Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Stuff

Ari, Ari, Bobari - you are such a lying sack of shit...

First (based on the audio), there were more than 2-3 people in that audience booing Stephen Hill, a member of the U.S. Army serving in Iraq, for "coming out" in front of the Repug presidential candidate beauty pageant last night on Fix Noise. Second, I didn't hear anyone yelling out at the booers telling them to knock it off. Third, they weren't booing the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"; that's from a whole other news cycle, and the life forms booing Hill don't have attention spans that long.

Even when Fleischer actually says something good, he can't resist gooning it up like this (and remember the non-reaction of the candidates the next time you hear one of them yapping about "supporting our troops"...but of course, what else can you expect from Fleischer considering this?).

(And yes, I know I'm slipping on my pledge about "gutteral profanity" - I'll work on it)...

...and ssshh, don't wake our corporate media - rock-a-bye baby...

...also, former Philly resident John Coltrane would have been 85 today (sorry, no video)...

...and here's another one of those tunes I've been meaning to get to, more or less.

Friday Mashup (9/23/11)

(By the way, the "Bringing The Pain" posts got sidetracked a bit this week...I'll try to return to that next week.)

  • Let’s begin with the perpetually wrong bloviation of former Bushie Marc Thiessen (here)…
    Last week’s CNN/Tea Party Express debate devoted nine minutes to foreign policy and national security. Last night’s Fox News/Google debate devoted precisely … ten minutes (from 10:02 to 10:12 pm).

    While the time devoted to national security did not improve much, the quality of the questions and discussion was better—and showed glimpses of what a robust debate devoted to foreign policy could offer.
    Wait for it…
    Rick Perry got the toughest question: what would he do if Pakistan lost control of its nuclear weapons at the hands of the Taliban? Perry responded by saying that before you got to that point you had to develop relationships in the region—and cited Admiral Mullen’s testimony that Pakistan was supporting the Haqqani network which was behind the attack on the U.S. embassy in Kabul. He said he would strengthen our relationship with India to make sure they knew that they are an ally of America—criticizing the Obama administration for turning down an opportunity to sell upgraded F-16s to India (and Taiwan too).
    As noted here from last April…
    India has decided not to buy American F-16's or F/A-18's for the biggest defense tender in its history -- a pending $10 billion-plus contract for 126 multi-role combat aircraft. Following field trials, it has instead shortlisted the Rafale, made by France's Dassault, and the Typhoon, produced by a European consortium. Skeptics of Indo-U.S. strategic partnership view this as yet another Indian snub to the United States, arguing that the promise of Indo-American entente that was to follow from the historic civilian-nuclear agreement of 2008 has proven hollow.
    And this tells us the following from a week ago…
    WASHINGTON--The Obama administration was expected to tell the U.S. Congress on Friday it plans to upgrade Taiwan's existing fleet of F-16 fighter jets, said sources involved in a deal likely to anger China while disappointing a Taiwan government that was seeking more advanced aircraft.

    U.S.-Taiwan Business Council President Rupert Hammond-Chambers, whose group lobbied for the sale of more advanced F-16 planes, said announcement of the upgrade was "imminent." Congressional sources said consultations with senior lawmakers' staff were expected on Friday.
    Lather, rinse, repeat (sigh)…

  • Next, I give you the following from The Daily Tucker…
    Ever heard of a group called the “Breast Cancer Fund”? No? You’re not alone. BCF is a friendly sounding advocacy group that “works to connect the dots between breast cancer and exposures to chemicals and radiation in our everyday environments.” The “connect the dots” part is key. BCF has taken it upon itself to replace science with conjecture and draw conclusions based on a desire to rid the world of chemicals that actually keep us safe and healthy.

    BCF is very concerned with the environment. The “About Us” section of its website says, “We find practical solutions so that our children, grandchildren and planet can thrive.” Is our planet not thriving? Did I miss a memo?

    Like most left-wing, pro-regulatory organizations, BCF claims to be “helping the children.” But what it is advocating now, without evidence to back its claim, will harm children, grandchildren and adults.
    The post goes on to say that the “EPA would like to regulate and phase out BPA under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), but the law requires that the agency employ sound science to illustrate that a product is actually dangerous before banning it — something EPA has not been able to show for BPA” (the quote is attributed to someone from something called the Competitive Enterprise Institute).

    In response, this tells us the following (from March last year)…
    Cal Dooley, president and CEO of the American Chemistry Council, an industry association, said, "It is important to recognize that EPA is not proposing any regulatory action regarding human health. In fact, HHS [Health and Human Services] and FDA recently reaffirmed that BPA has not been proven to cause harm to infants or adults, and other regulatory bodies around the world have determined that the science supports the safety of BPA."
    And from the EPA’s own web site (here)…
    EPA does not intend to initiate regulatory action under (the Toxic Substances Control Act) at this time on the basis of risks to human health. EPA remains committed to protecting human health and will continue to consult and coordinate closely with FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to better determine and evaluate the potential health consequences of BPA.
    I realize that Tucker Carlson has a tough job running his little blog masquerading as a news site that, in fact, does nothing else except propagate right-wing talking points, and he’s bound to slip up at times. However, with some actual research on his part, he would have learned that he has to put out more effort to wrap up this piece of wingnut lore in a cocoon of lies of evasions as per usual.

    So work smarter, not harder, next time, OK? (removing my tongue from my cheek…)

  • Continuing, I give you last week’s Area Votes in Congress (here)…

    National Labor Relations Act. Voting 238-186, the House on Thursday passed a bill (HR 2587) to amend the National Labor Relations Act in a way that would curb union rights while making it easier for companies to move operations to nonunion states. The NLRA was enacted in 1935 to establish and protect the rights of workers to form unions and bargain collectively over pay, benefits, and working conditions.

    This bill would give employers standing to shift facilities to right-to-work states or overseas despite the law's stipulation that such moves cannot be a retaliation against legitimate union activity and can be subjected to collective bargaining. Robert E. Andrews (D., N.J.) called the measure "the outsourcers' bill of rights. It says to an employer, if you want to use as an excuse the collective and union activities of your employees and you want to pick up and move to Central or South America or Asia, here's the way to do it."

    A yes vote was to pass the bill.

    Voting yes: Charles W. Dent (R., Pa.), Jim Gerlach (R., Pa.), Frank A. LoBiondo (R., N.J.), Joseph R. Pitts (R., Pa.), Jon Runyan (R., N.J.), and Christopher H. Smith (R., N.J.).

    Voting no: Robert E. Andrews (D., N.J.), Robert A. Brady (D., Pa.), John Carney (D., Del.), Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.), Michael Fitzpatrick (R., Pa.), Tim Holden (D., Pa.), Pat Meehan (R., Pa.), and Allyson Y. Schwartz (D., Pa.).
    You know, I really hate it when Mikey the Beloved (and Pat Meehan) cast some actually decent votes so I can’t pick on them…seriously, as much as I hate to admit it, they did the right thing, thought I know these were “safe” since the majority of the crazed Repug U.S. House delegation went for this garbage (which I posted about previously here – last bullet).
    Charter schools funding. Voting 365-54, the House on Tuesday passed a bill (HR 2218) to fund charter schools at $300 million annually through fiscal 2018. The bill would provide grants for operating expenses and to leverage private loans for building or renovating classroom space. The nation's 5,000 charter schools, which educate about 5 percent of K-12 students, receive public funding but are freed of many of the rules that bind traditional public schools.

    A yes vote was to pass the bill.

    Voting yes: Andrews, Brady, Carney, Dent, Fattah, Fitzpatrick, Gerlach, LoBiondo, Meehan, Pitts, Runyan, Schwartz, and Smith.

    Voting no: Holden.
    Yeah, I know, how can anyone be against charter schools, right? Well, if funding them comes at the expense of money for public schools, hell yeah I can be against it (and Ian Millhiser of the Center for American Progress tells us here, that, yep, if God forbid the Teahadists took over our government, we would be looking at exactly that).

    By the way, in all the years I’ve been doing this, this might be the first time Tim Holden has actually cast a good vote while everyone else missed the proverbial boat. Good for him for a change.
    Green school construction. Voting 195-220, the House on Tuesday refused to promote green practices and materials in the building and renovating of charter schools. The nonbinding amendment to HR 2218 (above) would have called upon the Department of Education to give preference to applications from states that use tax incentives and other policies to encourage green construction in school systems.

    A yes vote backed the amendment.

    Voting yes: Andrews, Brady, Dent, Carney, Fattah, Fitzpatrick, Gerlach, Holden, Meehan, and Schwartz.

    Voting no: LoBiondo, Pitts, Runyan, and Smith.
    I give you another good, safe vote for Mikey and the “Moderates” (sounds like a singing group…by the way, has anyone else besides me noticed that, while Joe Pitts continues to cast awful votes, Jon “How Much Tax Can I Get Out Of Paying For My Farm?” Runyan is giving Pancake Joe a run for his money in that department?).
    Debt limit revisited. By a tally of 232-186, members on Wednesday voted to rescind some of the new U.S. borrowing authority that Congress and President Obama enacted in August as the government neared default. The vote on HJ Res 77 was only symbolic because the Senate already had refused to go along.

    A yes vote was to pass the bill.

    Voting yes: Dent, Fitzpatrick, Gerlach, LoBiondo, Meehan, Pitts, Runyan, and Smith.

    Voting no: Andrews, Brady, Carney, Fattah, Holden, and Schwartz.
    Another complete and utter waste of time from these miscreants…

    Federal disaster aid. Voting 62-37, the Senate on Thursday passed a bill (HJ Res 66) to provide the Federal Emergency Management Agency with $6.9 billion in deficit spending to help communities and individuals recover from recent natural disasters such as Hurricane Irene, the earthquake centered in Virginia, wildfires, and Tropical Storm Lee. The legislation also would ensure the continued flow of FEMA aid to victims of tornadoes in cities such as Joplin, Mo., and Tuscaloosa, Ala. The bill awaits House action.

    A yes vote was to pass the bill.

    Voting yes: Thomas Carper (D., Del.), Bob Casey (D., Pa.), Chris Coons (D., Del.), Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.), Robert Menendez (D., N.J.), and Pat Toomey (R., Pa.).

    Foreign aid vs. disaster aid. Voting 20-78, the Senate on Thursday defeated an amendment to offset $6.9 billion in disaster aid (HJ Res 66, above) by cutting foreign aid and other overseas programs by that amount. Foreign aid accounts for about 1 percent of the federal budget.

    A yes vote backed the amendment.

    Voting yes: Toomey.

    Voting no: Carper, Casey, Coons, Lautenberg, and Menendez.
    So just remember, all you flood victims and those trying to put your lives back together following a natural calamity, “No Corporate Tax” Pat Toomey say those funds must be offset.

    He is proving to be every bit as wretched and awful as I feared he would be last year.
    Aviation, highway funding. Voting 92-6, the Senate on Thursday sent Obama a bill (HR 2887) to fund federal aviation programs though January at a $5.4 billion level and highway and transit programs through March at $20 billion. The stopgap measure is designed to buy time for settling several major disagreements over aviation and highway programs.

    A yes vote was to pass the bill.

    Voting yes: Carper, Casey, Coons, Lautenberg, and Menendez.

    Voting no: Toomey.
    Guess Toomey doesn’t have to worry about the safety of our roads, planes or mass transit. Lucky him.

    Pat yourselves on the back, all you lower live forms in PA who voted for this reptile.

    This week, the House took up a bill to track the economic impact of environmental laws and a continuing resolution to fund the government when fiscal 2012 begins on Oct. 1. The Senate debated 2012 appropriations bills.

  • Finally, David Brooks felt the urge to journey into the world of athletics today, with predictable results (here, enamored with the 1910s and 1920s, apparently)…
    Today’s left-leaning historians generally excoriate the amateur ideal for its snobbery and the hypocrisy it engendered. The movie “Chariots of Fire” popularized their critique. In the film, the upholders of the amateur ideal are snobbish, anti-Semitic reactionaries. The heroes are unabashedly commercial and practical. Modern and free-thinking, they pay people so they can win.

    Thus did the left-wing critique welcome the corporate domination of sport.
    In reponse, I give you this (here)…
    Here's what Brooks says is the effect of the amateur ideal:

    It forces athletes, seduced by Michael Jordan fantasies, to at least think of themselves partially as students. It forces coaches, an obsessively competitive group, to pay homage to academic pursuits. College basketball is more thrilling than pro basketball because the game is still animated by amateur passions, not coldly calculating professional interests.

    That's just false.

    Big-time athletes don't think of themselves as students. Coaches only care about academics inasmuch as they will be penalized if they don't meet certain standards. And even if you agree that college hoops is better than pro hoops, why should the relative thrilling-ness of March Madness have any effect on whether or not we ought to pay college athletes?
    I know there are some out there who will immediately take note of college coaches such as Joe Paterno of Penn State, who put academic achievement first before athletics. Duly noted.

    And I suppose that validates Brooks’ argument somewhat, but only slightly as far as I’m concerned. However, here is my question.

    BoBo tells us about “Chariots of Fire,” the 1981 film depicting the struggles of the runners Eric Liddell (played by Ian Charleson) and Harold Abrahams (played by Ben Cross). In BoBo’s equation, Liddell, the “amateur ideal” is a member of the “snobbish, Anti-Semitic reactionaries” and Abrahams is “unabashedly commercial and practical.”

    So if the movie is supposed to be so “anti-amateur,” how come, when the two of them actually compete in a race, Liddell wins?
  • Thursday, September 22, 2011

    Thursday Stuff

    Two comments in response to this clip from the latest Republican presidential candidates beauty pageant and Baby Newton Leroy: 1) Anybody who believes that any business in this country is going to invest in training of an employee for 99 weeks must also believe that the HPV vaccination will give you syphilis, and 2) The real takeaway for me isn't Gingrich's typically pompous bombast about paying people 99 weeks for "doing nothing," but the fact that the remark was met with applause from everyone in attendance, showing that the voters in the Mickey Mouse state apparently enjoy electing asshole politicians who do nothing but lie to them and generally abuse them...

    ...and from the last debate, here's a question for Ron Paul and his merry band of fellow wingnut nominees...

    ...and I'm a bit late with this too I know, but here is Elizabeth Warren, running in MA to unseat "Wall Street Scott" Brown, on "class warfare"...

    ...and given yesterday's tragic event, I had this song in my head all day, for what it's worth.

    J.D. Mullane Calls The Fashion Police!

    (Don’t have time for much else today…)

    True hilarity from Bucks County’s big mouth in the Courier Times today (here)…
    Two fast columns about slovenly dress have generated heated comments, which still arrive. The columns struck deep. Why? Some background.

    The first dress column appeared in August. It discussed protesters who arrived at Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick’s office in Middletown to criticize his stand against ObamaCare. A photograph appeared in this newspaper. The protesters were attired as if headed to a party, or maybe to Home Depot to heave bags of mulch into pickup trucks, not to respectfully petition a member of the U.S. Congress.
    Oh dear God, I may bust a gut over this one.

    In response, check out the individuals below, including the guy with the shirt tail hanging out. And as far as “respectfully petition(ing)” a member of Congress, listen to the moronic life forms calling Patrick Murphy a liar behind his back over the fact that the Teahadists got their widdle feelings hurt because That Mean Old Democrat Former U.S. House Rep wouldn’t give them all the “town halls” they wanted.

    (Oh, and on the subject of attire, I know who the guy is wearing the jeans and the blue shirt holding the camera; he eats, sleeps and breathes Everything About Mikey The Beloved)...

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    Wednesday Mashup (9/21/11)

  • It now looks inevitable that the state of Georgia will murder Troy Davis in about an hour. With that in mind, here is a post from Daily Kos diarist SwedishJewfish and an Op-Ed from today’s New York Times.

    A pox now and forever on all of those who aided and abetted this atrocity.

  • The typical posting material at this site really isn’t worth spit compared to what I just noted, but I’ll continue to post anyway since there is still work to do.

    As noted here…
    Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said Tuesday that his committee plans to investigate government loan programs to private corporations in light of allegations of improper dealings between the White House and failed energy company Solyndra and wireless start-up LightSquared.

    "I want to see when the president and his cronies are picking winners and losers… it wasn't because there were large contributions given to them," the chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee said Tuesday morning on C-SPAN.

    Republicans have also charged that the White House pressured an Air Force general to revise testimony before a closed congressional hearing to aid LightSquared, a wireless start-up company.
    In a way, I have to admit that I’m actually surprised that it took Issa this long to launch an utterly pointless investigation into an alleged Obama Administration “scandal.”

    I posted earlier about Solyndra here (third bullet), but as far as LightSquared is concerned, Media Matters tells us the following here (I’ll come back to them some more later)…
    Fox & Friends is promoting accusations that the White House "pressured" Air Force Gen. William Shelton "to change his testimony" over a plan allegedly favored by the White House (concerning LightSquared). But congressional testimony is routinely reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) "to ensure that the [Department of Defense], and ultimately the entire Administration, speak with one voice," and Shelton's spokesperson has "denied there was any improper influence."
    Of course, if Issa is actually serious about looking into a scandal, he could look into this, or this (and I guess you can file this item from a few months ago under “physician, heal thyself”).

    Update 9/22/11: It figures.

    Update 9/24/11: Uh, yep.

  • Continuing, I give you what passes for news at the wingnut sites (here)…
    An organization affiliated with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) received a new cash infusion from U.S. taxpayers in early September, amounting to $350,000.

    The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded the Affordable Housing Centers of America (AHCOA) $350,000 in early September. This newly discovered funding is in addition to the $300,000 AHCOA secured in August, as The Daily Caller reported last week.

    The new grant was part of a $10 million HUD funding package announced on September 2. Unlike the $300,000 from early August, HUD specifically awarded this $350,000 to AHCOA Pennsylvania, a local affiliate of the national group based in Chicago.
    Oh, and this little tidbit is thrown in at the very end…
    The (Government Accounting Office) argument is that since AHCOA changed its name and cut off official financial ties with ACORN, it is legally permissible to award taxpayer money to the group.
    As Media Matters tells us here (among other things, in a related “story” about supposed mismanagement by AHCOA), ACORN no longer exists.


  • Further, I give you the following…
    I want to pass along this urgent message from our Chairman, Senator Mike Gronstal. A critical special election could erase the 1-seat Democratic majority in the Iowa Senate, which is right now the only thing protecting that state from the wave of Tea Party-fueled extremism that's wreaking havoc in other states.

    Please see Senator Gronstal's message below, and then please consider making a donation to the Iowa Senate Democrats here.

    Thank you,

    John Winston
    National Political Director
    The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee

    September 19, 2011

    Dear Friend,

    Late last week, a member of the Iowa Senate Democrats retired early and there will be a special election in Linn County on November 8th of this year which will decide whether Democrats keep the Majority in the Iowa State Senate.

    Please click here.

    In 2010, Republicans took the Governor's mansion and the Majority in the Iowa House. Democrats still have the Majority in the Iowa Senate, but only by 1 seat. If this Special Election in Linn County is won by Republicans, Democrats will lose control of the Iowa Senate and the entire government of Iowa will be steered by the right-wing agenda of Tea Party Republicans.

    Please click here.

    Here's just a sample of the legislative agenda Republicans had in 2011 that they will roll out again in 2012:

    • SF 111: Would disqualify more than 26,000 Iowa children from receiving quality, affordable health care through HAWK-I, and shifting the burden onto the already strained budget of Iowa middle class families.

    • HF 45: Would eliminate Iowa's voluntary preschool program--a direct assault on middle class families who need access to affordable, quality early childhood education.

    • HF 525: Would eliminate collective bargaining rights for public employees--which is an assault on all Iowa workers (not just public workers)--because the effort is designed to chip away at the basic employment rights of every Iowan.

    Democrats in the Iowa Senate did our best to stop this outrageous agenda--and we succeeded in protecting middle-class Iowa families from becoming the victims of right-wing legislation.

    But the results of this Special Election on November 8th will decide if we are able to keep holding the majority--and keep holding the line against this onslaught of extremist ideas. If Republicans succeed in this special election in Linn County, every one of these outrageous initiatives (and more!) will become the law of the land in Iowa.

    Please click here.

    Any contribution is appreciated. You can also mail a check to:

    Iowa Senate Majority Fund
    5661 Fleur Drive
    Des Moines, IA 50321

    Thank you for your support.


    Mike Gronstal, Iowa Senate Majority Leader
    There’s no letup in the battle, people, I know. It is what it is.

  • Finally, Media Matters has some sad news for us – it looks like Former Laura Bush Employee Andrew Malcolm is actually going to be leaving the L.A. Times (awwwww), which immediately makes that paper a more reputable publication (here).

    Not to worry, though – he’s taking his case of Obama Derangement Syndrome over to Investor’s Business Daily, where he no doubt will be welcomed with open arms.

    But before he departs his current gig, he gave us this recently…
    Barack Obama took office Jan. 20, 2009. That was 972 days ago this morning, almost to the hour when he finally offered his newest full-blown deficit reduction plan. (See full Obama text below.)
    Putting aside the inherent stupidity in a sentence where Malcolm is implying that Obama hasn’t offered a deficit reduction plan for 972 days but then says Obama is offering his newest plan (as if Malcolm is contradicting his own statement by implying that, yes, Obama did indeed offer such a plan previously), the following should be noted once more from Media Matters here (dated last July)…
    Right-wing media have repeatedly claimed that President Obama had "no plan" about how to lower the nation's deficit and reach a compromise to resolve the default crisis. But Obama had reportedly agreed to specific reforms and spending cuts, including to entitlement programs, in talks with Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) before Boehner walked away from those negotiations.
    Have fun trying to link to Drudge from a lower point of online prominence than the one you’re about to give up, you noxious partisan hack.
  • Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    Tuesday Stuff

    Do you want to see "class warfare" for real? Check this out...

    Update 9/21/11: More here... opposed to the phony kind (here)...

    ...and this is a couple of months old, but I just heard about this from one of my senior correspondents (don't tell the Repug presidential candidates, or they'll think this is a documentary - bad words a bit at end)...

    ...and I just heard about this too - glad I did.

    Tuesday Mashup (9/20/11)

  • For what it’s worth, I am extremely aware of this development. And I feel utterly numb. I honestly don’t know what there is left to do at this point except pray.

    I firmly believe, still, that the life of Troy Davis deserves to be spared so he can defend himself. In that event, if he were still to be found guilty, he would be left to rot on death row until his last days. But it doesn’t look like that will happen.

    The test I use for cases like this is how we would react if an American citizen were held in, say, North Korea or Iran and faced a judgment like this under similar circumstances. My guess is that we would be howling at the top of our lungs. And many of us have done so here, but it looks like the Georgia Parole Board will be utterly unmoved.

    So yes, I will pray for Troy Davis and his family and friends.

    And for ourselves.

    Update: Actually, there is something we still can do (here).

  • Also, under the heading of “Law and Order,” a topic I try to steer clear of actually, I wonder how Scott Turow, brilliant writer that he is, feels about this story since he was one of the ones arguing that Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who if nothing else is some kind of sexual monster of one form or another, should be freed because of the past history of his accuser?

    In addition, this tells us that Thomas Capano died yesterday in a Delaware jail, his death sentence in the murder of Anne Marie Fahey (secretary of former Delaware governor and current U.S. Senator Tom Carper) having been commuted. The cause of death was a heart attack, which is ironic if nothing else since Capano, who, during the course of the Fahey murder trial that utterly galvanized this area way back when, emerged as a truly unsympathetic and utterly calculating individual.

    For what it’s worth, at least two good books have been written on the Capano trial and the murder of Anne Marie Fahey. One is “The Summer Wind” by Philadelphia Inquirer reporter George Anastasia (which I read) and “And Never Let Her Go” by Ann Rule (read by Mrs. Doomsy).

    What emerged in each version of events is that Capano was one of those people who utterly ruined the lives of anyone who came in contact with him. The world is better off with him no longer inhabiting this planet (and as always, our prayers and condolences go out to the family and friends of Anne Marie Fahey).

  • Given everything I just noted, it’s probably inappropriate to note anything about people maybe “offing” themselves, but this little item with Billo The Clown is too delicious to pass up (would that it were that easy…only kidding).

  • Next, this story tells us the following (diving into pop culture nonsense, I guess)…
    First it was the far right, which signaled out "Spongebob" for promoting a gay and global-warming agenda.

    And (on 9/12), the American Academy of Pediatrics (took) aim at the 12-year-old Nickelodeon kids series, reporting a study that concludes the fast-pace show, and others like it, aren't good for children.

    Using what it calls a "controlled experimental design," the AAP said its study found that preschool-aged children " were significantly impaired in executive function immediately after watching just nine minutes of a popular fast-paced television show relative to after watching educational television or drawing."

    That show, of course, is "Spongebob Squarepants."
    (I confess that I was motivated to post about this based on this good column by Reg Henry that appeared in the Bucks County Courier Times today.)

    The main reason why I’m saying anything at all here (and I’m sure I’m repeating myself) is because, of all the kids shows out there, SpongeBob is the one about which I have no concerns at all (my favorite espisodes are the health inspector visiting the Krusty Krab and the “Bubble Bowl”).

    However, if you want to talk about kid shows that raise a red flag for yours truly, there is the ever-obnoxious “Code Name: Kids Next Door,” which is nothing but a half hour of yelling and explosions, and “Fairly Oddparents” (whimsically funny at times, even if every character on the show appears to be taking methamphetamines). Also, I’m pleased to report that the utterly nonsensical (and indecipherable) idiocy of “Ed, Edd and Eddy” appears to be missing from Cartoon Network’s prime time lineup. Try focusing on those shows instead, American Academy of Pediatrics, would you please?

    (Of course, the young one has long since left such viewing behind, now focusing on MTV and teen slasher movies instead, along with more traditional fare such as “West Side Story”…I’ll know if I have a problem if he tells me to “be cool, daddyo” or tries to look for a rumble).

  • Finally (and speaking of cartoons), I give you the following from J.D. Mullane today in the Courier Times…
    Unemployment, debt and political debacle. Those who gathered near the spot where Washington crossed the Delaware know the country is in crisis. But ask why and they don’t so much discuss President Obama, or Republicans in name only (RINOS), or middle-class food stamps. The problem is that Americans are largely unfamiliar with the U.S. Constitution and of the meaning of the Declaration of Independence.
    Oh, and I nearly forgot this…
    Obama, party politics and progressivism are symptoms of the ignorance.

    “When you don’t know what’s in these founding documents, how can you hold public officials accountable for what they do? That’s why we’re here,” said Jeff McGeary, lifting his voice over fife and drum music coming from public address speakers.

    McGeary, of Newtown, is the founder and president of the Thomas Jefferson Club. Since 2008, the club has aimed to educate Bucks Countians on the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. (Also the eye-glazing intricacies of municipal government. Understanding the arcane leads to accountability and “preserves freedom,” he said.)
    Gee, J.D., what a shame that you didn’t bother to tell us the following about your new hero (and of course, Mullane’s response is always “yeah, well, it’s my column and I can write what I want…nyaaah, nyaaahh”)…
    In recent months, those who call themselves Tea Party activists have been trying to suggest that they only march and rally because of economic and fiscal concerns, never social and cultural issues. Someone forgot to tell teabagger Jeff McGeary that, given his remarks during the April 6, 2011 meeting of his Thomas Jefferson Club in Bucks County, PA:

    "Stand up for your rights, your beliefs, your culture, your heritage, and your identity. What binds us together in this room and this republic guys, is worth fighting for, more than any taxes, more than any other issue, is this issue of our culture and our values and our Western way of life. And the last thing that I heard from both speakers was the word 'love'. To love your people, to love your heritage, love our national family, our culture, our value, our republic. And guys, stand up for it. It's worth fighting for. Your work, your employment, about your daily task, stand up, stand up proudly and don't apologize guys."

    And if those same teabaggers are miffed that people keep pointing out the racist elements in the Tea Party scene, well Jeff McGeary isn't helping. See, the two speakers that he was referring to were noted white nationalists Peter Brimelow of the hate site VDARE, and former Jesse Helms aide Louis March, a past speaker at American Renaissance and Council of Conservative Citizens conferences who touted as successes overseas what hate groups like the British National Party and France's National Front were doing in their countries. McGeary is one of those teabaggers that have been playing it coy for a few years now, but when this meeting took place it pretty much put a spotlight on what he and his Thomas Jefferson Club is really about.
    But just remember, boys and girls, it’s “progressives” who are the hateful, nasty bigots, not those zany Teahadists.

    Continuing with Mullane (you could almost choke on the stoo-pid here today, but I’ll only focus on this other item)…
    The example cited frequently to illustrate how the country has separated from its constitutional moorings is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, called “ObamaCare.” Among the criticisms is that it will create more than 150 new boards, commissions and agencies that will require thousands of government employees to provide and police the system. It also creates about 20 new or higher taxes.
    In response, this tells us the following…
    …the Independent Payment Advisory Board set up by the law is specifically prohibited by law from recommending any policies that ration care, raise taxes, increase premiums or cost-sharing, restrict benefits or modify who is eligible for Medicare." [, 4/20/11]
    What a shame there isn’t a tax on pundit stupidity, though. If there were, Mullane would spend the rest of his life in the poor house.
  • Monday, September 19, 2011

    Monday Stuff

    Hopefully back to posting tomorrow...

    Yes, he made sure the reptilian Bob Rubin was treasury secretary under his watch, but as I've said about a zillion times, the last time this country saw some actual prosperity for real was while Number 42 was in charge...

    ...and here's another dedication for the "pay no price, bear no burden" bunch in light of this terrific post (WAAAAH, watch Huckleberry Graham, Eric Cantor and Puppy-Dog-Eyes Paul Ryan cry out to LEAVE THE RICH ALOOOOONE!).

    Sunday, September 18, 2011

    Sunday Stuff

    The little boy interviewed here makes more sense than most of the grownups who I see on TV talking about our economic meltdown...

    ...and this goes out to the "pay no price, bear no burden" bunch (and as always, our pal "Ran" is being tongue-in-cheek...I think).