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Sunday, January 31, 2010

I Will Now Be Call RINO

I'm sure after reading this post, more than a few people will put me in the group known as RINO's; Republican In Name Only. That's fine, political labels bug me anyway.

There is a hubbub in Wisconsin this week. The State has decided that "abstinence only" sex education can't be taught. Instead, the legislature on near party line votes in both chambers has decided that sex education has to include, well, sex. Including diseases, prevention and (gasp!) contraception.

This has the far right side of the Republican party up in arms. Their minor problem with it is the loss of local control on curriculum. The major problem is the idea of teaching sex as part of sex education. They believe that's best left to the parents, and in a perfect world, I'd agree with them. Except we aren't in anything near a perfect world. We're far from it.

Two of Wisconsin;s talking heads of the right, Charlie Sykes and James T. Harris are both upset about the decision. I agree with most of what they say most of the time, but believe they've chosen a stupid fight on this issue that does nothing to advance the real issues the GOP should be dealing with.

Here's my thought on it. I spent a lot of years of my life dealing with young adults with no concept of responsible sex, safe sex, or the emotional consequences of sex. These young adults came from all walks of life and socio-economic backgrounds. Some were privately schooled, some home schooled, most public schooled. Some had good two parent families, some were orphans.

If "parents teaching sex ed" is such a great idea, probably 70% of the kids I dealt with would have had an idea what was going on, and some reasonable sense of how to deal with such situations. The truth was, probably less than 25% had a clue. Most were educated, in the words of my best friends Dad growing up, "on the street corner, like me". Not the best place to be taught.

To the parents who cry they don't want the schools teaching their kids things they don't believe in, here's my answer. Then unteach them. The same way you (hopefully) did when they watched another kid throw a fit and get what they wanted at the store.

This might be uncomfortable, you might have to ask the kids to put down their cell and quit texting for a few minutes, or turn off the X-Box and TV. We did it by sitting down to dinner, and until my kids were done with school, playing a game called "what did you learn", and we started out with 1st period and went through the end of each of their days. When we had questions about something, we asked. When they had a question about something at school, they asked us.

When our kids started talking to us about other people being sexually active, we explained what we thought of the subject, and what we thought was acceptable, and why. And no, it wasn't usually a comfortable conversation to anyone. But everyone understood the expectations in the family.

It also made for much more open conversations with our kids when they thought they were ready for sex. Sure, there was some embarrassment, but they weren't afraid to talk to us. One of the things I learned dealing with thousands of young adults was that abstinence only education generally drummed in the idea that anything but was failure, and should cause shame, it made them less likely to seek advice or help.

So, Cheeseheads, be unhappy if you must, about your legislatures recent decisions. However, and more importantly, be parents. Explain what you expect and why, and keep a dialogue open with your kids. It will be much more successful than anything they learn in school.

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Joker Is In DC

The Joker has taken over DC. Well, not really, it's just President Obama. He touted the {false} 5.7% increase in GDP last quarter as a good start to recovery. He failed to acknowledge that the growth occurred at the wholesale level, with manufacturers cleaning out their warehouses on the cheap to fatten their end of year bottom lines. Retail sales, and wages, housing sales and auto sales weren't up enough for the 5.7% to be a real indicator of recovery.

After talking about the increase in GDP he went into comedian mode, talking about how cutting the deficit was as important as growth in our recovery. He's correct, but what's funny is he's no proposing anything that will do it.

His first proposal, offered up right before the State of the Union address is a "discretionary spending" freeze that only affects about 1/2 of discretionary spending, and only adds up to about 1% of his projected budget deficit.

His second statement is that the 1990's "Pay-Go" program has to be brought back. Funny, Mr. President, but your party promised us that 3 years ago when they were sworn in as the leaders in Congress. It supposedly happened, too, except that it's got so many holes in it Swiss Cheese is jealous. Now evidently they really mean they are going to raise taxes cut some spending to pay for every new program. Starting in 2011, probably, with the programs passed in 2010.

Finally, the toothless "Presidential Commission" on spending cuts, that would come up with ways to trim the deficit and present them to Congress; where by law, they can have no force, and be ignored.

As Charlie Sykes often says, when you are a politician, and want to look like you are doing something about a problem, you appoint commission.

The original idea was a bipartisan Congressional group, that would have presented the cuts and taxes increases as an up or down vote bill to both chambers, with no changes. Like the base closing commissions of the 1990's. The problem was Democrats didn't want to go on record acknowledging that Social Security and Medicare are unsustainable, and the GOP didn't want to give bipartisan cover to huge tax increases. So that idea died in the Senate.

The truth is that if the deficit is to be reduced even to George W. Bush levels social programs are going to have to be part of the equation, they are the majority of the budget at this point. There will also have to some targeted tax increases, also. Who knows, maybe the 40% of filers who pay a negative income tax (they get more back than they pay) will have to see their tax refunds welfare checks reduced a little bit by trimming the generous Earned Income Tax Credit.
If the President is serious, he'll have to come up with a new budget for FY 2011, one without 1.4 trillion in red ink. At least if he wants anyone to believe he's serious. Because you have to ask yourself, if 2009's 1.3 trillion deficit was due to the $850 billion dollar stimulus, why does 2010, without a stimulus have a bigger deficit? Where'd all that money go this year?

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What If

The World Economic Forum is going on in Davos again. This time around the world is telling bankers to expect regulation, and lots of it, and soon. The bankers engaged the regulators, and were allowed to provide input, though that is probably meaningless, considering Barney Frank's attitude at the conference.

One of the biggest things guys like Frank would like to do is once again separate commercial and investment banking from each other. In the world according to Barney, the entire financial crisis was created because banks both lend money for housing (commercial enterprise) then package those loans as mortgage backed derivatives (investment banking) and sell them.

What Barney refuses to admit, or see, is that it wasn't the derivatives that brought down the market, it was the mortgages themselves, made easy by the rules he insisted on for mortgage lenders. When you push for regulations that make zero down mortgages, interest only payments, etc. the norm, you end up with a skewed market, that will crash.

What if Barney decided that the same capital reserve standards had to apply to government entities as the Davos crowd is pushing for banks? Would the US government be able to meet that standard considering it has 10 trillion in outstanding debt?

What if the bankers say "Okay", and just jump out of markets considered risky? Will Frank, Obama and the European leaders who are pushing these regulations admit the regulations might be the problem when capital sources start drying up for businesses? We've already seen the start of that, as banks are much less willing to lend right now. When they are told to be even more stringent in their investment standards do regulators really think that suddenly money will flow?

The proposed regulations will help prevent another economic collapse. That's because they'll prevent an economic recovery of any scale, and the folks pushing the regulations will lament they don't understand why.

If you'd like my cynical view of why the current US government and European governments want more, and very heavy handed regulation, it's because they want to be the major sources of capital, not the banks. It's much easier for governments to be the hero's, and pick the winners and losers when they don't have to worry about pesky free markets to make decisions.

Want an example? Green energy products. The markets have been slow to invest in them because they don't pay back the investment quickly, if at all. Solar cells, wind turbines and fuel cells are all great sources of clean energy, the problem; as real investors note; is that you can't sell them at a price that makes a reasonable profit, so they don't invest.

Governments chastise them for not investing in such a worthwhile endeavor, and ignore the fiscal facts of the industry. So then governments get to play king makers in the industry, and use it as a reason to say the markets don't work.

Take your Fusion hybrid as an example, Ford loses money on every unit it sells. But they get credits from the government for selling them, in the form of tax breaks and access to federal money to build the plants.

The markets actually work fine. As soon as someone comes up with a hybrid or all electric car, or fuel cell for the home that is profitable, and priced where it can be successfully marketed, they'll be all over it. Until then all but a few altruistic venture capitalists will opt out.

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Friday, January 29, 2010

Note to the President

President Obama met with the GOP today, and was angry at them because they've opposed his initiatives. For the most part they've had good reason to oppose them, they aren't the ideals they were elected to congress to support.
Quick note, Prez, maybe you should get your own party in order before you start whining about the "opposition party" opposing you. You've had a year with a super majority in the Senate, and a big majority in the House, yet you've gotten nothing of consequence passed. You can't get your own party behind your ideas, and you are angry the other party isn't supporting them?
You are angry the GOP wouldn't support you on health care reform? They offered over 400 amendments between the two chambers, every one of which was shot down on a party line vote. They attempted to work with your party, your congressional leaders would have none of it. And now they have no bill. Mr. President, when you can't get a single RINO in the Senate to vote on your bill, you know it's too far to the left.
You are angry they wouldn't support the stimulus? CBO now says the bill will cost 850 billion dollars, not 787 billion, and you've had to change accounting methods three times to make it look like it's creating jobs. Yet every independent study so far says it hasn't. Maybe they understood that the bill wasn't about jobs, and that's why they didn't support it.
You don't like extending the Bush tax cuts because "billionaires don't need tax breaks". Here's the truth, Mr. Obama, when rich folks get a tax cut they invest it, providing the capital for other businesses to expand and create jobs. They don't stuff it in mattresses or lock it in a basement to count nightly. Venture capital doesn't materialize out of thin air, it's money that the investor class uses to take a chance on some small start up becoming the next Oracle or IBM. When you confiscate more of that money, that's less start ups that have a chance to suceed.
When you give the same amount to a group of a hundred million people the money is watered down. Some buy things which stimulates the economy, but as was seen last time, most paid their bills which doesn't do the same thing as tossing a hundred million bucks to businesses.

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Haloscan Gone

Haloscan is going away February 13th, so I've decided to eliminate it today, lest I forget in a few weeks. They are offering a switch to the new Echo platform for comments, but I really don't feel like spending $12 a year on a blog that I forget to post to regularly.

The downside is that all the Haloscan comments will be unavailable, the upside is, well, no confusion on which comment section to use, for the 3 people that still occasionally comment.

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Its Election Time In Illinois

So last week I said I was going to vote for Andy McKenna in the GOP primary for Governor of Illinois. Then this morning I get an e-mail from John Ruberry; The Marathon Pundit; who's a much better political commentator than myself, telling me I should check out this blog post of his.

Columnist: Andy McKenna swipes Notre Dame alumni data which links to a much larger story at The Observer . Basically some McKenna campaign folks circumvented some rules at the ND Alumni Association, and got most of their alumni e-mail addresses and used them to solicit for his campaign.

Is this enough to change my vote? I'm not quite sure yet, but I will say I'm glad I didn't stop at the early voting office here in town earlier this week like I had intended.

I will say this, it does make me wonder. Illinois has a (well deserved) reputation for it's rough and tumble politics, and the less than ethical conduct of it's officials. If McKenna wants to be seen as the outsider; even though he headed the state GOP; he needs to conduct himself, and have his staff and volunteers conduct themselves in a manner that is beyond reproach. Anything that looks like "the same old Illinois politics" isn't a good thing.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Senate Says No

The Obama strategy of bipartisanship is starting to make itself a little more clear. The President wants the GOP to be no where near a room where decisions are made on what he thinks will be popular programs and initiatives, but if it's going to be something unpopular, or require an unpopular action, he'd like the cover of bipartisan support.
That was the idea behind the Deficit Reduction Task force. It was to be made up of a group of Senators and Congressmen from both parties, slightly weight to the Democrats and their majority. The group would come up with a list of budget fixing ideas, vote on them with a bare majority needed to pass the group, then present them to Congress as a "bipartisan fix".
The reason for the task force is easy, the Democrats, specifically the President, want the cover of bipartisanship before they present a laundry list of tax increases they believe are necessary to fix the budget.
The President's problem is that the Senate Republicans saw through that smokescreen and said no, and probably shockingly to the President, the left is balking also. It seems they don't want the GOP involved in any negotiations on how to fix Social Security and Medicare, which have to be on the table to fix the budget.
Welcome to reality Mr. President, and your lack of gravitas in the Congressional arena is beginning to show. It appears that the reality that you can't freeze discretionary spending and balance a budget that's off by a trillion bucks has set in. Now, faced with a tough choice on how to do it, instead of making a decision and presenting it, you've once again tried to defer to others, this time though, they aren't so willing to do your bidding.
The truth is health care reform is going to seem like a walk in the park compared to fixing the structural imbalance in our budgets. While Pelosi and Reid are more than happy to be your point folks on health care, that's because that project can be spun as a positive, even with it's tax increases.

Fixing the budget, though, can't be spun that way. Tough cuts have to happen, and tax increases, especially the payroll taxes for Medicare and Social Security, will probably have to be part of the equation. Along with them is a likely cut of some sort in benefits. Pelosi and Reid can already see the commercials come election time, and don't like them, so they won't be giving you the cover you want.
So what should the President do? Well, Wednesday he's got the bully pulpit of his State of the Union address. That would be a good place to challenge Congress to come up with a plan for fixing the budget. His proposed freezes starting in 2011 are a nice gesture, but they aren't enough to do any real good. He should propose a few specific cuts in the budget as places to start.
My guess is he won't. Mr. Obama has proven one thing his first year in office, when it comes to talking he's got a huge game. When it comes to leading, making decisions, and getting the ball rolling in the right direction, he can't do it, and won't be pushed into it.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ted Thompson Validated

Once again Brett Favre has validated Ted Thompson's decision to move on without him. Last year he did it by throwing 22 picks for the Jets, and refusing to sit when his arm was so bad he couldn't hit easy throws.

Tonight, once again, he threw away his teams chance at a Super Bowl with an ill advised pass at the worst possible moment in the Conference Championship. It's deja vu all over again. The good thing, he did it to the Vikings this time. The better thing, he played an entire season looking like anyone but the guy who tosses away big games, only to rip their hearts out tonight.

Before the game he said he knew what he was doing after this year, but wouldn't say. After the game he wouldn't talk to reporters. But Jay Glazer noted that "the entire Vikings locker room" believes that Favre is done.

If he wasn't before the game, I'm pretty sure he was after.

Bye Bye Brett. Enjoy the tractor.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Adam or Andy

It's primary election time here in the Land of Lincoln. Hard not to notice by the number of increasingly annoying ads being aired. With the latest SCOTUS ruling, that will get even worse this fall.

So now the question comes up, who do I vote for in the primary for Governor? Well, it won't be a Democrat. That party has totally screwed up this state, and I'd be inclined to vote for the Communist candidate in the general election over any of the state's Democratic contenders.

Then when I started looking at the GOP candidates I noticed there are really only two who aren't political insiders who've been hanging around Springfield so long they forget there is anywhere else in the state.

So my choice has come down to Adam Andrzejewski or Andy McKenna. Both are business people, not career politicians, which is a point for each. The fact my middle name is Andrew has nothing to do with those two being the finalists for my vote.

Both have decent plans for curbing state spending, auditing where our money currently goes, and trying not to raise taxes to fix our budget mess.

Both want more accountability from Springfield, more transparency on where our money is going. Andrzejewski wins that fight with his "Every Dime Online, In Real Time" pledge, though I wonder if that will be feasible in a reasonable amount of time.

McKenna's idea to start with the recent Auditor General report for consolidation of programs, and using that report to weed out the unknown programs; those that the head of the agencies couldn't identify; sound like a faster way to getting some of the budget mess solved than a forensic audit. Though that audit is probably necessary, it won't do much to take care of the $10 billion deficit we are currently facing.

Another plus for both is that neither seems to be fixated on Chicago first, then the rest of the state, a major problem with the other party. Yes, Chicago is the first city of the state, but the fact is letting the Rockford's and Peoria of Illinois rot while the legislature debates Chicago issues isn't the way to get the whole state moving.

Taxes are going to be a tough issue. All of the Democrats claim that the only solution to our budget woes is a tax increase. All the Republicans claim it can be fixed without them. I'm not sure that is true, but I think that it should be the last resort. Pat Quinn's idea of a 50% increase is crazy, if the budget is that badly messed up they need to figure out a way to get closer to their means, as opposed to raising taxes that high.

Property taxes are something else that has to be addressed. Unfortunately, while all the candidates claim they will do something about them, the real solution to those problems is going to be local. Excessive numbers of local taxing bodies makes it almost impossible to navigate a tax bill, or figure out how to reduce it. Local government consolidation is probably the most logical choice, starting with schools, park districts and the elimination of townships as taxing bodies.

One thing they could do in Springfield that would help both at the state and local levels would be to change the formula for how State guaranteed pensions are calculated. No where other than government can you sell back all your accrued vacation and sick days and have that counted as salary for determining a pension. Most companies can't afford to allow those days to be carried over more than a year or two because of tax implications.

Secondly, change the retirement ages for teachers and public employees (except firefighters and cops) to 65. If they want to retire after 30 years at 55 and collect a pension, fashion it like Social Security, and pay 60% at that age, 80% at age 60, and 100% of the eligible amount at 65.

Sorry for drifting, back to who will I vote for? Probably Andy McKenna, as of today. I think of the two his life experience has better prepared him to be the Governor, I also think Matt Murphy as Lt. Governor is a good choice. He has enough experience in Springfield to be helpful, but no so much that he's forgotten the real world.

Adam, I think is still a bit too young, and as the guy in DC is proving, novices aren't the best choices in tough times. However, if he does lose the primary I hope he stays involved in Illinois politics and keeps shining the light of openness on Springfield.

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Can Health Care Reform Be Saved?

If you regularly read my irregular blog posts, you are probably wondering about this one, considering the title. I've written a number of things critical of what's going on in Congress concerning health care reform, most of it unflattering to Congress.

The truth is, we do need some reform, which I've occasionally mentioned. What we didn't need was the House's wholesale take over, or the Senate's hodge-podge of payoffs and hush money to get anything passed. We need some common sense things done.

Now that political reality has set in for Nancy Pelosi, it might be possible. Tuesday night she was telling us that Scott Brown's election did nothing to change what was going to happen. Then she talked to her caucus and pronounced the Senate version of health care reform dead in the House. That was really the only way they were getting anything to the President's desk before his State of the Union address.

So, how do they save Health Care Reform? The best way would be to get 4 Senators and 4 Congressmen from each party together and work on ideas they can all agree on. Here's a few that shouldn't cause too much pain.

1. Portability. Decouple health care from the job, and to the person. Allow employers to pay for it if you wish, but have the insurance follow the person.

The "insurance exchange" idea would actually work for this. Employers buy from the exchange, in the employee's name. When they leave the company the insurance goes with them. The next employer can pick up the tab, if they wish, or the individual can do it on their own.

2. Taxes. Give employees the same break as employers when it comes to paying for health insurance. It's a crazy thing that if I get my own insurance unless I meet a threshold I get no tax break, but if my boss pays he gets a big one. Now if the person from example 1 decides to leave to start their own business, they aren't penalized for buying their own insurance.

3. National coverage standards. Right now we have 50 states with 50 different coverage standards. A minimum coverage policy in Kentucky is about 400% less than in New York. Set a national standard for coverage, so that insurance isn't locked into what state you are living in. We've become mobile, our insurance should be too.

4. Pre-existing conditions. They should be covered. The problem with both the House and Senate versions is that they want to exist in a fantasy world where your pre-existing condition shouldn't mean you pay more for coverage. It's funny that two bodies will one day lecture the banking industry about their fiscal irresponsibility for getting into hedge funds, and the next chastise insurers for charging more to people who it costs more to service.

5. Tort Reform. This gets the Democrats skin crawling, because trial lawyers are one of their biggest donor groups. The truth is that there needs to be some reform. A basic one that would be hard to vote against would be limiting the amount the lawyers in malpractice cases can be paid. Democrats would throw a hissy fit, but the truth is, if it's okay to limit bankers pay and bonuses, as they'd like to do, why not lawyers?

Mandatory arbitration in front of a panel of experts would also be a nice spot to start. Lawyers would be less likely to file frivolous malpractice suits if a group of doctors were going to hear the case first, instead of a jury of laymen. Make the results eligible for appeal to a judge and jury, but also make the panel's findings usable as evidence.

6. Uniformity of paperwork. Want to have fun, go to a doctors office with two different insurance policies. Watch the admin folks twitch as they try and figure out which is primary, which is secondary, and what form to use for each.
Want a headache? Have them get it wrong.

Insurance companies should be able to come up with an industry wide standard for claims forms, so that a doctor or clinic doesn't need two file cabinets and an extra person to chase paper. A standard system for policy numbers, similar to the VIN on your car would also be helpful. Then it would be pretty easy to develop software that works reliably for any companies claim.

None of this is really rocket science, and except the argument you'll get over tort reform, none of it is horribly controversial. However, it would all lower costs, make insurance easier to get and keep, and result in a happier, probably healthier public.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Biting Dogs?

So, after last nights earthquake in Massachusetts, one has to start wondering if the block of "Blue Dog Democrats" will finally find their teeth.

The Blue Dogs are supposed to be the fiscally conservative wing of the Democrats, especially in the House. However, what they've proven to be is an easily bought off group who has let every spending bill go through in exchange for some kibbles and bits.

Last night, however, might have provided the impetus for them to actually grow some teeth and stand up to Nancy Pelosi. Unlike Martha Coakley, who lost in a state that has been solidly Democratic since 1972, the Blue Dogs mostly come from conservative districts and got their jobs promising the fiscal conservatism that Republicans forgot about from 2002-2006. So for them, last night has to be a shocker, and a wake up call. If they want to keep their seats, they may well have to dump Pelosi's ideas on health care and demand a true bipartisan effort.

The idea of "ping ponging" an unabridged Senate health care bill through the House to get it to Obama's desk is something that the Blue Dogs should resist, if they want to stay in office come November. Since Pelosi will have no ability to bribe for votes offer amendments to gain favor with them, they are now in control of the health care debate, if they wish to be.

As the leadership in their party spends the next few days to a week deciding what to do with ObamaCare, it will become evident to the rest of us what is more important to that leadership, maintaining their majorities in 2011, or getting an unpopular bill passed.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

All Options Except

So, with it looking more and more like the GOP will take the Senate seat held by Teddy Kennedy for 47 years the Democrats are discussing all of their options to get their health care bill passed.

They are discussing the House passing an unchanged Senate bill so that there is no more voting in the Senate. They are discussing ways to eliminate the filibuster so that it can't be used. The Nuclear Option of passing all changes as "budget reconciliations" has been brought up.

So what option aren't they talking about? The one that Candidate Barack Obama promised, working with both sides to come up with workable legislation.

You would think that when your landmark legislation becomes the centerpiece of an election battle in a state where your party's registered voters outnumber the opposition 3-1 and you lose, that maybe that would be a sign. Well, you would unless you are a Democratic leader in either chamber in DC. In that case you put your head in the sand, and pretend that something else is the reason you got beaten.

Now, if the Democrats really want to hold their majorities come November, what they might want to do is start doing what their leader campaigned on. Hell, what they claimed would happen in 2006. Start working across the isle. If they decide that instead of doing what is becoming glaringly obvious as the will of the people, and ramrod their bill through with some hocus pocus sleight of hand they will pay with more than one seat come November.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

More Stimulus Hijinks

Well, now that they've been called out numerous times on the bogus jobs numbers from the $787 billion stimulus package, the White House has dropped all pretense of trying to get good numbers for jobs that are supposedly created or saved by the deal.
Now, instead, anyone who uses stimulus money to pay salaries can count all of those salaries as jobs created or saved.
Wait, it gets better, give employees a raise with stimulus cash? Those are "created or saved" jobs too.
Hold it, I'm not through yet. Did you report the employee job as saved last quarter? Did you get more stimulus money this quarter? You can report the job as saved again!!

If you think I'm joking here's the link to the article on Yahoo News about it. This had to be true, no one is good enough to make this crap up.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Ignorant Idiots

I got a funny comment today from a post that's 5 months old. Obviously a guy calling himself "LongliveGOP" wasn't very happy about my skewering of a few of Adam Andrzejewski's campaign workers.

His comment?

If your ignorant ass would stop and read what Adam is about you wouldnt think that way. Man some people can just be assholes...

Now, we each are entitled to our opinions, unlike my new favorite reader, I like to base mine on fact. First, I'm not an asshole, however, I do have a circumcision scar on my neck.

I'm guessing he googled or binged Adam's name, and came across that entry. He probably didn't bother to go back to the search results, and find the second post from that day entitled "Apology Accepted" where I stated that I had gone back and read a number of his positions, and agreed with many of them, but still disagreed with the conduct of one of his workers.

So, LongLiveGOP, today's lesson is before you decided to call someone an ignorant ass for something, maybe, just maybe, you should get all of your facts. Otherwise you might look like, well, an ignorant ass.

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Saturday, January 09, 2010

Even Stewart is Laughing At Him

A lot of conservatives hated Jon Stewart during the Bush years, thinking him a tool of the left. Now, that may be changing. He's actually proving to be what he's always purported himself to be, a topical humorist.

Much to the chagrin of the left, over the last year he's done what good humorists do, he turned his sights on the guy who's currently in office. He's becoming the anti-Bill Maher, a guy who can't let go of the past, and refuses to believe the current President has any flaws.

Need a good laugh, check out this recent clip from Jon's "Daily Show", where he beats down the Prez on his CSPAN promise. He still gets a few jabs in at the last guy, but the premise of the clip is obvious.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Stealth Care Reform
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Calling Out The Democrats

Remember about 15 months or so ago, when "Candidate Obama" promised all of us that the health care debate was going to be televised on CSPAN?

Well, if you've paid attention the last few days you know that instead, the Democrats have decided to hold leadership only meetings with members of only their party to come up with the "conference committee" bill to reconcile the House and Senate differences.

Now someone is complaining. Who? The CEO of CSPAN. He wants the negotiations televised, just like Mr. Obama said they would be.

Jack Tapper at ABC has a great piece up explaining the whole thing.
(edit) Also, WSJ has a nice piece about how this move by the Democrats is probably going to help Tom DeLay's image more than it will give the public confidence in the Democrats.

If you want to know where my money is, I'd put it on not seeing any negotiations on CSPAN. In fact, there is a better chance of Brian Lamb, the CEO being investigated by Congress, than Congress actually being transparent on this.

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Saturday, January 02, 2010

Happy New Year

Sorry I'm late saying "Happy New Year!", but it was a strange holiday around here.

The Lovely Wife went in for a minor procedure on New Years Eve, so instead of spending the night partying and whooping up the occasion, I spent it visiting her in the hospital, and getting an education on hemoglobin levels.

The procedure when well and should take care of the issues it was performed for, however, Lovely one had an issue with blood counts and had to receive 3 units before they'd let her go home.

Here's hoping that 2010 is a great year for all. May it be better than 2009, and bring health, happiness and fulfillment to everyone.
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