Monday, October 29, 2012

Bend me, shape me


   

Sure, something like this could be created for any candidate who has gone through a contested primary race,  but the underlying theme of shape-shifting is undeniable. I don't think any of us know what we're going to get with a President Romney.

And now, of course, half these characters are flip-flopping, too, as they are out there talking up Gov. Romney as their guy.

Good thing principles are only for the little people.

Friday, October 12, 2012

It's a black fly in your chardonnay

A rush of concern for manners and decorum from people who were apparently fine with Mitt Romney's lies and rudeness to the moderator in the first Presidential debate.



I don't know, irony doesn't seem like a strong enough word here.

Monday, September 17, 2012

For the thoughtful

I paraphrase Mark Twain.

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are an asshole than to open it and remove all doubt.





If you want to join Mitt in griping about all those layabouts who don't pay federal income taxes, please don't leave a comment until you've read this.

And for more giggles.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Put away your money, it means nothing here

As if I needed more reasons to support campaign finance reform, by which I mean publicly-funded elections in the United States. No private money. No lobbyists bearing gifts. Because we know those gifts are not necessarily from wise men. And somehow those who put together the governmental gift baskets stopped reading the text at the word gold.

It's a pity really. Washington and most of our state capitols have become sewers of corruption. We could use a little frankincense and myrrh.

The Chick Fil A nonsense highlighted once again why we need to get money - corporate and personal - out of politics. Why can't I just eat a damn waffle fry dipped in a chocolate milkshake? Why does it have to mean something other than a hastening of death by the clogging of my arteries and the slow destruction of my pancreas?

We've seen this over and over. I can't shop at Target for the same reasons I can't have an overpriced chicken sandwich Monday through Saturday. It started with business practices. I loathed going to Wal-Mart because they were destroying the main streets of our small towns. Then we learned that they weren't doing right by their employees through sketchy business practices. Then we discovered that they were adding to their profits by pushing their employees off onto the taxpayer to cover their health care expenses. By paying their employees so little, they created a whole new category of the working poor who, without health benefits, had limited choices - no insurance, Medicaid, or struggle to pay for private insurance.

That was bad enough. But now we learn that with something as simple as a drive-thru visit to a place charmingly advertised by cows who can't spell but do okay with a paint brush, we're funding hate groups that work all over the globe to promote their version of Christianity which leans much more heavily on what they define a sin and appeals less to the better angels among us.

I highly doubt that Jesus, when he was a man who walked the Earth, spent much time fretting over genitals. He was busy teaching people how to fish and turning water into wine. Oh, and healing the sick and comforting the miserable.

So add the Chick Fil A brouhaha to the list of reasons why we should have shortened campaigns, a set amount of money for each candidate to spend on their campaign, a set amount of time for debates and television coverage, and a stricter time limit on when a legislator and their staff can pass through the revolving door between legislative offices and lobbying firms. And an elimination of the Electoral College.

There's a reason that most of the nation's wealthiest counties are near Washington, D.C. Contrary to that old conservative trope, government does, in fact, create jobs. Lots of high-paying jobs. If you insist on quibbling, fine - they aren't exactly government jobs. They're just jobs paid for by tax dollars. You say potato, I say there's very little difference between a job created by the government and one paid for by it.

No one -  not corporations, individuals, unions, trade groups - should be able to purchase our politicians by financing their elections. The only gifts lobbyists should be able to deliver to legislators and candidates are votes. Influencing our elections with a compelling message that spurs people to come out and vote is what we need. We don't need more semi-truthful manipulative sounds bites in the form of thirty second television advertisements.

Imagine a system where the law makers govern based on their constituents wants, needs and convictions.

Imagine a system where the words of each individual carry the same weight. No checks heavy with zeroes required to make your voice heard.

Imagine a system where the very wealthy don't have an incentive to buy politicians.

Imagine if our legislators actually spent their time working on legislation  instead of hustling for campaign donations. (Okay, that could be scary, but would it be worse?)

Imagine no longer getting an email inbox full of donation requests.

Imagine your vote meaning something again. Even if you're an ideological minority.

Imagine a reduction in campaign advertisements that tell you nothing and yet are dissected tortuously by political pundits.

Imagine elections being about policies instead of religion and birth certificates and dressage horses and dogs on the roofs of cars.

Imagine what could get done if our politicians were focused on outcomes other than their own self-preservation.

Can I get an Amen?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Proof seeking


Question: When and where has Republican ideology worked to benefit the majority of a population? The Republican ideology of low taxation, minimal regulation, small government, privatization.

What I mean is when has this actually been proven to work? In what country? How did it improve things for the general population and lead to growth that helped improve the living conditions of the many?

Here in the United States, has it worked? When?

I'm sincere here. I'm not creating an opportunity to bash. I really want to know. I want examples of how this has worked in the past.

Tomorrow's question - If Republicans were to have their way, how would that work? What would it look like? What would be the results of a November election putting Republicans in charge of the House, the Senate and the White House?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Old pleasures revisited

Well, that inhabitant of the White House has gone and done it now. He's committed act number 37 on the list of One Hundred Ways to Be More Like George W. Bush.

I'm grappling here for something. Anything. All I come up with is a question. What's the point anymore? Was there ever a point?

Oh yes, those convictions. You know, like how I believe to my core that while the Democrats will mentally abuse us and cheat on us and end up impregnating their mistresses, we can also be just as sure that the Republicans are going to more or less kill us.

And being more or less dead is like his mistress being more or less pregnant.

Tricky stuff that will likely give you migraines and a drinking problem. If you don't already have one.

I once blogged like any of this shit matters. Here's what I had to say about Executive Orders back in my old idealistic, lacy black bra days.
UPDATE: TPM Muckraker covers the concerns about this Executive Order here and here.
AND how about the timing of the E.O. with this from Jill at Brilliant at Breakfast.
The Pentagon told Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton that her questions about how the U.S. plans to eventually withdraw from Iraq boosts enemy propaganda.
Learn more about Executive Orders here.
I don't have time to go through this carefully, but read it. (Thom Hartmann opened his show with this and it immediately got my attention.)
Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq
Pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as amended (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.)(IEEPA), I hereby report that I have issued an Executive Order blocking property of persons determined to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq or undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people. I issued this order to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003, and expanded in Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003, and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004. In these previous Executive Orders, I ordered various measures to address the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by obstacles to the orderly reconstruction of Iraq, the restoration and maintenance of peace and security in that country, and the development of political, administrative, and economic institutions in Iraq.
My new order takes additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 and expanded in Executive Order 13315 by blocking the property and interests in property of persons determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq or undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people. The order further authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, to designate for blocking those persons determined to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technical support for, or goods or services in support of, such an act or acts of violence or any person designated pursuant to this order, or to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.

I delegated to the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, the authority to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of my order. I am enclosing a copy of the Executive Order I have issued.

GEORGE W. BUSH
The White House, July 17, 2007.

And this...

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as amended (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.)(IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)(NEA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,
I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, find that, due to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by acts of violence threatening the peace and stability of Iraq and undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq and to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people, it is in the interests of the United States to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003, and expanded in Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003, and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004. I hereby order:
 Section 1. (a) Except to the extent provided in section 203(b)(1), (3), and (4) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(1), (3), and (4)), or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the date of this order, all property and interests in property of the following persons, that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of United States persons, are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in: any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, read the rest.
Even people on the right are discussing how dangerous this Administration is. Read this from Paul Craig Roberts.

The best thing about that old post was its title:  He issues Executive Orders. We yawn, scratch our asses and check the TV Guide for tonight's entertainment options


I miss the good old days with its transparency and lack of corruption. 


What?