Thursday, November 29, 2012

Beware The Rage

Road rage can take some unexpected turns.

God As Teacher


Why God didn’t get tenure.
  • He’s had only one major publication
  • It included no references
  • It was written in at least 3 foreign languages, one of which has been dead for 1800 years.
  • It wasn’t peer-reviewed
  • There is some reason to suspect he didn’t write it himself
  • He claims to have created the world, but his results can't be replicated, it was a least 6000 years ago, and he hasn’t done much since then anyway
  • He refuses to cooperate with, or even acknowledge his colleagues
  • He never cleared it with the Ethics Board before using human subjects
  • When one of his early experiments failed, he attempted to cover it up by drowning all the subjects
  • Subjects not behaving as expected are often simply deleted from the sample (rumors abound that he expelled his first 2 students for their reluctance to attend class in the nude)
  • He rarely shows up in his classroom (students are told “just read the book”), prompting allegations that he’s had his son teach his class
  • His office hours are irregular, there have been many complaints about his being unresponsive to communications, and meetings with him generally require mountain climbing
  • Although there are only 10 basic requirements for his course, nearly all of his students fail, and his disciplinary actions are severe
(hat tip = Fail Blog)

Emotional Terrorists

I kinda get the feeling that in spite of the differences, all women seem to have a thing or two in common.

Working Class Hero

Not.


Florida Gets Another One

Guns don't kill people - gun nuts kill people; with guns; because they're fuckin' nuts.

via Wonkette:

The shooting occurred last Friday after Michael Dunn, 45, stopped at a convenience store; his girlfirend went into the store to buy some wine, and Dunn found himself oppressed by the very loud stereo in the car he’d parked next to, according to the Orlando Sentinel:
Jordan Russell Davis, 17, and several other teenagers were sitting in a sport utility vehicle in the parking lot when Dunn pulled up next to them in a car and asked them to turn down their music, [Jacksonville sheriff's Lt. Rob] Schoonover said.
Jordan and Dunn exchanged words, and Dunn pulled a gun and shot eight or nine times, striking Jordan twice, Schoonover said. Jordan was sitting in the back seat. No one else was hurt.
After the shooting, Dunn and his girlfriend drove away to a motel, and Dunn only turned himself in to police the next day, after hearing on the news that someone had died. Because really, you don’t want to get all tangled up with the law after firing a bunch of shots in a public place; if he hadn’t hit anyone, no need to make a fuss.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Today's Pix








Changing Their Tune

The rubes are showing what a bunch of credulous bozos they are.  And having been misled and cajoled and bullied into believing the weirdest bullshit any of these charlatans could dream up for the last 40 years, suddenly Ol' Gran-pappy Robertson wants to pretend he hasn't been punkin' the poor saps all along, and that (contrary to what he's insisted on in the past), the Young Earth thing is "interpretation" and not to be taken literally.  

Fuckin' phony.



So it all goes down The Memory Hole.  They wipe out the version of their own history that's now inconvenient, and they start fresh with, "No, no - I never said that.  Anyone who thought I would say that would have to be a foolish child, and you're not a foolish child are you?"

And so it goes - reset, reboot, repeat as needed.  

As driftglass says, "Always wrong but never in doubt."

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It's An Ambush

So, is this maybe some kind of trial balloon?  Is somebody at DumFux News trying to move them off of their mission to promote GOP interests?  Or is it just another example of what happens when a Segment Producer (or an Anchor Poodle) decides to leave the joint anyway, so he might as well come clean about a coupla things?

This shit (almost) never happens by accident - it's a wonderment.



(hat tip = Addicting Info)

Say What?

Here's Rand Paul, "pleading the case" for Personhood Legislation (actually, it's obvious he's just reading a script over the fucking phone - probably because he's getting lots of large donations from American Taliban organizations).



I have an idea, Mr Paul - how 'bout you guys stick to your "philosophy" and just leave people the fuck alone?  Isn't that kinda your whole "Libertarian" thing?

It's Broken

"The BS under the hood" - Andrea Seabrook at her new gig DecodeDC



We're losing something important here.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Why What Happened Happened

...and what needs to happen now; and what to watch for.

From Rachel Maddow the day after 11-6-12.  She may have delivered this a little too soon after the election to make it stick in the collective consciousness - especially for the Repubs.  So here it is again.



And it's not exactly something nobody else is saying.  Here's Bruce Bartlett from a piece (that's a bit too long and way too poor-pitiful-me) in The American Conservative:
The final line for me to cross in complete alienation from the right was my recognition that Obama is not a leftist. In fact, he’s barely a liberal—and only because the political spectrum has moved so far to the right that moderate Republicans from the past are now considered hardcore leftists by right-wing standards today. Viewed in historical context, I see Obama as actually being on the center-right.
At this point, I lost every last friend I had on the right. Some have been known to pass me in silence at the supermarket or even to cross the street when they see me coming. People who were as close to me as brothers and sisters have disowned me.
--snip--
So here we are, post-election 2012. All the stupidity and closed-mindedness that right-wingers have displayed over the last 10 years has come back to haunt them. It is now widely understood that the nation may be center-left after all, not center-right as conservatives thought. Overwhelming losses by Republicans to all the nation’s nonwhite voters have created a Democratic coalition that will govern the nation for the foreseeable future.
Tellingly, a key reason for Obama’s victory, according to exit polls, is none other than George W. Bush, whom 60 percent of voters primarily blame for the nation’s economic woes—an extraordinary fact when he has been out of office for four years. Even though they didn’t read myImpostor book, voters still absorbed its message.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Krugman Speaks

I lifted the whole thing from from Paul Krugman's blog at NYT:
The Fake Skills Shortage

Kudos to Adam Davidson for some much-needed mythbusting about the supposed skills shortage holding the US economy back. Whenever you see some business person quoted complaining about how he or she can’t find workers with the necessary skills, ask what wage they’re offering. Almost always, it turns out that what said business person really wants is highly (and expensively) educated workers at a manual-labor wage. No wonder they come up short.
And this dovetails perfectly with one of the key arguments against the claim that much of our unemployment is “structural”, due to a mismatch between skills and labor demand. If that were true, you should see soaring wages for those workers who do have the right skills; in fact, with rare exceptions you don’t.
So what you really want to ask is why American businesses don’t feel that it’s worth their while to pay enough to attract the workers they say they need.
It's always something phony - whenever you ask anybody about what's up with the economy, they're ready with some crapola like "my business can't do anything until we see some certainty restored to the system", or this malarkey about "structural problems of skills-matching".

I make no claims about knowing the whole answer, but I know it has nothing to do with the Politically Correct blather we get from Plutocrats, and everything to do with Demand - the kind of demand you get when people are working in positions where they can feel relatively confident their jobs won't simply disappear; and when they can have some reassurance that their efforts will be rewarded fairly.

Whatever happened to the guys who knew enough to understand "you gotta spend money to make money"?

Be sure to read the Adam Davidson piece too:
The secret behind this skills gap is that it’s not a skills gap at all. I spoke to several other factory managers who also confessed that they had a hard time recruiting in-demand workers for $10-an-hour jobs. “It’s hard not to break out laughing,” says Mark Price, a labor economist at the Keystone Research Center, referring to manufacturers complaining about the shortage of skilled workers. “If there’s a skill shortage, there has to be rises in wages,” he says. “It’s basic economics.” After all, according to supply and demand, a shortage of workers with valuable skills should push wages up. Yet according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of skilled jobs has fallen and so have their wages.
In a recent study, the Boston Consulting Group noted that, outside a few small cities that rely on the oil industry, there weren’t many places where manufacturing wages were going up and employers still couldn’t find enough workers. “Trying to hire high-skilled workers at rock-bottom rates,” the Boston Group study asserted, “is not a skills gap.” The study’s conclusion, however, was scarier. Many skilled workers have simply chosen to apply their skills elsewhere rather than work for less, and few young people choose to invest in training for jobs that pay fast-food wages. As a result, the United States may soon have a hard time competing in the global economy. The average age of a highly skilled factory worker in the U.S. is now 56. “That’s average,” says Hal Sirkin, the lead author of the study. “That means there’s a lot who are in their 60s. They’re going to retire soon.” And there are not enough trainees in the pipeline, he said, to replace them.

Today's Pix








Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Un-War On Christmas

Do you see it?  There on the side of the wagon and again on the banner under the picture of the wagon?  It says "White House Christmas Tree".


I'm serious - if you bring any of the usual shit about "anti-Christian this" or "holiday that", I can't guarantee I won't get all medieval on your dumb ass.

Here's the video:


Yeah - it's just that boring.  It's always just that boring.   Why is it ALWAYS the Little Stoopid that DumFux News and the wingnuts choose to make into a Big Stoopid?

Here's a tho't - what if DumFux News is actually helping Obama and all those Big Gubmint rascals by distracting our attention away from Torture and Murder-by-Drone and Domestic Spying and a hundred other bigger things by getting us to concentrate on a bunch of fanciful junk that isn't true and wouldn't fucking matter even if it was true?

Today's Toon

From Democratic Underground:

And I'll Say It Again

No Dynasties.

No more Bushes, no more Clintons, No more Kennedys, no more Rockefellers - no more legacy candidates for anything anywhere anytime ever (unless of course, I change my mind because somebody comes along who's completely awesome).

Cleveland Leader linking to NYT
President Barack Obama's second term hasn't even officially begun, but already speculation is beginning to mount for the next presidential race in 2016. It is now rumored that former Florida governor Jeb Bush, the son of former president George H.W. Bush and brother of former president George W. Bush, is looking to throw his hat in the ring for the Republican ticket in 2016.
Jeb Bush is not that completely awesome guy.  And neither is Hillary Clinton.  Look at who serves in any level of government, and you'll find way too many people whose number one item on the resumé is "born into a family of wealth and power".

Knock that shit off.

The Krugman

I don't like feeling I'm becoming kinda captured by a slanted narrative (just sayin' that one straight out), but I'll try to contain my discomfort (for a while anyway) because Paul Krugman seems always to be trying to talk some sense into us.

And he keeps coming up with real info about real events that we need to weigh against all the fantastic predictions of doom coming from the Austerity Freaks.
But what about the brief but nasty slump in 1927? That wasn’t caused by spiking interest rates; it was, instead, caused by fiscal austerity, by the measures taken to stabilize the franc.
So even when we look at the closest thing I can find to the scenario the deficit scolds want us to fear, it doesn’t play out at all as described.
It’s quite remarkable: our policy discourse remains largely dominated by fears of an event that the fear-mongers can’t explain in theory, and for which they can offer no historical examples in practice.

Music In Advertising

Friday, November 23, 2012

Banishment

This one - from Rod Dreher at The American Conservative - is really fun.  And it's easily the most honest of what I've read since the Great GOP Meltdown.

(Fun Fact:  Laura Ingraham was heard recently saying she's convinced the GOP, in its current wingnut configuration - and in spite of being pretty well drubbed - is still a major-league thing because "conservative radio" is still so very popular.  Hang by a thread much, Laura?)

Anyway, Dreher starts with slamming Dick Morris:
Got that? Dick Morris believed it was his “duty” to go on TV and say that Romney was going to win this thing, because everybody on Team Romney at the time was depressed. It’s hard to know whether Morris really believed what he was saying, as he claims to, but there can be no doubt that he saw his role as cheerleading for the Republican candidate, not offering straightforward analysis.
Dick Morris is a conservative figure who really ought to never be heard from again. He’s a hack. I say give him a Dubya Award for Meritorious Service To The Conservative Movement, and push him off the stage. (“Meritorious” in the sense that, say, a boss who is firing an employee for screwing up makes an insincere but face-saving statement about how much the company has benefited from the employee’s service, and wishes him the best of luck in his future endeavors).
...then Dreher asks his readers to suggest others who should just fade away, and that's when it really starts to roll.
EarlyBird says:
It’s been a while since she’s really been on the public stage – perhaps she actually has the capacity for shame – but Sarah Palin needs to go far, far away and never come back, never “write” another book.
She is not stupid, she’s something worse: proudly ignorant. There has probably never been as vapid, empty of a “conservative” as Palin who’s gone as far in her career as she has.
She doesn’t know the first thing about governance, and her record as governor of Alaska shows she has no interest in actually implementing ideas and policies and doing the hard work of governing, but she instinctively knows how to throw red meat out to the base, rallying the worst instincts among the right with crypto-racist and fully reactionary nonsense about “real Americans.”
These are the people that make the electorate think, “the Republicans aren’t able to govern.”
She’s a disgrace to American politics, and an indictment of how off the rails the GOP has become in recent years. That she was such a darling for so long is jaw dropping.
But there's a good dose of the same ol' shit too:
Louis says:
The only ignorant people are the ones who overlook the damage done by Republicans in Washington, D.C. What was Sarah Palin’s big crime? There isn’t one. I would prefer her as president to any of the Bushes any day of the week.

The Tax Thing

I've seen and heard some whining going on about what a bitch it'll be for hard-working white-collar Dems who'll have to pony up on the tax raise because they're busy making money north of the magic $250k level, living in a not-very-fancy neighborhood with a coupla kids etc - and now they have to get ready to pay up on Obama's promise to hike taxes, and it's so unfair because gee, $250k just doesn't buy what it used to buy blah blah blah.

Please - get a fuckin' grip.  You're supposed to be the "smart ones", remember?

Obama's basic plan is to boost the tax rate on income OVER $250k, which means you'll pay exactly the same rate on the FIRST $250k; paying the higher rate only on the amount you earn after $250K.

You sit down and do just a tiny bit of arithmetic, and wow - look at that - if you're pullin' down $300k, your total rate goes up by about 3/4 of 1%.  Think you can handle that one, Mr Super-Genius?

What (prob'ly) Won't Happen

This is a list of some of the things that aren't going to happen - at least not at the Federal level - because enough of us found the good sense to vote for Obama.

(from Ol' Doc Maddow, via Addicting Info)
(1) “We are not going to have a Supreme Court that will overturn Roe vs. Wade. There will be no more Antonin Scalias and Samuel Alitos added to this court.”
(2) “We’re not going to repeal health reform. Nobody’s going to kill Medicare and make old people in this generation — or any other generation — fight it out on the open market to try to get themselves health insurance. We’re not going to do that.”
(3) “We’re not going to give the 20% tax cut to millionaires and billionaires, and expect [cutting] programs like food stamps and kids’ health insurance to cover that tax cut.”
(4) “We’re not going to make you clear it with your boss if you want to get birth control with the insurance plan that you’re on.”
(5) “We are not going to redefine rape.”
(6) “We are not going to amend the constitution to stop gay people from getting married.”
(7) We’re not going to double down on Guantanamo.
(8) “We’re not eliminating the Department of Energy, the Department of Education, or Housing at the Federal level.”
(9) “We are not going to spend two trillion dollars on the military, that the military does not want.”
(10) “We are not scaling back on student loans because the country’s NEW plan is that you should borrow money from your parents.”
(11) “We are not vetoing the Dream Act, we are not ‘self-deporting.’”
(12) “We are not letting Detroit go bankrupt.”
(13) “We are not starting a trade war with China on Inauguration Day in January.”
(14) “We are not going to have — as a president — a man who once led a mob of friends to run down a scared gay kid to hold him down and forcibly cut his hair off with a pair of scissors while that kid cried and screamed for help. (And there was NO apology, not EVER.)”
(15) “We are not going to have a Secretary of State John Bolton. We are not going to bring Dick Cheney back. We are not going to have a foreign policy shop stocked with architects of the Iraq war, we are not going to do it … We had the choice to do that if we wanted to do that, as a country, and we said no, last night, loudly.”

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pushing Forward

The point is that The Market works, and when properly guided and regulated, it can do nearly exactly what we need it to do.  It's when we leave it completely alone or (more to the obvious) exclusively in the hands of "the elite" that we start to get real problems.



It seems we may be seeing more of a positive shift.  Where before, the Big User/Abuser could force us into thinking we only had 2 choices: feeding our families or starving to death while saving a few "insignificant plants and animals".

It's becoming clearer even for the rubes who hear nothing but what's on DumFux News that we have to ensure the overall health of our surroundings if we expect to have any jobs at all; and in fact, we can build an economy (that's almost outsourcing-proof) based on the principles of sustainability that all those "mush-brained hippies" have been trying to get us to understand for a very long time now.

I like thinking we're finally getting to where we can make some of the connections we need to make to change the way we do things - eg: understanding the moral imperative of not making it impossible for somebody else to feed his family while pursuing the means to feed my own.

Rubio's Dodge

Marco Rubio's interview in GQ Magazine:
GQ: How old do you think the Earth is?
Marco Rubio: I'm not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that's a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I'm not a scientist. I don't think I'm qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says. Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I'm not sure we'll ever be able to answer that. It's one of the great mysteries.
Horse shit.

Knowing something solid about science - geology, biology, astronomy - has everything to do with how our economy grows.  Where do you think the inventions and innovations come from, Marco?

Without a real underpinning in evolutionary science, guys like Salk and Sabin never learn what it takes to kill Polio; we don't get 2nd or 3rd or 4th generation antibiotics, and we don't get anywhere near the gene-based solutions that are coming over the horizon for Alzheimer's or Cancer or Parkinson's or or or.

If we don't put aside this childish wish-think of magic and superstition, we don't figure out the movement of the planets, which means we don't discover anything about gravity, which means we don't put satellites into high-Earth orbit, which means we just sit on our thumbs waiting for the next monster hurricane to wipe out 10-15% of...wait for it...our economy.  You lying pandering sack of coprolites.

I've honestly been watching for somebody - anybody - wearing the GOP label to stand up and let me get behind him.  We've been told for a coupla years now that Rubio's one of those guys.  Not now.  Not any more.  And not any time in the near future.  Turns out Rubio's a fuckin' punchline just like practically all the others.

God, I'm sick o' this shit.

New Music

Jon Gomm - Ain't Nobody (Chaka Khan)



(hat tip = Little Green Footballs)

I can't recommend him for his singing voice, but the guy plays the fuck outa that git-fiddle.




Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Little Red State Fundy

A golden oldie from driftglass.


I'm not overly fond of the Scary Scenario.  Repubs use it all the time to spook people - trying to talk us into believing they've got answers to questions they're usually just yankin' outa their asses.  But I guess the difference here is that you can look at something like driftglass's Little Red State Fundy and see some real historical foundations for it.

So there's an element of "both-sides-do-it" - no denying that.  I just think it's important to remember always to test for False Equivalence.

Today's Cartoon


How We Do Things

Have you watched "the Sunday shows" lately?  Meet The Press and Face The Nation et al?   Does anybody watch that junk anymore?  I mean anybody who doesn't live and work in DC, or anybody who has any kind of actual life outside of politicking and/or keeping an eye out for the general douchebaggery that politiciking almost always leads to.

I was just wondering because of a piece by Charles Pierce:

But, as they say around the cool kidz table, people like Ms. Dowd set the agenda, and because the whole Susan Rice episode involves intimately the sacramentalized oozing of The Sunday Shows, there was a whole lot of Benghazi-ing goin' on, beginning on Face The Nation where former Prince Henry The Navigator foreign-correspondent Bob Schieffer somehow managed to pry the reclusive Senator McCain out of hiding to appear on the program. McCain promptly proved he is as shallow and muddleheaded as Maureen Dowd.
That little snippet makes it seem to me that David Gregory and Bob Schieffer are somehow considered important not so much as journalist watchdogs, but almost as another forum within government;  or maybe it's just that The Sunday Shows have become the Public Information Office for Capitol Hill.

I don't watch these shows anymore - haven't for quite a while now.  Partly because it's always the same people saying the same things, but mostly it got to where I tho't I was listening to a conversation that had nothing to do with me.  Like I'm just the guy serving the coffee at the Hangover-Recovery Brunch the morning after the usual Hearty Party for all these High Holy Pashas.

But what really cemented it for me was the advertising.
Boeing
General Dynamics
Lockheed Martin
Really?  How am I the target demographic for the F-22?  Am I supposed to rush right over to my local Amphibious Landing Craft dealer for...what exactly?  A test invasion across the neighbor's farm pond?  Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over.

I think there's gotta be something else going on.  I guess it could be as simple as Power Talking To Power in a closed feedback loop that's so self-reinforcing that's it's almost impossible to break into it - or out of it - all I know is that it feels like I might as well be listening to Baghdad Bob.

Today's Time Suck

Wonderfully Worthless Websites (hat tip = JG)

Cat Bounce

Bury Me With My Money

Ringing Telephone

Giant Bat Farts

The Last Page

Monday, November 19, 2012

Today's Pix









Gun Control

...you're doing it wrong.




Healthy People

A pretty good point (from Wonkette):
Here is a lesson on capitalism and profitability courtesy four companies that refuse — REFUSE — to make sure that their employees are not handling your food with their tubercular hands.
Maybe next time you call ahead for a reservation, you should ask if all the chefs and wait-staffers have seen a doctor lately and if the owner of the joint is willing to guaranty you won't be infected because the pot washer working 29 hours a week at 8 bucks an hour couldn't afford to get a flu shot this year.

This whole stupid argument over Obamacare coming from some of these "conservatives" is just another great example of having people in charge of businesses who really don't understand the first fuckin' thing about business.

And this is what the first thing is:  If you don't take care of the people who take care of your customers, you won't have those customers for very long. (and I can't believe anybody would actually have to say that out loud - fuck)

New(ish) Music

Marc Cohn (yeah, I know - but try to ignore all the shit he's been known for)











Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Krugman Speaks

I like Paul Krugman's stuff because it all seems to be totally reality-based.  He's a "leftie" (whatever that means), but his ideology doesn't get in his way.  And since he's engaged in a little thing called "science", it's generally a good thing to let the evidence lead you to a rational conclusion rather than trying to make the numbers fit a particular expectation of how you think the world is supposed to work.

Here's Krugman's whole post from yesterday's NYT:
Transatlantic Divergence

Deadline pressure, so not much blogging this weekend. But pursuing the theme that America is doing the least worst among major economies, here’s a chart I find illuminating:
In the early stages of the crisis, unemployment rose more rapidly in the US than in Europe. This mainly reflected differences in institutions: it’s much easier to fire people in America. From some point in 2010 onward, however, the US situation has gradually improved; initially some of the drop in unemployment was basically people leaving the labor force, but more recently there have been solid though modest gains in the ratio of employment to the relevant population (you have to adjust for aging).
Meanwhile, Europe has gotten much worse; now formally in recession, but the truth is that it has been going downhill all along.
Why the divergence? The obvious answer is that the austerity stuff broke out in 2010, and the austerians took over policy much more completely in Europe than in the United States.
That last paragraph is the main point.  And I think he's trying to tell us that if we give in to the siren song of Austerity, we just make it harder to get ourselves out of the hole we're in.  Also, I've heard others warning us against the effects of Shock Doctrine style economic policy.

We'll have to see, but it seems like Republican politics is not changing much.  I see the Benghazi crap as their attempt to manufacture a 2nd-term scandal for Obama, and now, with all this bogus posturing about a Fiscal Cliff (more like a short ramp IMHO) and talk of some Grand Bargain, they're trying to hang a major rap on him for a double-dip recession and whatever shitty thing that happens as a result of the sudden drop in Demand that happens when you make big cuts in federal spending.  And then, of course, as the 2010 mid-terms roll around, they make all the noise they can possibly make about how all the bad stuff happened on Obama's watch and we have to admit it's all about Obama's failed policy etc etc.