Sunday, May 31, 2009

Big O Critque

Why Health Advice on 'Oprah' Could Make You Sick | Newsweek Health | Newsweek.com

Question Of The Day

Will Obama Call the Murder of George Tiller What it is–Terrorism? « The Confluence: "George Tiller, 67, a Witchita, KS doctor who performed abortions was shot dead inside his Lutheran church this morning during the service. His wife was in the choir at the time. This is terrorism, and it is evil. Dr. Tiller was targeted as part of a concerted effort to intimdate women who need and seek abortions and the doctors who help them. May he rest in peace..."

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Small Victory

Wikipedia blocks Church of Scientology from editing entries: "The user-edited online encyclopedia Wikipedia has announced today that any IP address connected to a computer owned by the Church of Scientology is now banned from editing contributions. The site says for years the Chruch has been editing anything related to Scientology to show it in better light..."

How Many Vacation Days Did Bush Take?

RNC slams Obama Broadway date night - UPI.com: "WASHINGTON, May 30 (UPI) -- GOP officials chided U.S. President Barack Obama for attending a Broadway play Saturday but the White House said Obama was keeping a campaign promise."

Friday, May 29, 2009

O'Opaque

Why Can’t Obama Be Like Sotomayor? : NO QUARTER: "Anyone else besides me bothered by the transparency in the information being released about Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s academic record compared to the wall of silence protecting Barack Obama?..."

Larry follows with the laundry list of missing O'Information-- and it is not even an exhaustive list-- but it's still quite a list.

Flu Warning

Flu has a history of foreshocks - Los Angeles Times: "A CLOSER LOOK: ...In past decades, a smaller influenza wave has preceded pandemics, but experts say there is no way to predict if H1N1 is such a precursor..."

You have been warned.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pouring Salt Into A Wound

As someone whose pay has been cut (but with no time off for compensation), I find this, ahem, annoying, to say the very least.

Charlotte Front and Center: North Carolina Banks Want Your Tax Dollars for Employee Bonuses: "...Last year, the North Carolina Banking commission paid out $500,000. in bonuses. Add in the factor of Wall Street paying their employees much the same as last year, while our government spends and makes budget cuts on jobs and services for the middle-class. This should make North Carolina citizens angry as well as all U.S. citizens.

The same people who helped cause this trouble want bonuses of 10%..."

Nader Not Dead

...though I have wondered. I can't ever remember Nader being so long out of the public eye.

Nader Accuses McAuliffe of Suppressing Votes - Virginia Politics -: "Consumer activist Ralph Nader accused Terry McAuliffe Thursday of orchestrating an effort to remove him from the presidential ballot in 2004 when McAuliffe was chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Nader said that McAuliffe offered him an unspecified amount of money to campaign in 31 states if Nader would agree to pull his campaign in 19 battleground states.

'When you get a call like that, first of all it's inappropriate,'' Nader said in an interview. 'The other thing is if you don't immediately say no, it's like taffy, you get stuck with it...'"

Temper, Temper

Sotomayor’s Sharp Tongue Raises Issue of Temperament - NYTimes.com: "...But to detractors, Ms. Sotomayer’s sharp-tongued and occasionally combative manner — some lawyers describe her as “difficult” and “nasty” — raises questions about her judicial temperament and willingness to listen. Her demeanor on the bench is an issue that conservatives opposed to her nomination see as a potential vulnerability — and one President Obama himself carefully considered before selecting her..."

Note: This excerpt is from the New York Times, not the Smear-o Weekly.

GOP Not And Never Out Of Power

Anglachel's Journal: Their Madness Was Allowed: "...Not so fast, Paul. Lack of power? To the contrary, they are using their power efficiently and effectively. They have significant leverage in the form of things like the super-majority needed to have a realistic budget. They have spent years looting every treasury they could find, lining their own pockets and those of their cronies, and now scream about the need for fiscal austerity when asked what they did with the dough. That is why the City of San Diego is now in such dire financial straits - the Republican power elite in the government diverted funds away from the employees' retirement system and lavished it on the Republican National convention, an unneeded ball park, payments to developers, and other pet projects to feather their own nests..."

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Comment Of The Day: Supreme Edition

Get ready for the Sotomayor misogyny-fest : NO QUARTER: "Comment by Patrick Walker | 2009-05-27 12:56:17

60% of her decisions were later overturned and apparently 95% of her judgements are in line with the corporate line. If she has a choice with siding with workers or with corporate entities, she sides with the corporations. That’s *not* what’s needed anymore. The power of corporations has to be broken, not strengthened with a Sotomajor pick.

The WSJ all but loves her which should be sending warning flags…

Liberals will be just as deceived by Obama’s SCOTUS picks as they were with him getting elected."

I hope we will see a critique based on something other than sex, but it looks like most of the opposition is just going down good old Smear Road.

Huckleberry Hoodwink Hates Sotomayor

Huck comes out firing — at 'Maria' Sotomayor - Ben Smith - POLITICO.com

More right wing hypocrisy here, with Huckabee leading the parade. Remember all that "the President won, he gets to pick" crap tossed around with Bert Aileto et. al. were parading about heading for the bench?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

An Unneeded Job

Charlotte Front and Center: Control: Obama and the New Internet Czar: "According to the Washington Post, Obama signed off on a new position last Friday that is for now being referred to as an Internet Czar. Actually, the White House is still defining the job description, but cybersecurity with a 'broad mandate' seems to be the prevailing top information known at the moment about the new job..."

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day


It's "Thank You" day in my house-- a day which I say thanks to all the veterans and from a veteran "Thank you, America" for giving me an opportunity to serve this great, if imperfect, country.

My dad, in the b&w photo, was a man that existed mostly to me as a mythic figure. I finally got to know him a little bit late in his life (that's a long story, involving the military, the VA, and nefarious relatives)and I have never met a more humble man, nor one more devoted to his country, though he didn't quite know what to do about me since for nearly his entire life I had been a toddler. He was man whose memories were trapped in amber, locked into a time during the war and shortly thereafter.

I'd also like to say thank you to everyone who offered support and prayers for my son while he was in Iraq. He's back now-- safe and sound, but now waiting for deployment to Afghanistan. I'm hoping he doesn't go but he says, "Dad, that's where the mission is," echoing words I spoke to my mother in 1965.

So, thank you, America, and thank you, veterans, for giving me America.

'Rasslin' On High

'Terror debate' is phony drama | Freep.com | Detroit Free Press: "The viewing public loves a fight, even when the match is rigged and the final decision a foregone conclusion. How else to explain the continued popularity of professional wrestling, or why some 50-year-olds can't help but linger when their channel-surfing chances on an old Road Runner cartoon?

And so, in the absence of a celebrity death or a world-class police chase, those of us who lack the sense to unplug are doomed to spend our Memorial Day holiday witnessing endless recapitulations of last week's 'terror debate' between Barack Obama and Dick Cheney, even though everyone knows that confrontation was as phony as anything the WWF ever staged..."

Update: More from Gov. The Body:

"...You give me a waterboard, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders."

So says Navy SEAL, professional wrestling entertainer, star of "Predator" and former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura in an interview with Larry King. Ventura claims that waterboarding is torture, based on the waterboarding he endured during SEAL training..."

Excerpt from Grant Lawrence.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

What, No Love?

New survey finds mixed opinions on Obama in the Arab world | Middle East | Jerusalem Post: "Just over half of the Arab respondents from six countries say they are 'somewhat hopeful' or 'very hopeful' regarding the Middle East policy of US President Barack Obama's administration, a new survey has found..."

Top Ten New Species

Suicidal palm image - Photos: Top 10 new species - CNET News: "Each year, Arizona State University's International Institute for Species Exploration releases a top 10 list of the most interesting new species from the past year.

This weekend, the 2009 list came out. The top 10 includes a self-destructing palm, the longest insect, a tiny seahorse, the smallest snake, and caffeine-free coffee bean"...

Powell Denies Reality

Colin Powell to Limbaugh and Cheney: It's my party - Los Angeles Times

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

Dick Redux

From the "Lest We Forget" Department...

Cheney’s 9/11 Chutzpah : NO QUARTER: "I really do not understand how Dick Cheney, who helped dismantle the counterterrorism office in the National Security Council in the early days of the Bush Administration, can take credit for protecting America when he, by his own arrogance, ignored warnings of an impending attack by Bin Laden’s troops in August 2001. He can insist sternly and forcefully that he is more trustworthy than Barack Obama in knowing how to deal with terrorists but he can’t run from this one fact–MORE AMERICANS DIED FROM TERRORIST ATTACKS DURING THE REIGN OF GEORGE BUSH AND DICK CHENEY THAN DIED DURING THE PRESIDENCIES OF KENNEDY, JOHNSON, NIXON, FORD, CARTER, REAGAN, BUSH I AND CLINTON COMBINED..."

O'Purchasing Reform

From the "Anything Is Better" Department--

UPDATE 1-Obama signs law to reform Pentagon weapons buying | Industries | Industrials, Materials & Utilities | Reuters: "WASHINGTON, May 22 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama, seeking to end the schedule delays and cost overruns that plague U.S. defense spending, signed a law on Friday to reform the way the Pentagon purchases major weapons systems.

'As commander-in-chief, I will do whatever it takes to protect the American people,' Obama said at a White House signing ceremony. 'But I reject the notion that we have to waste billions of dollars to keep this nation secure...'"

Apple Goes Crazy

Apple: World's First Victorian Tech Company - Digital Life Blog - InformationWeek: "Either Apple has completely lost hold of its senses or it's trying to turn back the clock to Victorian-era America, a time when we led the world in official prudishness.

Apple certainly hasn't gained anything from its humiliating app-off with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, who appropriately nailed the digital overlord for putting prissiness over common sense -- not to mention the artistic freedom it should be busy promoting rather than burying.

In a vivid demonstration that absurdity knows no bounds, Apple has now banned an e-book reader app, Eucalyptus, from its App Store because readers can download the Kama Sutra..."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Beaters Fired

BBC NEWS | Americas | US police fired over beating film: "Five US police officers in Birmingham, Alabama have been fired for beating an unconscious suspect who had crashed his car in a police pursuit.

The attack on Anthony Warren took place in January 2008, but police video footage has only just been made public.

It was uncovered in March by prosecutors preparing a case against Warren for assaulting an officer, for which he was later convicted.

Officials said other officers had seen the video but never reported it..." Video here.

O'Shafting Wilsons

Raw Story » Obama administration sides with Bush officials against outed CIA agent: "The Obama administration has decided to oppose the reinstatement of a civil lawsuit filed by outed CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson..." Cannon thinks it is Hillary-hate. I agree.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

(Healthcare) Hope Springs Eternal

The Associated Press: Activists seek Justice Dept. probe of insurers: "WASHINGTON (AP) — Activists backing President Barack Obama's health care overhaul are asking the Justice Department to open a wide-ranging investigation of what they say is monopoly-like power in the hands of major insurers.

The move by Health Care for America Now has consequences for the debate on Capitol Hill, since health insurers have been working closely with lawmakers to find a compromise that would expand coverage and curb costs..."

Deere Up

Deere Profit Tops Estimates as Farm Sales Remain ‘Strong’ - Bloomberg.com: "May 20 (Bloomberg) -- Deere & Co., the world’s largest maker of farm equipment, reported second-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates as sales of agricultural machines remained “strong” amid the economic recession..."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rassler Gets Torture Right

Cannonfire: "That's an extremist statement"

"Jesse "the Body" Ventura visited the View and shocked Elizabeth Hasselbeck by talking sense:
“If waterboarding is okay, why didn’t we waterboard [Timothy] McVeigh and [Terry] Nichols, the Oklahoma City bombers, to find out if there were more people involved? What’s your answer to that?” he asked. “We only seem to waterboard Muslims.”

“That’s an extremist statement,” said Hasselbeck..."

No Downside For O

VOA News - US Senate Democrats Withhold Funding to Close Guantanamo Prison: "U.S. Senate Democrats have decided not to provide funds to close the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention center until President Barack Obama's administration presents a detailed plan for what to do with the 240 detainees being held there. It is a setback for Mr. Obama, who wants to close the facility by January of next year..."

A setback? Surely, you jest. This gives Obama the perfect excuse, and the perfect fall guy--Congress, to not close Gitmo, and he gets off the hook for one of his campaign promises. "Setback" my, uh, seat.

No More Navels For GOP

Republican National Committee Chairman Steele Urges Stronger Attacks on Obama - washingtonpost.com: "Seeking to reassert himself as a party leader, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele yesterday implored GOP members to stop 'navel-gazing' and sharply attack President Obama..."

Monday, May 18, 2009

MoDo Confesses Word-Slutting

NYTimes Writer Admits Using Blogger's Words - TIME: "New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd has admitted to using a paragraph virtually word-for-word from a prominent liberal blogger without attribution..."

That blogger would be liberal in name only, being a member of the He-Man Hillary Haters (and woman hater, in general, one presumes).

(Update: Jeez, how can a typo as bad as that header slip by you? Brainless, I am.)

The Bottom Line

Anglachel's Journal: Framed: "...The situation is that Big Dems are still the enemy while Obama basks in the glow of media approval."

To learn how to arrive at that conclusion, click on the link above.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Reform But Not Reformation

The year for health care: "'The stars are aligned' for health care reform this year, President Obama said Wednesday.

We'll soon find out. The signs are awfully encouraging: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has set an ambitious time frame of July to get legislation on the floor. Instead of fighting tooth and nail against any changes, representatives of the health care industry have pledged to cut cost increases by 1.5 percent per year, potentially saving $2 trillion over the next 10 years. And even some businesses are nominally on board: Obama met with executives from enormous companies that have successfully cut their own health care costs, including Safeway, Johnson & Johnson and Microsoft.

Still, trouble lurks just below the surface..."

Saturday, May 16, 2009

No Fly Equals No Firearm?

H.R. 2401: No Fly, No Buy Act Of 2009

Flogging Dick

The Truth About Richard Bruce Cheney : NO QUARTER: "...Less important but still busting my chops as a Republican, is the damage that the Sith Lord Cheney is doing to my political party.

He and Rush Limbaugh seem to be its leaders now. Lindsay Graham, John McCain, John Boehner, and all other Republicans of note seem to be either so enamored of Cheney-Limbaugh (or fearful of them?) or, on the other hand, so appalled by them, that the cat has their tongues. And meanwhile fewer Americans identify as Republicans than at any time since WWII. We’re at 21% and falling–right in line with the number of cranks, reprobates, and loonies in the country.

When will we hear from those in my party who give a damn about their country and about the party of Lincoln?

When will someone of stature tell Dick Cheney that enough is enough? Go home. Spend your 70 million. Luxuriate in your Eastern Shore mansion. Shoot quail with your friends–and your friends.

Stay out of our way as we try to repair the extensive damage you’ve done–to the country and to its Republican Party.

– Lawrence Wilkerson"

Friday, May 15, 2009

GOPer Lite

Friday: Some things you just can’t make up « The Confluence: "...Meanwhile, we’ve seen protests erupt as the Senate started discussing health care reform while leaving single payer solutions off-the-table. No single payer is another Obama missive and another Republican-like policy. On May 5th, those most radical of all elements in this country, doctors and nurses, staged a protest at a senate hearing insisting single payer should be on the table.

I still can’t believe the Republicans are calling Obama a socialist. The only thing we’ve socialized so far are those incredible losses coming out of the finance sector. Everything else is Republican-lite.

All I gotta say is ya got played folks! Maddoff is a small fry scammer by comparison."

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Polling Health Care

Politics of health care - On Politics - USATODAY.com: "A new survey from the Stanford Center on Longevity shows deep political divides on the health care debate shaping up in Washington. The group finds:

• Among Democrats, 52% cite health care as a top priority for the Obama administration and Congress compared to 28% for Republicans.

• The most important issues for lawmakers to focus on as they change health care: 27% of Democrats named 'expanding coverage for (the) uninsured' while 26% of Republicans said 'keeping the U.S. health care system out of the hands of government.'

• 49% of Democrats said they agree or strongly agree with expanding current federal programs such as Medicaid, compared to 29% of Republicans..."

Flaming Pants(suit)

Pelosi accuses CIA of misleading her on use of waterboarding - CNN.com: "(CNN) -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused CIA officials Thursday of misleading her in 2002 about the use of 'enhanced interrogation techniques' such as waterboarding, which simulates drowning and has been described by critics as torture..."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

GI Vote Didn't Count

The Associated Press: Report: One-fourth of overseas votes go uncounted: "WASHINGTON (AP) — One out of every four ballots requested by military personnel and other Americans living overseas for the 2008 election may have gone uncounted, according to findings being released at a Senate hearing Wednesday.

Sen. Charles Schumer, chairman of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, said the study, while providing only a snapshot of voting patterns, 'is enough to show that the balloting process for service members is clearly in need of an overhaul.'

The committee, working with the Congressional Research Service, surveyed election offices in seven states with high numbers of military personnel: California, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and West Virginia.

It said that of 441,000 absentee ballots requested by eligible voters living abroad — mainly active-duty and reserve troops — more than 98,000 were 'lost' ballots that were mailed out but never received by election officials. Taking into account 13,500 ballots that were rejected for such reasons as a missing signature or failure to notarize, one-quarter of those requesting a ballot were disenfranchised.

The study found that an additional 11,000 ballots were returned as undeliverable..."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Gender Reminder

Tuesday: Rosen, Davidson and adolescent males « The Confluence: "...The country is 51% female. To diss more than half of the population as insufficiently capable of expressing a well-thought opinion is a recipe for disaster. It can result in the election of a complete neophyte to office who will be easily manipulated by the oligarchs. How else could it be that a man with no experience or political philosophy can be promoted over a more qualified female in a period of our nation’s history when experience and knowledge base is crucial to that nation’s economic survival?

Overcome it, guys."

Monday, May 11, 2009

Comment Of The Day

John Edwards’ Staff Infection! : NO QUARTER: "Comment by FLDemFem | 2009-05-10 18:29:49

Sounds like the new Democratic Party motto should be “Vice is nice, but incest is best” given the intertwined relationships in the last few campaign seasons. I wonder if Axelrod thinks of himself as the new American “king maker”? He may do so, but he isn’t a patch on Richard Neville, the original Kingmaker. If you don’t know who that was, look it up. Hint: Warwick."

Murder In Iraq

U.S. service member kills 4 fellow troops in Iraq - Conflict in Iraq- msnbc.com: "BAGHDAD - A U.S. service member opened fire on fellow members of the military, killing four and wounding several others, at the main U.S, base in Baghdad, officials told NBC News on Monday.

NBC's Jim Miklaszewski reported the assailant took his own life after the violent outburst. The attacker was described as a 'stressed out' U.S. soldier..."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Changing Of The Gay

Preliminary talks held on U.S. military gay policy | Reuters: "The Obama administration is holding 'preliminary discussions' about changing the military's prohibition against openly gay service members, White House National Security Advisor James Jones said on Sunday.

President Barack Obama pledged during the presidential campaign to change the policy. But the issue has been on the back-burner as the White House tackles other issues such as the economy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jones said he does not know if the policy, known as 'don't ask, don't tell,' will be overturned, and indicated a cautious approach.

'We have a lot on our plate right now. It has to be teed up at the right time ... to do this the right way,' Jones said on the ABC program 'This Week...'"

Darth Hearts Rush

From the "Go Figure" Department:

Cheney Says He Favors Limbaugh Over Powell as Model Republican - Bloomberg.com

"May 10 (Bloomberg) -- Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Republicans are better served by conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh than by former Secretary of State Colin Powell. “My take on it was Colin had already left the party,” Cheney said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” noting that Republican Powell endorsed President Barack Obama, a Democrat, during the 2008 presidential campaign..."

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Fly-Over Casualty

White House aide resigns over N.Y. flyover | Reuters: "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A White House military aide who authorized an Air Force flyover of New York that caused panic among some people in the city resigned on Friday..."

Corrupt Census Possible?

Charlotte Front and Center: ACORN Should Not Be Involved with the Census Bureau
"ACORN Should Not Be Involved with the Census Bureau

With evidence mounting that ACORN committed registration fraud is raising national concern that ACORN employees should not be working for the Census Bureau. The first line of defense from ACORN officials is that registration fraud seldom leads to voter fraud. Never mind the fact that tax payer dollars were abused when paying for these false registrations from ACORN employees.


Despite new charges brought against ACORN for voter fraud, the real concern today is the role that ACORN will play with the Census Bureau. The Bureau under the Obama administration must now report directly to the White House. The Census Bureau is suppose to be non-partisan, but the fact that ACORN is playing a primary role in collecting information is cause for concern since findings will bring political consequences. With all the negative evidence,some democratic house members are becoming concerned as well..."

There should not even be a whiff of impropriety involved with the Census.

Friday, May 08, 2009

If You Don't Like Bushes...

...then you'll hate them after reading this post. In addition, Cannon introduces us to one of the most offensive terms ever coined: "Fodder units": Jeb Bush and the economic meltdown-- Cannonfire

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Help The Ladies, Please

Breast Cancer Petition | myLifetime.com: "The Bipartisan Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act Needs Your Support!

"This week Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-Connecticut) and Joe Barton (R-Texas) and Senators Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) will re-introduce the bipartisan Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act in Congress. Thanks to its viewers, Lifetime has so far collected more than 23 million online petition signatures urging Congress to pass this critical legislation, which would end the practice of so-called 'drive-through' mastectomies when women are forced out of the hospital only hours after invasive breast cancer surgery..."

Check the link for a petition and helpful information. Please support this bill!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Insurance Companies Ask For Regulation

...because they think we're idiots-- we know how very well Congressional oversight of business works.

Health Insurers Try to Scuttle Obama Plan - ABC News

"... The insurance industry's surprising request for more government rules and oversight is its latest attempt to convince Congress to reject a main component of Obama's health care reform plan -- a government run insurance program that would be open to all Americans under 65 and compete with private insurance plans..."

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

O'Good On Tax Hidey-Holes

Obama Targets Overseas Tax Dodge - washingtonpost.com: "President Obama yesterday announced a major offensive against businesses and wealthy individuals who avoid U.S. taxes by parking cash overseas, a battle he said would be fought with new tax laws, new reporting requirements and an army of 800 new IRS agents..."

I'm sure this will set-off a flood of crocodile tears from certain quarters, but these places should have been shuttered before they ever opened. The middle class has been soaked from all directions on taxes and one of the major reasons is this disappearing income from the upper reaches. When I paying much more on my measly state salary than some millionaires (and billion dollar corporations), then something is wrong.

VA HIV Infection Accident

Well, I hope it is an accident, as opposed to negligence.

Veterans Report - VA Reports Additional HIV Cases

"The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) says a second patient exposed to dirty equipment at its hospital in Miami tested positive for HIV. This brings the number of VA patients to test positive for HIV to four. The VA continues to investigate problems with unclean medical equipment at VA clinics in Miami, Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Augusta, Ga. For more information, visit VA's Endoscopic Procedure Notification webpage or telephone VA's Special Care Call center at 1-877-575-7256 (available, 24 hours a day, seven days a week)."

GOP Of Reactionaries

GOP Tries to Dig Out of Its Hole - WSJ.com: "If you're trying to figure how bad things are for Republicans, consider this: More Americans say they are conservatives than say they are part of the Republican Party -- which is supposed to be, after all, the party of conservatives..."

Since I'm a moderate, that makes me either a liberal conservative or conservative liberal, a label that fits neither Republican nor Democratic preferences. The GOP is a not a conservative political party. That left that mantle when the influence of Nelson Rockefeller and Barry Goldwater began to wane. Reagan was not a conservative, either. Like his descendants, he was a reactionary-- longing for a return to the Really Good Old Days-- you know, kinda like the antebellum South. If the GOP hitches their banner to that wagon train, they will remain encircled and irrelevant for a generation. A move away from the nuttier aspects of social conservatives toward a conservative fiscal policy would help recruit new members, but I'm not holding my breath. Oh, btw, reverse everything I've said and substitute "Democrats" and you have the same mess from a different direction (though I think the Democrats think they're going to fast-forward into some pseudo-Orwellian utopia- see Farmer's New Riders of the Purple Wage).

Monday, May 04, 2009

9/11 Memorial In NJ

Got a Powerpoint about this today that asked the question: Why did this gift from Russia go unnoticed? I was convinced it was a hoax but I did find this picture and a Snopes statement that the monument is for real. I feill into a comment thread that was decrying the monument as ugly, but methinks some people miss the point-- it was a gift from Russia. I leave it to the art critics to evaluate.

Well, someone hacked my blog and replaced the picture with a childish graphic. That's ok. Someday someone will key your car.

snopes.com: Tear
Drop 9/11 Monument


Palin Complaints

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin receives deluge of ethics complaints - Andy Barr - POLITICO.com: "...The complaints run the gamut, ranging from the governor’s use of state funds and staff to the workings of her political action committee and even to a jacket she wore to a snow machine race involving her husband..."

Sunday, May 03, 2009

About That Flu

1918 Spanish Flu vs. Mexican Flu: Part 2

"...Influenza pandemics have occurred as far back in history as we can look, but the four we know about in detail happened in 1889, 1918, 1957 and 1968. The mildest of these, the so-called Hong Kong flu in 1968, killed about 35,000 people in the United States and 700,000 worldwide. Ordinary seasonal influenza, in comparison, now kills 36,000 Americans a year, because the population has a higher proportion of elderly people and others with weak immune systems...

...All four of the well-known pandemics seem to have come in waves. The 1918 virus surfaced by March and set in motion a spring and summer wave that hit some communities and skipped others. This first wave was extremely mild, more so even than ordinary influenza: Of the 10,313 sailors in the British Grand Fleet who became ill, for example, only four died. But autumn brought a second, more lethal wave, which was followed by a less severe third wave in early 1919..."

In other words, it ain't over 'til it's over, with a summary position of "we better be making that vaccine right now."

Buffett Likes Wells Fargo

Buffett Dismisses Government Stress Tests, Praises Wells Fargo - Bloomberg.com "May 3 (Bloomberg) -- Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Chairman Warren Buffett dismissed the importance of the government stress tests in helping him assess banks, and said Wells Fargo & Co. will prosper no matter what the results show..."

Friday, May 01, 2009

Spies Walk

U.S. to Drop Spy Case Against Pro-Israel Lobbyists - NYTimes.com: "WASHINGTON – The Obama Justice Department moved Friday to drop all charges against two former pro-Israel lobbyists who had been charged under the Espionage Act with improperly disseminating sensitive information..."