was an empty chair next him at the podium, where he pretended an invisible Barack Obama was sitting, and he had imaginary conversations where Barack told him and Mitt to go fuck themselves. Ha Ha... Then, Mario Rubio had to introduce Mitt Romney... But, the crowd reveled in the bad taste, shouting out slogans like "Make my day!" along with a rambling and addled Mr Eastwood.

Was this convention a success? It hit some good spots and resonated with the crowd at times, so they didn't leave depleted and cynical. I doubt that it changed anybody's mind, except to note what a sleazy liar Paul Ryan turned out to be. But hey, at least he's not a Sarah Palin... Despite speeches from women and people of color, it was still designed to reinforce old white men and their antiquated set of values. It the Republican Party is to ever rebuild, we are going to have to wait until the old white guys die off and leave their money to their kids, which, unfortunately, will be years down the road.

After all of the speeches, I flipped around the channels to see what the commentaries were. I was surprised that the most generous analysis was given by MSNBC, while CNN and Fox were not as nice. Rachel Maddow comes across as the smartest woman on television and is worth listening to, no matter how liberal or conservative you are.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Republican Convention

"They’re all going down to Tampa where an Evangelical party is going to nominate a Mormon and a Catholic and then get wiped out by a hurricane…leaving Florida to the Jews as God intended." – Bill Maher
"Some of the Republicans, I think, are over-reacting to Hurricane Isaac — like today Rick Santorum was seen gathering up two of every animal." – Jay Leno

"Herman Cain was in Tampa. When a reporter asked him if Isaac reminded him of Katrina, he said, 'I never even met the woman.'" – Jay Leno

"It seems the GOP has placed 13,000 umbrellas in bins outside the hall for people to use. Delegates can't bring them inside for security reasons, so after you use the umbrella, you drop it off for the next person to use. That sounds like creeping socialism." – Jay Leno

I've spent the last two nights listening to the speeches from the Republican Convention in Tampa, Florida. Because the program on the first night was canceled because of Hurricane Isaac,we missed the spectacle of Donald Trump hiring a Barack Obama look-a-like and then getting to tell him that he's fired on the convention stage...

Tuesday's speeches got off to a rocky start, with the best one given by Anne Romney. She proved personable even though she failed to make her husband seem more human. It's nice to know that he still makes her laugh, but that was the deepest revelation she gave us. Perhaps they have an equally shallow relationship, communicating with each other in thumbnail sketches instead of real emotions... Anne also made an attempt to connect to the other women in the hall, evidently she is the Republican response that their isn't a war on women. I would have been more impressed if she handed out some of those Mormon Church's official condoms and dental dams... The keynote speech was given by Chris Christie, who gave an aggressive and self-absorbed speech, finally condescending to mention Mitt Romney after 16 minutes had gone by. Who would guessed that New Jersey was so fascinating? The New Jersey economy is failing under Mr Christie's bluster, and unemployment has increased by over a million more people.

The Romney camp has decided to slight a few fellow conservatives, neither Dick Cheney, George Bush, or Sarah Palin were invited to the convention. It was feared that Cheney might have shot Paul Ryan in the face, then tried to get himself on as the VP choice. Sarah Palin would have energized the crazy element and distracted the energy away from Romney, who really can't compete with anyone with charisma. And, of course, George Bush wasn't welcome because he would have made people remember that the problems we have are not all Obama's fault...

Each speaker had to mention the catch-phrase "we built it" or get demerits. The phrase is a misconstruction from an Obama speech, taken out of context, and then repeated so many times that it is a meaningless cliche. Obama himself was paraphrasing Elizabeth Warren when she said last year: “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own — nobody!” she said. “You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you all were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. ...
“You built a factory, and it turned into something terrific or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”

The most intelligent and elegant speech was given by Condoleezza Rice, who emphasized the importance of a good education and the importance that immigrants give to our diversity, not the biggest applause of the night, and a bit subversive. I'm sure that there were a few delegates having buyer's remorse over Mitt, saying we coulda nominated a Condi...

The scariest speech was given by John McCain, who has become such a hawk that he'd have us at war with six more Middle Eastern nations. Of course, his anger is rooted in losing the last presidential election, and now has become a bitter, bitter man.

The most attention will be given to Paul Ryan's speech, which set the delegates into an uproar. They loved him, even when his facts were incorrect. His delivery was spot on, and his speech was written by two of the best Republican speechmakers in the business. Two things he's going to have to correct, are the weird noises he makes in his throat after delivering an emotional line, and the black shoe polish that he put in his hair, which makes him look like a teenage boy who got into his mother's makeup bag... What bothers me the most were the blatant factual lies in his speech while purporting to be truthful and honest. This type of hypocrisy is distressing in someone so young, and if this kind of amoral behavior takes ahold among the younger generation of politicians, it signals more than the death of the Republican Party, but the death of all politics as we know it... even Ron Paul had to flee Tampa back to Texas...

Tomorrow Mitt will give his acceptance speech, and they have been hinting at a mystery guest, one that will make Obama angry. Let's hope that it is someone more than Clint Eastwood or Donald Trump and the fake Obama stand-in guy...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Paul Ryan's Star Rises Like The Sales Of AK-47's In America

"Mitt Romney is hoping to energize Republicans by announcing Paul Ryan as his running mate. Seriously? That's like trying to spice up a bowl of oatmeal with more oatmeal." – Jimmy Fallon

"During the announcement, Mitt Romney said that he and Paul Ryan are 'America's Comeback Team.' You know, as in 'come back in four years and try again.'" – Jimmy Fallon
"Romney and Ryan kind of look like a father and son in an ad for Super Cuts." – Jimmy Kimmel

We recently had President Obama campaigning in Colorado. The tickets to hear him speak were free, and they were quickly given away. In contrast, the GOP had Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal out pimping for Mitt Romney at the same time. maybe 200 people showed up... Now that Mitt announced that Paul Ryan would be his VP choice, Mr Jindal must feel a little burned... The polls currently show that Mr Obama is ahead of Mr Romney in popularity, and he may jump out ahead if people react negatively to Mr Ryan's tightly puckered policies and positions.

Paul is considered to be a super conservative who gives voice to the tea party concerns in Congress. He has sponsored a national bill that would give "personhood" to an infant at the moment of conception. So far, none of the personhood amendments have passed in the states where they have been introduced, including twice here in Colorado. Refusing to take a hint from the voters, the personhood people are going to put it on the ballot here again in November, and have vowed to keep on introducing it until it passes. See, who says we aren't providing stable jobs...? The personhood amendment movement began here in Colorado Springs and it's a bit embarrassing to the tea party anti-abortion folks that they can't even convince their homies that their ideas aren't wacko and way out there...

Paul is most famous for his belief in trickle-down economics, and he has been chairman of the House Budget Committee, a job he will have to give up. He has been involved in every budget fight and obstruction for the past two years, and has signed up to be Mitt's attack weasel for the next two months. What bothers me about Paul Ryan is he is another rich kid who never had to work very hard for a living, and hasn't bothered to develop much compassion for anyone who isn't a millionaire. His grandfather built the families wealth by building roads from government contracts, which may be better than Romney's grandfather, who was a federal fugitive for running around the country with his five wives, spreading the gospel of polygamy... He was elected to Congress at age 28, and hasn't known much or experienced life beyond the small town he was raised in and Washington DC. Paul also tends to be thin-skinned and whinny if he feels he's being made fun of or his expertise in understanding economics is brought into question. The fact that his budget has been analyzed to both cost more than he's promised it would and not solve the problems he says it will, makes one wonder if years of flattery hasn't made him intellectually lazy.
Paul Ryan is on the ballot to make Mitt Romney seem legitimately right wing, but I doubt he will seem attractive to many other voters. It's just another signal of the death of the Republican Party...

It's nice to know that the Russian factory that makes the Kalashnikov rifle, has recently been focusing on sales to civilians. Their sales rose over 50% last year, thanks to strong sales within the US. We have the pride of being the strongest market in the world for guns bought by civilians. Certainly puts the recent crazy people shooting and killing in Colorado and Texas into perspective, doesn't it???? In order for a Russian to buy a long barrel gun like an AK-47, they have to have a permit from the police clearing them of any criminal record, and a certificate of mental health from a doctor...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mitt's European Adventure

"Kiss my ass! This is a sacred site..." - Rick Gorka

Mitt Romney made a trip across the pond, to prove that he had a solid feel for foreign policy and hoping that somehow he might attract the crowds that Barack Obama did when he visited Europe as a candidate. But, since Mitt is pretty vacant and clueless, all he ended up doing is embarrassing himself and his hosts.

When he was in England, he made comments about the level of organization exhibited at the Olympics, and was jumped on by every newspaper and politician in sight, including the conservative mayor of London, Boris Johnson. To be fair, they would have jumped on any American serving up criticism, and it was pretty tame compared to the verbal lashings English politicians receive when they have to appear before Parliament. But all Mitt had to do was smile and say nothing more than he was there to support his wife. Instead, I was looking to see if he was signaling the beginning of a Monty Python skit on upper-class twits...

Next, Mitt flew to Israel, to suck up to Benjamin Netanyahu in front of his new best friend, Sheldon Addelson. Mr Addelson had committed millions of dollars to conservative PACs, and has made his money from owning gambling casinos in Las Vegas and Macau. Of course, Mitt made a speech sucking up to the Israelis, saying that it was their culture that had made them so successful, as compared to to their neighbors. This was treated as a gaffe and the Palestinians responded that gee, they might also have become as successful if only their land wasn't occupied by a people dedicated to their failure. The Palestinian Authority said that:
"This man lacks information, knowledge, vision and understanding of this region and its people."
Mr Romney was hoping to embarrass the Obama administration and their lack of chummyness with the right wing Israelis. But the Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barack told CNN on Monday, that "I should tell you honestly that this administration under President Obama is doing in regard to our security more than anything that I can remember in the past."

The mystery of Mitt's trip was, why Poland? It was determined that the government would be most receptive to whatever he had to say, since most exposure to the press had been restricted and scripted, with no room for spontaneity. When Mitt did venture outside, it was at the grave for the unkown soldier, and the press shouted out questions. Mitt's press secretary then shouted out the quote from above, making it the most wonderful quote of the year in many a pundit's book...

Now that Mitt is back, it's clear that things did not go as planned because he forgot to include the human element. It looks more and more that when you compare Obama and Romney's personalities side by side, that Obama will end up re-elected.

I have two main questions for Mitt Romney, neither have been asked by the press or his opponents: One, since he has raised five sons, tell us why none of them volunteered for the armed services? Mitt himself had a couple of student deferments during the Vietnam War, and one ministerial deferment. If he is so patriotic, why aren't his sons willing to serve their country?

Two: I don't really care if he has Swiss bank accounts and accounts in the Cayman Islands, what I want to know is if he is willing to transfer all of this money back into the United States if he gets elected? Shouldn't an American President show trust in American banks and institutions?

We've never had to deal with such a rich candidate before, and if politics requires more and more money, then we are going to have to rewrite the rules, and the sooner we begin the better...

Finally, this little tidbit from TPM: "Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency warns staffers to stop using the missile defense computer network to download so much porn..."

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mickey Mouse in North Korea, Free Pussy Riot!

"I secretly want Romney to win because, look, I'm a comedian. Mitt Romney is an ultra-Caucasian Mormon zillionaire who uses his dog as a hood ornament. For me not to secretly want him as President, it's like Halliburton secretly not wanting a war." – Bill Maher
"People will now have to have health insurance. The same way every driver in California has car insurance." – Jay Leno

"The Democratic Convention is $27 million in debt. They had to cancel the kick-off event at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. A speedway is the perfect place for the Democratic Convention. You go around in circles, turn left every few seconds, and you end up right where you started. " – Jay Leno

I apologize for the long time since my last post, I took a vacation and then the hills surrounding the city I live in caught on fire. For awhile it seemed as if all of Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs would go down in flames, but the most populated parts were spared. Then, my neighbor died, one of my favorite grumpy old men, and we are still mourning his passing. I admit to being so depressed by events that I felt little compulsion to find anything humorous in the news... Next, my brother-in-law's father passed away, so he and my sister drove off to Illinois for a week,  and I've been left here to babysit their 3 small dogs, who had to share a space on my bed with my cat. Finally, my next door neighbor came back from her vacation only to have to put down her cat, and now her old dog, too, which had developed neurological problems and could barely drag her back legs around.

I was most enamored with the story out of North Korea, that the new ruler, Kim Jung-Un, had sponsored a concert starring a few Disney characters in costume, Tigger, Winnie the Pooh, Mickey and Minnie Mouse. The concert was broadcast by North Korean television, and presided over by the young leader and his stylish wife, although no information was given at the time who she was or how long they had been married. Tp prove how prissy Disney has become, they denounced the concert as not being licensed or officially approved by them, because they don't agree showing Disney on Socialism... What also was not given was where did North Korea obtain those costumes? Did they buy them or have to rent them? Or did they steal them like they used to do with Japanese nationals? The obvious answer is that Disneyland Tokyo provided the costumes, but their not admitting anything... Also interesting to know if one of the "youthful" changes that the young leader will make, is to have Mickey Mouse become the official government spokesmouse...

We now have a generation of world leaders who have had an education in a Western country. North Korea's Kim Jung-Un was schooled in Switzerland, while the new leaders of Tunisia and Egypt were educated in the US. Egypt's Mr Morsi also taught at the college level here, and has two children still living in the US. Most of the business and military elite in the Middle East have all gone to college in the US or Europe, proving that we are truly becoming a melting pot of different cultures. Of course, there is always a downside, as exhibited by Syria's Bashar al Assad, and have you noticed that about half of the current government officials in Kabul used to own restaurants in New york and Washington DC?

Free Pussy Riot!!! The Russian band Pussy Riot went on trial today for the spurious charges of committing "an act of hooliganism under religious motives," for performing an anti-Putin song at the altar of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, part of the newly resurgent and power-hungry Russian Orthodox Church. That a judge agreed to hear this case and is taking the procedures seriously, shows what a mockery most laws and courts have become in Russia.

The prosecutors charge that the performance caused great "moral damage" to 10 people who complained about the performance, and that the band intentionally meant to "inflict grievous mental suffering." Jeez, everyone is a music critic... This charade is an obvious attempt to by the court to suck up to Vladimir Putin, who still can't believe that not everyone loves him and the high-handed way that he rules. Perhaps the judge is trying to secure that plum job for her children with a Putin owned oil company, so she can be taken care of after she retires in six months... Whatever, the lawyers for Pussy Riot said that the charges are politically motivated by the Russian Orthodox Church, who also os trying to suck up to the Kremlin, so their Patriarch will be able to drive around in his new Bentley, shallow and vain man that he is. The end result could easily be that the girls will be sentenced to 5 years in prison. They would have to rename their band Putin's Pussy to acknowledge that he got the better of them, and let that be a warning to everyone who is opposed to our Dear Leader, who seems to think that this country is his personal KGB playground... I haven't the faintest idea if the band is actually good or not, maybe there will be something on youtube and I can listen to them tonight. Maybe they'll come out of this trial with a recording contract, or at least allowed to record the soundtrack of the Russian opposition...

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Japanese Nuclear Plants To Reopen? Racism In Israel

Top 10 Benefits of Nuclear Power

10)  Three Headed Fish.
9)   Atomic energy keeps the Japanese people stoic and panic-free.
8)   Nuclear power provides cheap energy without any risk (aside from meltdowns, radiation poisoning, mutations, and unknown unknowns).
7)   'Nuclear' Power takes precedent over other humanitarian disasters, making easier work for media.
6)   Atomic power is cleaner than coal ... except for the thousands of years of radiation that follows a nuclear meltdown.
5)   Nuclear power gives disaster and rescue crews something else to work on.
4)   Nuclear power forces Iran and North Korea to be fully prepared for calamitous disasters.
3)   All the cleanup and recovery work after a nuclear meltdown is good for the economy.
2)   Nuclear Power provides energy for Charlie Sheen's atomic meltdown.

... and the #1 Benefit of Nuclear Power is:

1)   Nuclear Power made Mr. Burns the wealthiest man in Springfield.

(Reference: Yasha Harari for

Japan has witnessed dueling prime ministers, as the past one, Naoto Kan, gave testimony that it was still too dangerous to start up again the Fukushima nuclear power plant, or any of Japan's 50 nuclear plants that are currently sitting idle. The current prime minister, Yoshihiko Noda, pretty much ignored Kan's statements and took to the television, trying to drum up public support for reopening a few plants on a trial basis, from now until September. Unfortunately, there has been no overhaul of the oversight and regulation to the nuclear industry, setting the stage for a repeat of plant operators hiding safety violations, and regulators accepting bribes to ignore it and look the other way. No safety improvements for the nuclear plants have been submitted, and the Fukushima plant remains a danger. To date, I have not seen anyone address the fact that the plans for the Fukushima plant were the cheapest to build and over 30 years old, with nothing proposed to modernize similar plants in Japan.

Here in the US, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia just ruled against the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, when the commission decided that it was safe to store spent fuel rods at nuclear plants for the next 100 years or so, because we haven't figured out a way to make it safe or create a national depository for them. Currently, spent fuel rods are stored in pools of water, and are susceptible to earthquakes and other natural disasters, oh, you know, like what happened at Fukushima, Japan... This lack of knowledge and planning is carried out in nuclear plants all over the world. Back in the good-old-days, countries like France and Germany could give the waste contracts to the mafia, who would then put the nuclear waste in 55 gallon drums and dump them in places like  off the coast of Somalia, which ruined their fishing industry... As the NY Times points out, the court said that the nuclear commission had reached its conclusions only by examining past leaks. But that history "tells us very little about the potential for future leaks or the harm such leaks might portend..."

"More than a year into to the Arab Spring, one inconvenient and politically incorrect truth stands out: the Arabs are much better at acquiring and fighting over power than they are at sharing it" - from the Angry Arab
There has been a diaspora happening in Africa, due to wars and drought, with many people fleeing to the Middle East and North Africa. Once upon a time they might have been hired as mercenaries into the armies of Moammar Qaddhafi, but that option is now eliminated. The friendly bedouin tribes that they come across, will handily kidnap, rob, and rape them, then leave them for dead. If they are lucky, they might make it to a city or enlightened country, like Israel.

Unfortunately, the Israeli supreme court just ruled that all Sudanese refugees do not have a dangerous climate to return to, which is paving the way of rounding up all of the black refugees and putting them in tent cities along the border. Think of it, tens of thousands of black refugees acting as a buffer for when the hordes of Arabs swarm across the borders, heading towards Jerusalem... Next week the first contingent of 1500 Ethiopians will be deported.
“Kidnap, robbery, sexual abuse, it’s part of everyday life here,” - Ali Al Jafri
Even more dangerous, is the racist feelings towards all blacks in Israel, who can't tell the difference between a black Muslim or a black Jew. Many years ago a group of black Jews were discovered in Ethiopia, the Falasha. They emigrated to Israel and were immediately discriminated against, treated lower than Jews of North African descent. Now, it's the Sudanese, who are being attacked as they go outside of their homes, often to the cries of "Go away, Arab!" from the Orthodox Jews. An Israeli Interior Minister, Eli Yishai, stated that most of the "Muslims that arrive here do not even believe that this country belongs to us, to the white man..."

Friday, June 8, 2012

Egypt, My Advice To Jonah Goldberg, A Drop Of Native American Blood

"Unemployment is still looking pretty bad. In fact, the White House has a new slogan on job creation: 'Hope and change the subject.'" – Jay Leno
"Mitt Romney has been giving his volunteers a free sweatshirt for making phone calls on his behalf. The sweatshirts are just like Romney, 100 percent reversible." – Jimmy Fallon

"A new survey found that Mitt Romney is ahead of Obama among those who make $36,000-$90,000. Or as Romney put it, 'And they said I can't connect with the poor.'" – Jimmy Fallon

Every time that Pakistan gets mad at us for incursions into their country hunting down "terrorists," the CIA launches more drone attacks, just to thumb their noses at the Pakistani authorities. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said that the Pakistanis have to realize that we will do what we damn well please, and to stop griping abut it so much. After all, we give them billions in aid that their military and politicians siphon off, it's not like they're not getting paid to look the other way... We also give money to the victim's families and aid after each devastating monsoon. We will soon move our theater of operations to Africa, the propaganda machine is sending out stories of al Qaeda training camps in Mali, and we already have CIA operatives and attending mercenaries in Yemen and Somalia...

Have you ever noticed that there isn't one place in the world that isn't corrupt?

The most interesting conversations still take place in Egypt, as the run-off election pits pro-government forces against pro-Islamic forces, whatever those vague terms mean... They are asking the liberals, which form of oppression do you like the best? The pro-government folks are acting out of the Karl Rove playbook, getting generals and judges to go on television and sound the warning, warning how dangerous it will be if the Muslim Brotherhood both runs the government and has a majority in parliament, while the MB is trying to calm the fears, and proving themselves by nominating a healthy cross-section of people to be on the committee that will come up with the new constitution. All these conversations are good to have, healthier when they are out in the open. The US and Europe have to accept that Egypt will never resemble their countries, and is forging its own path. Democracy is messy, at times it seems like chaos or a civil war, but out of it usually comes a consensus and a solid path to follow, except for Syria...

We are in the middle of a generational war of values, especially in the Republican Party. Which may explain why the older folks are acting so hysterical, and trying to force a lot of legislation through in the states and in Congress. The latest shot was fired by the tea party scion Jonah Goldberg, who suffers from no-brain syndrome, when he said that those under 30 are too dumb and shouldn't be allowed to vote...
"It is a simple fact of science that nothing correlates more with ignorance and stupidity more than youth," he said, with feeling. "We're all born idiots, and we only get over that condition as we get less young." 
"The fact that young people think socialism is better than capitalism... that's something that conservatives have to work hard to beat out of them,"
Jonah, Jonah, Jonah. You could do with some advice that I used to give obnoxious teenagers when I used to drive a bus. I told them that when they were young they could easily change their behavior and not be such an asshole, because young assholes usually grow up to be old assholes, and nobody likes an old asshole... Crude language, but Jonah, you prove my point, you ugly ugly man...

About a month ago, the Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren got into a brouhaha over her claiming she had Indian blood somewhere back in her ancestry, without any formal proof other than family stories and legends. I understand her desire to do this because my family has done the same thing.

 Supposedly, I have some roots with a Blackfoot tribe and a Ute, but more than that I couldn't tell you. I know my dad spent some summers on a Blackfoot reservation when he was a kid, and my grandmother's face resembled the Indian head on the buffalo nickel when she died. Also, we had a great-uncle that used to take his clothes off and do a war dance on the front lawn whenever he got too drunk, and that's the extent of my personal knowledge. I used to brag about it when I was in first grade, but then I realized how silly it looked for a tow-headed blond kid claiming that he was really part Indian...

But, my sister has kept up the charade, and made sure to have marked the ethnicity forms for her children as Native Americans. They now have children of their own and have stopped the trend, but it always bothered me that she kept up the ruse. Though who knows, maybe there is more than a teeny tiny percentage of Indian lineage running through my veins; I certainly never pursued it or tried to take advantage, other than sharing a couple pleasant stories with my cousins after dinner. And I'm sure that there's a lot of other folks like myself, who think that any kind of racial purity is a myth. I'm supposed to be part German, English, and Welsh, but I also know little about those kind of roots, the only kind of culture I feel close to is from California and Colorado, both ethnic melting pots. I know its worse for my sister's grandkids: their mother was Hispanic and Black, their daddy was White, and now they don't fit in anywhere...

Monday, June 4, 2012

It's Easier To Drag Mubarak Through The Streets of Cairo Tied To A Camel, Than An Iranian Cartoonist Passing Through The Eye Of A Needle

Its been an interesting weekend if you have an interest in the Middle Eastern legal system. The big draw, of course, was the trial of Hosni Mubarak, over the responsibility of ordering the killing of demonstrators in Tahrir Square... The prosecutors could not provide any direct evidence that Mubarak gave such orders, so he was found guilty by association, of letting such actions occur on his watch. The case against him was constructed so that it could easily be appealed, and its likely that Mr Mubarak will spend about a month behind bars... In the meantime, people have taken back to the streets in protest, though some have admitted that they're not sure what they are protesting over, other than they wanted to see Mr Mubarak tied to a camel and dragged through the streets of Cairo... It didn't help that lesser officials, who had more to do with issuing those kind of orders, were acquitted, which still makes people mad...

Some pundits worry that the trial results will polarize Egyptian society even more, especially because the two remaining presidential candidates are merely two sides of the same coin; neither candidate represents a change in the system and young people and women will become locked out of the process of forming a new constitution. Most of the ideals that people marched and camped out in the streets for will only be paid lip service, while the same old corrupt system of cronyism and getting things done through bribery will continue on. The more things change the more they stay the same...

Also, there was a trial in Iran of a newspaper's cartoonist that resulted in 25 lashes of said cartoonist. This was the first time that a prosecution for a cartoon of a non-religious figurehead  went through the court system, and illustrates the vagaries of their judicial system. While their is rigorous schooling and training set up to become an ayatollah, there isn't much comparable training to become a judge. Many rulings seem based more on the whims of the judge than any kind of legal ruling. In this case, while there is a 90 year precedent in favor of newspaper cartoons of local politicians, it didn't matter to the judge, who found the cartoon offensive to Islam and a threat to the security of the nation. Even weirder is the fact that the Iranian judge was the one who sued the cartoonist, saying that he was offended by the cartoon, and he also was the one who passed judgement, and issued the 25 lashes. Said an observer of the mess:
"They don't want to understand what you have been doing; they want you to confess to what they think you have been doing, The Islamist judges in Iran have something they call "judges' knowledge." Whatever you say or whatever the law says, the judge can decide based on his own instinct. [Mortazavi] was the interrogator, the judge, and the prosecutor all in one: Judge Dredd..."
The cartoonist and his lawyer are going to appeal the verdict, but it looks like he'd have a better chance if he was an American back-packer accused of spying...

Tomorrow is the recall election in Wisconsin, and it is being over-hyped as to whatever the results will mean. the main problem for the Democrats is they are running against Governor Scott Walker a candidate who lost to him in the last election. It's doubtful that the citizens will rally behind a loser just to throw a bastard out of office...  Paul Krugman makes a good case in his column today, that we already have been practicing the Republican version of the economy for over the past two years, and it hasn't been doing us much good so far: "What should be done about the economy? Republicans claim to have the answer: slash spending and cut taxes. What they hope voters won’t notice is that that’s precisely the policy we’ve been following the past couple of years. Never mind the Democrat in the White House; for all practical purposes, this is already the economic policy of Republican dreams.

So the Republican electoral strategy is, in effect, a gigantic con game: it depends on convincing voters that the bad economy is the result of big-spending policies that President Obama hasn’t followed (in large part because the G.O.P. wouldn’t let him), and that our woes can be cured by pursuing more of the same policies that have already failed."

Colorado politics may be the savior of the future for the Republican Party, if the bigwigs will sit up and take notice. We already have 4 gay people elected to the legislature, and come November that number may double, giving us the highest percentage of gays to elected office, along with California. We also have a high amount of minorities and women in office and running the local parties. It seems that our women are taking charge while our men partake of the medical marijuana... But our top figureheads are still white men, to keep the image of old-school GOP politics... And we still have our share of right wing extremists, like the woman who began the personhood amendments when she was a seventeen year-old home-schooled girl...