Saturday, May 24, 2008

Assassination. Hilary. Apology.

OK - by now, you likely know about Senator Clinton's horrible, stupid comment about why she's in the race because primaries have gone on past June before - and Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June.

If you don't know how angry this made people, here's Keith Olbermann's comment on it.



I wouldn't have minded if she made the stupid, stupid comment if she had really done one thing: apologize.

If she had said "You know what, I said something stupid. I'm sorry. I beg your forgiveness." Instead, she gives us "If you were offended, then I apologize." It's the Hagee school of apology - sorry I called Catholics the Great Whore and said that Hitler was sent by God to create the state of Israel. What, you're offended? Well, then I'm sorry you're offended.

All we've ever wanted from Senator Clinton is - an apology. A sincere "I'm sorry I voted for the war in Iraq. I'm sorry I didn't read the intelligence report before voting for it. I'm sorry for voting for the bankruptcy bill, though I hoped it would be overcome. I'm sorry for saying that I was qualified, that McCain was qualified, but Obama wasn't."

When the race started, I thought that every Democrat running - Dodd, Biden, Richardson, Obama, Edwards, Clinton, and yes, even Gravel - would make fine, honorable presidents. But then she started to lie about Obama's record in Iowa, after losing the Culinary Worker's union complaining that allowing them to caucus at their work place was somehow unfair, discounting caucus states - I lost it.

I really feel horrible about this. I can't imagine how hard she and her husband have worked for this day. The pride she felt at being the possible first woman President of the United States. I can't imagine how it would feel to have that taken away from you by some newcomer with vast resources of charisma.

But I've lost respect for her. If she would win, I'd try to support her - but damn, it would be very, very hard.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Who's winning the popular vote - explained with Math!

I crunched my own numbers on the Democratic primary, and Senator Clinton's claim that she's leading in the popular vote. All of my numbers came from CNN's Election Central, tabulated into a nice little spreadsheet I'll be happy to email to anyone with a question about the math.

Senator Clinton has been claiming that she's been leading in the popular vote lately - even though she's clearly behind in every other metric (states won, delegates won, superdelegates one, caucus states one, primary states won). So if Obama has been winning the majority of the delegates and the contests, how does her math that "Clinton has the popular vote" pan out?

If you only count primary states - including Florida and Michican *as
they are now* (aka - give Obama 0 for Michican), you get this:

Clinton: 16,752,577
Obama: 16,311,622


Caucus Votes:
Clinton: 188,065
Obama: 390,245

Oh, noes - he's losing in the primary vote! Somebody, fetch me a
white hanky and my smelling salts!

Except - this excludes the caucus states - you have to disenfranchise
13 states and 3 terrotories (Texas doesn't count). Now, I know that
Senator Clinton is very much against disenfranchisement - she tells us
this all the time.

So, if you add in the "raw" caucus votes - in other words, one caucus
state delegate equals one person voting, then you get this:

Primary Votes:
Clinton: 16,940,642
Obama: 16,701,867

Now, by this, he's still "losing the popular vote" at a much smaller
margin - but this raises an interesting issue. Does one state
delegate equal one person? We have no way of knowing, so we might as
well go home and -

Wait - we *do* know a way? Oh, wait - Texas!

Texas primary results went like this:

Clinton: 1,459,814
Obama: 1,358,785

Texas caucus results:
Clinton: 18620
Obama: 23918

Now we can do some math. If you add up the totals from the primaries,
and divide it by the totals from the caucus, you would get the average
ratio of a how many votes a state delegate represents.

Total Texas Primary Votes: 2,818,599
Total Texas Primary Votes: 42,538
State delegate to popular vote ratio: 66 (really, 66.26, but let's not quibble)

This means that for every *caucus* delegate, that equals 66 people.
Holy delegates, Batman!

So let's crunch those numbers again.

Primary Vote Total
Clinton: 16,752,577
Obama: 16,311,622


Caucus Votes plus delegate to popular vote multiplier:
Obama: 188,065 * 66 = 25,756,170
Clinton: 390,245 * 66 = 12,412,290

Primary Votes with multiplier added in:
Clinton: 29,164,867
Obama: 42,067,792

Woah - I know, that looks insane. And I wouldn't state that "every state delegate in every state equals 66 popular vote people." But, that's the math from Texas. Let's try
something way more conservative (in the good sense of the word, mind
you).

Let's assume a delegate to popular vote ratio in caucus states of only
3 to 1. This is obviously waaaaay low - but let's face it, if you
have 100 people show up at an event, 1 or 2 delegates might be picked.
So a "3 popular votes to every 1 caucus votes" is still giving Clinton
the best benefit she can. Just think of a high school gymnasium full of 100 people, and we're saying that 33 of them are going to become state delegates. Not likely - more like 10, or 5. But - let's just assume that one state delegate represents 3 people who voted in the caucus. Now the math goes to:

Clinton: 17,316,772
Obama: 17,482,357

Huh - and look at that. Even at the most *modest* caucus to popular
vote ratio possible, Obama - without a single vote in Michigan, a
state I actually believe he would have won had he not been honorable,
he still wins this asinine "popular vote" argument. By a slim margin
- but if you put that ratio up to the more realistic 10:1, then it's
not even a contest anymore.

Either way, my bet is that Michican will be split 60/40, Michigan and
Florida will be given half delegates (and no super delegates), and
this looooong race will truly begin against Senator McCain.

Sorry if this is too much math for the morning - pretend it's like
playing "Brain Age" on your DS, only with political leanings.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Real conversations with my wife: Who's romantic

Me: Hey, that's out song!

My Lovely Wife (MLW): We have a song?

Me: Yes. You picked it out when we were dating for a year. "Forever with you." I think you got it from the "90210" soundtrack.

MLW: I don't have a 90210 soundtrack.

Me: You didn't. You had it on a cassette. It's black and white.

MLW: Uh - I don't remember that.

Me: You notice who's the more romantic of the two of us? Who remembers all of these events from our lives?

MLW: I lost brain cells. I lost them pushing out three of your children.

Me: Oh, I forgot. The "I had babies" defense.

MLW: Exactly. Wait - is that our song playing?

Me: ....

Friday, May 16, 2008

Matthews: Putting out the smackdown

I love how Republicans think that "Talking to nations we don't like == appeasement" is going to be an election year issue. Yes, the administration that brought us the worst foreign policy disasters since Vietnam think that saying "Well, if you talk to Iran, then you're with the terrorists" is going to be better than "Hey, give us those WMD's - or else we bomb you! Oh, you say you don't have WMD's - bombing time!"

The worst part is when people don't know that talking does not equal appeasement. I talk to my children all the time when they don't want to go to bed. Guess what - come 8:30, their little butts are in bed. No appeasement here - but talking doesn't hurt.

So, what happens when you meet someone so dumb they don't know the difference between appeasement and talking, or even know their basic history? Evidently, they get humiliated on public television with Chris Matthews. He doesn't always play a good game - but every so often, he plays it right.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

California Supreme Court: Gay Marriage A-OK

Prepare for drives in California for constitutional amendments to "defend marriage", because the CA Supreme Court says that a ban on gay marriage isn't constitutional.

I guess we'll have to go back to the old John Stuart Mill approach: whatever does not directly effect me should be legal. You know - that whole "liberty" thing.

Bush: Further proof I'm an idiot

Today, President Bush, while out in Israel celebrating its 60th anniversary as a country, gave these words:

Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: "Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided." We have an obligation to call this what it is – the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.


And once again, we have to ask - whom are you speaking of, President Bush? Who do you know that says we should negotiate with terrorists? Now, I've heard people say we should have official talks with the leaders of countries (and yes, like Iran - last time I checked, they are a recognized nation). But nobody has said that we should be having "appeasement" talks with terrorists.

Of course, we all know whom he's speaking of. Obama has already come out with a statement:

It is sad that President Bush would use a speech to the Knesset on the 60th anniversary of Israel's independence to launch a false political attack," Obama said in the statement. "George Bush knows that I have never supported engagement with terrorists, and the president's extraordinary politicization of foreign policy and the politics of fear do nothing to secure the American people or our stalwart ally Israel.


Joe Biden, though, has the most accurate comment on Bush's statement:

This is bullshit, this is malarkey. This is outrageous, for the president of the United States to go to a foreign country, to sit in the Knesset . . . and make this kind of ridiculous statement.


And it is. We have Bush, who's administration decided that they didn't want to "reward" North Korea by being allowed to talk to them - and now North Korea has the nuclear bomb. They decided they didn't have to negotiate or talk with Iraq, or listen to the UN nuclear inspectors - nope, they knew better, and now years later, 4,000 American soldiers dead, many other Iraqi's dead, we still have no weapons of mass destruction.

But let's not end there. This is the same group that claimed that by ignoring sex and only teaching abstinence in schools, they could conquer teen pregnancy. Only problem? We have more kids getting pregnant than we did before Bush took office. OK - how about not actually looking at what's going on in the financial market? What's that - we're entering a recession and credit crisis? Well, color me shocked.

Nobody's talking appeasement to anybody (well, unless you're talking about immunity to telecoms for breaking wiretap laws) - but that maybe "If you're not with us, then you're against us" isn't a good starting point for negotiations.

But whatever you do - don't tell that to Defense Director Gates or Secretary of State Rice. As Mr. Biden says further:

If he thinks this is appeasement, is he going to come back and fire his own cabinet?” Biden asked. “Is he going to fire Condi Rice?


....

You know, actually, that would be a good start....

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Do you need anti-depressants to vote Republican?

The new Republican campaign slogan: "The change you deserve." I like how they take the "change" mantra started up by the Obama campaign, and try to sell people that Republicans are the *real* change people. Let's see - McCain wants to keep the Bush tax cuts, keep the War in Iraq, keep the same posturing to Iran and the like - yup. Total change there.

Only problem is - the slogan is already taken by an anti-depressant medication.

Hmmmm.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Wait - a Republican sex scandal -

- that's not about gay sex!

That's right - we finally found a straight Republican! We really really found one!

Want to know more about the Capital Gains tax?

About a month ago, I had a guy from church telling me that the Democrats were stupid, because whenever you lower the capital gains tax, then there's more government revenue.

Not knowing anything about this, I went "Oh. I'll have to look that up. Doesn't sound logical that lowering taxes increases revenue, but maybe there's something there."

I looked it up. Turns out, yeah, revenue goes up for the first year while people take advantage of lower tax revenues and cash out their stocks - then tax revenue falls from there.

Well. Now I know.

Wah! I'm rich - do what I say Democrats - or else!

Didn't we see this one last month? Harvey Weinstein threatening Nancy Pelosi for - expressing her opinion that maybe whoever has the most pledged delegates should win.

If you don't know, Mr. Weinstein has been supporting Senator Clinton. And once again, you have wealthy donors saying if they're way isn't followed, well, then the Democrats might not get funding. What do you think of that Dems, huh? What are you going to do?

Oh, yeah - that Obama guy got 1,000,000 people to donate. And he raised a lot of money. Like, enough to swim in. Uh - wait a second, regular people might have more money than one loudmouth? When did this happen?

OMG - Obama saves money like - a person should!

Some of the nit picking in the article is silly, but - hey, if I had a ton of money dropped into my lap, I'd save my money in conservatives ways too.

But that's me, because right now the meager money I *have* saved is all in very conservative savings accounts. Low risk. Figure let it sit.

Another sign of the end?

Senator Clinton has been dropping the negative comments about Obama in recent speeches, focusing instead on party unity. Light at the end of the tunnel?

Obama visits Congress - and they seem to like him.

This story on Politico struck me as cute. Evidently Obama walked over to the House from an invitation, and celebritism ensued. To the point that:

Even Republicans were star-struck. Rep. Illeana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) said she was escorting a group of young elementary school students onto the House floor when Obama made his entrance.

Ros-Lehtinen said the children noticed the presidential hopeful and screamed, “It’s Barack Obama!” in unison. The congresswoman then led the students across the aisle and over to Obama, who chatted briefly with the three students.

“The kids were very excited,” said Ros-Lehtinen. “Like rock star excited.”


I can imagine the discussion beforehand. "Uh, kids, don't you want to see President Bush?"

"My Daddy says Bush sucks!"

"Sigh."

Going after al Sadr II: Xtreme. The Revenge.

I seem to recall a time when the Iraqi government decided they wanted to go after al-Sadr, the cleric living in Sadr City in Iraq. Turns out it didn't go so well, and finally the Iraqi government decided to offer a "cease fire" to keep Sadr from kicking their asses in exchange for leaving him alone.

I also recall the US government doing a cease fire with his group as well, which helped lead to the "OMG the surge is totally working", because Sadr decided to lay off fighting off the US occupation.

Evidently, the US and Iraqi government figure Eh - second's time the charm. But not to worry - it just proves the Surge is working when lots of people start dying again.

And why does the Iraqi government and the US government have such a hard on for al-Sadr? Isn't because he opposes 30 year oil contracts with US businesses that he feels should be owned by Iraqi's instead of foreign nationals. I mean, we wouldn't go to war as something as silly as war and money, right?

“My friends, I will have an energy policy which will eliminate our dependence on oil from Middle East that will then prevent us from having ever to send our young men and women into conflict again in the Middle East.” - Source: Crooks and Liars


Oh. Well, we wouldn't go to war over oil *again*. That's different.

You're actually saying it out loud?

"I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on," she said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article "that found how Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me." - Source: USA Today


I - woah. I need to sit down. What - are non-hard working Americans not white? You're actually making the claim that white people (well, only those with just a high school education or below) won't vote for the other guy, and that's why you should get the nomination?

Oh, granted, the "other guy" wound up getting more popular votes, more states, more delegates - but somehow can't clench that "hard working white vote" - except, evidently, he got enough to become the front runner over Senator Clinton.

Huh. Funny how that works. The guy who wins the majority of votes across the entire spectrum is more likely to win. Maybe we should base our nomination process on that idea?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The "Clinton was suppose to lose Indiana" myth

There's a myth right now being propagated by the Clinton campaign that says she was so far behind in Indiana, that her winning by even 1% shows she's gaining momentum.

Sadly, like much she's been saying lately, it's just kind of - a lie.

Let's look at Pollster's coverage of polls in Indiana. What we see is 17 polls that said that Senator Clinton should win, 8 polls saying Obama should win, and 1 saying a tie. And of those, nearly all of the polls within the last 2 weeks - save Zogby - show Clinton winning.

So just how did she make a "come from behind momentum proving" victory again?

Oh, right. She's lying.

Again.

Bush has the solution to our problems!

From Raw Story:

President Bush on Wednesday criticized Democrats in Congress for their approach to dealing with the nation's housing crisis and soaring energy prices


Wow - OK, President Bush! We're listening. What's the solution?

and called anew for an extension of expiring tax cuts and government wiretapping authority.


...

Oh, of course. Keep doing the same stuff that helped get us into this situation, and give telecoms retroactive immunity for breaking the law. And in return, the telecoms will turn *billions* over to a nation in sheer gratitude, while rich people will decide to fund affordable health care for everyone with their tax breaks! It's so stupid, it's brilliant!

The Fed gets even dumber

Now they're accepting credit card debt as collateral.

The Federal Government wants to accept a banks owed money as collateral for - a loan. Not savings, or assets, or things that - should the bank go under for some reason (like, making a bunch of bad credit card loans), then the government will get to hold - bad credit card loans.

Head. Wall. Repeat.

Oh, Bushie won't be happy now....

Troop withdrawal added to funding bill.

And, accusations that Congress is trying to direct the war they have power of financing and approving starts in 3-2-1....

Best quote of yesterday

There's a very large bru-haha between Donna Brazile and Paul Begala - both heavy Democratic commentors, Paul I believe worked with the Clinton administration and Ms. Brazile worked on getting Al Gore elected (for all the good it did).

They have a back and forth about which voters the Dems need (and I think that Ms. Brazile has the better argument). But at the very end, this part jumped at me:

Begala: Yes, I'm sorry to intrude with a fact. But Alex is raising something that I think is going to be a loser for his party. His party believes that they think that they can beat Barack Obama by attacking his former pastor, or some guy he used to live in the neighborhood with 30 years ago. I think it is all nonsense.

We have some empirical proof. In the Louisiana House race, it was last week, this is a district that has been solidly Republican for 34 years, that voted 55 percent for George W. Bush. This is not a swing district. And they went in there, the Republicans did, and they ran ads attacking Barack Obama and attacking Reverend Wright.

And you know what the Republicans did?

They lost.

So as a Democrat, I don't even support Barack in the primaries, but I would gladly support him in the general election. And if Alex thinks they can win this by attacking people other than Barack Obama, somebody he used to know, somebody he used to listen to preach, I think that's a loser strategy for the Republicans.


That - is the most telling place. The same "Oh, he's an elitist, he's really a Muslim, he's really an American hater, he's a secret black racist" not only didn't work in one of the most Republican areas of the country - it blew up in their faces.

Maybe people are paying attention this time. Maybe the attacks just don't work on a guy who talks about Hope and Change. Either way, it looks like we've got a huge shot at not only the White House, but in taking back the country from people who feel it's been their personal checkbook for 8 years.

For all you gamers who like poliitcs...

Anyone else think that a video of Senator Clinton with the song "Still Alive" from the game "Portal" would be *very* appropriate?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Hilary: It's over

I stole this from Daily Kos because it showed the issue so well.



Delegates:PledgedSuperTotalNeeded
Obama1,586.52551,841.5183
Clinton1,430.5269.5
1,700
324.5
Remaining404270.5
674.5
(2,024.5 delegates needed for victory)




Right there - 404 "pledged delegates" reamining. If Obama wins half of those - he's at 2025. Even if he gets half of the Super Delegates, *and* Florida and Michigan are thrown back in, Senator Clinton still looses.

This morning, Senator Clinton has canceled all of her morning show appearances.

I think she knows it too, now.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Does cutting the capital gains tax increase government revenue?

Evidently, not really. So we can stop saying that.

Yeah, I'm looking at you, Mr. Charles Gibson.

Ever wonder what happens at a John Hagee bible retreat?

Evidently - vomiting. Vomiting into paper bags and speaking in tongues. An undercover investigation by Rolling Stone lets it all out into the open, and it's creepier than you can imagine.

Dispelling some economy bullshit

Every so often, I see or hear people say this about people's economics situation today:

"Well, they only have two incomes because they want that color TV."
"People are just lazy with credit - they need to buy less and not go into debt."
"If people just got by on less, they could make it on one income."

This is conventional wisdom - it feels right, so it must be right.

Only - it turns out that's not true at all. This video of a lecture by Elizabeth Warren goes over how the three big things - housing, health care, transportation - has increased 70% since the 1970's (adjusted for inflation). The cost of food/appliances/entertainment has *dropped* some 10% or greater. The result? Just to pay for the things you *need* (aka - a house, a doctor, a car) has nearly doubled, while the price of things that you don't *need* (well, except for food) is not only less, but cheaper. The result? Just to buy the first three necessities (house, transportation, health) you need - double the income. But once you do that, child care goes up 70%, and your tax rate goes up (why? Because now you've got more income.)

And then you get less health care for the same dollar (1 night stay in the hospital today used to be 5 nights 30 years ago, assisted nursing care was standard, now *you* are the at home nurse - oh, and if you need those two incomes to pay for your house/car/health insurance, now you just lost half of your income).

It's a horrible look at what's been going on in the middle class - and it's not looking any better.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Shocking news - not getting vaccinated leads to more measles!

Imagine that - evidently, people who bought into the junk science claim that vaccines were causing autism so they didn't give it to their kids are now - getting kids with measles.

I'm sure the kids will thank them later in life.

I want to help, Indiana. Now, anyway

Poor Magnequench, Indiana. The town used to have a factory that made important goods, until it was sold to China. Senator Clinton feels their pain. She understands that you need a president who won't just up and sell important US companies to China, especially when it's in their power to stop it for national security reasons.

Damn that horrible President that let it happen! Tell us about it, Senator Clinton! That horrible, horrible person who let this -

Oh, it was Bill Clinton?

Um -

Awk-ward.

Oh, no - Ethanol is going to make us all starve!

Somebody explain this one to me. We have a weakening dollar because of the housing/financial meltdown. We have a war in the Middle East (you know, the place that makes lots of oil). So who's to blame for rising food prices?

Well, obviously farmers trying to make ethanol. Forget that it's an initial market. That the corn grown for ethanol is not the kind you eat. Or that other countries (like Brazil) seem to have survived the move to ethanol without triggering mass starvation or death.

Nope - obviously (if you're a moron), what you have to do is stop this alternative fuel source from taking off and becoming viable so that when the next oil crisis hits, we can blame anything - save our dependance on oil.

Does she need sarcasm tags?

Because I can't tell if she's being sarcastic or not.

So what can be done about the price of gas?

There's been a lot of talk about what to do about the price of gas. If you're an idiot (aka - Clinton and McCain), you talk about removing the gas tax (which wouldn't do a heck of a lot).

Of - you could do the things on this list from Dan Froomkin, which boils down to this:

· Develop an exit strategy for Iraq. Fear of continued instability in the Middle East is widely seen as contributing to a 'risk premium' that's driving up crude oil prices.

· Tamp down speculation on the oil-trading exchanges, either by re-regulating the markets, raising interest rates, or both. There is some evidence that avaricious speculators have driven the price way above the levels justified simply by supply and demand conditions.

· Do something about the weak dollar. The dollar's dramatic drop against major currencies directly translates to higher gas prices for Americans. (But strengthening the dollar might require serious deficit reduction.)

· Tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.


And then you look at the things Bush *will* do. Plan an end to the war? Uh - no. Regulate the markets? Yeah. Right.

Why won't Bush do these things? Well, then he'd ruin his run as one of the Worst Presidents Ever - and he can't have that, now can he?

500 scientists deny global warming! No, wait, 490! No, wait -

A list of 500 scientists who were trotted out by Sen. James Inhofe as global warming deniers might not be 500 strong. Turns out that so far, 45 of the scientists on the list said get me the hell of the list - I never signed up for it.

Wait - global warming deniers caught lying? I'm shocked! Shocked!

Hagee: God has cursed America. Media: Yawn

White preacher says that America is under a curse, and that we are being punished.

Black preacher says that the scriptures show how nations are damned for their sins, and God damn America unless it turns from its ways.

One gets two weeks of 24/7 coverage. The other is ignored. One is called an anti-American bigot, the other says that Catholics are the Great Whore - and it's "Well, they're offended - but did you hear what the black guy says?"

John McCain: Earmarks bad! Except - for this one I support

It seems a problem for Republican candidates. Get the government out of our lives - oh, but we *need* Department of Homeland Security to be able to have warrantless access to your phone calls and emails! And we totally think that government should get out of schools - except for changing the science curriculum to put religious teachings - oh, wait, it's called Intelligent Design, that's not religion, wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

And then - there's earmarks. John McCain hates him those earmarks, wants to get rid of them. Well, except for the ones you like.

Some earmarks are bad. Some are good. But the "throw the baby out with the bathwater" McCain approach really is just the same Republican thinking - I'm against that, until I'm for it.

The economy's getting worse Part II

People are selling off their possessions to pay for gas and medical bills.

Something that having a real energy policy starting 8, 16, 20 years ago might have helped with.

Something that having universal health care that would have fixed, since those costs would have been spread to all citizens and we could have built our own government run hospitals to help people.

Nahhhhh - let's just let the market figure it out - I'm sure they'll find another engagement ring to sell somewhere.

Side note: I'm glad I saved my money for all of these years. Yeah, now I feel like a dick, but I'm going to check out Craigslist - I've been wanting to buy one of those Bowflex machines, and now I can pick one up used for a song.

The Gas Tax conundrum

We need the gas tax. It provides money to keep the roads we drive on going, and in a small way, provides a disincentive to drive - which, to be honest, hasn't been that great of a disincentive.

Now, two potential Presidential candidates propose having a gas tax vacation - something that pretty much every expert agrees is a horrible, horrible idea - but it does have a certain appeal with the populace.

And the conundrum is - how do you tell people who are smarting from $3.50 a gallon for gas that removing $0.18 per gallon for six months isn't a good idea?

This is the true test of the "wisdom" of the American people. Sure - you could remove the gas tax for 4-6 months, remove the billions from the highway construction fun. Now we either have to borrow *more* money to pay for that, or tell 300,000 construction workers "Sorry - people need that $20 they'd save on gas over the summer more than you."

Oh, but wait - Senator Clinton has a great idea - just put a tax on the oil companies! That'll balance that out - and I'm sure with congress and the Senate as its composed will pass that idea, and President Bush totally *won't* veto it!

So - what can we do? Mainly - grit it out for the short term. If Bush wanted to release the oil reserves, that would help on prices - and maybe generate some income for the federal government.

The best thing is really a long term approach: invest heavily in public transportation, jack up fuel efficiency and promote plug-in hybrids, and put in transportation infrastructure like light rail so people in the suburbs can cheaply get to their work places (kind of like what Salt Lake City did). During this time, you put people at work (helping to stimulate the economy), and long term you have systems that will save gas and money. Throw in some alternative energy sources, or build nuclear plants, and by the time those are in, those plug-in hybrids will be the rage, and people can charge off of the public grid instead of the gas pump less often.

But a "gas tax holiday"? Like sending a cancer patient to Disney Land in place of giving them chemotherapy. Sure, they'll fell better - but after the rides are over, they're still dying of cancer.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Economy. Bad. Getting worse.

How much worse? 68% more layoffs from March to April. Yeah - that's bad.

Congratulations - Now get back to the kitchen

Congratulations to Pfc. Monica Brown, for earning the Silver Star, the second women to receive one.

And, right after getting it, she was told to go to the back of the line. Evidently, women aren't allowed to be in combat with the guys. Something about how they get all screamy and squeamish, and really - what guy wants a girl cramping up his style?

I mean - other than the ones that run out and save lives of their fellow soldiers, because who really gives a crap if a soldier has a penis or vagina, or likes the guys instead of the girls - as long as they do their job.

Oh, yeah. The military. Right.

Torture Time - Fun for the whole family!

It's the game that's sweeping the country - Torture Time! Remember, kids - torture isn't unconstitutional according to Scalia, because it's not punishment - it's just questioning!

The next sound you hear will be my head against the wall trying to get the pain to stop.

BANG. BANG. BANG.

Exit rotten Bush appointee #59

Another day, another bad Bush appointee leaves office in disgrace. This time, it was Lurita Alexis Doan, former head of the governments contracting agency. You know - the place that offered no bid contracts to Halliburton to rebuild New Orleans (hey, how's that going? Not so good? Oh.).

But her big claim to fame was calling in members of the government, on taxpayer money, and asking "Hey, how can we get Bush reelected?" Turns out - that's illegal under the Hatch act. Naturally, under the Bush administration, that doesn't matter - who's going to investigate that?

Oh, that's right - Nobody, best friend of Not Me.

Why is McCain's health care plan so - stupid?

So think of this - a health care plan that says we'll provide for less than what health care costs, and removes incentives for employers to provide health care to their employees. That might be the worst health care plan I've heard of.

Well, other than the one that says if you get cancer, you get arsenic to remove your bad genes from the population. That one kind of sucked too.

Financial markets reform themselves! Not.

Am I surprised? Evidently, with the mortgage market failing, billions of dollars being written off, government bailouts - you'd think the financial market would at least try to have some guide rails on their road so they don't go flaming off the track and smash into a tree.

Figuratively speaking.

Evidently - not so much. Once again we hear the clarion call "No, really - we can police ourselves - we promise this time! And if we can't - well, the taxpayers can bail us out again!"