Guess whats next on the chopping block before tax cuts for the super-wealthy…

….this is going to be a long series, I would guess.  Once you put yourself on an unsustainable path (and without new revenue, we’re on one), it’s just a matter of time until everything gets the ax. 

First up…those guys that fought in that war we cut taxes on the wealthy to pay for (and then just borrowed a bunch of money from them to pay for it…at interest….Genius W. Bush…I’ll tell ya what…anyway…).

WASHINGTON – The military retirement system has long been considered untouchable – along with Social Security and Medicare. But in these days of soaring deficits, it seems everything is a potential target for budget cutters. A Pentagon-sponsored study says military pensions are no longer untouchable – they’re unaffordable.

CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reports high-level, closely-held meetings are taking place at the Pentagon regarding a radical proposal to overhaul retirement for the nation’s 1.4 million service members – a bedrock guarantee of military service.

The proposal comes from an influential panel of military advisors called the Defense Business Board. Their plan, laid out in a 24-page presentation “Modernizing the Military Retirement System,” would eliminate the familiar system under which anyone who serves 20 years is eligible for retirement at half their salary. Instead, they’d get a 401k-style plan with government contributions.

They’d have to wait until normal retirement age. It would save $250 billion dollars over 20 years.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin,

I’m going to stop right there.  Douglas Holtz-Eakin is a douchebag, so if you want to read what douchey things he said, click on the link.  Note how he said this is more important than *ever* looking at a single cent in tax increases, because those are simply Un-American!!   However, screwing over our military is “very important” to look at.

The proposal leaves a lot of blanks to be filled in, including whether to exempt current service members so their plans won’t change.

CBS News spoke to some active duty troops who agreed costs must be cut – but worry the number of experienced soldiers will dwindle with no incentive to stay enlisted for 20 years.

RobotPirateNinja has also spoken to an active duty troop near retirement who this directly affects.  They agree that costs must be cut, but worry about the effects such action might have and to what degree contracts will be re-written. 

RPN also has a number of friends who this will directly affect, but hasn’t pestered them yet with questions.   While RPN does feel military spending is something that needs to be reduced as we go forward (AHEM!!!) , this talk of screwing over my friends makes me rather unobjective on this issue.   This is bullshit, and is the first in a looong line of bullshit to come.   

This is one of many ideas that will be “floated” in the media to see how strongly the public reacts.      Let’s see what our readers think…

Ed note: As I too, gear up for the 2012 election (if you haven’t guessed yet, I do a lot of  Presidential politics…I’ll be doing a LOT more…trust me), I’ve decided to cut off the talking points that the MSM puts out unless I’m planning on debunking them.

Eric Cantor Pushes For Title of Biggest Douchebag Ever

i think he’s pretty close at this point.

Recall, this is the guy that walked out of negotiations after Democrats had the audacity to propose altering the depreciation schedule on corporate jets.

Now he has spotted another cluster of spending that is waaay more wasteful than that, and the oil subsidies, and pretty much everything else…

As Monday’s White House budget talks got down to the nitty-gritty, Eric Cantor proposed a series of spending cuts, one of them aimed squarely at college students.

The House majority leader, who did most of the talking for the Republican side, said those taking out student loans should start paying interest right away, rather than being able to defer payments until after graduation. It is a big-ticket item that would save $40 billion over 10 years.

[full story]

So, to a douchebag like Eric Cantor, that makes perfect sense.  Anyone who has to take out student loans *obviously* already has the money to immediately pay them back without first using them to invest in an education.

He’s put up a few other absolutely idiotic suggestions the last few days.   Republicans, if you want to know why everyone thinks you’re a party filled with selfish, lying douchebags, screwing over everyone to protect that wealthy 1%, look in the mirror that is Eric Cantor.

Republicans are resisting not just tax increases but significant cuts in defense spending, the sources say.

So…even the entire “cut spending” b.s. that the Republicans had “on the table” wasn’t actually about Republican spending on the table.

Obama returned to this theme in the talks, saying everyone is being asked to sacrifice except rich people. The Republicans repeated their belief that any tax increase  would damage the fragile economy.

This really is such a load of crap.  We have two economies right now.   The recession one, where 90% of us live with 9.2% unemployment, and the real economy one, where the recession has officially ended, corporate profits have never been higher, and the wealthy are doing just fine.

So the Republicans concern-troll the economy and taxes, then turn around and complain about the unemployment numbers , which were brought on by firing government employees, and the debt limit, brought on by cutting more taxes, and used the whole situation an an excuse to cut more taxes, more employees, and more services.

The sickest thing about the whole deal…the entire play has come out of a context and an economy where the wealth has never been more concentrated that it is now.   And Cantor, and the douchebag parade, want to consolidate it further.

“Concentrate the wealth” is pretty much their rallying cry.  And it’s working, the wealth is being concentrated.  This sucks for 99% of us (those peons that have to borrow money to go to college), but its great for the douchebags on the payroll of the 1%.  Douchebags like Eric cantor.

Eric Cantor, D-Bag Extraordinairre, Typical 21st Century Republican

So I’ve mentioned before I’ve been following the debt limit discussions currently going on in Washington.   They came to a halt last Friday after Eric Cantor (R-VA) deciding that constantly saying that taxes SIMPLY CANNOT be part of the solution to government debt wasn’t working and everyone kept asking him to be more realistic.

That was never going to happen.  His departure from the “debt commission” was planned.

GOP aides and lawmakers said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) decision to exit debt talks led by Vice President Biden was inevitable.

The timing of Cantor’s exit from the talks has been discussed for weeks, and senior House Republicans cast it as a natural progression for the negotiations.

“There have been discussions about when these talks need to end and when the Speaker and the president need to get in the game,” one GOP aide explained.

[full story]

When the guy quit last week, he had this to say…

“There is not support in the House for a tax increase, and I don’t believe now is the time to raise taxes in light of our current economic situation,” Cantor said. “I believe it is time for the president to speak clearly and resolve the tax issue.”

What’s wild about this is that Cantor is now using the economic troubles caused by running huge deficits (created by tax cuts) and a war (paid for with…tax cuts) and lax regulation, as an argument against raising any government revenue.    The doublespeak here is off the charts.

Luckily there are a couple honest Republicans out there to try and balance out this stuff.   Well, former Republicans.  So it takes old people who have seen the errors of their ways to make the obvious point to the oblivious masses, old people like Reagan’s budget guy.

The sickest thing here…if Obama hadn’t given in to the hostage takers last December…we wouldn’t be having this “crisis” or this discussion.  The Bush Tax Cuts would be gone, and we’d be back on the path to fiscal sanity.

What’s even more wild is that about half of *actual* Republicans are rational enough to understand the governments can raise taxes to pay down government debt.

On tackling the deficit, voters by a margin of 2-to-1 support raising taxes on incomes above $250,000, with 64 percent in favor and 33 percent opposed.

Independents supported higher taxes on the wealthy by 63-34 percent; Democrats by 83-15 percent; and Republicans opposed by 43-54 percent.

This is the disconnect, BTW.  Four out of ten *actual Republicans* understand how low taxes are right now, and that they can be used by governments to pay down debt.   But when you get to Republican leadership, the support for any kind of taxes at all drops directly to 0%.
If you don’t understand why this is, you don’t understand how campaign finance reforms have made the Republicans a party that represents the interests of 1% of the population, but is able to use their wealth to buy 50% (and sometimes more) of the government.     Sit it on this meeting to find out how that works.

Last year the Wall Street Journal reported that Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House, had between $1,000 and $15,000 invested in ProShares Trust Ultrashort 20+ Year Treasury EFT. The fund aggressively “shorts” long-term U.S. Treasury bonds, meaning that it performs well when U.S. debt is undesirable. (A short is when the trader hopes to profit from the decline in the value of an asset.)

According to his latest financial disclosure statement, which covers the year 2010 and has been publicly available since this spring, Cantor still has up to $15,000 in the same fund. Contacted by Salon this week, Cantor’s office gave no indication that the Virginia Republican, who has played a leading role in the debt ceiling negotiations, has divested himself of these holdings since his last filing. Unless an agreement can be reached, the U.S. could begin defaulting on its debt payments on Aug. 2. If that happens and Cantor is still invested in the fund, the value of his holdings would skyrocket.

I think we can all rest happy knowing that if the U.S. defaults on their debt, Eric Cantor will do just fine.    Heck, the fund is up 3.3 percent just since he quit last week.

Breitbart Complete Douchebag, Guess Whose Penis Is Coming to a Screen Near You?

I officially know now that you can’t die from being a complete and utter hypocrite.   If you could, this exchange would have created a heart attack.

It only took two days.

After conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart claimed Monday he had an X-rated photo of Rep. Anthony Weiner, the purported image has surfaced on the Internet. And Breitbart’s not happy.

“I’m mortified,” Breitbart told Fox News.

The image of what are said to be Weiner’s genitals was posted online after Breitbart appeared on the satellite radio show of shock jocks Opie and Anthony Wednesday.

(Caution: graphic image)

Breitbart said that while he was in the studio, Opie — real name, Gregg Hughes — snapped a photo of the graphic image “without my permission.” Breitbart said he’s shown the image to other members of the media as proof of his claims, but until now nobody has made that image public.

“This is the first time that someone surreptitiously grabbed a photo of it. This is a complete breach of our arrangement that the photo would not be made public,” Breitbart told Fox News. “It was a complete violation of trust.” 

Remember folks, it’s perfectly all right for Andrew Breitbart to publish photos that he stole, or someone else stole…but golly gee willickers if you do the exact same thing to him that he does to others…well…if that’s the case, you are the worst kind of scum.

Kinda like Andrew Breitbart.    This whole episode has been disgusting.  Now the the most disgusting part of it is claiming *again* victim status.

Update: Someone saying it better than I did…

What makes the Anthony Weiner story somewhat unique and thus worth discussing for a moment is that, as Hendrik Hertzberg points out, the pretense of substantive relevance (which, lame though it was in prior scandals, was at least maintained) has been more or less brazenly dispensed with here.  This isn’t a case of illegal sex activity or gross hypocrisy (i.e., David Vitter, Larry Craig, Mark Foley (who built their careers on Family Values) or Eliot Spitzer (who viciously prosecuted trivial prostitution cases)).  There’s no lying under oath (Clinton) or allegedly illegal payments (Ensign, Edwards).  From what is known, none of the women claim harassment and Weiner didn’t even have actual sex with any of them.  This is just pure mucking around in the private, consensual, unquestionably legal private sexual affairs of someone for partisan gain, voyeuristic fun and the soothing fulfillment of judgmental condemnation.  And in that regard, it sets a new standard: the private sexual activities of public figures — down to the most intimate details — are now inherently newsworthy, without the need for any pretense of other relevance.

Full post.

Yes, Anthony Weiner lied — about something that is absolutely nobody’s business but his and his wife’s.  If you’re not his wife, you have absolutely no legitimate reason to want to know about — let alone pass judgment on — what he does in his private sexual life with other consenting adults.

Mr. Greenwald does get it wrong a bit later though…

Can one even imagine how much different — and better — our political culture would be if our establishment media devoted even a fraction of the critical scrutiny and adversarial energy it devoted to the Weiner matter to things that actually matter?  But that won’t happen, because the people who comprise that press corps, with rare exception, are both incapable of focusing on things that matter and uninterested in doing so.

Hate to break it to you Glenn, but the people who drive the news business ain’t the reporters.    It’s the bean counters.  Weiners story hits the perfect mark for the modern media business…it’s got sex, it’s got deceptions, and it doesn’t cost a dang thing to cover.  It’s all opinion about sex, which humans love.  This leads to ratings, which leads to money, which leads to competitors copying your style.

And BTW, Glenn, you’d probably get more traction on this if all the rest of your reporting wasn’t about how everyone’s a crook and nobody does anything right.   Who wants to read that all day?

Douchebag Jay Louis Sued by Both Hot Chicks and Douchebags

The guy, Jay Louis, who made the site (and the book) “Hot Chicks with Douchebags” has now been sued by both the Hot Chicks and the Douchebags.

Yvette Gorzelany, Joanna Obiedzinski, and Paulina Pakos (the Hot Chicks) went out to a club called Bliss in Jersey and had their photos taken with guys (the Douchebags). The pics ended up on the website. One of the defendants, Jay Lewis, created the website and wrote a book that includes photos of the women.

According to the suit, since publication of the book the girls have had to undergo medical treatment and psychological therapy.

One woman says she applied to be a Maitre’ d at a country club but didn’t get the job because someone saw her in the book. And we want to know why the presumed dude was looking at it in the first place.

[full post]


NOVEMBER 18–Claiming that he has been unfairly branded a “douchebag” in the book “Hot Chicks with Douchebags,” a Las Vegas man has filed a libel lawsuit against the volume’s author and publisher. Michael Minelli, a 27-year-old club promoter, claims that the inclusion of his photograph in the book has subjected him to “hatred, contempt, and humiliation” and has resulted in “friends, acquaintances, coworkers, employees, and strangers alike” calling him a “douchebag.” As seen below, Minelli’s photo appears on page 202 of author Jay Louis’s book, which was published in July by Simon & Schuster. In the book, Louis noted that Minelli’s “popped-collar, spikey-haired presence was so far beyond regular douche, so far beyond uberdouche, he could spontaneously create a new element on the periodic tables–Douche Nine.” At the time he was photographed by Louis, Minelli was working the door at the popular “Rehab” party at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

[full filing]

And here I’m going to do a little discovery for a the plaintiffs in this case, as I think the site and the author are probably the biggest douchebags in this conversation.  I know it’s fun to make fun of people, but at some point you have to step back and think about it.

Nor am I a particular fan of douchebags. I live in Uptown, Dallas, and we’ve got our fair share.  I tend to laugh at them, to their face.  Of course, I probably have an advantage over Jay Louis in the fact that my “tough guy” persona extends beyond the Net, but I digress.

To understand the level of Louis’ douchebaggery, the simple analogy that I came up with was doing a website (and later a book) called “Nosepickers: Anonymous.”  What I would do is skulk around and take pictures of people picking their noses and then get a pic of them acting normally.  I would then reverse the order I presented the pictures in, and have a set-up and a punchline.   I would make lots of referenses to “boogers” and “sliders” and “stickers” and “flingers”.  There would be a science chapter on the nasal cavity.  The last chapter would be called “The Eaters.”

After I was finally finished, I could then publicly humiliate a ton of people, get a ton of laughs, and make a ton of money.

Sure, I’d be a total asshole, but I’d be successful and rich.  In other words, a typical douchebag.

I haven’t gone that route, however, and I won’t.  One reason being that doing such thing is *really* skirting a legal fine line, and when you have public comments like the ones I’m about to share….doing a book of a blog can be a bad idea.  Here’s an interview with Jay Louis, the author.  Strangely, I couldn’t find a good photo of Jay to tag for this post.  I wonder if he’s averse to having his picture all over the internet with photoshopped dildo goodness..hmm?

The book which is titled, HOT CHICKS WITH DOUCHEBAGS: Deconstructing the Unholy Wrongness of Hottie/Douchey Coupling and How to Recover from the Douchebag Plague will hit shelves in Spring 2008. The Los Angeles resident took time out from ‘bag hunting to catch up with LAist.

What is a douchebag?
Douchebaggery, in its purest state, is about absurdly ridiculous male performance in the interests of impressing a female. It is about men willing to look as ridiculous as possible in the hopes that this “confidence” will impress and confuse the female enough for them to get some. But even if it works, that doesn’t mean we can’t mock them.

Has a guy ever found his photo and contacted you? Does it happen often? If so, what are the reactions like?
When the site was first starting out I’d get lots of hate-mail, but now most people seem to enjoy it, and while the ‘bags I make fun of certainly aren’t happy about it, they seem to roll with it, take their lumps and move on. If I get a request from either person in the pic to take it down, I do. That’s my policy.

[full interview]

And here we have the problem.  The guy knows he’s being a dick, and has acted to be less dick-like in the past. 

When you publish a book of a bunch of pictures that you didn’t get releases to publish and then someone asks you to “take it down,” the only way to follow “your policy” is to get the book off the shelves and re-print it.

After their lawyers find your statements, my guess is that this is exactly what is going to happen.  Well, the off the shelves part, not the re-printing.

Coulda Had A Whole Poetry Thing Going For You (Ravens/Pittsburgh…and football update)

Watching MNF again….trying to…Tony Kornheiser keeps talking…and it hurts.

That title is a quote of his, BTW. [previous observations concerning the football commentating skils of one Anthony Irwin “Tony” Kornheiser]

Let’s see what other brain-piercing pieces of wisdom he has for us….(yes…this is blogging as therapy).

While we’re at it, and for the therapy part, I just want to acknolwedge the near-flawless performance by the Washington Redskins in Dallas on Sunday.  Congrats, you despicable bastards.  Now get back to D.C. and go scalp some politicos, if you don’t mind. 

I knew the Cowoys had a problem when all five of the Fox jackasses (including a decently funny Frank something or other) picked them to win during the pre-game show.  I’m curious how often all five are wrong….I’d expect it to be a great deal more often than when all five are right…since it’s a whole lot easier.*  But such is how statistics and football work… 😉 

Speaking of football, here’s a nice pic from the weekend.

Oh, and a good story about the incredible number of college football upsets there were.

This past week those in the college football world noticed an astonishing turn of events. USC lost its golden armor, UGA lost their strength, Florida lost its super powers, and the rabid badgers could not handle the rabid wolverines. This past weekend was the end of the road for one team and the beginning for some.

[full post]

It was a good weekend for football, except for the Cowboys losing and the sad fact that “Monday” now means Kornheiser.

“In depth analysis, by me!”  Ughh.

“Last year we had Spy-gate, this year we have Eye-gate.”  [crickets].   I’ve mentioned my dislike for *-gate constructions, right?  May I reiterate it here?  Thanks.

 “I took high-school Spanish, and that either means ‘nobody is going to touch him’ or ‘could you pick up my dry cleaning in the morning.’”  Good one, jerkoff.  O.k….this was from a couple weeks ago.   You caught me stacking the deck.

Nice, next he calls Big Ben Roethlesberger a “drama queen” for getting injured as an NFL quarterback after nearly dying in a motorcycle accident.  He also tries to pass it off as “some writers said”.  This from a guy who, and if I may stress this, has never taken a hit in his life.

Observations on the first half: This Flacco character looks to be a solid player.  I hadn’t ever seen him play before, but his first touchdown pass in the NFL was a pretty one.  And of course I love watching Ray Lewis play linebacker.  If you ever wondered how the position is supposed to be played, watch Mr. Lewis.

UPDATE: Well, that’s how quick things can turn.  I was about to mention how Mr. Lewis, at linebacker, had taken over the game in the late fourth quarter and overtime with a tipped pass, good pressure, and sure tackling.  Then Big Ben completed a pass right smack dab in the middle of the field (Ray’s Place) off some good play action and put the Steelers in field goal territory.  Then they slip and go nearly out of field goal territory.  Then they move back into fgt….and….GODDAM IT.  I thought they made that crap illegal.

Time out by the kid coach of the Ravens.

“It’s Good.” Steelers win.

And that, my friends, is why it’s so hard for five experts to be right about the same game.

UPDATE: I just wanted to mention something else about Mr. Lewis.  It turns out that running into him is literally like running into a brick wall.

The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens in overtime Monday night but lost two players to season-ending injuries.

Rookie tailback Rashard Mendenhall suffered a fractured left shoulder and guard Kendall Simmons injured the Achilles’ tendon in his right foot. Both players will be placed in the injured reserve list, according to the team.

[full story]

This happend on a play where Rashard Mendenhall has a nice open hole in the line and ran straight into Ray Lewis.  I’ll see if I can find the highlight.  It looked like a fairly normal, hard hit.  The only difference was that it was Ray Lewis he ran into, and not a normal man.  [searching for video evidence….]



* for all five to be right, all five have to pick correctly.  For all five to be wrong, only one of them must do so.  Beware unanimous decisions, groupthink is a subtle and powerful influence.