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Year Two Day 174 Obama Administration July 13, 2010 - History

Year Two Day 174 Obama Administration July 13, 2010 - History



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9:45AM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT receive the Presidential Daily Briefing

Oval Office

10:15AM THE PRESIDENT meets with senior advisors

Oval Office

11:00AM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT meet with the Senate Democratic Leadership Team

Roosevelt Room

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), Majority Leader

Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI), President pro tempore

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Majority Whip

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Vice Chairman of the Conference

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Secretary of the Conference

Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Chairman of the Outreach Committee

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chief Deputy Whip

Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), Deputy Whip

Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Chairman of the Policy Committee

Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI), Deputy Whip

Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Chair of Rural Outreach

Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Campaign Committee

Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), Deputy Whip

Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR), Vice Chairman of Committee Outreach

Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chair of Steering and Outreach Committee

12:20PM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT have lunch

Private Dining Room

4:30PM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT meet with Secretary of Defense Gates

Oval Office


Zandar Versus The Stupid

The effort was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The ad blitz is set to begin this week, with the groups reportedly planning to target Colorado Rep. Ed Perlmutter and Indiana Rep. Joe Donnelly.

The alliance is part of an ever growing list of conservative groups, including Americans for Job Security, the Club for Growth, the 60 Plus Association, and American Future Fund, pouring millions of dollars into House races. On Tuesday, POLITICO reported that the Center for Individual Freedom, another conservative group, was planning on spending $2 million in 10 House races.

Great to have tens of millions in anonymous donations spent to buy up midterm elections in the last 30 days, because that's clearly what our founding fathers meant by the preservation of free speech. Meanwhile, who's spending money to buy those seats? We'll never know. You'd think even the Tea Party would feel uncomfortable about that, as they vow to never give a dime to the NRCC and all, but. they don't matter, folks.

Big money talks now, not teabags, not voters, not you and me. And keeping those anonymous donors in money to donate is all that our political system exists to do now.

The Proper Thing And The Right Thing Aren't Always The Same

Case in point: The Obama administration filing an appeal for DADT like. now.

The Obama administration is expected to appeal as soon as Wednesday a federal judge's ruling that halted the Defense Department from enforcing its policy that bars openly gay people from military service, according to senior administration officials familiar with the government's plans.


U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Philips issued an injunction Tuesday that bans enforcement of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy throughout the military services.

While the government has up to 60 days to file an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court in San Francisco, California, officials familiar with the case said that could happen in the next day or two.

Awesome. Hey, ask for a stay on that injunction from a higher court and let's ruin everybody's day, eh? I understand the need to try doing this, but doing so before the election seems, I dunno, overly eager to maintain a law that the President has vowed to see gone, you know?

Zandar's Thought Of The Day

Job programs? Too expensive.

Unemployment extensions for the worst economy in 80 years? Too expensive.

Workfare programs that dozens of states are using directly? Too expensive.

And In The Movie Version, Helicopter Ben Is Played By.

. Paul Giamatti, ladies and gentlemen. William Hurt is Hammerin' Hank Paulson, James Woods as doomed Lehman Brothers CEO Dick Fuld, and Timmy the Invisible Boy is played by Billy Crudup.


And that totally works, too.

HBO's movie "Too Big To Fail" will be out next year, based on Andrew Ross Sorkin's book (which is a good read.)

Turn On The Lights, Watch The Roaches Scatter, Part 19

Things fall apart, the center cannot hold. Two potentially huge developments today in Foreclosuregate. First, as expected every state other than Alabama is joining the state Attorneys General probe into this mess (Alabama? Really? Hey Matt Osborne, what's the deal with that?)

Ever wanted to pick up a red war phone and tell the person on the other side to "start the music"? Effectively, the housing market has just taken a semi-permanent vacation until further notice. There's not an insurance underwriter in the country who will touch a housing loan right now. The housing market just got carpet bombed.

And that brings us to major development number two, via Zero Hedge: JP Morgan Chase just threw MERS under the bus. What's MERS, you ask? It's "Robo-Signers R Us", the virtual reality that the mortgage banks created in order to play their shell game.

Lawyers have argued in court proceedings that the system is unable to accurately prove ownership of mortgages.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and other banks have suspended some foreclosures following allegations of paperwork problems in thousands of cases.

JPMorgan's CEO, Jamie Dimon, made the announcement in a conference call Wednesday to discuss the bank's quarterly earnings.

The Mortgage Electronic Registration System, or MERS, acts as a trading house for millions of mortgages. Lawyers for homeowners say the system lacks the required paper trail to prove mortgage ownership in foreclosure proceedings.

MERS is the entity that's supposed to keep track of all the mortgage loans over the last five years. Right now, the validity of every single 1 and 0 in their systems is now 100% suspect. If JP Morgan Chase is walking away from MERS, then all the banks will. And suddenly, nobody knows who has the note for which mortgage anymore, because gosh, how can we make sure the computers are telling the truth?

Please don your peril-sensitive sunglasses at this time, folks. Your October Surprise is a-coming. And as Felix Salmon reminds us, the banks' investors are going to want their pound of flesh too when they figure out foreclosures are just the tip of the iceberg.

So when you see the Village try to blame the American people for this mess because they "defaulted on their mortgages" remember. the banks don't know who owned those mortgages in the first place, so this would have blown up sooner or later anyway.

Now, whose fault is that?

The Adulation For Application Of Triangulation

Peter Baker's piece in the NY Times Mag on President Obama shows he has basically learned nothing about the Republicans and Washington in his first two years.

While proud of his record, Obama has already begun thinking about what went wrong — and what he needs to do to change course for the next two years. He has spent what one aide called “a lot of time talking about Obama 2.0” with his new interim chief of staff, Pete Rouse, and his deputy chief of staff, Jim Messina. During our hour together, Obama told me he had no regrets about the broad direction of his presidency. But he did identify what he called “tactical lessons.” He let himself look too much like “the same old tax-and-spend liberal Democrat.” He realized too late that “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects” when it comes to public works. Perhaps he should not have proposed tax breaks as part of his stimulus and instead “let the Republicans insist on the tax cuts” so it could be seen as a bipartisan compromise.

Most of all, he has learned that, for all his anti-Washington rhetoric, he has to play by Washington rules if he wants to win in Washington. It is not enough to be supremely sure that he is right if no one else agrees with him. “Given how much stuff was coming at us,” Obama told me, “we probably spent much more time trying to get the policy right than trying to get the politics right. There is probably a perverse pride in my administration — and I take responsibility for this this was blowing from the top — that we were going to do the right thing, even if short-term it was unpopular. And I think anybody who’s occupied this office has to remember that success is determined by an intersection in policy and politics and that you can’t be neglecting of marketing and P.R. and public opinion.”

Translation: "Expect me to continually capitulate even more to the Republicans in a good faith effort to address their concerns and to tell anyone to the left of Ben Nelson to go straight to hell, right up until my impeachment for the crime of not giving the GOP 100% of what their Tea Party fanatics demand."

The Village will eat this up. The Republicans will still impeach him anyway. The Democratic base will of course, continue not to do much of anything.

Amazing to see Obama basically throw in the towel three weeks before the election in order to. what, exactly? Convince independents that they should come back to him because he's not everything evil that the Republicans accuse him of? Does he not get that the Republicans blame him for making them attack him on race, religion, ideology, policy, and everything else?


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Are Implantable RFID Microchips in Obama's Health Care Bill (H.R. 3590)?

***(Update - April 3, 2012) - Please see my note in the comments below. The proposed health bill embedded here is an older version of the House health care bill (HR 3200). Obamacare (HR 3590) DOES NOT contain the microchip provision that was in the older version.

As I read page 1014 of H.R. 3590, it certainly seems like this health care reform bill includes a provision that discusses the potential for RFID implantable microchips. You can read the bill at this link. This provision speaks on the analysis of postmarket safety and outcomes data on various medical devices, including Class II devices.

The FDA has established standards for an implantable radiofrequency transponder systems (a/k/a RFID chips) that are Class II compliant (see above embedded document or on the FDA page). However, these RFID chips will have patient identification and health information. While the bill does not require mandatory RFID microchip implantation, it does establish an initial framework where the scope could be expanded with future legislation and regulation. For further information on one type of chip like this, see Microchip Implant Links All Medical Records, Credit History and Social Security Identification Numbers .

H.R. 3590 amends Section 519 of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C .360i) . Here is the applicable language from H.R. 3590 (page 1,014):

(g)(1)The Secretary shall establish a national medical device registry (in this subsection referred to as the ‘registry’) to facilitate analysis of postmarket safety and outcomes data on each device that—
(A) is or has been used in or on a patient and
(B) is—
(i) a class III device or
(ii) a class II device that is implantable, life-supporting, or life-sustaining.

(2) In developing the registry, the Secretary shall, in consultation with the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, determine the best methods for—

(A) including in the registry, in a manner consistent with subsection (f), appropriate information to identify each device described in paragraph (1) by type, model, and serial number or other unique identifier

(B) validating methods for analyzing patient safety and outcomes data from multiple sources and for linking such data with the information included in the registry as described in subparagraph (A), including, to the extent feasible, use of—
(i) data provided to the Secretary under other provisions of this chapter and
(ii) information from public and private sources identified under paragraph (3)

(C) integrating the activities described in this subsection with—
(i) activities under paragraph (3) of section 505(k) (relating to active postmarket risk identification)
(ii) activities under paragraph (4) of section 505(k) (relating to advanced analysis of drug safety data) and
(iii) other postmarket device surveillance activities of the Secretary authorized by this chapter and.

3(B) In this paragraph, the term ‘data’ refers to information respecting a device described in paragraph (1), including claims data, patient survey data, standardized analytic files that allow for the pooling and analysis of data from disparate data environments, electronic health records, and any other data deemed appropriate by the Secretary.


Zandar Versus The Stupid

In televised remarks to reporters, Rep. John Boehner, of Ohio, who is expected to become the new speaker of the House, replacing Nancy Pelosi, said Tuesday’s election was a mandate for his party to push the agenda on which it had successfully run and won control of one congressional chamber while picking up seats and influence in the Senate.

Boehner was pointed in his comments about healthcare, calling the existing law, the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s two years in office, a monstrosity that must be changed.

“The American people are concerned about the government takeover of healthcare,” he said. “I think it is important for us to lay the groundwork before we begin to repeal this monstrosity and replace it with common-sense reforms that will bring down the cost of healthcare insurance in America.”

All John Boehner believes has to do for the next 700+ days or so:

1) Send legislation to the Senate that repeals part of what President Obama passed.
2) Watch it get vetoed.
3) Blame the President.
4) Repeat.

If you know what your opponent is going to do, you can counter it. Whether or not this occurs to Obama or not, hey, I don't know.

Well Now Here's Your Problem, Dems

Only about one in five people under the age of 30 voted in the mid-term elections Tuesday, says a study based on exit polls.

The poor turnout among youth likely had some effect on the outcome of most races, but nowhere was this more dramatically highlighted than in the California ballot initiative to legalize marijuana. Political observers on Wednesday said the poor youth turnout in California accounted for the defeat of Proposition 19.

"Pot legalization defeated thanks to the elderly," reads the headline of a Justin Elliott article at Salon.com. Elliott points to a report that while six in 10 youth voters supported the measure, it was opposed by seven in 10 senior citizens.

Around one million fewer Americans under the age of 30 cast ballots in the 2010 mid-term elections compared to the 2006 vote, a study from the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) found. An estimated nine million people aged between 18 and 29, or one in five young Americans, voted Tuesday.

Young people are considered a key Democratic Party voter bloc, and their vote was instrumental in getting President Barack Obama elected two years ago, when a record 23 million under-30s cast ballots in the presidential polls.

Tell Them What They've Won, Rand

In Rand Paul's magical egalitarian utopia, we're all the same. There's no difference between Kentucky's poorest rural mountain counties and those in the affluent suburbs of Louisville, Lexington, and south of Cincy. We all exist to serve the rich people that Rand Paul just said aren't really rich. Either Rand is saying "you're all serfs now" or this guy is a few letters short of a bowl of Alpha-Bits. or both.

So when Paul votes to eliminate spending that goes to Kentucky citizens because we all serve rich people and those people need to stay rich, ergo you have to suffer, remember that you had a choice.

New tag for the next six years at least: Don't Blame Me I Voted For Jack Conway.

I'm going to get quite a bit out of this one, my fellow serfs.

The GOP Plan Prevails

Tim Heffernan on Republicans and the GOP Plan for the last two years:

And we're all wearing motley now.

And I've been warning that this was the plan since the beginning: run the country into the ground to the point where Obama cannot improve the economy, and then pin the blame on him. It's working beautifully.

To repeat, the Republicans do not give a damn about the economy. They want it to burn. If we descend into a depression, they win. That's they only way they can win, they know it, so off we go down the rabbit hole.

Until the Democrats acknowledge that there's zero chance for compromise and start fighting back by framing the debate as the Republicans being the party of getting jobs for themselves and the Democrats being the party of creating jobs for everyone, this will continue.

What part of "Our top priority is to make President Obama a one-term president" do you not get, Dems?

All Aboard The QE2

As Helicopter Ben sets sail with $600 billion in bond purchases.

The decision, which takes the Fed into largely uncharted waters, is aimed at further lowering borrowing costs for consumers and businesses still suffering in the aftermath of the worst recession since the Great Depression.

Also, They Should Ban Dinosaurs And Evil Robots

Oklahoma made a preemptive blow against THE TERRORISTS yesterday with over 70% of the state voting to ban judges from using "Sharia or international law" when issuing rulings.

Opponents of the measure pointed out that the First Amendment bars Congress from make any law respecting the establishment of religion.

The proposition also faced criticism from Muslim leaders who have said they intend to challenge it in court.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is one of the top voices spreading concern that Islamic law may creep into American courts, although he has not provided proof that such fears are justified.

Gingrich attracted national headlines in September at the Values Voter Summit in Washington when he declared, “I am opposed to any efforts to impose Sharia in the United States.”

“We should have a federal law that says under no circumstances in any jurisdiction in the United States will Sharia [law] be used in any court to apply to any judgment made about American law,” Gingrich said.

Besides this being a deeply cynical attack on Oklahoma Muslims, good luck getting any international company to do business in Oklahoma if international trade law no longer applies to businesses in the state.

The Real Losers From Last Night

Rasmussen Reports polls as Nate Silver runs the numbers.

While waiting for the remaining results to trickle in from states like Colorado and Alaska, I did a quick check on the accuracy of polls from the firm Rasmussen Reports, which came under heavy criticism this year — including from FiveThirtyEight — because its polls showed a strong lean toward Republican candidates.

Indeed, Rasmussen polls quite consistently turned out to overstate the standing of Republicans tonight. Of the roughly 100 polls released by Rasmussen or its subsidiary Pulse Opinion Research in the final 21 days of the campaign, roughly 70 to 75 percent overestimated the performance of Republican candidates, and on average they were biased against Democrats by 3 to 4 points.

Every pollster is entitled to a bad cycle now and again — and Rasmussen has had some good cycles in the past. But their polling took a major downturn this year.

Doesn't have anything to do with Scott Rasmussen's agenda, eh? Remember that going forward.

A Rasmussen survey in Hawaii showed Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) leading challenger Cam Cavasso (R) by 13 points two weeks ago, 53% to 40%.

The final results showed Inouye winning re-election by 51 points, 72% to 21%.

Bayh The Power Of The Centrist Daleks!

And Evan Bayh, who remember quit the Senate because being a Senator was just too darn hard, is now giving free (and unwanted) advice about what the rest of the Dems need to do. Guess what it is?

It is clear that Democrats over-interpreted our mandate. Talk of a “political realignment” and a “new progressive era” proved wishful thinking. Exit polls in 2008 showed that 22 percent of voters identified themselves as liberals, 32 percent as conservatives and 44 percent as moderates. An electorate that is 76 percent moderate to conservative was not crying out for a move to the left.

We also overreached by focusing on health care rather than job creation during a severe recession. It was a noble aspiration, but $1 trillion in new spending and a major entitlement expansion are best attempted when the Treasury is flush and the economy strong, hardly our situation today.

And we were too deferential to our most zealous supporters. During election season, Congress sought to placate those on the extreme left and motivate the base — but that meant that our final efforts before the election focused on trying to allow gays in the military, change our immigration system and repeal the George W. Bush-era tax cuts. These are legitimate issues but unlikely to resonate with moderate swing voters in a season of economic discontent.

With these lessons in mind, Democrats can begin to rebuild. Where to start?

Instead of listening to the Dem base, Bayh of course wants Dems to publicly tell liberals to go to hell and listen to the "most zealous members" of the Republican base instead. They'll surely vote Democratic then, just like they did last night when the Blue Dogs who ran on exactly that strategy got slaughtered, right?

Or maybe the problem is tens of millions of Dem voters stayed home because they thought the Democrats didn't give a damn about them.

When somebody tells you Dems can win by running to the right, ask them how the Blue Dogs did in 2010.

So What The Hell Happened?

The retiring Boomers and Seniors turned out in massive numbers for the Republicans, and younger voters, African-Americans, and Latinos didn't turn out for the Dems. Really is that simple. The electorate this time around skewed some 41% conservative, 29% moderate, and only 20% liberal.

And those Seniors turned out in massive numbers for the Tea Party because of the hundreds of millions of dollars spent scaring them. Some 40% of Americans said that they were worse off than they were two years ago. So why didn't minority voters and younger voters turn out? It probably has to do with the much, much higher unemployment numbers among African-Americans (16.1% by last count) and Americans under 25 (12.4%) than the national average. Some ten million more voters turned out for the GOP nationally adding up all the Senate results.

But the biggest losers? The House Blue Dog Dems. Out of 54 Blue Dogs, 28 of them lost, four more are down to the wire.


Etymology

While the technique has been used in various forms for centuries, the term water board appeared in public in a 1976 UPI report: "A Navy spokesman admitted use of the ‘water board’ torture . . . to ‘convince each trainee that he won’t be able to physically resist what an enemy would do to him.’” The verb-noun waterboarding dates from 2004. [ 3 ] First appearance of the term in the mass media was in a New York Times article on 13 May 2004:

The U.S. attorney Alan Dershowitz is reported to have shortened the term to a single word in a Boston Globe article two days later: "After all, the administration did approve rough interrogation methods for some high valued detainees. These included waterboarding, in which a detainee is pushed under water and made to believe he will drown unless he provides information, as well as sensory deprivation, painful stress positions, and simulated dog attacks". [ 35 ] He later told the New York Times columnist William Safire that, "when I first used the word, nobody knew what it meant." [ 3 ]

Techniques using forcible drowning to extract information had hitherto been referred to as "water torture," "water treatment," "water cure" or simply "torture." [ 3 ] [ 34 ]

Professor Darius Rejali of Reed College, author of Torture and Democracy (2007), speculates that the term waterboarding probably has its origin in the need for a euphemism. "There is a special vocabulary for torture. When people use tortures that are old, they rename them and alter them a wee bit. They invent slightly new words to mask the similarities. This creates an inside club, especially important in work where secrecy matters. Waterboarding is clearly a jailhouse joke. It refers to surfboarding"– a word found as early as 1929– "they are attaching somebody to a board and helping them surf. Torturers create names that are funny to them". [ 3 ]

Webster's Dictionary first included the term in 2009: "[A]n interrogation technique in which water is forced into a detainee's mouth and nose so as to induce the sensation of drowning." [ 36 ]


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Is President Obama Ready to Use a Nuclear Bomb on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig Spill?

I have no idea if a nuclear (or nookular, if you are like me or George Bush when it comes to pronunciation) bomb will work to close the oil spill. However, I do imagine that a nuclear bomb could make things way worse than the current catastrophic spill. The bomb could potentially breach the ocean floor causing the entire oil deposit to spill out into the Gulf of Mexico.

I do not know if Obama will indeed take this nuclear option route, but the President has sent nuclear experts to the field .


BP's CEO Tony Hayward even implied that the physicists came up with one idea, but did not elaborate. Could it be this aforementioned nuclear option?

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Hayward said the five-hour meeting involved a "very deep dive" into the situation at hand, with "lots of nuclear physicists and all sorts of people coming up with some quite good ideas actually."

Pressed further about the meeting, he said they had " come up with one good idea " but declined to elaborate.


Obama for People with Disabilities, Deaf People

[People who wish to communicate with the Obama administration should PLEASE CONTACT THEM DIRECTLY . I am NOT able to pass along your emails to the Obama administration. You can contact the White House at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/. Or you may prefer to contact the White House Office of Public Liaison, which in their own words is “ the front door to the White House through which everyone can participate and inform the work of the President,” at http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/opl/]

US President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden say the United States “should lead the world” in helping Deaf people and people with disabilities to “take full advantage of their talents and become independent, integrated members of society.” Obama has promised to make the United States a signatory to the UN
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and will urge U.S. Senate to ratify the Convention as soon as possible.

Obama offers a four-part plan for improving opportunities for Deaf people and people with disabilities in the United States:

(1) Providing Americans with disabilities the educational opportunities they need to succeed.

(2) Ending discrimination and promoting equal opportunity.

(3) Increasing the employment rate of workers with disabilities.

(4) Supporting independent, community-based living for Americans with disabilities.

Obama says he and his administration will “work closely with individuals with disabilities and disability rights advocates to achieve this vision…”

What can YOU do to help make this plan come true? Politicians are usually more quick to follow through on their promises when they know that people across their country–and throughout other countries of the world–are watching them. Please send emails to Obama’s team: ask Obama to move quickly to meet all of his promises to people with disabilities. Which promise do you care about the most? Jobs for people with disabilities? Signing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities? Better-quality education? Independent living in the community? Tell Obama why it matters so much to you.

Send emails on Deaf- or disability-related issues to Kareem Dale, Obama’s National Disability Vote Director (at [email protected]), WITH COPIES TO Anne Hayes, a volunteer on the Obama Disability Policy Committee (at [email protected]).

If you wish, you may learn more detail about the national and global email-writing campaign by viewing the short slide show below (click on the right arrow to advance to the next screen). You also may download the slide show for yourself (106 Kb), or read most of the same text on-line at http://wecando.wordpress.com/2008/11/07/disabilities-email-obama/

After you send your own email to Obama, please also encourage your friends and colleagues to do the same.


Friday, December 30, 2011

Miscellany: 12/30/11

He who is firm in will molds the world to himself.
Johann Gottlieb

My Favorite Former Judge, Andrew Napolitano, Has Something to Say:
"When Presidents Go Bad": Thumbs UP!

In yesterday's post, I argued that ICE's disingenuously rationalized backdoor amnesty, unauthorized by the Congress, is not only politically motivated, but a dereliction of duty and patently a violation of equal protection (and hence unconstitutional). Judge Napolitano points out other unconstitutional things that Obama, who allegedly "taught" constitutional law at the University of Chicago, has done in office and his hero, FDR, before him.

Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and the Pundits

The Union Leader (NH) publisher Joe McQuaid decided to go after Romney (what else is new? He did it in 2008, too) because (gasp!) Romney decided in the unlikely event Ron Paul won the GOP nomination, Romney would support him even if he had foreign policy differences with him (e.g., over Iraq and Israel). The hypocrisy is staggering: the neo-cons like McQuaid desperately want Ron Paul to make a loyalty oath because they know he could siphon off GOP votes as an independent. (There are good reasons I don't expect that to happen for one thing, it would put Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) in a difficult position second, Ron Paul has no chance of being elected through a third party, and there is no way that he wants his legacy to be the reelection of Barack Obama.) There are a lot of times we vote for a politician, even when we disagree with him on some issues. For example, there are a substantial number of pro-abortion choice Republicans whom vote for the almost exclusively pro-life GOP Presidential candidates since Reagan was elected nearly 32 years ago.

I've tried to stake out my own stake on the Middle East, Iran and North Korea. It would be national suicide for a rogue state to attack the United States or Israel, for that matter. Some of these neo-cons seem to be almost begging someone to attack these countries, and that's very dangerous territory. What have we learned from the fact that more Americans have died in Iraq and Afghanistan that the people whom died on 9/11? We have a budget with a 40% hole in it, we spend more on defense than the next few nations combined and we're spending more blood and treasure in the region than neighboring allies? We need to choose our battles better: we do not have the resources to do unrestricted nation building on all the continents we need to be tighter with a buck across budgets, not just domestic expenditures.

Even the first and best American Idol Kelly Clarkson found herself attacked for daring to tweet her support of Ron Paul. Ron Paul is also drawing some heat over certain racially-insensitive comments made by other writers in newsletters he published under his own name between his failed Presidential bid in 1988 and his return to Congress in the mid-1990's.

I am standing by my preliminary endorsement for Ron Paul in Iowa next week. I don't necessarily agree with everything he says or does, but I get tired of 5 or 6 Presidential candidates basically giving the same talking points on the same issue. Ron Paul presents a philosophically consistent critique of Big Government--including the military-industrial complex. For more than half of our history, we basically didn't get involved in the military conflicts on other continents. Paul is the the person saying that the emperor is wearing no clothes. We've got to stop costly foreign entanglements we've got to get a fiscal mess in order. We've got to stop surrendering our constitutional rights against the ever expansive government scope creep (including the TSA and the Patriot Act). Ron Paul is the one candidate from either national party whom addresses these issues consistently. His is a voice that deserves to be listened to, and polls suggest that he is nearing a 20% support level in virtually every state leading off the path to the nomination. For other Republicans to be dismissive of what Paul has to say is to ignore the 20% of the people intending to vote for him.

Happy Birthday to the Blogger! Old Days.

I use all 5 major browsers, but I heart Google technology. (The core search engine is wonderful I was an early adopter of Gmail and Chrome, Google Translate is a thing of beauty (you can optionally translate a foreign-language webpage at the press of a button), and of course there are the acquired brands (Blogger, which I use for this blog, and Youtube, which I use almost exclusively for my video clips). In fact, I like some of its products and services they've desupported, like the daily humor website Giglish, Notebook (folded into the awesome Docs), and Desktop/Sidebar (the Google Calendar gadget is a very attractive tile with color-coded event dates and a list of upcoming events underneath).

If you are new to Chrome, there's a new built-in toggle switch new page between most frequently used website and user-installed web apps (complementary concept to add-ons or extensions) tiles. Here are a few extensions I have used and recommend: Magic Actions for Youtube (cinema mode is amazing among the options: full-screen, replay, not autoplay but buffer a video, etc.), 2D browsing (simple window/tab dashboard)/TooManyTabs, Lastpass (passwords)/Xmarks (bookmarks/favorites), Bookmark Sentry (scan for and optionally delete duplicate or obsolete bookmarks), iReader (or Readability bookmarklet) (strips off extraneous webpage content other than base text for say pdf-prints) , Wisestamp (configures signatures for your online Gmails), Google Dictionary (double-click on a webpage word for a popup definition) and Evernote/Metaproducts Inquiry (webpage clipping downloads: note there are corresponding freeware desktop clients). The extension icons in the address bar can also be functional for example, some will indicate the number of emails in your Gmail account, your local area temperature, and the amount of time until your next scheduled event. Google has a second calendar extension which serves as a dropdown list of future calendar events.

Musical Interlude: Nostalgic/Instrumental Christmas

Mormon Tabernacle Choir (with Hallelujah)


September 20, 2008

Fresh Palin Jokes

1. How do you confuse Sarah Palin? Ask her what the vice president does.

2. How do you really confuse Sarah Palin? Hand her a condom.

3. How do you inspire Sarah Palin? Tell where in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus condemned capital gains taxes. Then explain these are taxes on rich people .

4. How do you surprise Sarah Palin? Introduce her to black people.

5. How do you alarm Sarah Palin? Remind her that if she wins, she has to move to Washington, D.C., where the black people live.

6. How do you interest Sarah Palin? Explain how the Egyptians were able to build the Pyramids what with having to fight off so many tyrannosaurs.

7. How do you know Sarah Palin? In high school, she was that chick in the back of the Camaro that kept insisting on getting peach wine coolers.

8. How do you turn on Sarah Palin? A romantic evening in front of a cozy fire of burning books .

9. If you're John McCain, what do you keep having to remind her? I picked you for VICE-president.

10. What famous American historical model does Sarah Palin employ for her concept of high public office? Family Feud.

More poll imagery

This makes me happy for a number of reasons.

Americans apparently aren't as stupid as I though (maybe just a bit slower to realize things)

Americans apparently will listen to the Media if they keep repeating a story often enough

And finally, the media can do it's job when pushed hard enough.

My take is that the TV media is trying to assuage their collective guilt about their past lack of diligence about W in favor of asking hard questions early on and holding on to them with the tenacity of..

. what's that breed of fighting dog that's renowned for it's jaw strength?

Anyway, the media as a whole is acting like one of those dogs only with some sort of makeup applied to make them presentable.

posted by The Sum of All Monkeys at 9:05 AM 1 comments


Monday, January 18, 2010

Mutated Human Body with Very Long Fingers Washes Ashore Beach at Plum Island, New York

***(UPDATE - October 16, 2010) The original Arizona Daily Sun link is no longer available, but here's an alternative link to The Huffington Post. Arianna wouldn't lie to you, would she?

The mutants are coming, the mutants are coming. A mutated human body with freakish fingers just washed up on a Plum Island beach. This guy's fingers must have been really long if the writer of the quoted story felt the need to comment on their length. I wonder what Plum Island experiment he escaped from before succumbing to his fate. Someone please call the Toxic Avenger!

Police on Long Island say an autopsy found no immediate cause of death but determined the partially decomposed body was that of a black male about 6 feet tall with a large build and very long fingers . They say there were no obvious signs of trauma.

Plum Island is about 100 miles northeast of New York City in the Long Island Sound. It has been called a potential target for terrorists because of its stock of vaccines and diseases, such as African swine fever.