Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy Rosh Hashanah

Shana Tovah to all my Jewish readers.
Growing up, the day meant getting the day off from school and going to my Jewish Grandmother's for apples dipped in honey. Fond memories.

A Pretty Pair of Boobies

Shall we dance?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A (Very) Brief Bit of History

A short history lesson for the right wing screamers: "Czars" were not communist. In fact, Czar Nicholas had a real problem with the communists.
These people have killed irony so many times.

Dropping Missile Defense

In a rare victory for common sense, President Obama has dropped the (shrub) planned missile defense system that was to be based in Poland and the Czech Republic. Shrub's missile defense plan was one of his greater boondoggles; spending billions on a system that didn't work to defend against a threat that didn't exist marketed by a dishonest rationale. Pure Shrub.
Originally, the system was purported to be a defense of Europe against the threat of Iran's nuclear 'threat'. Among the minor flaws with this idea are:
1) Iran doesn't have any nukes, nor do they look to have any in the near future.
2) Iran doesn't have long range missiles, nor do they appear to be getting any anytime soon.
3) Nobody sane could think of any reason why Iran would drop a nuke anywhere in Europe.
The standard neocon paranoia fantasy is that Iran would use a nuke on Israel is absolutely crazy, and won't happen, but simply looking at a globe shows that missile defense in Eastern Europe would do nothing to prevent such an attack.
The real, but unstated, reason for the missile defense system was to piss off the Russians. The old 'cold-warriors' in the shrub administration were still stuck on the old battle with the 'commies', and were more than happy to shovel billions to the defense industry for that reason alone. But we're in a very different world now. The cold war is over and Russia is a global trading partner. They're not going to be nuking Europe any time soon.
I'm sure that the (never) right-wing will attack Obama for "weakening America's defense" and "surrendering to the Russians" by killing the program, but here in reality all he's doing is ending the waste of billions on a really bad idea. An expensive defense system that doesn't work to defend against a threat that doesn't exist is a prime example of the shrub legacy. Killing the boondoggle is an act of common sense.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dissecting the Baucus Bill

Feel free to dissect it all you like. Because it's dead. Carve it up into tiny pieces. It's going no where.
Six months trying to assemble a bipartisan zombie have only created a cadaver.
The rethugs won't support it. Progressive dems won't support it. The public won't support it.
I'm not sure what sort of reform will eventually come out of the congressional sausage making process, but I'm quite certain that this isn't it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


The house will vote on a resolution of "disapproval" of Addison Graves "Joe" Wilson, Sr. for his shouting "you lie" during President Obama's address last week. In all the media debate of the politics behind the resolution, nobody seems to point out (as I did last week) the simple fact: Wilson's outburst was clearly in violation of the house rules of decorum. Rule #4:

"Refrain from speaking disrespectfully of the Speaker, other Members, the President or Vice President."
Maybe it's the old baseball umpire in me, but I do believe that "the rule IS the rule". It's right there, and every member signs an agreement to abide by the rules prior to being seated. There are four levels of penalties the house can impose: Expulsion; Censure; Reprimand; or Disapproval, with 'disapproval' being the mildest penalty. But, regardless of the politics, the rules need to be enforced, or there are no rules.
(when I umpired Little League Baseball, I acquired a reputation for having a very quick thumb; I tossed anyone who used any obscenity. You could argue with me as loud as you liked, but I refused to tolerate foul language. It's what the rule book said. I'm funny that way.)

added: the wrist has been duly slapped. text of the resolution

When the Shuttle Takes a Leak

What looks like a comet at first, is actually the space shuttle Discovery dropping "liquid waste" prior to last weeks landing. That's right; that beautiful image is the result of a "massive urine release."
A fine way to start the day.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Retro Debates

Everything old is new again; nostalgia isn't a new phenomenon. And the health care debate is another echo from the past:

Sept. 14 (Bloomberg) -- The debate is about health care. The threat is of a march toward “socialism.” The words come from a famous voice. Not Sarah Palin in 2009. It was Ronald Reagan in 1961.

“From here, it’s a short step to all the rest of socialism,” Reagan, then an actor, warned in a 1961 record sponsored by the American Medical Association after President John F. Kennedy created a commission that laid the foundation for Medicare.

Many of the arguments against President Barack Obama’s overhaul effort are refrains from previous debates over health- care policy and Social Security dating to Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman.

“There are substantial echoes of the past rhetoric in what we’re hearing today,” said presidential historian Robert Dallek.

In 1945, the AMA helped portray Truman’s proposal for national health insurance as a creep toward communism. Three years later, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce produced a pamphlet, “You and Socialized Medicine.” In 1993, the health-insurance industry tried to scuttle President Bill Clinton’s proposed overhaul by funding ads featuring a fictional couple who decried a “government takeover” of health care.

Time to try some new arguments, people.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Debating With Dunces

These are the people that we're up against on health care reform. As you can see, they're well "infromed".
And they know America!

They oppose the "pubic" option; only liberals like "pubic" choices.

And they really, really hate "politians"; in fact, they're never, ever going to be "polite". They want new "dipers", too.
"Literacy" is a liberal concept, and they're doing everything they can to destroy it.
It's simply not possible to have a rational debate about something as complex as health care with people who're this intellectually vacuous. Although they are making a very strong case for education reform.
So, here's my suggestion, Mr. Obama: push for a public option, but with an exemption for idiots.