Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

"
If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"
Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot,
by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse.
" -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Friday, October 31, 2008

Earth to Stevens! Earth to Stevens!

Despite his felony conviction this week for filing false U.S. Senate financial disclosure forms, Republican Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska insisted he was innocent and vowed not to step down.

"I have not been convicted of anything," he maintained during a Thursday night debate in Anchorage, only days before Tuesday's election.
BZZT! WRONG!! You were "convicted" the moment the jury said so, Teddy, me boy.

There are only three ways to avoid continuing to be a convict: (1) the judge sets aside the verdict (which is highly unlikely); (2) you get it overturned on appeal; or (3) you file an appeal and then die before the appeal is heard (Ken Lay's method).

Obviously, Sen. Stevens thinks a majority of Alaskans are as ignorant as Sarah Palin.

We'll know for sure in four days.

"Curiosity Never Killed This Cat "

That is what Studs Terkel wanted as his epitaph.

He died earlier today. Studs Terkel was 96.

I'm presuming that you know who he was. If you've not read any of his books, you should. As Badtux noted, you might want to start with Hard Times, since we are tottering on the precipice of another depression.

Eclipse in Drain-Circling Mode?

A group called "Forecast International" believes that Eclipse Aviation will shut down early in 2009.

Wow. Who could have ever foreseen that, I wonder.

(Oh, right. I did.)

Did Your Campaign Repeatedly Robocall Me?

Then please excuse me if I wind up wishing that you suffer a series of horribly painful and disfiguring ailments and that you live a very long life, suffering from from those ailments.

You want to piss me off? You want to make certain that I never, ever vote for your sorry ass in my life? Repeatedly robocall me.

(Besides that, they may not even work.)

McCain Can Win This

and a lot easier than many people think.

It may be a cliche, but it has never been more true: It ain't over `til it's over.

Let the Smiting Begin!

A group of religious nuts, who are concerned about the economy, went to Wall Street and prayed before the statue of a golden bull.

If I remember correctly, there is a commandment about not doing that. It's one of the commandments that the Holy One took very seriously.

Let the smiting begin.

(H/T to RS)

Shaft!

A different interpretation:

Next Week Will Not Be Fun

The reason why is that we set our clocks back on Sunday, Nov. 2nd.

My cats are very good at trying to wake me up five minutes before the alarm clock goes off. So for at least the week after the time change, it will be lots of fun as they try to get me up an hour early.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

If Only, If Only

Found on Paul Krugman's blog:

Instead of handing out massive bonuses at douchebag companies such as AIG, those guys should be worried about losing the 11 pounds resting atop their necks.

Those Lovable Commies at "The Economist"

have endorsed Barack Obama for President.

Not what one would normally have expected from a center-right news magazine. It is well worth reading.

McCain Could Still Win

It won't take much.

Take nothing for granted. If you are a U.S. citizen who is eligible to vote and you don't vote in this election. you get to spend the next four years drinking from this cup:

If you are eligible to vote and it is too late to register to vote where you live, start drinking.

If you could have voted in this election and you do not, you are responsible for whatever goes wrong for the next four years. You could have helped choose and you did not. Therefore, you do not get to say a fucking thing about politics or national policy until 2012.

Some elections might seem trivial. This one is not. Our nation is facing challenges that it has not faced in 79 years. You have to look at the two teams running for office and pick the one that you think is better able to deal with the problems at hand.

My choice should be obvious, by now:

The Fourth Debate

Pretty damn funny:



(H/T to B@B)

A Hockey Mom Sings: "Don't Speak for Me, Sarah Palin."

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Congratulations, Philadelphia!

The Phillies win!

Obama's Infomercial: The Videos

Obama's TV spot:



and the live ending:

Obama, the 30 Minute Special

I missed the first three minutes on MSNBC, but the rest of it rocked. Pretty much all positive about what can be done to solve some of the problems facing our nation and what can be done for a better tomorrow.

Then, about 15 minutes later, came a McCain commercial, all 30 seconds of negativity. Nothing positive about it, nothing about what McCain would do, just that Obama is not ready (yet).

That's all McCain has? Nothing positive, just "the other guy is not ready?"

Vote, people. Take nothing for granted. Assume no result.

Get down to the polls on Tuesday.

Vote.

Tuco: "When You Have to Shoot, Shoot. Don't Talk."

For Jeg43:

No Wonder John McCain is Not Listening to Polls

McCain has probably ordered his Secret Service detail to shoot anyone who mentions the words "polling data" or "election projections" in his presence, and he would be right to do so. For if he paid any attention to that stuff, he would start drinking heavily once he learned that even his home state of Arizona is no longer safe for his candidacy.

It probably didn't help matters that McCain's economic advisor admitted that workers with health insurance now would be severely screwed if McCain's health care plans were adopted.

Six days to go. Look for Caribou Dress-up Barbie to ratchet up the intensity of her "two minutes hate" speeches.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Anyone Remember Pancho Villa?

Pancho Villa came to mind when I read reports about American forces attacking a village in Syria. For as I remember it, Americans were not too happy when General Villa's army raided Columbus, New Mexico in retaliation for America letting the Mexican Army use our railroads for their troop trains.

Caturday Extra

Gracie considers her prey...



...and goes in for the kill.


Yes, I have a cat that loves to eat lettuce. But only good quality lettuce, such as green leaf or red leaf. She will have no truck with iceberg lettuce.

Divided Government

John McCain has been arguing, recently, that he should be elected in order to prevent one-party rule and preserve divided government. One-party rule, after all, didn't work so well for the first six years of the reign of the Tsar of the Baboons.

Normally, I would be sympathetic to that argument and I might have considered voting for him. But three words are enough to steel my resolve to vote for Barack Obama and those words are:

President Sarah Palin.

Not under any circumstances am I willing to repeat the experience of the past eight years of having a half-bright, incurious, uneducated (regardless of degrees or diplomas) president for whom ideology trumps reality. I am unwilling to have any part of another president for whom science is a mystery and who has no concept of how research is done. And I am totally unwilling to vote in any way for a president or vice-president who thinks that they can have a say in what I do with my own body.

Quote of the Day- 2

From Sully:
The pick [of Sarah Palin] is a devastating one - because it basically destroys John McCain's credibility as a presidential decision-maker. His first major decision as a future president is one of the worst in American political history. That alone should be enough to seal his fate next Tuesday. You need nothing else.

Quote of the Day

From Driftglass:
For most of my adult life, Conservatism has been a cult where rich people exploited stupid people by playing on their fears and bigotries.

The Two Trillion Dollar Bailout

The 700 billion dollar banking bailout will likely become a 2 trillion dollar bailout.

This is why.

Two trillion dollars.

(I just threw up in my mouth.)

Makes the days of Chimpy's "20 billion to provide health care for all children is too much money" seem downright quaint.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I Will Sleep Lightly Tonight!

Of my three cats, George is the one who puts up the most fuss, by far, when it comes time to clip their claws.

This evening, George was snoozing on the ottoman. I picked him up, plunked him on my lap on his back, and went to work. I had his back claws done before he fully woke up. He didn't start to struggle until I was down to the last two claws on his right front paw.

I gave him treats afterwards and praised him. But I suspect that he will take his revenge, nonetheless.

The Workers for the Merchants of Sleaze are Rebelling

40 workers at an Americall calling center walked off the job rather than make calls where they would have to read the lies and hate of the McCain campaign. Robo-calling is illegal in Indiana, so the sleazoids have to hire humans to do it.

There is no limit to the depths that the GOP will plumb.

Guilty times Seven

Sen. Ted Stevens has been found guilty on all seven counts.

(Waiter! A round of Schadenfreude for the house!)

Bet Nobody Calls Them Terrorists

Would someone please explain why two neo-Nazi skinhead morons (OK, the second and third terms are redundant) who planned to steal guns, kill 88 Black people and then try to kill Barack Obama would not be labeled as "terrorists?"

Some pizza delivery dudes who shot their mouths off about going into Ft. Bragg and killing soldiers are "terrorists," but not these two guys. The words "terrorist" or "terrorism" are not in the article. Or this one. Not in any of the ones I looked at.

I guess you have to be a Muslim to be considered to be a "terrorist" these days.

The Four Minute Guide to Sarah Palin's Selection as VP Candidate

Some Photos

This is a DeHavilland Chipmunk. The RAF used them for basic training. The Chipmunk replaced the Tiger Moth biplanes that had been used from before WW2. This Chipmunk has an inverted engine.


Many decades ago, this was an insane asylum.

To the left, by the railroad line, you can see its power plant, which probably also generated steam for heating the buildings. To the right is the water tower that provided water pressure. The asylum was run by the state and it probably was one of the major employers in that town. Tens of thousands of people were institutionalized there over the years, some probably for most of their lives.

The site is probably still too remote for any profitable reuse and odds are that the buildings have mold infestations that are inches, if not feet, thick by now.


It was a brilliantly clear Fall day. The foliage is past peak, with a lot of trees now bare.


That is a VOR station in the middle of this shot.


When Satire Becomes Reality

From the Onion in 2001:
WASHINGTON, DC–Mere days from assuming the presidency and closing the door on eight years of Bill Clinton, president-elect George W. Bush assured the nation in a televised address Tuesday that "our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over."

...

During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.

"You better believe we're going to mix it up with somebody at some point during my administration," said Bush, who plans a 250 percent boost in military spending. "Unlike my predecessor, I am fully committed to putting soldiers in battle situations. Otherwise, what is the point of even having a military?"
The only thing that rang hollow was the idea of Bush giving a 40 minute speech on anything.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Guess Who Has a Big Target Pasted on His Back?

Bill Kristol may wind up carrying a share of the blame for the GOP debacle that could unfold in nine days:
The most ardent promoter [of Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate], however, was Kristol, and his enthusiasm became the talk of Alaska’s political circles. According to Simpson, Senator Stevens told her that “Kristol was really pushing Palin” in Washington before McCain picked her. Indeed, as early as June 29th, two months before McCain chose her, Kristol predicted on “Fox News Sunday” that “McCain’s going to put Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska, on the ticket.” He described her as “fantastic,” saying that she could go one-on-one against Obama in basketball, and possibly siphon off Hillary Clinton’s supporters. He pointed out that she was a “mother of five” and a reformer. “Go for the gold here with Sarah Palin,” he said.
He may need to have some major surgery to get all of the knives out of his back. The "gold" has turned into grade A manure.

(H/T to Rising Hegemon)

You Know You're Doing Well in Your Candidacy

Things probably are not going too well in your national campaign when your hometown newspaper endorses the other guy.

The Anchorage Daily News has endorsed Obama.
Like picking Sen. McCain for president, putting [Gov. Palin] one 72-year-old heartbeat from the leadership of the free world is just too risky at this time.

Pass the Popcorn, Please

Aides to George W.Bush, former Reagan White House staff and friends of John McCain have all told The Sunday Telegraph that they not only expect to lose on November 4, but also believe that Mr Obama is poised to win a crushing mandate.
The Republicans are gearing up to start the process of stabbing each other in the back. In the meantime, some GOP operatives are pleading with McCain to give up on winning and help the party save enough Senate seats to stave off driving the GOP into impotent irrelevance.

More here.

The GOP is Trying to Steal the Election

The GOP has taken to heart the old maxim of Josef Stalin: "Those who cast the votes, they decide nothing. Those who count the votes, they decide everything."

For they are trying to steal the election.

The company that is complicit in perpetrating this fraud is a company called "Election Systems and Software." It would seem that the word "Stealing" should be added after the first word in their name. They seem to have replaced Diebold as the preferred provider of vote-stealing machines.

(H/T to Jill)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Principles to Agree On

Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush, previewing an economic summit he is holding in Washington next month, said countries must agree on a ``common set of principles'' to prevent future financial crises.
Principle No. 1: Taking financial advice from George W. Bush is like taking advice on human rights from J. Edgar Hoover.

Principle No. 2: Never ever let ideology blind you to the facts.

The Bind Moggles

Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) -- General Electric Co., the biggest U.S. issuer of commercial paper, plans to use the Federal Reserve’s new short-term funding facility, throwing its weight behind the central bank’s efforts to unlock the credit markets.

GE and its General Electric Capital Corp. finance arm registered as users of the Fed’s Commercial Paper Funding Facility, spokesman Russell Wilkerson said yesterday in a telephone interview. The company hasn’t set an amount that it plans to borrow and will base that decision on commercial-paper buyers’ need for liquidity, he said.

“This is a way for us to demonstrate our support for what the Fed is doing, which is providing all-around liquidity,” Wilkerson said.
Gee. I am more than happy to support what the Fed is doing, so if they want to send me fifteen billion dollars...

George W. Bush is Nationalizing the Banks

"Nationalization" is when the government buys into a company (or buys assets).

The Bush Administration is buying into banks
. Oh, they call it a "liquidity injection," but what it technically is called is "nationalization." Nationalization is one of the hallmarks of socialism.

So why these ignorant and bigoted fools at a McCain rally have the nerve to call Obama a "socialist" is beyond rationalization.



Take those people, move them back in time 70 years and change the language to German.



Same old shit, different time.

Caturday

Jake, soon after breakfast.

Gracie was hogging George's pillow.

"Where do you think you are going, Bub."

Friday, October 24, 2008

Just. Fucking. Brilliant.

What Dependable Renegade said:

Race-Baiting Bullshit, Pt. 2

The story about the girl who faked the story about an attacker carving a "b" into her face has been gnawing at me since I heard it.

It was not terribly long ago that the reaction to such a story would have resulted in mobs lynching whoever they could find. It wouldn't matter if it was false or not, a half-a-dozen Black men, and possibly one or two women, would be beaten, shot, hung and burned because of that phony story.

In some tame version, that was just the sort of reaction that the McCain campaign was hoping for. The McCain campaign's pushing the story was race-baiting, pure and simple.

But that's about what I have come to expect from one of the most despicable campaign operations since Joe McCarthy quit politics.

Goddess, I Hate Computer Based "Customer Assistance"

I am of the opinion that the CEOs of companies that use computer-based systems for customer assistance should be skinned alive and dipped in salt water.

I Figured That This Was Bullshit

You might have read a story about the McCain volunteer in Pittsburgh who claimed that an mugger carved a "B" into her face. I thought the story was fishy, so I just figured I'd let it alone until the details came out.

Sure enough, it was bullshit. The purported vic faked the attack. She confessed to the cops.

Doing Palin's Makeup: Nice Work if You Can Get It

Sarah Palin's makeup person is being paid $11,400 a week.

Sarah Palin must be uglier than fifty miles of mud fence if it takes $150,000 in clothes and $45,000 a month in makeup to make her presentable to those heavily intoxicated fools who are jerking off to her picture.

The Bush Endorsement

As done by SNL:

No Shit, Really? -- Economic Edition

"Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders' equity, myself included, are in a state of shocked disbelief," Alan Greenspan, yesterday, before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Oh, gee. Who could have ever foreseen that there would be bad consequences to letting people mess around with huge amounts of money with no oversight or accountability?

Right. Anybody who has ever lived on Planet Reality.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Now Commence Operation Recrimination!

The Republicans are not waiting for the election results. Senior McCain staffies are shopping their resumes around. The chief concern of all seems to be the assignment of blame to others:
“If you really want to see what ‘going negative’ is in politics, just watch the back-stabbing and blame game that we’re starting to see,” said Mark McKinnon, the ad man who left the campaign after McCain wrapped up the GOP primary. “And there’s one common theme: Everyone who wasn’t part of the campaign could have done better.”

“The cake is baked,” agreed a former McCain strategist. “We’re entering the finger-pointing and positioning-for-history part of the campaign. It’s every man for himself now.”
Wow. I thought it was somewhat customary to at least wait until the polls closed east of the Mississippi before forming up the circular firing squad. There are still 12 days to go.

Never Pick a Fight With Someone Who Buys Ink by the Barrel

That is one of the oldest rules in politics: Don't pick fights with the people who cover you. You will not win. But that is exactly what the McCain/Palin Campaign has been doing: Pointing fingers at the press and complaining about the coverage and encouraging the rally audiences to boo the reporters.

The result:
Coverage of the Republican candidate has been overwhelmingly negative since the conventions ended, a study released Wednesday found.
The McCain tactic of attacking the press has worked as well as it did for the RMS Titanic to order "all engines ahead flank" in a field of icebergs.

GOP Voter Fraud

As I mentioned here, the McCain campaign has been running its own "fraudulent voter registration" machine. It cost them just a skosh more than it cost to buy clothes for Caribou Barbie.

(H/T for the article to Balloon Juice)

Telephone Tales

The big advantage of living in a solidly blue state is that my telephone is not ringing off the hook with robocalls or pollsters or live campaign calls. McCain would never have the cash to try and put my state into play and the Wingnut fucktards who normally would be funding the 527 groups have seen their investment/trust fund balances crater within the last month, so they aren't ponying up the cash.

I've got friends in a "battleground" state, who are registered Democrats. They've received personal invitations to McCain rallies. One asked the last caller if he was smoking crack.

I make heavy use of caller ID, anyway. I also list my phone under the first name of one of my cats. When a call comes in for the cat, I know it's a bloody telephone solicitor.

So the other day, a call came in and I was by a phone that doesn't have a caller ID display (have to fix that). I picked it up and I could hear the "boiler room" sounds of a phone bank. (Shit, shit, shit.) The guy asked for my cat.

I said "hold on," put the phone down and went into the kitchen. Three minutes later, I picked it up and said "I can't find him."

"Can I talk to Mrs. (cat's last name)?"

"Hold on." Three minutes later: "She wants to know who's calling."

"I'm (first name) from the State Police Benevolent Association." I've heard of those guys; there has been no shortage of newspaper stories about how they turn over 3% or 5% of their fundraising to the charities and take the rest as expenses.

"Hold on." Three minutes later: "She said she can't talk to you right now, call back later." I hung up on the guy.

What's the Difference Between a Pit Bull and Sarah Palin?

$150,000 in designer clothes.

(The preceding joke was stolen from Ruth Marcus.)

Marcus went to N-M's website to price out a number of outfits. She can't see how the GOP managed to spend over $75,000 there, let alone the cash they shelled out at Saks and other stores.

Between her clothes budget and her creative billing of travel expenses to the State of Alaska, Palin is qualified to go to work in the billing department of a major defense contractor, such as Halliburton, KBR or Blackwater, once she loses the Alaska gig (and assuming that McCain is defeated).

Palin the Intellectual

Sarah Palin considers herself to be an intellectual.

Yepper.
  • She can't name a newspaper she reads without three days of research.
  • She cannot name a single Supreme Court case, other than Roe v. Wade.
  • She believes that the Earth was formed 6,000 years ago and that Jesus walked with dinosaurs.
  • When scientists reported that polar bears were endangered, she tried to quash the report because it was another one of those inconvenient truths.
  • She cannot coherently name the duties of the Vice President of the United States.
If Palin is an intellectual, then George W. Bush is a genius. Oh, wait.......

Everyone Has the Same Middle Name

One of the old jokes in places like Vermont was that you could tell the flatlanders because they used the same middle name for everyone: "the."

Faster Than Some Speeding Bullets

The Brits plan to build a car that can shatter the land speed record.

A Family of Grifters



Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Best Excuse by a Mouthpiece, Ever

That would be Richard Kestenbaum, the attorney for one Charles O'Byrne, who is the chief of staff to Governor David Paterson, of New York. O'Byrne did not file tax returns for five years.

The excuse offered by his attorney: O'Byrne has "Non-Filer's Syndrome." That's right, that is no shit.

Somehow I doubt if that is in the DSM-IV. Google "non-filer syndrome" and use the quotation marks to search for a phrase. The only hits are on news stories about O'Byrne.

Nice job of inventing a new form of mental illness, bucko.

Tell Me Again About John Edwards's $400 Haircut

In my earlier post on the fact that the GOP has spent $150,000 to clothe Sarah Palin, I forgot to ask that they tell me again about John Edwards's $400 haircuts.

I wonder how all of those donors to the Republican National Committee feel about their money being used to drape designer duds on Caribou Barbie. It's not like the RNC and the McCain Campaign are flush with cash, since they are pulling out of one state after another.

They probably feel the same way that the folks in Alaska feel about Bible Spice charging the state for the cost of her kids' travel to events to which they had not been invited.

And the "No-Excuse Excuse Award" Goes To:

Republican Rep. Michelle Bachmann.
Bachmann told the St. Cloud Times on Tuesday that she "made a big mistake" by going on MSNBC's "Hardball," a show she said she'd never seen before her appearance last week. Her statement to host Chris Matthews that Obama "may have anti-American views" drew condemnation and helped her opponent, Democrat Elwyn Tinklenberg, raise more than $1 million in just a few days.
Bzzt. WRONG!

Bachmann is a congresswoman. It defies credulity for her say that she went on a television cable news show without having the slightest clue what the show was about. She called for the reporters in this country to do a "penetrating expose" of other members of Congress for being "anti-American." Her biggest complaint seems to boil down to the fact that Chris Matthews pinned her down when she was spewing her "liberals are not patriotic" rhetoric.

She said what she said. She cannot run away from it.



And with any luck, she will start looking for a new job in two weeks.

Update: Of course, she is blaming the liberal media and the liberal bloggers for "distorting her words." Her words needed no distortion.

Her line in the Politico op-ed: "I never asked for some House Un-American Activities Committee witch hunt into my colleagues in Congress."

No, Congresswoman Bachmann, you asked the media to do the dirty work. "Penetrating expose," you said.

Bachmann may have just had her "Macaca Moment."

Al-Qaeda Endorses John McCain

Al-Qaeda is endorsing John McCain, because they think he will continue Bush's moronic policies and therefore continue the destruction of our nation.
Al-Qaida supporters suggested in a Web site message this week they would welcome a pre-election terror attack on the U.S. as a way to usher in a McCain presidency.

The message, posted Monday on the password-protected al-Hesbah Web site, said if al-Qaida wants to exhaust the United States militarily and economically, "impetuous" Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain is the better choice because he is more likely to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"This requires presence of an impetuous American leader such as McCain, who pledged to continue the war till the last American soldier," the message said. "Then, al-Qaida will have to support McCain in the coming elections so that he continues the failing march of his predecessor, Bush."
They seem to be falling right in line with the GOP, which also thinks that a terrorist attack would benefit McCain. Think about that every time you hear or read some Wingnut blowhard about how Obama would "surrender to the terrerists."

(H/T to Jill)

The Non-Apology Apology

In an interview on CNN, [Sarah] Palin said comments she made last week in North Carolina praising small towns as "the real America" and the "pro-America areas of this great nation" were not intended to suggest that other parts of the country are less patriotic or less American.

"If that's the way it has come across, I apologize," she told CNN's Drew Griffin.

Bullshit. Her words were plain enough. The clear meaning is that there are parts of this nation that are not a part of the "real America" and which are truly anti-American. It has nothing to do with the way her words "came across," it has everything to do with what she said.

Anyway, I need to get to some work while I wait for the telephone guy to show up. Because that is what we do in the phony anti-American part of America where I live.

You know, places that vote for Democrats. Because you can't be a "real American" in Palin's eyes if you elect Democrats.

Does She Get to Keep the Costumes if They Lose?

That was the question Keith Olbermann asked last night after Politico broke the news that the Republican National Committee, in early September, spent over $150,000 on clothes for Sarah Palin.

They spent half of that in Nieman-Marcus, with most of the rest being spent in Saks.

By GOP standards, that's a bargain, since it cost $300K for Cindy McCain to throw together one outfit.

$150,000 spent on clothes in a week or two. The GOP truly is in touch with the average American. [sarcasm OFF]

How to Make a Profit in Iraq.

Step One: Get $185,000 in cash from the U.S. government.

Step Two: Misplace the cash.

Step Three: Bill the U.S. government for the missing $185,000.

Step Four: Collect an additional $57,000 in processing fees for submitting the paperwork to get the money replaced.

I wish that were a joke, but it is not.

GOP Voter Fraud

Not surprisingly, the McCain Campaign has blood on its hands.

Yeah, Right

John McCain: "The [Wall Street] crisis is due to greed and excess in Washington."

That's at the end of this clip:



Maybe somebody ought to give the good Senator a map. Wall Street is in New York City. The only thing Washington had to do with this is that the regulators and the Congress, led by Senators McCain and Gramm, Preznit Bush and former Fed Chairman Greenspan all turned their backs on the financial industry and let unchecked greed rule the day.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's Not About the Guns (This Time)

I've not written about Obama and the gun issue. That is because, for me, it is a non-issue this time.
Yes, I think Obama is nowhere near close to my view on gun ownership. McCain is also to the left of my opinion. But it is a non-issue for two reasons.

First, I suspect that a lot of Democrats, especially those who defeated GOP incumbents in `06 and those who take GOP seats this year, know that it was the Brady Bill's passage in 1993 that brought the GOP to power in the House. A lot of states with Democratic congressmen are gun-friendly and they know it.

Second, and more importantly, the biggest threat to our freedom in recent years has come from those same conservative politicians who beat their breasts in their defense of the Second Amendment. Never forget that the Bush Administration claimed the power to designate anyone on the face of the planet as an "enemy combatant" and to then lock that person up, without charges, without trial, without judicial review, forever. One simple declaration, unreviewable, unappealable, and you (yes, you) could be disappeared into the American Gulag.

The Bush Administration sought the power to do "sneak and peek" searches, searches that are directly on contravention of the Fourth Amendment. Then they would use the evidence found to get real search warrants. The Bush Administration claimed the power to wiretap everyone, everywhere, at any time. Never forget that they are vacuuming everything that goes across the Internet, including your emails. The Bush Administration grabbed the power to issue "national security letters" so that the FBI and yes, the Army, can snoop through the records of anyone they want. And true to form, the power to issue NSLs began being abused as soon as they had it.

In all of this, the Right was silent. All of the GOP politicians in the Congress, including those who are so vociferous about the Second Amendment have been actively complicit (and yes, so have been a lot of Democrats) in winking at the abuses of the Bush Administration. They defend the Second Amendment and ignore the attacks on the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. The logic seems to be that "as long as we can keep our guns, we will let all of the other freedoms go away without a struggle."

That is completely at odds with the core reason for the Second Amendment. The reason we have the right to own guns is so that if a government attempted to take away our freedoms, we could resist. The Founding Fathers never suspected that we would be confronted with a government that would say "OK, keep your guns, but give up everything else."

But we have been faced with that government in the Bush Administration. And many of those who claim to love freedom and such have been actively collaborating with the Bush Administration's assault on American freedoms. Under George Bush, we have been coming closer and closer to being the first nation in history that has been both fascist and has permitted the wide ownership of weapons. One might even argue that because of what has happened under the Bush Administration, the Second Amendment has proven to be a paper tiger in the defense of liberty and freedom.

What we need to do is have a presidency which stands a chance to make a clean break of the constitutional depredations of George W. Bush and Richard Cheney, That presidency cannot be one of John McCain and his running mate, Sarah "hasn't yet had time to read the Constitution" Palin. We need to take back our freedoms and liberties. We won't do so by electing another angry fascist presidency.

So this time around, it is not about the guns. It is about our freedom and our liberty. If we don't get rid of this group of goons and get back to having a president and vice-president who have read the Constitution, who understand the Constitution and will take seriously their duty to protect and defend the Constitution, then we might as well close the book on the United States of America as a free nation.

McCain: "I am Ready to Serve You, Comrade!"

The McCain campaign sent a fund-raising appeal to the Russian ambassador to the United Nations.

Want to bet what Fixed Noise or Oxycontin Roosh would be saying if Obama's campaign had done that?

(H/T to C&L)

Verizon Customer (Dis)Service

I could die of old age on the phone as I slog through the Verizon customer service menu. It asks a question, I answer it, and it takes a minute or longer for the next menu item.

Or it just fucking disconnects me and I have to start over.

Congratulations, Verizon. I really thought it was going to be hard to find a company that has worse telephone customer service support than Comcast.

But you managed to achieve that.

My fucking phone is not working. Why is it so bloody hard to get a guy to come out and fix it? Why do I have to slog through an interminable set of computer-driven questions and then get disconnected?

It wasn't this way back when you weasels were part of Ma Bell; I'd just dial 611 and I'd have an appointment with a repairman in less than a minute.

But not anymore.

Skimming the $700 Billion Bailout

The bankers and other executives on Wall Street are planing to skim their 10% off the top. They are taking $70 billion dollars of our money in order to line their own pockets. Despite the fact that the financial markets crashed, the banks and brokerage firms are still going to hand out huge-ass bonuses. Only this time, they are using our tax dollars to do so.

Start sending those fuckers to prison.

(H/T to TPC)

Lessons Not Learned

"They've already repeated all of our mistakes," [Russian ambassador to Afghanistan] Zamir Kabulov said, speaking of what the United States has done, and failed to do, since the Taliban were toppled from power in November 2001 and U.S. troops began moving into old Soviet bases like the one at Bagram, north of Kabul. "Now, they're making mistakes of their own, ones for which we do not own the copyright".

One of the basic tools of war is to study past campaigns to see what can be learned from them. The Germans learned a lot about maneuver warfare by studying the American Civil War, lessons they put to good use in 1939 and 1940.

The view of the Bush Administration and, yes, of the Pentagon seems to be that the American military can create its own reality and that the lessons of the past have no bearing on the present.

That doesn't seem to be working out very well.

Well, That Was a Good Idea

Comcast went to cable telephones only, which I don't trust. So I switched to Verizon for the better reliability of telephones with old-fashioned two-wire cabling.

Of course, my phones are now out.

Verizon: It's the (non-working) network.

Priorities- Obama Has Them

Obama is flying to Hawaii to visit his grandmother, who is seriously ill.

"Element of risk," bullshit. If you need to have Obama's decision explained to you, call your doctor and ask for an injection of humanity.

The Real America

Yes, the real America. Such as Wasilla, Alaska, the meth capital of the state.

Watch these in sequence:







What Jon said.

Monday, October 20, 2008

On the McCain Campaign: Stand By to Jettison All Remaining Shreds of Honor

The McCain campaign is preparing to go back on McCain's word that Rev. Wright was off limits.

We all should know, by now, that Rick Davis is a gutter thug. But McCain still tries to pretend to himself that he is a man of honor. If he goes down the Rev. Wright road, he will be revealed to be a goon with no scruples and no honor.

If he does this, McCain will not be able to ever pretend to himself that he is an honorable man. But I suspect that the quest for "his Precious" has corrupted is soul and he really does not care anymore.

So I fully expect him to try the "Wright Card" in the last few days.

And I expect that the Obama campaign already has its counterattack cued up.

Crazy Batshit Rethugs

You probably heard by now about the insanely batshit Republican congresswoman from Minnesota, Michelle Bachmann, who thinks that anyone who votes for a Democrat should be investigated for being un-American.

Here is her opponent, Elwyn Tinklenberg. If you can, think about dropping a few bucks on his campaign. Even a symbolic donation of a ten-spot will help if we can get a few gazillion people to do the same.

Why Powell's Endorsement Will Not Change the Military Vote

The endorsement will not matter much to the military voters, but not because of the reason that some of the commentariniks think. It will not be because Powell has been out of the Army for 15 or so years or because he was a lapdog for Chimpy.

The reason is simpler than that: Most everyone in the service votes by absentee ballot. And they probably have largely voted by now.

Voter Registration Fraud- GOP Style

Rising Hegemon is right:  You won't hear jack shit about this LA Times piece on Fixed Noise or from any of the other wingnut bloviators.

The owner of a firm that the California Republican Party hired to register tens of thousands of voters this year was arrested in Ontario over the weekend on suspicion of voter registration fraud.

State and local investigators allege that Mark Jacoby fraudulently registered himself to vote at a childhood California address where he no longer lives so he would appear to meet the legal requirement that all signature gatherers be eligible to vote in California. His firm, Young Political Majors, or YPM, collects petition signatures and registers voters in California and other states.

The Health of the Candidates

Today's New York Times has a lengthy story concerning what is known about the the health of the four candidates for president and vice president (which was mirrored on IHT).

There are questions about all four of them. Obama recently quit smoking, but there is a question as to whether he is still sneaking cigarettes. Nothing is known about Palin, other than her infamous eight-hour trip from Dallas to Wasilla to give birth.

The two serious questions are about Biden and McCain. Biden had two "berry" aneurysms, there seems to be a risk of recurrence of that form of aneurysm. McCain has a number of problems, including questions regarding the extent and severity of his skin cancer.

All four candidates seem to be doing their best to avoid discussing this topic. Based on what is known, the one who is being the most evasive about this is John McCain. In that he and his campaign is refusing to answer serious questions about this topic, the irresistable conclusion is that they are hiding something.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Back

Quicker flight coming back and, as it was later in the day and to the southwest, nowhere near as cold. Unlike yesterday, I felt comfortable going GPS direct, which put me over much higher terrain. And I had a tailwind of about 15mph to scoot me along. The difference from yesterday was noticeable.

Yesterday, there were some clouds over the mountains. I would have wanted to fly at 7,500' to go over the hills. I could have done it the way I flew yesterday lower than I did, but higher usually means a nicer ride. I took a couple of photos; if they are any good, I'll post them. Only took a couple, because it was damn cold once I opened the side windows to take them.

Even if flying doesn't save all that much time (maybe 90 minutes each way), it beats the hell out of being on the roads.

It's About Fraking Time

It is about time that somebody spoke out about the bigotry of the GOP. That somebody was Colin Powell this morning:
I'm also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said such things as, "Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim." Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, "He's a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists." This is not the way we should be doing it in America.
About time.

Voter Fraud- Republican Style

A voting machine that tries to switch a vote for a Democrat to a vote for a Republican.

I agree with Jill: No way in hell is that an accident. That is vote stealing, plain and simple.

This One Will Hurt McCain

From McClatchy:
Political analysts said [Colin] Powell's endorsement, coupled with a blistering critique of the campaign of Republican Sen. John McCain, especially of the selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate, was a serious blow to McCain's candidacy, particularly in swing states with large numbers of undecided voters.
One can only hope.

I once had some respect for McCain. Although he was to the right side of the political spectrum, I thought he was a decent politician who looked at the issues and made a reasoned judgment on the issues. I thought he very much spoke truth to power when he stated that the right-wing televangelists, such as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, were "agents of intolerance." I thought he showed independence when he differed with George Bush on Bush's tax cuts. I thought he showed real capacity to reach across the aisle on immigration. When he spoke out against the use of torture, I thought that was powerful.

Sadly, McCain has thrown away every principled stand he ever took. He not only embraced the preachers of the gospel of hate, he actively sought their support. He signed off on the use of waterboarding, a method of torture that has been understood to be such for over 500 years. He caved on Bush's tax cuts and he adopted "the brown people are coming to take your jobs" view of immigration.

The very worst, in my view, has been McCain's flip-flop on smear campaigning. He has changed from "we will not do that" to using every smear he can. This is especially shocking given that McCain was on the receiving end of that type of campaign eight years ago, between the "McCain fathered a black baby" and the "McCain engaged in homosexual conduct in the Hanoi Hilton" smears that were used by the Bush campaign.

McCain has revealed himself to be as utterly amoral and without scruples as George W. Bush. There have been few clearer indications of that than his selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate, a pick that was naked pandering at its worst.

McCain has let his ambition blind him to what is honorable. In the space of a few months, McCain has shown himself to be among the worst forms of despicable and dishonorable political hacks of a major party who has sought national office in the last two generations. He has adopted plans and then thrown them away in seconds when they did not work, such as his aborted attempt to suspend his campaign so that he could fuck up the financial bailout bill.

McCain truly is the Gollum of politics, for he has let his lust for power corrupt his very soul.

Powell Endorses Obama



His reasoning is both thoughtful and impressive. It is well worth the 7 or so minutes (plus the bullshit Boeing commercial you may be subjected to).

I don't know what the significance of endorsements really is. But one could argue that Powell, who appears to be a member of the reality-based wing of the GOP, may have made an impact on the election contest.

Fuck You, McCain. Just "Fuck You"

Palin thinks some states are "not pro-America."

You aren't a "real Virginian," according to the McCain campaign, if you live in Virginia and support Obama.

I am beyond tired of having my identity as an American or my patriotism questioned because I do not live in one of the GOP states or because I do not support that hotheaded douchebag, even if he was a POW.

Fuck you, John McCain, Sarah Palin, and your campaign staff. You are all the lowest form of scum. I would call you "pond scum" if there was not a chance that I'd be sued for defamation by pond scum.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Away

I'm visiting my mom this weekend. It is a five-hour drive to get to her place or a 1hr, 40 minute flight into a brisk headwind (slowed me down by 30 mph) plus an hour and fifteen minutes to get to the airport, preflight the plane and then tie it down at the other airport, so you can guess which I chose.

One thing about older airplanes is that they have a heating system that is as efficient as a 1950s VW, which is to say, "you freeze your ass off." I had on an insulated mechanic's jump suit, gloves, a watch cap and a lap blanket wrapped around my legs and it was fucking freezing at 5,500'. No photos from this flight, it was too bloody cold to even think of opening the window.

Soon it will be too cold to even contemplate such a flight, so I got this visit in as late as I'd want to.

The Religious Thuggery of the Chimperor

Just because a group discriminates in hiring does not mean it cannot get Federal money, so sayeth the Tsar of the Baboons.

First off, do I need to explain why it is offensive to use my taxpayer dollars to fund a group that would not hire me because I do not pray to their brand of invisible deity?

Second, when you find proof that the Bush Administration gave Federal dollars to a group that only hired Muslims, get back to me. For it has to be obvious that the very same people who are cheering on the Quarter-Bright Prince's giving money to World Vision would be lighting up the phones to Rush Limbaugh if the Administration gave money to a Muslim group.

Third, it also has to be obvious to everyone by now that the Justice Department and more specifically, the Office of Legal Counsel, is no more than a bunch of goons who do the bidding of the Bush Administration. The Justice Department is a branch office of the GOP's legal team. There is nothing "impartial" or "nonpartisan" to the Justice Department. They are a cabal of partisan hacks with the ability to persecute political opponents by the use of the criminal justice system.

In the pursuit of the Bush Administration to bring this great nation down to the level of a bankrupt banana republic, they have done work to make sure that we have the justice system of such a nation.

By the way, why does the FBI have "special agents?" They don't have "Federal agents" or just "agents," but "special agents."

Special Olympics. Special Education. Special Agents.

Caturday

This is Bella:

Bella's most distinguishing physical feature is her tail. She has the most luxurious tail that I have seen outside of a cat show.



She walks around with her tail in the air. She is a proud cat. She is also very friendly and your arm will fall of before she gets tired of being petted.

UPDATE: Bella is not my cat. She is a friend's cat. Sorry for any confusion.

Seen From Above

Thi is a quarry. It has already eaten away a good part of that hill.

If you click on the photo below and enlarge it, you can see that the time when the leaves of the trees turn colors can vary depending where the trees are. There may have once been an old stream or marsh down there and the difference in the composition of the soil might have something to do with it.

"McCain Can't Use a Computer" -- Lame Excuse Demolished; Pt. 2

(Part 1)

Joe Lieberman may pronounce that John McCain's war injuries keep him from using a computer.

Johnny, me boy, say "hello" to Jessica Cox. She was born without arms. She uses a computer. She has two black belts in tae kwon do.

And, as of this month, she is a licensed pilot.


(H/T to Avweb)

Friday, October 17, 2008

By Their Brown Shirts, You Shall Know Them

Death threats, vandalism hit ACORN after McCain comments.

Remember, it is not "domestic terrorism" or "fascism" if it is done by Republicans.
  • A senior ACORN staffer in Cleveland, after appearing on television this week, got an e-mail that said she "is going to have her life ended."
  • A female staffer in Providence, R.I., got a threatening call from someone who said words to the effect of "We know you get off work at 9," then uttered racial epithets.
  • Vandals broke into the group's Boston and Seattle offices and stole computers.
  • Since McCain's remarks, ACORN's 87 offices across the country have received hundreds of hostile e-mails, many of them containing racial slurs.

Maybe It is Tone Deafness

There have been stories such as this one about the proposed beatification of Pope Pius XII.

I do not have an opinion about whether that particular pope did the right thing during World War II. It does seem as though there is considerable question about it.

But what strikes me as being especially tone-deaf is the prospect that a German pope will beatify the pope who was on the job during the Holocaust.

The Mall Cops Are Really Strict In This Place!

engrish execution in progress

GOP Has a Meltdown!

Top staffers of the Republican National Committee are having seizures and throwing hissy fits while ranting: "What is the point of stacking the courts if the judges don't rule in our favor?!"
The Supreme Court sided Friday with Ohio's top elections official in a dispute with the state Republican Party over voter registrations.

The justices overruled a federal appeals court that had ordered Ohio's top elections official to do more to help counties verify voter eligibility.

Live photo from the RNC lobby security camera:

(H/T to BadTux for the photo)

War Profiteering Republicans

A top donor to John McCain has been fingered as being a war profiteer. He has been "vastly overcharging" the Defense Department for fuel.

That is a McCain Patriot, enriching himself at our expense.

Get the Torches

Remember that plan of Treasury Secretary Paulson to give the banks money directly, so they could unfreeze the credit markets?

Seems that the banks are not going to lend that money. Rather, they are going to sock it away and sit on it. So what was the point? We could have let the banks fail and taken them over for that money. Or by buying voting stock, we could have stacked the board of directors.

But no. They are going to sit on our cash as though the banks were being run by Scrooge McDuck.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Stay Classy, John!


H/T to Rising Hegemon)

By Their White Sheets, Ye Shall Know Them

From the flyer sent out by a GOP women's group in California:



Nothing more need be said.

(H/T to Andrew Sullivan)

Did This Really Happen?

I did not watch the debate. Warren Street says that McCain made this face at the end of the debate. I find it almost a little hard to believe that he was that much out of control.

Can anyone verify that?

(Oh, wait, the tapes..)

Update:

Here is the full debate. Go to the very end when they stand up (1:29:59, it is easier to do if you have it on "full screen") and you can see that face. I suspect McCain is just clowning around, but that face is something that Chimpy would have done.

(Also look at the last few seconds, he sticks his tongue out again. Were there flies in the air?)

Next Totally Foreseen Economic Hit

Credit card defaults are on the rise.

Did anyone not figure out that in hard times, more people wind up not paying off their credit cards? If this is coming as news to any lender, their managers need to be demoted to working the drive-through window.

Plaguing the Pirates with Prison

The top brass of AIG are now being investigated to see if they broke the law by paying humongous bonuses at the same time they knew the company was going down the shitter.

This could be fun.

As She Sowed....

The two people in the Alaska staties whose balls the Palins were busting are now planning to sue their asses off.

I'd love to watch those depositions.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Why the Bones of the GOP Need to Be Ground Into a Fine Powder

This is why:

The people who came up with that, and who approved of that and who cheered that all need to be dragged through the streets behind teams of horses suffering from diarrhea.

But since turnaround is fair play, let us take a look at the entertainment for a night-time McCain-Palin rally:


Maybe that seems an inflammatory response. Tough. McCain and Palin have made the decision to appeal to the darkest impulses of the electorate. I have no problem with saying that I regard them as two of the most evil racist politicians on the national state since the days of George Wallace, Lester Maddox and Richard Nixon.

(H/T to Balloon Juice)

"McCain Can't Use a Computer" -- Lame Excuse Demolished

The excuse given is that McCain cannot use a computer because of his war injuries.

If you had bought that load of dren, then take a look at these folks:

Ever Get The Idea That They Are Just Fucking with Us?

The DJIA closed down 733 points, dropping once again below 9,000. Between yesterday's small drop and today's plunge, that almost wipes out Monday's gains.

Retail sales were off almost double the forecast. (No shit, in this economic climate, who is buying crap they don't really need?)

A Small Time-Waster

Turn your speakers on and run your mouse pointer over things.

GOP Racists, Part XLVII

Sacramento County Republican leaders Tuesday took down offensive material on their official party Web site that sought to link Sen. Barack Obama to Osama bin Laden and encouraged people to "Waterboard Barack Obama ... Taking credit for the site (sacramentorepublicans.org) and its content was county party chairman Craig MacGlashan – husband of Sacramento County Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan.
By their white sheets, you shall know them....

OMG! They Killed the #2 Guy!

The military has announced that they killed the #2 al-Qaeda leader in Iraq.

To my recollection, this is about the fifteenth time that they have killed that guy.

The Maverick and His Monster

Hooray for Jon Stewart!

10,000 McCainiacs:



Arabs and family men:



Meet the new stump speech, same as the old stump speech:



Colbert was good, too:

Torture Nation

The Bush Administration expressly signed off on the use of torture by the CIA.

This is beyond the Yamashita Standard, where a commander is culpable for the wrongdoing of his subordinates, if the commander knew or should have known of the crimes. This is direct, provable knowledge and ratification of war crimes by the Bush Administration.

If they want to stay out of prison, the senior officials of the Bush Administration would be well advised to turn in their passports and to forget about ever traveling abroad after January 20, 2009.

(General Yamashita was found guilty of not controlling his subordinates. He was executed in 1946.)

Q-Ship

Back in the First World War, what we call "submarines" were really small torpedo boats that could submerge in order to avoid being sunk. Because the U-boats were small and torpedoes are large weapons, U-boats did not carry a lot of torpedoes. If a U-boat expended all of its torpedoes quickly, it would have to end its patrol.

Not all ships were in convoys. Rather than expend a torpedo against a lone ship, the U-boat captains would surface and open fire on the ship with the U-boat's deck gun. The British countered that by developing the Q-ship; when fired upon, the ship would emit smoke from its deck, the crew would run around and make a hash of lowering the lifeboats and then, at a certain point, the upper sides of the ship would swing down, revealing a large battery of heavy guns which would then proceed to blow the U-boat out of the water.

My fear is that is what is going on with the political campaign.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

McCain Hires Lobbyists for Terrorists

John McCain has, as the head of his transition team, this guy:
William Timmons, the Washington lobbyist who John McCain has named to head his presidential transition team, aided an influence effort on behalf of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to ease international sanctions against his regime.
There's a maverick for you. McCain bashes Obama for knowing Bill Ayers, but McCain hires the guy who lobbied for a brutal dictator who killed hundreds of thousands of people, a dictator who used chemical weapons against the Kurds and against the Iranians. Timmons lobbied for a dictator who, well, you remember all of the allegations, substantiated and fantasy, charged by the Bush Administration.

McCain's leader of his transition team worked for Saddam Hussein. That's the key sentence.

(H/T to Alternate Brain)

The Intellectual Argument of the Wingnuts

It consists of throwing bricks through windows.

(Now we see the violence inherent in the system.)

One Fly is right. If the bricks were flying through the windows of McCain's offices, the Wingnuts would be having spasms.

Justification for Divorce or Maybe Homicide?

A new father has secretly named his baby girl Sarah McCain Palin after the ticket for president and vice president.

If I were sitting on the jury after his wife shoots him, I'd vote to acquit under the "Toyota Defense," to give her a commemorative medal and to posthumously give him the Darwin Award.

(Toyota Defense = "He asked for it,he got it.")

(H/T to Balloon Juice)

McCain's Hidden Tax Increase on the Middle Class

[John] McCain wants to do away with the tax exemption on employer-provided insurance. Instead, he would give a $2,500 annual tax credit to individuals, and $5,000 to families, to purchase their own coverage.
That is a whopping tax increase if you are fortunate to have employer-sponsored health insurance. Virtually every insurance plan costs over $208 a month for individuals and $416 for families. A reasonably decent individual plan will cost nearly a grand a month for a single woman in her fifties and a bunch more if she is the breadwinner for a family (I know this because a friend was buying her own insurance).

If that is through your employer, you will then be taxed on having income of an additional $12,000 a year or maybe even $18,000 a year without a extra cent in her pocket to pay the taxes. Between Federal and state taxes, depending on your income, you could pay as much as $7,000 in additional taxes under the McCain plan if you have employer health insurance.

But if you don't or if your employer says "hey, you're getting a tax credit, go buy your own," then figure on that costing you a hell of a lot more than his tax credit.

Besides that, one of the things about being in a large employer plan is that the cost of any one person is spread out. If you have to buy it on your own and if you have had any previous issues, your premiums will be a hell of a lot higher than McCain's proposed tax credit.

Worse, under HIPAA, if you go to work for a company, their health insurance has to cover you if you are coming from a job with health insurance. If your employer were to stop offering health insurance under the McCain plan, you would have to go buy your own and you wil not be covered for pre-existing conditions.

McCain does not give a fuck about the middle class; his health insurance proposal is clear proof of that.

Socialism is Popular With Capitalists

The Treasury Department, in its boldest move yet, is expected to announce a plan on Tuesday to invest up to $250 billion in banks, according to officials. ... The Dow Jones industrial average gained 936 points, or 11 percent, the largest single-day percentage gain in the American stock market since the 1930s.

I have been vocal (or pixally) in blaming Chimpy and Greenspan for much of the economic turmoil going on. But I should acknowledge the obvious: They merely amplified the policies of Ronald Reagan, the father of "run up the deficits, nobody give a fuck."

The Federal deficit when Reagan cam in was roughly a trillion dollars. By the time Chimpy leaves office, it will be eleven trillion dollars. That debt has to be repaid eventually. The debt service is eleven times higher now.

30 year t-bills have a 4.5% interest rate. 11 trillion means that we have to pay $55,740,000,000 in debt service each month. That is almost five times as much as we are paying for Chimpy's Wars and is roughly double what we had to pay before Emperor Disgustus began his Most Excellent Adventures. Sure, we'll refinance a lot of that, but we still have to pay it down.

Shit Worth Reading

From Distributor Cap NY:
George W. Bush is a complete failure as a businessman, as a decider, as an executive, as a leader, and as a human. He will not be vindicated - no matter what happens in Iraq. The economic meltdown has insured that. Bush was given an incredible gift - the Presidency of a nation that is capable of accomplishing great things for the good of the planet. Instead of using this gift to instill prosperity, peace and intellectual growth, he has run this place into the proverbial ground. The price this country and the planet will pay for the abuses, incompetence and evil of George W. Bush shall be felt for decades. That and the $11 trillion dollars of debt he is bequeathing.
From Balloon Juice on controversy:
Obviously it is a risk to take a controversial stand on current issues, but in the medium- to long term it’s only a risk if, like Jonah Goldberg or Bill Kristol or Doug Feith, your declarations consistently turn out wrong. Taking controversial stands that turn out right, for example that Bush policies are ill-informed and likely to fail, just makes you look smart.
One Fly on the request by automakers to borrow shitloads of cash from the Federal government:
If you corporate fuckers had built the cars that were needed or had at least done the R&D to be ready for times like these you wouldn't be fucking asking now would you. It is time for another "people's car" after all it's fascism we're facing. What's there to lose.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Iceland- a Nation of Terrorists

Great Britain used anti-terrorist legislation to seize Icelandic assets.

Anyone see the irony in the Brits using anti-terrorism powers in an economic dispute between NATO nations?

Here is the view of an Icelandic citizen, with the money paragraph quoted below:
When the Republic of Iceland ran into the greatest troubles in its young life (it gained independence in 1944) and asked for help, none of our so-called friends stood up. The people of Iceland are paralysed by the lack of help and the destructive attack by the British [Prime Minister]. Iceland is an active participant in European cooperation and a founding member of Nato, but in the end, it seems Russia is Iceland's only friend. Brown's insult to Iceland will be remembered long after this £100m debt has been repaid.
Toljaso, folks.

Feh

I was off today, so I went to the airport and washed the airplane. I haven't done that in awhile and I swear, the damn airplane gets larger every year.

After I finished, I had to go flying to dry it off. In some areas around here, it is about peak for leaf season. Leaf-peeping, though, is something that is really more impressive from the ground, unless you are flying a lot lower than I care to.

This is a winery. I have driven past it before, it probably has some fancy-ass name. I call it the "Penis Winery."

On Saturday, the skies were sunny. In some places, you can see that the change of color in the trees follows patterns on the ground. I don't know why, it may have something to do with the chemistry of the soil or how rich it is in nutrients.


I gather that this farm is growing either Christmas trees or ornamental shrubbery.


(Nie!)

GOP- the White People's Party; Pt. II

The Hispanic vote is swinging in large numbers to Obama.

Debit Card Alert

If you use a debit card to buy gasoline in a "pay at the pump" transaction, you probably should rethink doing that.

Thieves have figured out how to steal passwords from debit cards and use them to take money from ATMs.

The Conscience of a Liberal

That is Paul Krugman's blog. He is unabashedly liberal and a harsh critic of Chimpy.

And now, he is a Nobel Prize laureate.

Congratulations, Dr. Krugman!

p.s. those muffled sounds off in the distance are the sounds of the exploding heads of the wingnuttery.

The Republican Smear Master

Is this guy. It also turns out that he is one serious anti-Semite.
  • He tried to run for Congress to, in part, "exterminate Jew power."
  • A bankruptcy motion he filed called the judge “a crooked, slimy Jew who has a history of lying and thieving common to members of his race.”
  • He also wrote, in another motion, wrote, “I am able to understand how the Holocaust took place, and with every passing day feel less and less sorry that it did.”
  • Another comment of his: “Jews, historically and in daily living, act through clans and in wolf pack syndrome.”
A psych evaluation found this: “Moderately severe character defect manifested by well-documented ideation with a paranoid flavor and a grandiose character.”

This is the guy that is the source of the Obama Muslim/Arab smears. This is the guy Fox News is listening to as a major source. They are following a crazy person. Let's hope they follow him right off the cliff.