Romney Stays True to Form, Blames Obama’s Habit of Helping People for Winning a Democratic Election

CNN Political Ticker 

“What the president, president’s campaign did was focus on certain members of his base coalition, give them extraordinary financial gifts from the government, and then work very aggressively to turn them out to vote,” Romney said in the afternoon call, according to audio aired on ABC News.

Romney, who lost to Obama by 126 electoral votes, said the president courted voters by offering policies — some of them this election year — that appealed to key constituencies.

“With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest, was a big gift,” Romney said, according to The New York Times. “Free contraceptives were very big with young college-aged women,” he continued. “And then, finally, Obamacare also made a difference for them, because as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents’ plan, and that was a big gift to young people. They turned out in large numbers, a larger share in this election even than in 2008.” The president’s health care reform plan, he added, also brought out support from African Americans and Hispanic voters.

“You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free health care, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity, I mean, this is huge,” he said. “Likewise with Hispanic voters, free health care was a big plus. But in addition with regards to Hispanic voters, the amnesty for children of illegals, the so-called Dream Act kids, was a huge plus for that voting group.”

Looks like Romney being “completely wrong” about his comments on the 47% were themselves completely wrong.  The sad fact here is that I don’t think Romney gets that his “I’ll give you a 20% tax cut that doesn’t affect the deficit” was his own cynical attempt at “buying” the electorate….by advocating policies he thought were right for the country.

This GOP notion that the entirety of the Obama electorate, or even a sizable portion of it, just wants free stuff, is what is costing the GOP support.  It’s a foolish notion, based on bloviating talkers on the radio, that was never based on any objective reality.  It’s always been a subjective opinion.  And a fairly unpopular one.

I think the thing that threw the GOP pollsters and faithful off was the this notion that the U.S. is a “conservative” nation (based on polls like this).  They think that because twice as many people self-identify as “conservative”, they are therefore going to be Republicans.  But when asked to self-identify, we find a greater number of people find themselves to be Democrats.

This is the GOP-Disconnect.  Yes, many more Americans consider themselves to be conservative rather than liberal.  But we also find more Americans consider themselves to be Democrats than Republicans.

Conclusion…Republicans assuming all Democrats are liberals is just flat out wrong.  Republicans assuming all Democratic voters are just poor commies wanting free stuff are just wrong.

Until the GOP (and more importantly, their loudest media representatives) can come to terms with this disconnect, expect more “candid” comments like the ones Romney made…it’s what the GOP faithful truly believe…and it’s just not true.

 

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John Hodgman nails it, repeatedly, with a huge hammer

Why Winners Should Vote for Obama – The Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/john-hodgman/how-i-learned-to-be-a-winner_b_1834692.html?utm_hp_ref=entertainment&ir=Entertainment

After that I learned to appreciate Obama in a different way. I appreciated that he inhabited a world in which idealism — and ideology — could never by sheer force of will overcome objective reality, and the hard compromises, uneasy truces, and constant errors that must be made to live in that world. I especially felt better about this position when I learned that John McCain carried an indian feather around FOR LUCK. This was not how I wanted my country run. By myth and superstition and magic tokens.

This is similar to my own understanding, as I realized Obama could best be described as a “pragmatic realist with liberal aspirations“.

It just makes a whole more sense that trying to paint him as a radical.  Unfortunately for many on the left, that’s not good enough, and appears to be the same as Romney.  As Hodgman notes, that’s generally loser talk.

And make no mistake, the rational folks are losing this country…one little election at a time.

Those on the right who began wishing in 1980 to dismantle the Great Society, de-regulate and de-unionize business, and starve the beast of the federal government are, you may have noticed, very close to succeeding. I am not saying this to scare you; maybe you agree with them. But the point is that it happened because they endured the compromises, hypocrisies, and retreats needed to get the wins, and profoundly change policy in ways we barely noticed — the repeal of Glass-Steagall; the massive tax cuts; the empowerment of corporations as political donors. These things did not happen because conservatives who believed in them kicked Reagan out of office in 1984 for failing to outlaw abortion immediately. It happened because they won elections.

 

Obviously the solution is more Tax Cuts, right Mitt?

Pa. Mayor Cuts City Workers’ Pay to Minimum Wage – ABC News 

Unions representing firefighters, police and public-works employees also filed a pair of federal lawsuits against Mayor Chris Doherty and the city that alleged violations of labor law and due-process rights. Doherty last week ignored a court order and cut the pay of about 400 city workers to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

The Democratic mayor said it was all the cash-strapped city of more than 76,000 could afford, promising to restore full pay once finances are stabilized. “It’s incredible,” the unions’ attorney, Thomas Jennings, said Tuesday. “I’ve never had a public official just say, ‘I’m not going to obey a court order. I’m not even going to try. He can’t tell me what to do.'”

Finally putting those unions in their place, it would seem. I’m sure paying police and firemen minimum wage will lead to a thoroughly functioning society.

Basic Economic Math for U.S. Americans (re: Taxes, Revenues, Debts, Deficits, and Defaults)

Remember when you were in the seventh, or maybe eight grade, and your teacher came in and said you were going to learn something called “Algebra”?   Remember how you were all like, “What could I possibly ever need to know this for?!  I’m never going to need to know this stuff!”.

Guess what?  This week is that week.  This is why you need to know this stuff.

We have some fairly important decisions to make in the near future as U.S. Americans on the direction our country needs to take.  I’m sure many of you have divergent opinions on what that direction is, or what we need to do to get there.  So do I.  This post isn’t about that.  This post is about math.  Basic economic math.

Without having this foundation in verifiable, repeatable reality (1+1 always equals 2 in basic math), it is difficult to build a framework of understanding for large and complex systems.  If you don’t know how much of something something else is, or if it’s becoming smaller or larger relative to that thing, it’s hard to make important decisions regarding how you would like things to change (and how to functionally make that happen).

I’ve touched on this subject before.  I think it is fundamental to the disconnect we are now experiencing in this country.  We suck at math.    So without further ado…let’s define terms.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT WORD?!

The two most important numbers in the debt equation are the Debt [D] and GPD [GDP].   Debt is *numerator*.  GPD is the *denominator*.   This gives us a debt-to-GDP ratio.   D/GDP = Debt Ratio.

The largely agreed upon goal for the U.S. economy, that is considered “stable” by pretty much everyone, is a 50-60% Debt to GPD ratio.  What this means is that at any given time, we are carrying a debt load that is slightly larger than one-half (.6 or 60%) of our yearly earning power.    Countries in such a balanced situation to do a few things easily…one, they can borrow quickly and cheaply to deal with crises; two, they can quickly pay down debt if need be to smooth out boom/bush business cycles and three, they aren’t as exposed to downturns in others markets (as opposed to a country with no debt that instead uses a “sovereign wealth fund“).

So…now we have the main component of this this quation…the D/GPD ratio.

You have probably heard a LOT a about “spending” over the past few months, and how it is “out of control”.   You may have even seen some folks cite *yearly deficits* as evidence that “spending is out of control.”

A deficit (and it’s alter ego the “surplus”) is simply the difference (negative for deficits, positive for surplus) between the amount of revenue the government takes in and the amount of spending it puts out.

Part of the disconnect that is happening right now is we are seeing huge deficits, focusing solely on the “spending” side of the equation, and don’t seem to be largely aware how badly *revenues* have dropped off during the recession.

To simplify:  Revenues [R] – Spending [S]= Deficit(-)/Surplus(+) [I]

HOW DO ALL THESE THINGS WORK TOGETHER?!

Remember how I mentioned how there would be Algebra?   Here’s where it all comes together…..(and perhaps, can all fall apart).

There are two final factors that need to be addressed before we can get a final equation that captures the situation.  The are interest rate (i) and growth (G).   Interest, in this case, is interest on our debt.   Growth, in this case, is the change in GDP.

This gives us a Debt-to-GPD ratio that looks like this:

(D+I)*i/GPD*G = Debt-to-GPD Ratio

Which read as  “Debt (D) plus income (I) times interest rate (i) divided by GPD times Growth.

Notice that last equation.  We’ve been hammered by folks that this whole problem is caused by a single thing *spending*.   However, when we look at the whole forest instead of that one tree, we see that spending is a part of the annual deficit/surplus which changes the debt which is the divided by GPD that has been multiplied by the amount of growth (both positive or negative).

When someone says spending “is the whole problem”, they are lying to you through omission.    The deficit/surplus isn’t solely created by spending, it is the *difference between spending and revenues*.     As I’ll illustrate in the next segment of this piece, a good portion of recent huge deficits have been created by corresponding huge drops in revenue.

When you understand that “spending” is one of that largest factors in GROWTH, you should start to wonder about what the point of cutting spending, and hampering growth, is going to do to *help* our overall fiscal situation (the GDP-to-Debt Ratio).

Cutting spending during a recession is like taking the foot off the gas and declaring, “We’ll coast up this hill!”

Coming in the next Part…

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT RECENT U.S. AMERICAN HISTORY BY U.S. AMERICANS?! (these are actual responses to actual questions I’ve answered over the past few days…hopefully this covers yours as well)

Moderate Debt Ceiling Rant

I’ll let this guy speak for his own self.

Couple other links on the topic…these are largely the symptoms of the above phenomenon.

Here’s some general background reading on the changes happening during the period ranted about.

Remember how Wisconsin was broke and teachers needed to take a pay and rights cut to balance the budget?   Yea…turns out that money was just needed by folks more supportive of the Governor.

Remember how people used to take vacations?   Yea, me neither.  But it turns out they do, in other countries.

Working more makes Americans happier than Europeans, according to a study published recently in the Journal of Happiness Studies. That may be because Americans believe more than Europeans do that hard work is associated with success, wrote Adam Okulicz-Kozaryn, the study’s author and an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Dallas.

“Americans maximize their… [happiness] by working, and Europeans maximize their [happiness] through leisure,” he found.

So despite research documenting the health and productivity benefits of taking time off, a long vacation can be undesirable, scary, unrealistic or just plain impossible for many U.S. workers.

[full story]

BTW, that concept that hard work is what it takes to change your stars and it’s easier to do in the U.S. that anywhere else?     Yea…not so much.  

The results are quite spectacular. Figure 3 shows that while in the Nordic countries and the UK, men born in the lowest income quintile (the income quintile of the father) have a probability of 25-30% to stay in this lowest quintile; in the US, this probability is more than 40%. Figure 4 shows that the probability of US men born in the lowest quintile to move to the top quintile is less than 8%, while in the Nordic countries and the UK, this percentage is around 12%.

[full paper]

That cinches it, we totally need waaay bigger tax cuts for the rich

Here’s the news, unsurprising to those who follow this sort of stuff… 

WASHINGTON — The income gap between the richest and poorest Americans grew last year to its widest amount on record as young adults and children in particular struggled to stay afloat in the recession. 

The top-earning 20 percent of Americans — those making more than $100,000 each year — received 49.4 percent of all income generated in the U.S., compared with the 3.4 percent earned by those below the poverty line, according to newly released census figures. That ratio of 14.5-to-1 was an increase from 13.6 in 2008 and nearly double a low of 7.69 in 1968. 

A different measure, the international Gini index, found U.S. income inequality at its highest level since the Census Bureau began tracking household income in 1967. The U.S. also has the greatest disparity among Western industrialized nations. 

At the top, the wealthiest 5 percent of Americans, who earn more than $180,000, added slightly to their annual incomes last year, census data show. Families at the $50,000 median level slipped lower. 

And the “money” quote… 

Rea Hederman Jr., a senior policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, agreed that census data show families of all income levels had tepid earnings in 2009, with poorer Americans taking a larger hit. “It’s certainly going to take a while for people to recover,” he said

Yes, it’s going to take a while, especially if we extend Bush’s tax-cut giveaway to the rich while pililng debt on everyone else.   And his “a while to recover” is actually more accurately phrased as “never”.  There isn’t going to be a recovery, in this sense, given the current environment. 

And what is the current environment, you ask?   Here’s a hint… 

More people are getting their news about the upcoming election from cable television than any other source, and from Fox News more than any other cable channel, according to a POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll released Monday. 

The poll found that 81 percent of those polled get their news about the midterm elections from cable channels, like Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, or their websites, compared with 71 percent from national network news channels, such as ABC, NBC or CBS, and their websites. 

Among cable news channels, Fox was the clear winner, with 42 percent of respondents saying it is their main source, compared with 30 percent who cited CNN and 12 percent who rely on MSNBC

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/42738.html#ixzz10ptAiPJ4 

You know the sad part?  The most popular news outlet is the one claiming to be the least popular, continuously.   It’s become a cliche even, with the most powerful player and victimizer claiming to be the weakest and the victimized.   Sure, study after study shows that Fox News viewers have a faulty view of reality (death panels, illegals covered under HCR, WMD in Iraq, Saddam and 9/11, Obama’s a socialist who the world hates, etc, etc…) but that doesn’t even slow them down.  After all, studies and learnin’ are liberal, and therefore evil, ideas.

Heck, even today Mr. Murdoch has one of his minions arguing that his taxes need to be cut even lower (BTW, that article is filled with the usual Fox wharrgarbl, damned lies and statistics [compare]).   It’s also an argument for how News Corpse taxes should be cut…again.  This picture seems somewhat appropriate…. 

 
…especially when we look at the rest of the data from that first link. 

_The poorest poor are at record highs. The share of Americans below half the poverty line — $10,977 for a family of four — rose from 5.7 percent in 2008 to 6.3 percent. It was the highest level since the government began tracking that group in 1975. 

_The poverty gap between young and old has doubled since 2000, due partly to the strength of Social Security in helping buoy Americans 65 and over. Child poverty is now 21 percent compared with 9 percent for older Americans. In 2000, when child poverty was at 16 percent, elderly poverty stood at 10 percent. 

_Safety nets are helping fill health gaps. The percentage of children covered by government-sponsored health insurance such as Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program jumped to 37 percent, or 27.6 million, from 24 percent in 2000. That helped offset steady losses in employer-sponsored insurance. 

And so it goes… 

BTW, this angle of analysis (income disparity) was probably the strongest indicator that we were headed for a collapse.  Previous to the recent economic troubles, the last time the U.S. had diverged so far between the haves and have nots was right before the Great Depression.   

When the labor force of a country realizes that no matter how hard they work they won’t make any progress, and the real money is being made by people who do no real work, it has far-reaching consequences. 

UPDATE:  Oh, and I missed this horribleness…. 

Fox’s opinionated personalities were also rated as having the greatest positive impact on the political debate in the country. Bill O’Reilly was rated as having, by far, the greatest positive impact, with 49 percent of respondents rating him positively, and 32 percent negatively. 

Glenn Beck was the second most-positively rated personality, with 38 percent of respondents saying he had a positive impact, and 32 percent saying he had a negative impact. 

..
 
MSNBC’s personalities were largely ranked as unknown by respondents: 70 percent said they had never heard of Ed Schultz, 55 percent said they had never heard of Rachel Maddow and 42 percent said they had never heard of Keith Olbermann.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/42738_Page2.html#ixzz10q0UG2Wn

Again, this demonstrates rather forcefully that those referencing the “lamestream media” (you know, people who use those terms, like girls in junior high school) are talking about Fox.

This poll seemed somewhat off, and I finally saw the bright spot and the explanation…

This result might, to some extent, be explained by the age of those polled. The largest segment of respondents, 21 percent, were between 55 years old and 64 years old, with 20 percent between 45 and 54. Only 5 percent were between 18 and 24, and 7 percent were between 25 and 29.

Other recent polls have shown that the largest segment of “The Daily Show’s” audience is under 30, while the largest segment of Fox News’s audience is over 60.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/42738_Page2.html#ixzz10q0UG2Wn

This is something of a side note and a bit of positive news for the future.  Once the Boomers die off, we might actually have a chance of having an informed  (rather than faux outraged) electorate again.   Unfortunately they’ll be so cynical and snarky anyone endeavoring to actually fix the huge mess the Boomers will leave us with will face constant ridicule.   Hmmm, maybe we already live in the  future…

It’s time to cut off all aid to Israel (period)

U.S. Confirms Citizen Shot Dead in Gaza Flotilla Raid

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=atkYRIaRZWSw

I really don’t like the idea of foreign governments (caught spying on the U.S. repeatedly) summarily executing U.S. citizens.

So far the Obama administration’s reaction to this massacre has been pathetic. Cut off funding, totally, then talk to them again (after they stop building settlements).

Hate the liberal media? Hate Fox News? Then stop them

https://secure.eff.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=451

You won’t see a lot a corporate media coverage on this one (ACTA) as it a) puts them in the spotlight and b) gives them a TON more power.

And don’t let folks confuse this issue with net neutrality, which is a completely different beast. Here’s what this does…

Just look at some of the “anti-counterfeiting” measures included in ACTA. ACTA would set up a global framework that could:

  • Require Internet service providers (ISPs) to disconnect individuals accused (not convicted) of repeated copyright infringement;
  • Require ISPs to hand over their subscribers’ identities to copyright owners without any due process or judicial oversight;
  • Require ISPs to make potentially expensive modifications to their networks in an effort to prevent copyright infringement;
  • Prohibit the U.S. Congress from reforming the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which makes it a crime to defeat copy protection even when making a copy is perfectly legal;
  • Require all countries to implement DMCA-like laws for their own populations, without the benefit of fair use or other legal exceptions that provide a modicum of protection for speech;
  • Threaten potential innovators with outrageous financial penalties for copyright infringement; and
  • Criminalize even non-commercial uses of copyrighted materials.

The link includes some of the legislators to cotact to try and stop this one.

The Audacity of a New Hope

The Audacity of a New Hope

The Audacity of  a New Hope
The Audacity of a New Hope

This post is more just a general clearinghouse of some of the more interesting articles I’ve come across lately, and a bit of a call for a ray of hope, somewhere along down the line.

First up is this diatribe by Camille Paglia [bio].  She takes no prisoners on either side.

By foolishly trying to reduce all objections to healthcare reform to the malevolence of obstructionist Republicans, Democrats have managed to destroy the national coalition that elected Obama and that is unlikely to be repaired. If Obama fails to win reelection, let the blame be first laid at the door of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who at a pivotal point threw gasoline on the flames by comparing angry American citizens to Nazis. It is theoretically possible that Obama could turn the situation around with a strong speech on healthcare to Congress this week, but after a summer of grisly hemorrhaging, too much damage has been done. At this point, Democrats’ main hope for the 2012 presidential election is that Republicans nominate another hopelessly feeble candidate. Given the GOP’s facility for shooting itself in the foot, that may well happen.

I would mention one quick point of fact that Pelosi was just pointing out some of the more absurd rhetoric that many townhall and tea-bag protesters have adopted (parodied to wonderful effect by Tom the Dancing Bug here). Indeed, it was an illustration of Godwin’s Law and the sad fact that pointing out what others are doing in a ham-fisted way can often make it seem like one is doing it themselves.

I also disagree with her 2012 predictions, at least for the moment.  I wouldn’t mind being wrong on this.

Having said all that about the failures of my own party, I am not about to let Republicans off the hook. What a backbiting mess the GOP is! It lacks even one credible voice of traditional moral values on the national stage and is addicted to sonorous pieties of pharisaical emptiness. Republican politicians sermonize about the sanctity of marriage while racking up divorces and sexual escapades by the truckload. They assail government overreach and yet support interference in women’s control of their own bodies. Advanced whack-a-mole is clearly needed for that yammering smarty-pants Newt Gingrich, who is always so very, very pleased with himself but has yet to produce a single enduring thought. The still inexplicably revered George W. Bush ballooned our national deficits like a drunken sailor and clumsily exacerbated the illegal immigration debate. And bizarrely, the hallucinatory Dick Cheney, a fake-testosterone addict who spooked Bush into a pointless war, continues to be lauded as presidential material.

Which to me really sets up the point: the Democrats might be a bit reluctant to push forward their own agenda, but at least that agenda is rational.   As I mentioned a while back, even if the Democrat do try and compromise on the health care legislation, the Republicans are so worked up into a fervor by their fringe, now their Beck-led core, they can’t support anything the Obaminator supports without facing the wrath of the Fauxrage.

This problem is pinpointed in Tom Friedman’s horribly titled op-ed, “Our One-Party Democracy“.

The fact is, on both the energy/climate legislation and health care legislation, only the Democrats are really playing. With a few notable exceptions, the Republican Party is standing, arms folded and saying “no.” Many of them just want President Obama to fail. Such a waste. Mr. Obama is not a socialist; he’s a centrist. But if he’s forced to depend entirely on his own party to pass legislation, he will be whipsawed by its different factions.Look at the climate/energy bill that came out of the House. Its sponsors had to work twice as hard to produce this breakthrough cap-and-trade legislation. Why? Because with basically no G.O.P. representatives willing to vote for any price on carbon that would stimulate investments in clean energy and energy efficiency, the sponsors had to rely entirely on Democrats — and that meant paying off coal-state and agriculture Democrats with pork.

Indeed, when we look at the general response of the Beck-led nutjob Republican core, we see the same old mantra being brayed at high volume.

GLENN: Let me tell you something. For those of you who think climate change is real and manmade, you should know this, that — I mean, you don’t have to be a socialist, I guess, to believe in global warming. It’s just that almost everyone who does believe in global warming is a socialist. I mean, believes in manmade global warming that now can be fixed and reversed or whatever. And we’ve got the tools to fix it. Almost everybody who says, “I’ve got a plan to fix it” is a socialist.

So that’s about where we stand now.  A lot of serious, deep, and long term problems to solve.  One party that actually can see them but is afraid to do anything serious about them, and one party that seems to only see a black dude in the Oval Office and can’t come to terms with it.  Oh yeah, I, like Jimmy Carter, went there.

“I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African American,” Carter said. “I live in the South, and I’ve seen the South come a long way, and I’ve seen the rest of the country that shared the South’s attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African Americans”

Continued Carter, who is famously from Georgia: “And that racism inclination still exists. And I think it’s bubbled up to the surface because of the belief among many white people, not just in the South but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It’s an abominable circumstance, and it grieves me and concerns me very deeply.”

Just to be clear here, I don’t think all Republicans are racist, nor do I think anybody who disagrees with Obama or the Democratic policies are racist.  Nor do I think people who don’t understand science, or history are racist [1].

I do think, however, that the level of vitriol, disrespect, and suspicion aimed at the President has a serious racist element.  Gone is the notion of respectful disagreement.  It has been replaced with outright hatred.  Gone is the notion of “we know you think this is best, but believe you are wrong.”  It has been replaced with “He’s not even an American and we need to take our country back!

Gone is the notion that the Office of the President should be respected, in any way form or fashion.

It took George W. Bush nearly four years, and one terribly misguided war to reach this level of opposition.  It took Obama eight months of doing what he campaigned on to reach the same level of opposition.  There is obviously something else at work here.

Such was the audacity of Barack Obama, and those who voted for him.  Thinking that somehow, some way, those that lost the election would accept their defeat and work to re-invent a party that had lost its way in the support of torture and war and an absurd approach to health care.

Instead we got the Party of No.   A party led by those that want to see our country fail.  A party that sees fear around every corner, and steadfastly refuses to acknowledge their own failure, and complicity, in the problems we now face.

A party that, indeed, refuses to accept we even face these problems, and just keeps shouting “Liar!!” at those who painstakingly point them out.   And just keep shouting “No!!” at any and all proposed solutions simply because of who they are proposed by.

I hate to break to to you folks, but its not going to work.   It’s going to continually marginalize you, which is just going to make you angrier, which is just going to marginalize you further.

We need a sane and rational opposition party for our system of government to work.   We need someone to propose *better* ideas, and work to get those ideas implemented.  We need the sane Republicans to take back over their party.

And we need it soon.  *That*, my friends, is an audacious new hope.  And I hold it dear.

—-

[Pic source Our Nerd President brandishes a lightsaber after a fencing demonstration on the White House lawn today during a photo op to promote Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympic Games.]

[1] That first link is for the climate change deniers.  The second link is for the “OMG!! Obama is hiring commie czars” people.

Let’s Clear the Desktop First.

I’ve been a bit lax (ha!) in keeping up the blog lately.  My apologies for withholding from you.

As mentioned previously, the saving the world bit is on the tiring side, and the writing stuff is on the high energy side, and seldom did the ‘twain meet.

When one is pouring all of one’s emotional energy into the real world at large, it leaves scarce little for casting such things into the semi-real state of internet literature.   Fortunate however for you, dear reader, the saving the world (at least in the manner recently mastered) shall be put on hold for a bit as more pressing matters are attended to.

Matters like revolution.

Matters like the health of a nation. (to be explored further, the debate on this one seems to have veered in a strange direction, and I’d like to try and do my nudge thing back another way)

Matter like that crazy former Mayor of the meth capital of Alaska, Wasilla, Sarah Palin. As you can tell from the tags over there on the right, Palin has been a favorite of mine.  Not only in she smokin’ hot, she represents all that is wrong with the country and neo-conservatism.  O.k. not really, but she is a wonderful foil to play against.   The rampant anti-intellectualism is the biggest draw.   It’s like have one’s very own “fool” to play with.

Matters like the new phase of evolution of mankind, which is something of a personal interest of mine, being a RPN.  Lots more on that one, and soon.

I also want to spend a bit of time closing this gap for future generations.

And, of course, there’s plenty of war stuff going on.   So it’s good to find a bit of time to write, and have the loving energy to do so.

Finally, and this is for the internet folks in the audience, Hulu is very solid.  Now there is no real excuse for not having seen most, if not all, of Arrested Development (currently finishing up the first season).   The media convergence of Internet as a direct competitor to cable and satellite is upon us.  Given the rise of pseudo-pirate sites, I’ve also caught up on my True Blood fetish.  If you want to save a few bucks and stop paying Rupert Murdoch for a channel you never watch (yea…everyone who has cable in pitching into the cable coffers), cancel that cable and watch the good stuff online (hooked to your big screen, of course).  Spend the rest of the time reading books, or watching good movies, or outside, etc.

For those that like to complain about the “MSM” and “those crappy cable news channels” there’s really only one way to get rid of them.  Cancel that shit.

Hmmm…that pretty much clears off the desktop.  Time to get to work.

The World This Week, March 22, 2009

[videos forthcoming]

US NEWS

People thieving the electrons.

Obama: Economy hurts.  Duh.

Obama Budget Strategy raises questions.

New home construction gets a lift (month-to-month).

Small business help on the way.

Fed prints money like mad.

A couple economists agree that printing money is a good idea…today.

China wants a new global currency standard.

Palin to preach to choir.

McCain Twitterview a joke, a stilted lagging joke.

Feel the outrage….

….oh wait, we did that?

Probe into AIG bonuses launched.

Gassley suggest suicide for AIG execs, then back off to resignation and public flogging.

Laid off worked parades in front of AIG mansion.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Pakistan moves closer to rule of law.

Iraqi government wants heads to roll.

Dead Sea Scrolls authors existence questioned.

Georgia v. stem cells.

Pope v. witchcraft and tribalism.

Everyone of the Book (Christian, Muslim, Jew) vs teh Gays.

Stop-Loss phasing out.

Obama talks to Iran.

Iran wants more than talk.

SCIENCE/TECH

The Frogopalypse.

Veggie garden makes a return to White House lawn.

Obama gets schooled on Special Olympics and bowling.  NOTE: Bowling not a particularly intellectual pursuit.

The Great Unkowns and the Unknowables.