Jeb Bush Ends Presidential Bid for 2016 by picking his brother’s Least Popular Policy (for the GOP)

“We have a history of allowing people to come in legally to embrace our values and pursue their dreams in a way that creates prosperity for all of us,” Bush said. “We need to find a path to legalized status for those who have come here and have languished in the shadows.”

This is as out of touch with the GOP base as when his brother, Idiot, tried to do it.*

“They’re basically Maytag repairmen,” he said. “Nothing gets done.”
THINKPROGRESS.ORG
* it was in 2006, after W started to ignore Cheney and start to ask rational.  This was seen as betrayal by the GOP and everyone but the Bush family and friends and people who depended on them for income turned against W…leaving him about 29% popularity at the end.

Senator Inhofe Lies to the World, Takes Over Senate Environmental Committee

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday voted 98-1 to approve a resolution stating that “it is the sense of the Senate that climate change is real and not a hoax.” Then, about 15 minutes later, the Senate rejected a second resolution that said climate change is real and caused by humans.

The first resolution was approved — and co-sponsored — by one of the most outspoken climate deniers in the Senate, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), a man who literally wrote a book about how climate change is the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated.” The only Senator to vote against the resolution was Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS).

Sounds too good to be true, right? That’s because it is. At the last minute, right before a vote was taken, Inhofe took the floor to state that he would be co-sponsoring and approving the amendment on the grounds that yes, climate change is real, but human-caused climate change is not. “Man cannot change climate,” Inhofe said. “The hoax is that there are some people that are so arrogant to think that they are so powerful that they can change climate.”

“Gaawwwwhd has deeclared he is the OOOOONNNLY ONE who may destroy the Earth,” continued the animated corpse from Oklahoma.

I’m actually not joking…this is why many in this country don’t think it is *possible* for humans to do something as big and powerful and “godlike” as changing our own climate.

As I’ve done before, I’d advise anyone who thinks this way to try this little experiment. Instead of billions of people and hundreds of millions of cars, and thousands of cubic miles of atmosphere, take one person, one car, and one garage. Put the person in the car, put the car in the garage, and start the car and close the garage.

Come back in a day and tell me again how humans can’t use our technology to change our atmosphere (and we already know that changing the atmosphere can change the climate).

This is the stuff of Idiocracy, I shit you not.

Sounds too good to be true, right? That’s because it is.
THINKPROGRESS.ORG

Both Sides are Same (Idiot Ignorant Edition)

Obama wants Net Neutrality, the GOP tries to pass legislation to forbid it.

Obama thinks local municipalities should be able to build their own broadband, Big Telecom disagrees, so does the GOP, so the GOP drafts legislation to make it illegal.

Anyone who claims both sides are the same is just ignorant or an idiot.

Bill takes away FCC powers on the books since 1934 and 1996.
ARSTECHNICA.COM|BY JON BRODKIN

The GOP Takes Over the Jim Crow Congress, Immediately Rewrites History, and some 2015 Predictions

So…if you, like I….were wondering how the Jim Crow Congress was going to acknowledge how the quarter before they took over showed the highest GDP growth in over a decade (despite their constant assertions it was about to end in disaster), here’s your answer…

In a speech announcing the new Senate, which is now controlled by Republicans, [Turtle Man] said, “After so many years of sluggish growth, we’re finally starting to see some economic data that can provide a glimmer of hope; the uptick appears to coincide with the biggest political change of the Obama Administration’s long tenure in Washington: the expectation of a new Republican Congress.”

I haven’t given my year predictions yet, so today is the day.  Have to look up last year, but I was pretty dang close in the economic arena. I’m not sure yet exactly how much the GOP is going to try and screw over the economy any more, now that they can’t hide behind the slim D Senate majority, which makes the prospects really good for nothing happening in Washington.  Growth could push 4%, if we’re lucky and the crazies don’t do their thing.

However, the idiots are likely to try and extort the President for the money they have ordered him to spend (i.e. the “debt ceiling”) and the strategy they take in that arena will have impacts in the 1-1.5% area like they did in 2013.   So that 4% is pretty sloppy until I see some strategy discussion.

Oil is the big thing now. Texas is going to get crushed, as are folks who overspent. From what I’ve read, there’s about 1-2,000,000 extra barrels of oil on the world market. Until people “burn that up” as they say, prices will stay low, which (as noted and noted again) is good for most folks and bad for others.

Prices aren’t going to go up soon, so enjoy. Pleas don’t be stupid and buy a big car though, because a few years down the road, things might change. If we had sane leaders, we’d use the savings from gas/oil and invest even more in the solar/wind arena. Energy is life for an economy, and lower gas prices make for easier to move goods, which is cheaper good in today’s global economy, Buy those airline stocks with that oil stock money.

The U.S. does seem poised to reap continued benefits from China’s pollution and Europe’s…intransigence. Putin is a wild card, as per. Obama’s cool has been great against his (to us) aggression. Cuba is going to be fun to watch. A couple of full tourist seasons and their per capita will triple. How the commies deal with the wealth can be interesting. Trustafarians on a country-wide level.

So let’s get it on, shall we?

The Panderific Rand “Pander” Paul Gears up for 2016

January 6, 2015   Rand Paul is working hard to polish his pro-Israel credentials.

Hours before meeting on Tuesday with some of the nation’s most influential and well-heeled Jewish GOP donors—including billionaire Sheldon Adelson—Paul introduced his second bill in as many years to cut off American foreign aid to the Palestinian government.

The “Defend Israel by Defunding Palestinian Foreign Aid Act of 2015″ would cut off funding for the Palestinian government so long as it seeks recognition in the International Criminal Court, according to a Paul aide. The measure comes in addition to Paul’s “Stand with Israel Act,” introduced last year, which would end U.S. aid until the Palestinian Authority agreed to a cease-fire and recognized the state of Israel.

via Rand Paul Offers Another Pro-Israel Bill to Cut Palestinian Aid – NationalJournal.com.

It would be harder to find a more disingenuous  politicians than Rand Paul. Not only has he been busted for plagiarizing, he’s been busted for pandering before too.

His dad was crazy and had ideas that had already been tried and failed spectacularly, but at least he had some integrity (well, outside the whole denying the newsletters with his name and signature on them).  Hrrm…on second thought, he is a fitting son.

I don’t think he’ll do much in the 2016 primaries, there are faaar too many issues where he panders the wrong way for the Teahadi base.   As a matter of fact, I kind of wonder why he’s even mentioned in the Presidential discussions.   I guess it’s a holdover from his dad running for like 20 years.

Presidents and the Economy

So is the president responsible for the accelerating recovery? No. Can we nonetheless say that we’re doing better than we would be if the other party held the White House? Yes. Do those who were blaming Mr. Obama for all our economic ills now look like knaves and fools? Yes, they do. And that’s because they are.

via Presidents and the Economy – NYTimes.com.

Nice summation of a basic rant re: Obama.  Now that Obama has achieved all of the economic goals of the Republicans in the 2012 election one would think there would be a chastised tone coming from the folks who were so terribly wrong.

However, because our media system does a fantastically horrible job of educating the populace about reality, the GOP has actually gained seats based on the results their constituents *believe* Obama has gotten, which have very little in common with the actual results.

Anyway, it’s a fun dynamic to watch, although a tad bit frustrating from the rational actor viewpoint.

The Jeb Bush Train Commences

Yea, this sums up the Jeb train…

This is what voters will be subjected to for the next 22 months: A candidate desperate to please and to be understood, taking up the people’s time to get his message out over and over again, in different forms until someone applauds it.

Jeb Bush is like a corporate-created product that’s in the middle of a consumer focus group, looking for some sign of “like.”

I mean, when you are working from the assumption that you are better brother to be President than the last one, it’s just a matter of trying that key until it fits, because if Georgie could do it….

But anyway, as to Jeb’s comments, here is the crux of his argument.

“I hope that we can show respect for the good people on all sides of the gay and lesbian marriage issue – including couples making lifetime commitments to each other who are seeking greater legal protections and those of us who believe marriage is a sacrament and want to safeguard religious liberty.”

The problem here is that “respect” is not shown to one side in this debate. We could have a situation where all marriages are respected, but one side doesn’t want that. Instead we have this kind of “you must to be tolerant of my intolerance!!” rhetorical jujitsu that makes up the core of modern conservative thought.   (It should also be noted, this statement was released in part because Bush’s previous stance of not being a bigot didn’t fly with the Tea Derpers).

This isn’t an issue where “agree to disagree” works, as one sides wants to *literally* take rights away from the other and that other side *literally* just wants to be treated equally. It’s not apples and oranges, it’s Assholes and Americans.

Put This One In Your Mouth and This One In Your Ass. Wait, No. That’s Backwards

You’ve probably read some widespread sillinesses about how technology is moving us toward a world split between “high-skill” and “low-skill” jobs. Worriers claim that people with high-skill jobs will gobble up all of the economic pie, and those with low-skill jobs will be left with mere crumbs. This notion was perhaps best exemplified by economist Tyler Cowen’s book Average is Over.

This is nonsense. Because high-skill jobs are in peril, too. And sometimes, their death will make way for a raft of new “low-skill” jobs.

For example, look at the future of the general practitioner of medicine. This is considered the epitome of the high-skilled, secure, remunerative job. Four years of college! Four years of medical school! Internship! Residency! Government-protected cartel membership!

And yet, this profession is going the way of the dodo bird.

via How computers will replace your doctor – The Week.

The article is a bit light on specifics, but it appears as we approach the Singularity, even the vaunted professions are falling to the mighty, might AI.

We’ve already passed peak lawyer as well.

The bottom of the law school market just keeps on dropping.

Enrollment numbers of first-year law students have sunk to levelsnot seen since 1973, when there were 53 fewer law schools in the United States, according to the figures just released by theAmerican Bar Association. The 37,924 full- and part-time students who started classes in 2014 represent a 30 percent decline from just four years ago, when enrollment peaked at 52,488.

[full story]

While it is difficult to mourn the loss of lawyers…well…it’s also difficult to mourn the loss of “doctors” too much.    Yes, as the title suggests, there could be a very big downside to formalizing our medical knowledge in machines to such a degree that diagnosis and treatment becomes a minimum wage job, there is also a massive upside.

The idea being that as the Internet has brought the sum total of human knowledge to anyone that has access to it, the roboticization of medical knowledge could do the same for life-saving technique and ability.

Keystone Pipe Lies

Wow…Keystone XL…50 permanent jobs and nearly $50,000,000 in “property taxes” **over the next decade** for the country. Meanwhile…


“[Keystone XL] would have the capacity to deliver up to 830,000 bpd, of which 730,000 bpd of capacity has been set aside for [tar sands] and the remaining 100,000 bpd of capacity set aside for [Bakken] crude oil,” the report details.

Which at current prices…roughly $75/barrel * that’s $62,250,000…per day…not per decade (and nearly $22,721,250,000/year…so a few hundred million for lobbying is barely material).

Anyway, the main reason this is a big deal is because Koch Industries has a big piece of the tar sands oil, but has to pay more to send it anywhere for refining. The problem with the pipeline for most is that it increased risk (i.e. after the Koch Bros assholes die in the next few years and their heirs are even bigger dicks and stop maintaining the pipeline and it pops) for the people where it exists with no actual benefit to those people.

It is a perfect example of the “publicize the risk and privatize the profit” type project that NEARLY EVERYONE claims to hate in reality. While it is true, yes, some Dems have also been bought by the Kochs and support the project, there is NO QUESTION that one the main reasons guys who hate politics just gave hundreds of millions of dollars to politicians is to get their pipeline built.

And now that it worked, it’s going to be the first bill the lame-duck-prelude-to-the-Jim-Crow-Congress** sends to the President’s desk.

One of the things I’m so happy for is that oil and gas prices have PLUMMETED as they so often do in this boom and bust industry. Investments in explorations and infrastructure (yes, including pipelines) has long term effects on market prices. We’ve had a boom in drilling and exploration and infrastructure (extraction/fracking), and so the prices have plummeted.

Had they *not* plummeted previously, the claim that the transportation of the raw materials part of the price of gasoline was *really going to change* because of Keystone XL, might have actually gained some traction. Had we BUILT the pipeline, and prices plummeted as they have, the Kochs would have looked like the Market Gods they think they are.

Instead we saw prices plummet as the President “dawdles” (i.e. stick to what he’s said all along…he’s going to take his time and not force anything though, if it works at at all) and the Kochs go the raw political brute force route for approval.

This takes the wind out of the “it’ll lower the record high gas prices!!” part of the argument for approval, which was the main force pushing the public at large. Because of this, I don’t think it’s going to be approved while Obama is in office…but we’ll see a lot more b.s. about it.

* oil/gas price dynamics are a billion dollar industry unto themselves, so please excuse my massive paraphrasing.

** Yes, I’m going to call the Congress elected by the lowest voter turnout in 70 years (nearly twice my lifespan) the Jim Crow Congress. While the media elites might tell you voting was down because people don’t care (a self-fulfilling prophecy for the powerful), in reality I know lots of folks who were TURNED AWAY AT THE POLLS. Since I don’t know all the folks, I know that a certain percentage of the folks you know, were also TURNED AWAY AT THE POLLS. This means that a certain percentage of all folks were TURNED AWAY AT THE POLLS.

If you don’t think I think this is a big deal, please re-read the bolded statement again, and again, and again. We should *always* be working to EXPAND voting rights, because it is one of our most fundamental ideals. If you want to worry about our Democracy and “The Future of Our Country” , worry about this, because it’s the fundamental way a democracy functions and a populace communicates with itself.

So…for the next two years (and maybe more), it’s the Jim Crow Congress. The GOP doesn’t get to hide behind a slim Senate minority anymore. Own the assholeness, GOP, you’ve earned it.

Ayn Rand’s Capitalist Paradise Is Now a Greedy Land-Grabbing Shitstorm

Plenty of Rand-y acolytes have dreamed of fleeing Obama’s (and Clinton’s and Carter’s and Johnson’s and Kennedy’s) America and entering the warm, dopamine confines of their own Galt’s Gulch. Last year, one group appeared to have succeeded with a settlement in Chile—”a fully self-sustaining community” that would enable individualistic immigrants (with sufficient funds) to fully renounce “the oppression of the over-regulated, over-taxed, war-riddled and welfare-riddled society consuming the world.” They take Bitcoin and everything.

But all is not so sweet. Wendy McElroy, a “Canadian individualist anarchist” of some note, bought a 1.25-acre plot in Galt’s Gulch Chile last year, or so she thought. She wrote a blistering post Monday suggesting that the Real Men of Genius behind the settlement are grifters, or incompetents, or both:

Shortly after purchasing, I received an unsigned email through the webform of a site I maintain. It informed me that GGC was a fraud. One reason: GGC lacked water rights. In Chile, purchasing surface land and water rights are two separate processes. GGC is desert terrain, rather like California, and water rights are absolutely necessary for a community to be established.

via Ayn Rand’s Capitalist Paradise Is Now a Greedy Land-Grabbing Shitstorm.

The reason objectivism/ibertarianism doesn’t work in the real world is because it’s not a real idea.  It was designed as a response to another idea, and only makes sense as a “nuh-uh” to that idea, and cannot stand on its own.

Eric Cantor, Giant Douchebag, joins Wall Street investment firm he was supposed to Regulate

Cantor, a lawyer, does not have a Wall Street background, though he was considered a friend of Wall Street in Congress. According to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, individuals and committees associated with the securities and investment business were the leading donors among industries to Cantor’s reelection bid, giving a combined total of about $1.4 million during the primary election cycle in 2013 and 2014.

via Eric Cantor joins Wall Street investment firm, will open Washington office – The Washington Post.

And now you know why the GOP fought so hard against Obama’s Wall Street reforms. Seriously…this is something of a cliche. However, the next time I *single out someone* in politics for being a *particularly heinous douchebag*….AS I DID WITH ERIC CANTOR….please take notice.


He was, and continues to be, particularly odious. 

Sidenote: Cantor was such an epitome of the word “douchebag” that the Oxford English Dictonary (online) added it as a real word.

File This Under “Good Public Policy : Duuuhh”

recent study confirms what medical marijuana advocates have long tried to argue: the cannabis plant can serve as a less addictive alternative to prescription painkillers.

The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine this week, found that the states that enacted medical marijuana laws between 1999 and 2010 — more than a dozen at the time — reported 1,700 fewer prescription painkiller overdose deaths than projected. While researchers say the study has some limitations, including variations in how states classified overdose deaths, they say it makes a case for expanding options for chronic pain relief.

via Legalizing Medical Marijuana Can Help Prevent People From Overdosing On Painkillers | ThinkProgress.