June 28, 2009
Let me know when your unicorns finally show up, dumbasses. Here's hoping your New Messiah remembered to poke air holes in their crates.
"Ah-Ha-Ha!" indeed. Suck it. Suck it dry.
June 27, 2009
June 23, 2009
I had to chastise my own brother for being unfair to Obama, unfortunately.
"That's just not true," I told him. "About half of the time, he talks about how Bush is to blame for whatever policy clusterfuck he's actually responsible for."
My brother is actually just as much of a Right-Wing hatemonger as you and I, so he conceded the point. Gracefully, I might add.
Sometimes, I'm not sure whether or not the fact that I have no close relatives who happen to be hippie scum is a blessing or a hindrance. I mean, sure, I don't need the domestic violence charges from family dinners, but I could stand to sharpen my debating skills.
Oh, and here's something stupid from the linked article:
The law also requires that tobacco companies fully disclose ingredients and additives, stop targeting youth with their marketing campaigns, quit using terms such as "light," "low" and "mild" to market their products, and include warning labels on packaging that dominate the front and rear panels.Yes, because smokers (like me) have no idea that our habit is bad for our health. I mean, it's not like anyone has warned us about the dangers posed by what we choose to do, right?
Let me add a few more things below the fold...
June 22, 2009
On the other hand, I only ever buy Kosher dogs, so there's that.
June 21, 2009
Update: Obama's wannabe boyfriend, Andrew Sullivan (no link, per editorial policy) is predictably, well, Andrew Sullivan...
What a relief to have someone with this degree of restraint and prudence and empathy - refusing to be baited by Khamenei or the neocons, and yet taking an eloquent stand, as we all do, in defense of freedom and non-violence.Yeah, and it only took him a week or so. Better late than never, huh?
Oh, and why don't you just go ahead and say "Jews" instead of "neocons" like you know you want to?
You and your man-crush are a fucking joke, and a bad one at that.
Update 2: A-fucking-men:
In 1823, first-term congressman Daniel Webster spoke up in support of the Greek revolution. Responding to critics who said that mere rhetorical support would do the revolutionaries no good, Webster said: "I hope it may. It may give them courage and spirit. It may assure them of public regard, teach them that they are not wholly forgotten by the civilized world, and inspire them with constancy in the pursuit of their great end."
And in any case, Webster continued, support for those fighting for freedom abroad was "due to our own character, and called for by our own duty."
That whirring noise you hear is Webster spinning furiously in his grave.
June 19, 2009
June 17, 2009
Democrats on three House panels continue to meet privately to seek consensus on a single plan. Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee said they were trying to decide whether to finance coverage of the uninsured with one broad-based tax, like the value-added tax, or a combination of smaller taxes.
June 16, 2009
I'm sorry if I've offended anyone by saying that, but it's true. The man who is ostensibly the leader of the Free World just couched his statement in a bunch of lawyer-esque babble instead of supporting people who are rising up in the streets to demand their right to self-determination. Truman and JFK are surely spinning in their graves as we speak, but today's Democrat party probably couldn't give a damn.
Total. Fucking. Pussy.
Sue me for saying so.
June 15, 2009
Here's a snapshot (PDF warning) of the tremendous job Senator Michael Bennet did for Denver Public Schools, as DPS is being called on to the carpet to answer for how...fantastic! its performance as a district is. A few choice tidbits:
- "only about one-half of the city’s 9th graders finish high school in four years"
- "Success with such dramatic reform requires education leaders who can articulate and implement a vision, sustain the effort to achieve it, and build wide-spread support to protect their hardwon progress." (emphasis mine)
- "Most schools miss federal, state and local targets"
- "Current student results are unacceptable by all measures."
June 14, 2009
As an example, in Greensboro, NC, teenage mothers are paid $1 a day by the city if they don't get pregnant. That's not a lot of money, but the small incentive is enough to reduce the rate of teenage pregnancy in the town. The cost of the program is, of course, much cheaper than assisting young mothers with new children. (This reward program reminds me of how people will reduce their home electricity bill if they are rewarded with a smiley face on their power bill.) Cass Sunstein, chosen by the President to run the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, approves of this program because of the way it uses psychology to help people make decisions that serve their best interests.
The piece also explores the origins of behavioral economics, which go back to 1955, when Daniel Kahneman was a psychologist in the Israeli army and learned that his test for choosing military officers (seeing which men in a group took charge of a task to lift a telephone pole over a 6-foot wall) didn't work. Data revealed that his test had no correlation at all with how the soldiers actually behaved on the battlefield. Nevertheless, Kahneman's faith in his own judgment was so great that he continued to put soldiers through the test, ignoring the data that showed his test was worthless. Eventually, Kahneman became fascinated by his own "cognitive error" and started studying and cataloging the different ways that people misjudge the world around them. Thus, behavioral economics was born.
June 12, 2009
The White House is going ahead with firing Walpin. The firing apparently stems from Walpin's investigation of a non-profit group, St. HOPE Academy, run by Kevin Johnson, the former NBA star who is now mayor of Sacramento, California (and a big Obama supporter). "[Walpin] found that Johnson, a former all-star point guard for the Phoenix Suns, had used AmeriCorps grants to pay volunteers to engage in school-board political activities, run personal errands for Johnson and even wash his car," the AP reports. In April, the U.S. attorney declined to file any criminal charges in the matter and criticized Walpin's investigation. But at the same time Johnson and St. HOPE agreed to repay about half of the $850,000 it had received from AmeriCorps.
June 11, 2009
Netanyahu's refusal to commit to a building freeze in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and to endorse the goal of establishing a Palestinian state -- both set out in a 2003 peace "road map" -- has opened a rare rift in U.S.-Israeli relations.
Signalling the direction Netanyahu could take when he delivers his policy speech on Sunday, Israeli President Shimon Peres raised in a meeting with a European envoy the possibility of an interim Palestinian state with provisional borders.
That option, which has been rejected by the Palestinians, is part of the road map, a plan backed by Washington.
Briefing their counterparts in the Quartet of Middle East mediators after talks with Netanyahu, U.S. officials voiced scepticism he would make the clear, far-reaching and tangible commitments on settlements or statehood that Obama has sought, participants said on condition of anonymity.
"The Americans are not satisfied with what they have been told," a senior Western diplomat said.
Netanyahu wants to negotiate a compromise whereby Washington would permit at least some "natural growth", or construction within existing settlements to accommodate growing families, but, so far, Obama has refused to back down, diplomats said.
Well, nice to see Reuters is blaming Israel again.
As an aside, I have no idea if Obama's "soles of my feet" photo was intentionally an insult to Israel. Personally, I think he is just trying to further that "cool cat" persona. But then again, any time Israel tells Western diplomats to pound sand, it's all good.
June 10, 2009
June 09, 2009
Obama added: "Paying for what you spend is basic common sense. Perhaps that's why, here in Washington, it's been so elusive." He recalled that two years ago during the presidency of George W. Bush, the new Democratic-controlled Congress adopted rules to restore the pay-as-you-go principle, also known as PAYGO, but could not pass it into law without support from the administration.
"I want you all to know, you now have that support," Obama said to applause from the gathering.
Calling pay-as-you-go "essential," Obama said, "The reckless fiscal policies of the past have left us in a very deep hole. Digging our way out will take time, and patience, and tough choices." He said Americans are "not wrong" to be skeptical, but he expressed confidence that political leaders can seize "an extraordinary moment" and summon the resolve to "restore fiscal responsibility."
Obama has said since taking office that he would support a push to enact budget rules similar to those that were in effect during the Clinton administration, when big deficits were briefly transformed into surpluses.
If approved by Congress, the rules would forbid lawmakers from expanding entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security, creating new entitlement programs or cutting taxes unless the cost is covered by spending cuts or tax increases. If lawmakers fail to pay for their initiatives, Obama's rules would subject some entitlement programs to automatic cuts, according to details of the plan released by the White House.
Deficit hawks applauded the move, saying the automatic trigger, known as sequestration, would mark a return to more serious budget restraint, though they expressed concern about the administration's plan to exempt some programs from automatic cuts, particularly the massive and popular Social Security program.
North Korea's sentencing of two American TV journalists to 12 years of hard labor Monday could imperil the Obama administration's already difficult goal of curtailing the authoritarian nation's nuclear weapons ambitions.Um, what? Are they going to have to send the Norks an even more sternly worded letter? Is Barack maybe gonna squint and wag a finger at them if he finds time to bother to actually offer a statement about this situation?
Because, yeah, I wish I was fucking kidding. Really, I do.
June 07, 2009
Seriously, who'd want to have dinner with this staring at you the whole time?
June 06, 2009
America’s First Family will not be dining with President Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni, even though they are staying at the residence of the US Ambassador, yards from the Elysée apartments where the Sarkozys spend their weekends.I can't think of a good justification for this snub, assuming the president is truly trying to be non-partisan and reach out to the world.
Update: apparently Obama refused dinner with Sarkozy because he wanted gold-dusted desserts. Or maybe it was just because he can't stand being in the same room as someone who's not fawning with adoration.
Another update: While the US economy is struggling, while our unemployment rate is moving up, while the US needs to be strengthening our ties with our allies, the Obamas are out sightseeing, having date night in a Paris bistro, following dinner up with a boat ride. France is paying for elevated security for a visitor who disrespects their leader.
June 05, 2009
Roeder was seen twice in the week before the Tiller shooting trying to glue shut the clinic's doors. Pederson reported both incidents to the FBI. And Roeder served jail time after being convicted in 1997 of having bomb-making parts in his car.My personal moratorium on not saying bad things about Tiller is over now, by the way. So if you're not mad enough already, watch the vid below the fold. Content warning.
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