Saturday, January 30, 2010
And I woke up thinking about not only those two things, but still the fact that I am just completely bent out of shape, like never before, about the fact that we have one President in this country, required by the constitution to give a State of the Union address to Congress every year, but that in these media times, the "other party" gets to come back immediately following the address.
Make no mistake; these dudes are not speaking off the cuff in response; these are craftily prepared partisan statements developed in advance of their air time. Hellz, John McCain had his response out on Facebook before Governor McDonald was even done talking from Virginia.
I mean, honestly, I had an anxiety attack this year when it happened. It's partisan politics at their finest and simply serves to further split this nation, especially since only "the opposing" party gets that talk time. What about the Libertarians? The Greens? The Independents? Shite, what about the Tea Baggers? hahahahaha
Do you see what I am saying? There is ONE PREZ, and it should not matter from which party he (she if you send me to Aubergine House in 2012, those of you who survive the return of Quetzalcoatl) hails because it's the damn PRESIDENT's, the HEAD OF STATE's address, not the Democrats' or the Republicans' address.
I have no problem (to remind Karen and Alix) with people responding. Don't get me wrong. Sure, reporters, get out to those Capitol Hill buildings and press rooms and get responses from the people to whom the speech is given, technically. And get out on the streets and ask Americans what they thought of it. And challenge them, huh? You, the fourth estate, have enough power to convince the masses what they think they believe or know; why not channel that into convincing them to think for themselves and get facts and make decisions on their own?
But I won't travel down that road this morning. I got online to harvest my crops on Farmville, and it's time for me to go do that. Later, I can assure you.
Friday, January 29, 2010
on the AP
BALTIMORE (AP) - In a face-to-face encounter, President Barack Obama chastised Republican lawmakers Friday for opposing him on health care, economic stimulus and other major issues.
Republicans pushed back on taxes and spending, and accused Obama of not taking their ideas seriously.
Obama, attending the House Republicans' retreat in Baltimore, began with conciliatory remarks but soon became more pointed. He said a GOP-driven "politics of no" was blocking action on bills that could help Americans obtain jobs and health care.
In a sometimes-barbed exchange, he said some in the audience have attended ribbon-cutting ceremonies for projects funded by the stimulus package they voted against. Obama also questioned why Republicans have overwhelmingly opposed his tax-cut policies, which he said have benefited 95 percent of American families.
"The notion that this was a radical package is just not true," Obama said. "I am not an ideologue."
GOP lawmakers pressed the president to pledge to support a line-item veto for spending bills and across-the-board tax cuts. Obama demurred, saying billionaires don't need new tax cuts.
In his opening remarks, Obama criticized a Washington culture driven by opinion polls and nonstop political campaigns.
"I don't think the American people want us to focus on our job security, they want us to focus on their job security," he said.
The president acknowledged that Republicans have joined Democrats in some efforts, such as sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. But he said he was disappointed and perplexed by virtually unanimous GOP opposition to other programs, such as the $787 billion economic stimulus bill enacted a year ago.
He also noted overwhelming Republican opposition to his proposed overhaul of the nation's health care, which now is in legislative peril. Obama said he would gladly look at better ideas, but he urged Republicans to acknowledge the difficulties that many Americans face in obtaining good health care.
Obama said it makes ideological sense for Democrats and Republicans to work together on some issues such as charging fees to banks that benefited from a federal bailout, temporarily freezing some government spending, keeping jobs from being exported and paying for new government programs when they are created.
Republicans have sharply criticized Obama's approach to most of these issues.
© 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
(Huh, one more thing, then: Does this mean I'm breaking the law?)
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
"We had no domestic attacks under Bush; we've had one under Obama."
When you're finished ROFL, consider Giuliani's spokesman's assertion that he was "clearly talking post-9/11"
(from TIME, January 12, 2010)
Clear as a good cup of morning coffee. Bullcrapola, Giuliani and your stoolie. You said that to make people forget 9/11 happened, along with other attempts, just like the underwear dude's presumed attempt, during W's reign.
And this is exactly the kind of spin that makes the war between the Dems and Republicans make me nauseous.
Here ya go if you want to get sick, too:
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
First frustration of the day: The Wyoming State legislature is considering passing a law that would consider a person who refused a breathalyzer test guilty of drunk driving.
OK, peeps, I understand those of you who have weighed in on the "don't drink and drive if you don't want to face the penalty," and "give our police officers all the tools we can to keep drunks off the road" and the "people die because of drunk driving and those who have been affected want drunks put away" messages.
But, you are missing my main point: This country is one in which the justice system presumes innocence until guilt is proven. Sure, if you commit a crime, you are guilty. But we don't automatically lock you up or kill you or whatever unless you are proven guilty. We all know this doesn't always work, right? That innocent people have been locked up for life, or killed, for crimes they did not, in fact, commit. Still, presumably we give a person a fair shake.
So, technically speaking, to me it seems that if a person says "no" to a breathalyzer, that person is not necessarily pleading guilty. Nor should that person be assumed guilty. That tool that could help the cops get a drunk off the road is not necessarily accurate. And although someone in this state has noted that the breathalyzer has yet to be shown to be inaccurate, that may be true in this state, but there are places in which the machine has, in fact, been proved inaccurate.
I also recognize that Wyoming is one of a few states that do not yet have on the books the law that says you are as guilty if you refuse as if you fail. None of this alters the fact that machines do not always work, nor does it alter the fact that in this country one is presumed innocent until proven guilty, yet refusing a breathalyzer, FOR ANY REASON, in the future in this state, and currently in several other states, can be used as an admission of guilt.
Boo hiss, guys. I could refuse a breathalyzer test out of the sheer pissed-offedness at being pulled over for speeding, the officer smelling alcohol on my breath because I had a beer with lunch two hours ago, and deciding because I was driving over the speed limit and have the scent on my breath, I am drunk. Come on!
With all due respect to Tim, my friend former cop who busted me for my stance earlier today on Facebook, there are officers out there who are not as goodhearted as he is. Really! Believe it? I've experienced this fact on occasion. But, to put the good cop- bad cop argument to rest, I have also experienced the kindness and helpfulness and humaneness of local, county and state law enforcement. So, for all you cop-haters out there, that's not the argument. They are people, just like the rest of us, prone to good days and bad days, and with the same human frailties we all have, which sometimes include giving someone a hard time who doesn't deserve it, just because we are in a bad mood.
I'm going to leave the subject of the breathalyzer now because there is ample room for debate on this one. I know my stance, and I have made it clear, I think. Lemme know if not, OK? If you've got this far.
Here is the next frustration over the concept of justice and human rights that I have had in the last 24 hours: Last night I read a blurb in TIME mag, and followed up today, about a French ban on the burka for Muslim women. French President Sarkozy supports such a ban, claiming the burka is not welcome in a society that values sexual equality.
What equality is that? If a lady wishes to wear a burka so she doesn't feel naked, as one Muslim woman claimed would be the effect of such a ban, then why can't she? What's really going on here? Where is respect for a person's preferred mode of dress? And I realize I step out on a limb here, because the counter to this question could be, "Is it OK, then, for a 20-year-old man to wear his goddam pants down around his knees so we can all see his plaid boxers? "OK?" OK, while I can't count the times I've told one of my students to haul his britches up so I wouldn't have to look at his underwear, technically speaking, I could look the other way, right?
On that note, my last comment for the day- I'm on a tear- is that I also read all these complaints in TIME's letters about how the aging generation can't find decent young people to hire and that "kids these days" are slackers without any respect for real work. Well, you dumb shites, who brought them up- or, I'm sorry, DIDN'T bring them up- to lack fundamental respect for people and work and the world. What the hell do you think they're trying to say? Duh.
I have to get off here and back to work before I blow a fuse. Before I leave, though, I love when people weigh in. Please do.
BTW, I totally missed my chance to yap with Bill Gates yesterday. Huh
Monday, January 25, 2010
I hope to get a chance to get on the air just to praise him for his philanthropic ideals because I have absolutely no beef with the measures he employs to maintain his virtual monopoly in a realm of technology on which we all in the "developed" world are essentially reliant in order to conduct ourselves day-to-day. I want to have a chance to tell Mr. Gates how much I admire his facade.
And WalMart has decided to cut thousands of employees in order to outsource their demonstration services and increase sales. You know, rather than training those workers they presently employ to do a great job so they can keep their positions. Smart thinking. I imagine all those people who are canned will find another job right away so they can go to Sam's Club and buy from their replacements.
Wal-Mart outsources sampling, cuts 11,200 Sam's Club jobs
NEW YORK -- Wal-Mart Stores said Sunday that it is cutting about 11,200 jobs at its Sam's Club warehouse division as it outsources in-store product sampling to the marketing company Shopper Events.
The terminations represent about 10 percent of the warehouse club operator's 110,000 staffers across its 600 stores. About 10,000 members of the demonstration department, most part-time workers, were let go. The company also cut its new "business membership representative" positions, affecting about two staffers per store, or about 1,200 staffers in total.
Employees were told the news at meetings Sunday morning.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Some thoughts on what is terrorizing, following a couple days on the road:
When you are sitting at a bar near an attractive lady who is reading, please be forewarned that attempting to get a rise out of her with a dumb joke in which you reference yourself only draws attention to the fact that you a) lack, b) are uncomfortable with in others, or 3) both of the above.
Also, if you are the guy who actually has and uses an ability to carry on an intelligent conversation with that attractive lady, be forewarned that if you are drunk enough to assume that talking to her is an excuse to try to hold her hand at the same time, you are equally terrorizing.
And now, the cartoon of the day, from a guy friend who is not that stupidly terroristic, in either case (I hope.)
Thursday, January 21, 2010
While my friends are debating the benefits and drawbacks of having a guy who formerly posed nude in Cosmo and is out to axe "health care" reform take on Teddy Kennedy's position on Capitol Hill, I would like to return to the subject of our "justice system." (It's the "Power of the Independents," CNN tells us. More on that later, but just to get started... how independent are people willing to let the media dictate their disgruntlement, rather than informing themselves and making their own decisions accordingly?")
A friend who works here in Wyoming on kids' issues is putting out a documentary on the juvenile justice system in this state, and while the trailer and film have not been released for public consumption, having viewed the trailer this morning, I am ready to go on this one.
There is even a kid who mimics my words about being guilty until proven innocent here. Kids talking about being busted for having three cigarettes and being punished more severely than, well, a kid with three butts probably ought to be punished. A kid can make a mistake and fix it... A young man talks about how his record has followed him for some infraction, so he has to lie to get a job. That's pretty screwy, if you ask me.
I ask you, if you are an adult, how hard is it to think back to when you were a kid and the stupid things you might have done? Some of these kids are locked up and fed drugs: antidepressants, antipsychotics, sleeping pills, to... um... rehabilitate them? When we throw kids into a system like that, what are we telling them, right off the bat? You are stupid, you cannot make decisions for yourself, you will never be a responsible member of society.
What the hell, America? Why do we hate our kids so much that we run up huge financial and environmental debts for them to have to take on, and cheat them out of decent educations, and lock them up instead of trying to help them do better? The real irony here? It seems that most of the people who advocate measures that cheat kids out of opportunities, therefore showing their lack of support for the younger generation, are the same who advocate the "right to life." What kind of life?
Monday, January 18, 2010
Huh... I read this headline: "Thousands Flee Wicked Haitian Capital." I wonder why?
Pat Robertson: Haiti Earthquake due to 1791 “Pact with Devil”
Pat Robertson: "Haiti Cursed Since Satanic Pact"Yeesh.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Now, I don't know if you all are aware, as these 20 heads of US states apparently are not, but "healthcare" (I think we can consider that word in the same way we can consider the "justice system" in this country) was taken over decades ago by insurance companies and Big Pharma and the conventional docs who write out your prescription with a pen denoting the name of the company that took them to lunch recently.
What the hell? When are these dummies going to wake up? Granted, I slept 12 hours last night and could easily crawl back into bed for another session of dreamland (not being able to run fast enough along the fish ladder to get to the plane before it begins taxi-ing for take-off is a lot more pleasant an activity to me than reading the misccomunication being foisted off to anyone who wants to read about how the Obama administration is going to "take over" "healthcare," and then presumably the rest of our lives), but really...! Are we all that stupid?
Eh, maybe so.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
Obama Weighs Fee to Recoup Bank Bailout and Cut Deficit
By JACKIE CALMES
Published: January 11, 2010
WASHINGTON — President Obama is likely to propose a fee on financial institutions to help reduce the federal deficit when he releases his budget plans in February, although the details remain unresolved, according to administration officials.
Separately, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which traditionally has collected fees from the banks it regulates to cover the costs of insuring depositors at failed institutions, is considering changes to its formula. The changes would be aimed at increasing levies on banks engaged in risky activities and those that set executive compensation in ways that reward risk-taking.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
So, next time you read in TIME or Newsweek or some other magazine, or see on TV how wonderful Bill Gates is to give away money to good causes, ask yourself this: If I didn't have to by a new computer or some gimmicky 'upgrade' as often as I do, could I actually afford to give more money to causes I personally support?"
Shite, you know the answer already.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
And it's not Bing's fault the article isn't available online right now. It's Bing's fault that whenever a person wants to do a search and that is the default search engine, one is forced to scroll through myriad advertisements for things to buy before getting to the subject.
Blech. Bill Gates, did Santa pee in your stocking at Christmas? Tell me, tell me!
Friday, January 8, 2010
As long as the Republicans are beating up on the Dems, and the Dems are beating each other up in the fight to "serve" America... Al Quaeda, or anyone else, can sashay on in and tie us all up.
Ford Says He Won’t Be ‘Bullied’ by Senator’s AlliesBy MICHAEL BARBARO
Under assault from allies of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, former congressman Harold E. Ford Jr. fired back on Friday afternoon, saying he would be not be “bullied or intimidated” by “party bosses” as he considers challenging her in this fall’s Democratic primary.
Mr. Ford’s interest in the race has rattled the Gillibrand camp, which has quickly sought to portray him as out of step with New York Democratic voters, and, through supporters, like Sen. Charles E. Schumer, tried to dissuade him from entering the race.
A spokesman for Mr. Ford issued a pungent statement defending his interest in the Senate race and rebutting criticisms of his record.
“Its good to have credible candidates explore this race. So what are they afraid of,” began the statement, from Mr. Ford’s new spokesman, Davidson Goldin.
In a swipe at those who have asked Mr. Ford to stay out of the race, Mr. Goldin said that the state needed a senator with the “independence to stand up and do what is right for our state, regardless of what the party bosses in Albany and Washington want.”
The sharp statement is the strongest indication yet that Mr. Ford is serious in his consideration of what would be a marquee challenge to the state’s junior senator, who Democratic leaders had hoped would coast to the nomination.
Mr. Ford, 39, has hired a New York-based public relations consultant, and is reaching out to other potential top-level campaign staffers.
The vivid language and assertiveness in the statement suggest that, unlike other Democrats who considered challenging Ms. Gillibrand, Mr. Ford will not retreat because of pressure from party leaders or the White House. In fact, he seemed to openly question their intrusion into a potential primary.The possibility of a Ford candidacy has won backing from a about a dozen influential Democratic donors in the state, who regard Ms. Gillibrand as lackluster and untested. They include the financier Steven Rattner and his wife, Maureen, and the co-president of HBO, Richard Plepler. Mr. Ford, a five-term Tennessee congressman, moved to New York three years ago for a job in the banking industry.
Read the rest at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/09/nyregion/09ford.html?8au&emc=au
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Right there on the live news feed, underneath ultraliberal acquaintance Meg's posting from Alternet, ultraconservative college chum Sylvia has posted that she is now a fan of Jim DeMint. Really, do go figure. Only in America? At least still here.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
C-SPAN Challenges Congress to Open Health Care Talks to TV Coverage
The head of C-SPAN has implored Congress to open up the last leg of health care reform negotiations to the public, as top Democrats lay plans to hash out the final product among themselves.
The head of C-SPAN has implored Congress to open up the last leg of health care reform negotiations to the public, as top Democrats lay plans to hash out the final product among themselves.
C-SPAN CEO Brian Lamb wrote to leaders in the House and Senate Dec. 30 urging them to open "all important negotiations, including any conference committee meetings," to televised coverage on his network.
"The C-SPAN networks will commit the necessary resources to covering all of the sessions LIVE and in their entirety," he wrote.
Congressional leaders, however, reportedly are expected to bypass the traditional conference committee process, in which lawmakers from both parties and chambers meet to reconcile differences between the House and Senate versions of a bill. Instead, The Associated Press reports that top Democrats at the House, Senate and White House will figure out the final product in three-way talks before sending it back to both chambers for a final vote.
This format would seem ideal for closed-door meetings, which congressional Democrats have used many times to figure out sensitive provisions in the health care bill -- though President Obama pledged during the campaign to open up health care talks to C-SPAN's cameras.
Lamb urged Congress in his letter to fling open the doors in the final stretch of the negotiations.
"President Obama, Senate and House leaders, many of your rank-and-file members, and the nation's editorial pages have all talked about the value of transparent discussions on reforming the nation's health care system," he wrote. "Now that the process moves to the critical stage of reconciliation between the chambers, we respectfully request that you allow the public full access, through television, to legislation that will affect the lives of every single American."
Lamb said his network would use "the latest technology" to be "as unobtrusive as possible" during the talks.http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/01/05/c-span-challenges-congress-open-health-care-talks-tv-coverage/
Dems to bypass tradition on final health deal
House, Senate negotiations to complete legislation will cut out Republicans
WASHINGTON - House and Senate Democrats intend to bypass traditional procedures when they negotiate a final compromise on health care
The unofficial timetable calls for final passage of the measure to remake the nation's health care
Democratic aides said the final compromise talks would essentially be a three-way negotiation involving top Democrats in the House and Senate and the White House, a structure that gives unusual latitude to Senate Majority Leader Harry
These officials said there are no plans to appoint a formal House-Senate conference committee, the method Congress most often uses to reconcile differing bills. Under that customary format, a committee chairman is appointed to preside, and other senior lawmakers from both parties and houses participate in typically perfunctory public meetings while the meaningful negotiations occur behind closed doors.
Monday, January 4, 2010
Saturday, January 2, 2010
No matter what you think of the various ways in which the Fed is and has been involved in our American economy, now, in the past 12 months, or whenever before that, there is a good spread in the December 28 issue of TIME, in which Bernanke is labeled "Person of the Year," about him and the who Federal Reserve System.
Definitely worth checking out if you want a decent layman's look.
And no, I will not be complaining about anything in this post, thanks.
Friday, January 1, 2010
OK, I woke up this morning realizing it is true, fact, that Wyoming lags in the acquisition and subsequent loss of recession. How do I suddenly know this to be true? Because yesterday I was marveling at how the recession really hasn't taken a bite out of my own finances, and then this morning I awoke to the "new year" and the new thought that, oh, holy crap, how am I going to pay the rent today, and the phone bill next Thursday, and so on..?
Related to that, did you ever stop to think that you can tweak the dates you write- or sign over- checks- or in a more contemporary way, click on the payment button on a website, if the moola doesn't happen to be flowing like the lemonade springs in the Big Rock Candy Mountain, UNLESS it is the Verizon bill? Because those bastards will cut you off if you do not pay by the due date, and then they will charge an arm and a leg to hook you back in. (I do not know that last assertion to be fact, as I have never toyed with the Telephone Giant. No matter how much money I don't have, I pay Verizon before, if not exactly on, the 7th of the month.)
Now, that says something about our slavery to technology and money. Doesn't it?
It's OK, though, peeps. I will not let my own thoughts of doom and woe get the best of me first thing on the new calendar. I will consider it all a supreme challenge to get off my lazy arse and boot complacency to the curb. Really, it was getting that close.
How about you?
BTW, you can check out this sweet rendition of Big Rock Candy Mountain, and more fantasy paintings, at holdernessoregon.com/