Saturday, January 07, 2012

Saturday Stuff

It truly is the civil rights struggle for our times (more here – oh, and I believe the Repug presidential wannabes are having their 1,254th debate tonight; yawn)…

…and speaking of the presumptive nominee Willard Mitt, Lawrence O’Donnell has a particularly good “Rewrite” here…

…”Worst Persons” from last night (Billo and Laura Ingraham – the former with at least half a load on, apparently – are railing against our Kenyan Muslim socialist pre-zee-dint because he’s going to lavish money for abortions, supposedly, which of course is completely illegal and something Obama has no intention of doing, but as we know, silly things like facts have never gotten in the way of Fix Noise before; Repug House Rep. Allen West is the runner up for apparently taking issue with Senate Republicans, which I agree with, actually; but the new president of Penn State, Rodney Erickson, takes the top “honor” for thinking that “taking control of the narrative” was the most important consideration about the Jerry Sandusky scandal – almost too disgusting for words)…

…and today was the annual “prog rock” show on public radio station WXPN in these parts, but I didn’t hear this tune (with a little Prokofiev thrown in, I believe), so here it is (sorry, no video).

Friday, January 06, 2012

Friday Stuff

The U.S. House Repugs have obviously learned not a thing from the Mikey Fitzpatrick/Steny Hoyer debacle a few weeks ago (here)…

…and once again, when it’s time to take a hard look at the news events affecting our lives (harking back a bit to the item above), that means it’s time for Jon Stewart (here, including more of the video below)…

...and maybe Hulu's videos will cooperate, and maybe they won't - sigh...

…and in case anyone out there is still nostalgic for 2011 somehow (count me out), Mark Fiore is happy to oblige here…

...and I've been trying to get around to this video for a few days - better late than never.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Thursday Mashup (1/5/12)

  • This story in today’s Bucks County Courier Times tells us the following…
    As a real estate developer, Robert Loughery focused on transforming vacant properties from blighted to bustling.

    On Wednesday, he pledged to try something quite similar with all of Bucks County.

    The 41-year-old founder of the Keystone Development Group was named chairman of the Bucks County commissioners after a unanimous vote from its three-member board.
    I mean, it might as well have been unanimous, since Dem Commissioner Diane Marseglia would have been outvoted anyway. And of course I didn’t expect Loughery and Charley (“I Have A Semi-Open Mind”) Martin to name Diane chairman anyway; as much as I would have liked to have seen that, it would have gone against the wishes of the voters after all.

    But what really gets me about this story is this…
    Charley Martin was named vice chairman of the commissioners Wednesday over objections from minority board member Diane Marseglia.

    The lone Democrat on the board, Marseglia had nominated herself to be vice chairman. She called on Loughery and Martin to support her in the spirit of nonpartisanship.

    Marseglia’s predecessor as minority commissioner, Sandra Miller, was never named chairwoman or vice chairwoman during several terms of office as county commissioner.

    “But things are supposed to be different now,” said Marseglia.
    Typically petty and stupid from Loughery and Martin (take a bow once more, all you Dems and independent voters who thought it was too much trouble to vote for Det Ansinn last November).

    Update 1/6/12: Gee, it must be worse than I thought for Mikey The Beloved's press service to actually take notice (here).

  • Next, I give you Cal Thomas, who is a busy wingnut these days; here, he’s blaming President Obama for ending Dubya’s NASA Constellation program, which would include a return trip to the moon presumably to launch further space exploration.

    As noted here, though, Obama canceled those plans in February 2010, which would have cost taxpayers $100 billion by 2020. Instead, he called for spending $6 billion over five years to focus on research and commercial development of rockets, robotics and other space-related technology.

    On top of that, NASA (in the form of the so-called Augustine Commission) said it would require $50 billion more than that hundred billion over 10 years just to get to where we had planned to go under Constellation.

    I think the excerpt from the Forbes article linked to here sums it up pretty well…
    It comes down to money.

    NASA is sacrificing the shuttles, according to the program manager, so it can get out of low-Earth orbit and get to points beyond. The first stop under Obama's plan is an asteroid by 2025; next comes Mars in the mid-2030s.

    Private companies have been tapped to take over cargo hauls and astronaut rides to the space station, which is expected to carry on for at least another decade. The first commercial supply run is expected late this year, with Space Exploration Technologies Corp. launching its own rocket and spacecraft from Cape Canaveral.
    Nary a day goes by without yours truly hearing about the supposed evils of “big gumint.” Well then, let our glorious private sector do a little better job of stepping up when it comes to space exploration instead.

  • Continuing, J.D. Mullane is lamenting here the fact that an ad campaign is apparently necessary to remind parents to make sure their kids practice good dietary habits. Which, to me, is another example of Mullane trying to have it both ways.

    You see, as noted here…
    …the Affordable Care Act provides $25 million in funding for the Childhood Obesity Demonstration Project, which was established through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) legislation signed by President Obama. The Secretary of Health and Human Services will award grants to develop a comprehensive and systematic model for reducing childhood obesity.
    And as noted in this post from 2009, who was one of this area’s biggest whiners and complainers about “ObamaCare”?

    You see, in J.D.’s imaginary, ‘50s-black-and-white-TV version of this country, people always do the right thing (or else Joe McCarthy will get you), liberals are beaten into submission, and everyone is following the career of that handsome, well-spoken actor from California and his commercials for General Electric. You know, that Ronald Reagan fellow.

    And as J.D. reminded us here, everyone is well dressed at all times when speaking to politicians…uh huh.

  • Finally, I give you some true hilarity from Jack Kelly here, claiming that Obama is laying the groundwork for defeat in Afghanistan, more or less, using Yusuf al-Qaradawi of the Muslim Brotherhood for (supposedly) trying to broker peace talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan…
    In 2003, he issued a fatwa calling for the killing of U.S. troops in Iraq. When the imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca opposed the killing of civilians, Mr. al-Qaradawi criticized him. Yet the Obama administration considers Mr. al-Qaradawi to be a “moderate.”
    I’m not going to go back and research every possible inflammatory piece of rhetoric al-Qaradawi might have actually said. What I will point out, though, is that, as noted here, al-Qaradawi also denounced the World Trade Center attacks, and he also supported the U.S. military in 2001 with a fatwa here.

    Am I going to argue that al-Qaradawi isn’t a “bad apple” from time to time? No (and if he does anything worse than spout bilious rhetoric from time to time, please let me know, OK?). All I’m saying is that we’re foolish to apply some kind of a litmus test to every individual we may hope to use for our benefit without looking at it from some sort of a cost/benefit perspective, that’s all (after all, Dubya and his pals did that for Quaddafi, didn’t they? And I’m not aware of any complaints from Kelly about that...and as noted here, Kelly is a serial misinformer on other topics also).

    Of course, it’s ridiculous to assume that Kelly knows anything about war and that area of the world anyway based on this.
  • Wednesday, January 04, 2012

    Wednesday Stuff

    So it looks like we won’t have Moon Unit Bachmann to kick around any more, at least not as a presidential candidate (here…oh, and by the way, as I watched K.O. talk with Matt Taibbi, I just kept thinking “can we finally put to rest the notion that the Teahadists can be ‘king makers’ – or 'queen makers,' I guess – when it comes to anything?”).

    The only thing I'll say in fairness to Bachmann was that her campaign was severely hampered by the entrance of "Goodhair" Perry into the fray, since that basically split the "duuuhhh" faction of the GOP, which is probably bigger than anyone wants to admit...

    …and while I know this song deals with a different context than a political campaign, I still thought of it anyway on this occasion.

    Wednesday Mashup (1/4/12)

    (A bit overdue I know, but posting is going to be highly sporadic for a little while…)

  • As I point out periodically, part of what I do here is to read the Bucks County Courier Times for posting material so others don’t have to subject themselves to that publication, and the paper rarely disappoints (good for me, but bad for the purpose of informed discourse overall).

    And today, Cal Thomas whines that “a weak mind dumbs-down our politics,” from here.

    Actually, based on what happened in Iowa yesterday, I agree with that for a change (shocking, I know).

  • Not to be outdone, though, someone named Ben Shapiro claimed earlier in the Courier Times (from here, a few days ago) that “the liberal effete class… believe that all robbery is a noble redistributionist impulse…”

    Funny, but didn’t a certain OxyContin addict once say that “a conservative is a liberal who got mugged”? Well then, if that’s so, why would that person turn from a liberal to a conservative if Shapiro was right?

    Shapiro also opined as follows…
    Let them shut down the government, other than essential services. Good riddance. Let them warn of dire economic consequences if they're unable to send billion-dollar checks to abortion clinics. Somehow, we'll deal with it.
    No word on what those “essential services” are, by the way. More importantly, though, this tells us that federal law already prohibits funding of abortions, due to that amendment named after a deceased Republican House member who was also a serial philanderer.

    Oh, and what could be a rather interesting example of projection on Shapiro’s part, I give you this.

  • Next, I give you the following from last weekend in an otherwise highly sensible column from Frank Bruni of the New York Times about Iowa (here)…
    In its least hypocritical moments, the Republican Party has provided an important counterbalance to a Democratic tropism toward paternalism and bloat.
    I don’t know what the hell Bruni is talking about here, but if he’s referring to Democrats versus Republicans on the budget, then I think the following should be noted from here.

    Which political party was in charge of Congress when the decision was made to put two wars, the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit and George W. Bush’s stinking tax cuts “on the card”? Not the Dems (talk about "bloat").

    Oh, and Bruni also suggests that Michael Medved is one of the “more pragmatic conservatives” basically because Medved opposes Ron Paul, which I will admit is a point in Medved’s favor.

    However, I think the words “Michael Medved” and “pragmatism” really are unrelated based on this.

  • Finally, I give you the latest from The Daily Tucker (here)…
    When Americans flock to the polls in 13 months, we will not simply decide which direction our country should take over the next four years. Rather, we will decide whether or not our fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms will survive over the next several decades.

    Currently, the Second Amendment clings to a 5-4 pro-freedom majority on the Supreme Court. Just one vote is all that stands between the America our Founding Fathers established and a radically different America that Barack Obama and his supporters envision.
    Yep, it’s time for more “Oooga Booga” scare BS from the NRA about how that dern Kenyan Muslim Socialist pre-zee-dint is supposedly going to steal everyone’s guns.

    There are a few different directions I can go with this, but let me just begin by pointing out what we learn from here; it turns out that Margaret Anderson, a Mount Rainier part ranger, was recently killed in a shooting during a traffic stop in the park on New Year’s Day (our sympathies to her family and friends).

    And by the way, who was it who signed legislation last May permitting licensed gun owners to bring firearms into national parks and wildlife refuges as long as state law allows it? President Hopey Changey, that’s who (here).

    You want to know what’s really going on here in this Daily Caller screed by the NRA’s Chris Cox? Basically, this is a fundraising appeal, and as noted here, the NRA has raised a ton of dough playing this trick in order to try and defeat President Obama (not illegal I know, and I wouldn’t care if it weren’t for the fact that people’s lives are at stake).

    In a few days (January 8th to be exact), we’re going to mark the one-year anniversary of the Tucson, AZ massacre last year in which Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was very nearly killed, and 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green and Federal Judge John Roll, among others, actually were murdered, to say nothing of those besides Congresswoman Giffords who were injured.

    And what did we do in response (after the funerals and commemorations)? Absolutely nothing.

    No, the federal assault weapons ban wasn’t reinstituted. No, this eminently intelligent proposal by Repug U.S. House Rep Peter King wasn’t passed and signed into law either (I agree with King on practically nothing, but he was right here).

    However, the one thing too many of us can agree on is that the biggest threat to our safety supposedly comes from our 44th president instead.

    And the title of this post is more apropos than ever.
  • Monday, January 02, 2012

    Monday Stuff

    Gee, ya’ think that maybe – just maybe – Mr. and Mrs. America are getting just a wee bit tired of being lied to (here)?...

    …and with that, I find myself harking back to this melodic tune from Frank Zappa (in honor of Ailes and company).

    Sunday, January 01, 2012

    Sunday Stuff

    Yeah, I would say so too (and again, he's the only one in that entire gaggle of idiots who matters)...

    ...and yes, I know it's naughty of me to put up a video like this with a bad word in the lyrics and title, but I kind of like the beat, so I'll give it a 7 (and speaking of "Rate a Record" and "American Bandstand," for the love of God, Dick Clark, please retire - you've had a great run, but it's time to step off the stage).