Thursday, August 30, 2012

Why Paul Ryan Lies So Boldly

Ryan's Republican convention speech

It would never come into [peoples] heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation.

~ Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf, Chapter 10 (1925)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Obama's Act of God Opportunity

Hurricane Isaac continues to pound New Orleans in the anniversary of Katrina. This can be either a blessing or a curse for President Obama.

On the blessing side, this is a major news distraction from the Republican Convention. I would expect a smaller than anticipated bump as the hurricane continues to lead newscasts. Also, it gives President Obama the opportunity to be presidential immediately after the confetti falls and steal what little thunder the convention generates.

The curse part is that Isaac also gives Obama the opportunity to appear ineffective and/or uncaring. Louisiana has a Republican governor who would prefer the entire population of New Orleans drown than ask President Obama for assistance. He could block federal help and then blame Obama for not helping.

Obama's response will be measured against Bush's seven years ago. It's not a high hurdle but it is one the President must clear.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Encounter With a Tea Partier

I'm walking through a grocery story parking lot when I am nearly run down by a guy driving a jacked up Jeep pimped out for off-roading. While he was pulling into a handicapped parking place.

The Jeep is festooned with Tea Party bumper stickers (Don't Tread On Me, etc.) and enough extra gas cans to travel the length of Baja without stopping. I turn around partly to see the jerk who nearly turned me into road kill and partly to check if the car had handicapped tags. The driver door opens and before his feet hit the pavement he is shouting at me, "You looking for trouble, asshole!" like the Joe Pesci character in Goodfellas.

The man is in his mid-forties, stocky with an extended beer belly, muscular calves and excessively skinny ankles. I have seen he has the special wheelchair license plate so I tell him, "Just checking if you're legal" and turn my back to him and enter the store.

Now I know that heart attack victims can look healthy but still need the special plates. I doubt that was this guy. It is much more likely he lied to get the plates because he hates the thought of some elderly grandma with a walker getting special consideration over him.

I've met a few other Tea Partiers and even the best of them possess a malignant contempt for all of humanity that is not themselves. The worst of them would make Ernst Rohm look like the Sugarplum Fairy.

These are not the people a civilized society would want running things.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mitt the Liar

For his Birther joke Mitt said, "No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate." Unless the rules for the rich are even more different than I thought, Mitt needed a passport to travel abroad and had to show his birth certificate to get one. So Mitt has been asked for his birth certificate and he even lies about that.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Republican Refights the Indian Wars

Republican National Committee member Pat Rogers has sent an angry e-mail to New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez attacking her for meeting with Native Americans because she had "dishonored Col Custer."

The Players
Custer dying at Little Big Horn as interpreted by the Pawnee Bill Wild West Show, 1905
Col. Custer, of course, is George Armstrong Custer, the popinjay in charge of the 7th Cavalry in 1876. His mission was a genocidal war against the Plains Indian tribes of the Dakota Territories to clear the Black Hills for American gold miners. Seeking glory and using the military guile of a dunderhead, Custer divided his command in the face of a vastly superior force of Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho, and lost all 208 men under him that day.

Susana Martinez is the Republican governor of New Mexico. She was briefly touted as a potential vice-presidential candidate by people who didn't remember Mitt Romney's total commitment to Anglo-Saxons.

The Native Americans were the an annual summit with Navaho and Apache tribal leaders that the governor is required to attend by New Mexico law.

Pat Rogers is a lawyer who was forced to resign from an open government foundation earlier in the year because it was discovered he was a sleazier than average lobbyist. Prior to that, Rogers was legal adviser to a voter suppression effort designed to prevent non-Whites from voting in New Mexico.

Pat Rogers is representing New Mexico at the Republican National Convention.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Pro-Tax Republican

Republicans hate taxes. But at least one Republican, Judge Tom Head of Lubbock, TX, has found a cause worth taxing for. He wants a 1.7 cent property tax increase to fund a militia to defend Lubbock against invading UN armies under orders from a reelected President Obama.
Some may wonder why the UN would bother with the 11th largest town in Texas since it is located somewhere between the middle of nowhere and the center of Hell. And especially since most liberals believe the best course of action is kicking all of Texas out of the Union. Maybe giving it back to Mexico although I doubt they'd take it.

Others may wonder what kind of an army a pitiful 1.7 cent tax could raise. If Judge Head were serious he would be advocating mandatory conscription of every able-bodied Lubbockian. Such a robust Lubbockian Army could then force march to Fort Worth and capture the Comanche Peak nuclear power plant. As a nuclear power, Lubbock could then dictate terms to the rest of the world.

Houston Press on Judge Head
An embarrassed Lubbocknick

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Worst Vice-Presidents in History

The Vice-Presidency isn't worth a warm bucket of piss. ~ John Nance Garner

Once there were two brothers. One ran away to sea; the other was elected vice president of the United States. And nothing was heard of either of them again. ~ Thomas Marshall

The Vice Presidency is the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived. ~ John Adams
Teddy Roosevelt was made Vice-President to hide a potentially troublesome personality. Daniel Webster refused the Veep nomination saying he did not intent to be buried until he was dead. So useless is the office it is impossible to be a good Vice-President. It is possible, however, to particularly horrible.

Aaron Burr - Most Treacherous
Arron Burr was picked as Jefferson's running mate in 1800 to held win New York and because Alexander Hamilton hated him. Hamilton also hated Jefferson. When it came to the Electoral College, Burr used a flaw in the Constitution to try to steal the Presidency from Jefferson. Hamilton, hating Burr more, used his influence to save Jefferson.

While in office, Burr became so pissed at Hamilton he challenged him to a duel and killed Hamilton. Burr was charged and acquitted of murder.

After leaving the Vice-Presidency, Burr traveled west to the Ohio River Valley and tried to foment armed rebellion and create a new country with himself as emperor. Burr was tried for treason (picture) and acquitted.

John Breckinridge - Most Treasonous
Veep to James Buchanan at the barely legal age of 36. Ran for President in 1860 and lost to Lincoln. Even though his state, Kentucky, stayed in the Union, Breckinridge joined the Confederate Army, made the rank of major general, and fought in several major battles. Following the end of the Civil War, Breckinridge fled to Cuba to avoid trial for treason. He returned to Kentucky in 1869 after receiving amnesty.

Spiro Agnew - Most Crooked
Richard Nixon was the most crooked President in history, it is only proper that his Veep was the most crooked to hold that office.

Agnew was an arrogant SOB who loved taking bribes. This made his a darling to conservatives even though he was politically moderate. Agnew resigned from office ahead of his bribery trial. He pled "no contest" and paid a $10,000 fine which allowed him to keep $268,000 in bribes. Civil suits finally pried the rest of the money out of his clutches.

Dan Quayle - Dumbest
No one has more recently proved how unimportant the office is than Vice President Dan Quayle. Punked by Lloyd Bentsen in the 1988 debates. Prone to imbecilic statements ("I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future") and with an inability to spell simple words ("potatoe"), he was still renominated. His stupidity only made him more beloved by conservatives. His son, Congressman Ben Quayle, proving the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree, is equally moronic.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sex and Your Congressman - Steven King

Steven King (R-IA) today stated his belief that illicit underage intercourse never results in pregnancy. Incest and statutory rape is, somehow, a magical guard against impregnation. Or so King believes. This statement was his way of defending Todd Akin.

Here is a story from 1998 where a 12 year-old girl was raped by her brother and got pregnant. Michigan, were it happened, prosecutors were sympathetic towards the brother, hoping to get a plea deal. However, they wanted to imprison the victim and force her to carry the baby until a judge intervened and allowed the girl to travel to Kansas (of all places) for an abortion.

Earlier, King advocated for legalizing dog fighting by observing dog fights were not as bad as kidnapping a 13 year-old girl off a swing set, raping her until she got pregnant, and taking her across state lines for an abortion. I guess statutory rape does result in pregnancy if in defense of dog fights.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sex and Your Congressman - Four Stories

Todd Akin (R-MO) believes if a woman is raped she's a slut who secretly wanted it or else her body would magically "shut the whole thing down" and it would be impossible for her to become pregnant. Akin also coined the phrase "legitimate rape" implying there is a difference between that and illegitimate rape.

Paul Ryan (R-WI) agrees with Akin on his definition of rape. They co-sponsored HR 3, an anti-abortion bill that differentiated between regular rape and "forcible rape" only allowing abortion in the later case. It isn't legitimate rape unless the victim is in a coma.

Kevin Yoder (R-KS) went on a drunken skinny dipping romp in the Sea of Galilee in the presence of the wives and minor children of other congressmen.

Tampa prostitutes are afraid of catching venereal diseases from attendees of the Republican National Convention.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Ann Romney Confirms the White Horse Prophecy

We have a reason why we’re running and it’s because I believe in my heart that Mitt is going to save America, that economically we are in such difficult times and that he is the person that’s going to pull us through this. ~ Ann Romney, Aug. 15, 2012
 Most people have missed the above quote from Ann's 30 Rock interview but it is much more significant than whether they will release more tax returns. In this quote Ann is referencing obliquely the Mormon White Horse Prophecy and confirms that the Romneys believe that Mitt has been anointed by God to found a Mormon theocracy in the United States.

The White Horse Prophecy
In 1840 Mormon founder Joseph Smith relayed a prophecy to a couple of his followers. Smith said that in the future the Constitution would "hang by a thread" as a result of rule by a traitorous Black Horse and be saved by a White Horse aided by a Red Horse.

The White Horse will rescue America from the Black Horse and his allies Gog and Magog. "The doings of the Black Horse will be terrible." China will invade from the west. "The nations of the earth will be led by the Russian Czar and his power will be great, but all opposition will be overcome and this land will be the Zion of our God." And then Jesus Christ will return to Jackson County, Missouri.

The whole prophecy is here

A reference to slavery clearly makes the Black Horse an African-American. The White Horse is defined by the LDS church as the church itself and, more specifically, church elders and, even more specifically, "very rich" church elders. The Red Horse is always left unidentified but appears to be a secret cabal that helps the church take over the country.

The prophecy predicts that a Mormon led United States along with Anglo-Saxon Northern Europe will engage in a world war against Turks (Islam), both Roman and Orthodox Catholics, and the rest of the world led by Russia. The whole of the world would be forced to surrender to the Mormon United States.

The White Horse Prophecy was widely known by Mormons prior to it being written down in 1902. Brigham Young quoted from it as early as 1854. While it is not official church canon it is a central part of Mormon folklore.

Mitt Romney and Prophecy
Romney's call for an even bigger military is not just standard Republican dogma (although it is that). Romney will need a massive military for the world war his faith expects him to lead. The not very will disguised racism elements to his campaign is a central part of that war of white Northern Europeans against the world. The White Horse Prophecy also makes it clear that God expects only the "very rich" to rule.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Paul Ryan's Weird Religion

Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. ~ Ayn Rand
Paul Ryan's religion, Randism, makes Mormonism seem downright mainstream. It is difficult to plum the depths of Randism, not because its complex but because it is so pedantic. Ayn Rand lacked poetry or an ability to express herself succinctly. Basically, Randism believes...
  • Selfishness is the greatest virtue.
  • Charity is the greatest sin.
  • The only moral duty is to achieve ever greater wealth.
  • There are superior men (i.e. the wealthy).
  • All others are "subhuman" who need to be "enslaved" and "controlled."
  • "Democracy is a totalitarian manifestation; it is not a form of freedom."
  • There should be a "democracy of superiors only."
Paul Ryan's worshipful adherence to the Cult of Ayn Rand is terrifying.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Is Ryan Qualified?

One thing that stands out about Paul Ryan is his inexperience. Ryan has never been more than a congressman and his legislative productivity has been thin. In history, few people have made the jump from the House to winning election as Vice-President. There have been plenty of governors and senators, a few cabinet members, and one Director of the CIA. Gerry Ford was never elected Vice-President, he was appointed to the post following Spiro Agnew's resignation prior to his criminal indictment.

To find someone whose government experience begins and ends in the House you have to go back to John Nance Garner in 1932. But Garner was Speaker of the House, a major position now third in the line of succession. To find someone who had never climbed out of the well of the House to hold the gavel you have to go all the way back to 1908 when William Howard Taft nominated James Sherman. Sherman's main qualification, like Ryan today, was that he was solidly conservative and balanced Taft's suspect liberal streak.

There have been a couple of losers who had only been congressmen - Geraldine Ferrero (1980) and William Miller (1964). Sargent Shriver's (1972) main qualification was marrying into the Kennedy Clan. In 1936 Alf Landon lost with a Veep pick who had only been a newspaper publisher (Frank Knox).

The fact is, winning presidential candidates look farther up than the congressional chorus line when searching for their dance partners.
Congressional Chorus Line

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Me And Papa John

I'm a pizza addict. I'm not proud of that but at least I admit it. I'd rather have pizza than eat.
Probably not Papa John

Until recently Papa John's has been my dope supplier. They don't make the best pizza but Round Table doesn't deliver in my neighborhood. Papa John's papa, John Schnatter, has announced he is increasing the price of his product by 11¢ because of the evil Obamacare.

No one would have even noticed if Papa John had quietly increased his prices by less than one percent, he would have even gotten praise if he announced a nominal price increase to provide decent health care to his employees. No, no, no...Papa John had to get gratuitously political. So I am in the market for a new supplier.

Unfortunately, only two other chain pizzerias will deliver to my hovel. Pizza Hut has built a profitable business by spreading ketchup on cardboard and calling it "pizza." Domino's has a history of giving money to terrorist groups like Operation Rescue and while they insist they have stopped that practice their product would still taste like bile in my mouth.

One local restaurant owner, George Pernacanio, used to have a restaurant in San Diego's Hillcrest neighborhood but he shut it down and let the property go derelict because he hated the fact gays started moving into the neighborhood and eating there. I won't set foot in there.

I could always start making my own again, like I did in my youth. Just for personal use, mind you.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Paul Ryan - Why Now?

I still think Romney's Veep choice a boring topic but there is one interesting question. Why did he announce it today?

Even PR novices know that Friday evening is a dead time for news. Add to that the final weekend of the Olympics and you pretty much guarantee the Second Coming would be barely noticed. So, why did Romney roll out his "biggest presidential decision" today, when it would get the least possible coverage?

He's Stupid
No one underrates Romney's intellect more than me but this is beyond Forrest Gump dumb to Rainman obliviousness. Maybe Romney believes that nobody watches the Olympics after the dressage competition.

He Was Trying to Hide It
Ryan is a sop to the Tea Party and a net negative to anyone else. Tea Partiers would have noticed if Ryan's announcement was whispered down an empty well at midnight - which it nearly was. Romney wants to avoid any real discussion of the Ryan choice until next Monday when it will be old news.

He Panicked
The Tea Party was in one of their petulant fortnightly rebellions. Romney was terrified they would start gnawing on his legs if it didn't throw the mob some red meat. Today!

Ryan Scares Him
Stay with me here, this is convoluted. Romney needs the Tea Party which mean he needs Ryan. Ryan is more dynamic with a larger, more dedicated following and Romney is scared Ryan will eclipse him. Romney choose to bury the Ryan rollout to show him whose boss. It won't work.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Romney and the Seven Deadly Sins of Politics

Mitt Romney is a sinful man, at least as a politician.

Often defined as the "caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy" rule. Lust has killed many a political career but Clinton proved the "boys will be boys" rule can trump it. There is no evidence Romney has committed this sin but we can't know if he has several teenage plural wives hiding in the weeds. Which leads us to...

Also known as "letting your opponent define you." Romney is determined to be the Scarlet Pimpernel candidate ("that damned elusive Pimpernel"). While he will probably have a cotton candy bio film at the convention it won't accomplish much. Romney has waited too long to define himself. John Kerry and Michael Dukakis are proof of the damage of this sin. I still don't know who Dukakis was, and I voted for him.

People know their politicians are sons of bitches, they just don't want them to be greedy sons of bitches. Taking bribes (Duke Cunningham) will land even a politician in jail. Romney has admitted to manipulating the tax code to legally steal money from honest taxpayers.

Americans like their politicians to be "one of guys" or at least pretend to be. George Bush was born into old East Coast money - he had a silver spoon in his mouth and another one stuck up his butt. But his awe shucks mannerisms convinced the public he was a good ole boy. Romney is an aristocrat and fucking proud of it. He can't help lording over his inferiors.

Also known as wimpiness. Politics is a full contact sport that makes football look like a dance recital. People may decry dirty politics but they know if a candidate can't handle the rough and tumble of a campaign he'll never survive negotiations with Vlad Putin. Romney's constant complaining about how Obama is being mean to him makes Mitt look like a wussy pantywaist.

I've seen it before (Meg Whitman). A politician enters a race with more money than God and ends up squandering it. They hire consultants and pollsters up the wazoo and then hire even more pollsters for the consultants and consultants for the pollsters. Romney has a huge financial advantage yet its not apparent because he is so wasteful.

All politicians lie, that's to be expected. But we demand our politicians be able to keep their lies straight. Rather than being a Master of the Flip Flop, Romney is horrible at it. He flops about on issues with the grace of a fish on the deck of a boat. Even his supporters admit Romney has absolutely no political core and that he has to be house broken like an disobedient puppy.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Romney's Veep

For several weeks now I've considered writing about who Mitt will choose as his Vice-President and why. I've considered studying the pros and cons or weighing the odds. Then, I finally realized, I just don't give a shit because it doesn't matter. So,
adorable puppy!!!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Hava Nagila

Aly Raisman's gold medal floor exercise routine was set to the Israeli folk song Hava Nagila.

The music dates from a 19th century Ukrainian shtetl. Words were added in Jerusalem in 1918 to celebrate the British victory over the Ottoman Turks. The original Hebrew lyrics are simple and translate thus:
Hava Nagila ~ Let's Rejoice
ve nishmeha ~ and be happy
Hava Neranenah ~ Let's Sing
Uru, uru ahim ~ Awake, awake brothers
Be lev sameah ~ With a happy heart
The Horah is the dance traditionally performed with Hava Nagila at Jewish celebrations including weddings and Bar Mitzvahs. It is Israeli, dating back only to 1924, and descends from Romanian/Gypsy folk dance.

Given recent events, this blending of an Israeli Horah with a Punjabi (Sikh) Bhangra is particularly poignant.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Facts About Sikhs

The Sikh temple at Amritsar
It is sad we wait for a tragedy before we try to understand the people we share this earth with and sadder still that no American news agency has seen fit to explain the Sikh religion to Americans.

Who Are the Sikhs?
Sikhism is a religion founded in India in the 15th century. Simplistically, it is an amalgam of Islam and Hinduism. Like Islam it is monotheistic. Culturally it is closer to Hinduism. Sikhism is the sixth largest religion on earth (between Japanese Shintoism and Judaism) and the third largest religion in India.

Where Do They Live?
Most Sikhs live in the Punjab Region of India where it was founded and where they are the majority. Punjab is to the Sikhs what Utah is to Mormons. Large numbers of Sikhs also live in Great Britain and Canada. Some 60,000 Sikhs live in the United States.

What About Those Turbans?
The most notable visible sign of a Sikh is his turban. It is a deliberate act, a sign of their faith. The turban was originally adopted to show that all people are equal in the sight of God. In India in the 15th century only the elite wore turbans; Sikhs rebelled against that by declaring that all may wear a turban.

The turban also has a practical side. Most Sikhs don't cut their hair, believing that God gave us long hair for a reason and it is respectful to allow that hair to grow freely. A properly tied turban allows for long hair and a neat appearance.

They Don't Cut Their Hair?
Nope. It is one of Sikhism's Five Ks. Sikhs don't shave either although they will allow others to trim their hair and beards. It's not that unusual --  Hasidic Jews believe it is a sin to shave their sideburns.

Sikhism's Five Ks?
The five articles of faith of the religion.
Kesh - Unshorn hair
Kangha - A wooden comb for keeping that hair neat
Kara - An iron bracelet that is always worn. Much like those ubiquitous Livestrong bracelets.
Kachera - Sacred underwear.
Kirpan - A curved dagger carried at all times as part of the Sikh duty to protect others. One of the victims of the Wisconsin attack died using his Kirpan to protect others in the temple.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Sex and the Olympics

Put 10,000 young, hard-bodied, randy athletes together in one place and you'll see more fornicating than even Aphrodite could keep up with.

London prepared for the games by supplying the athletes with 150,000 condoms, and the fact is every Olympics the organizers underestimate the number of condoms needed.

(Note: Mitt Romney's 2002 Winter Olympics probably set the record for condom distributions with 250,000 sex sleeves given out leading one prude to observe, "It's like it's raining condoms in Salt Lake during the Olympics.")

With all this barely bridled shagging going on it's surprising to learn that one Olympic athlete was disciplined for have sex with his own wife. Kim Collins of St. Kitts and Nevis was kicked off his team for leaving the nightly bacchanal at the Olympic Village to sleep with his wife.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Did Romney Pay No Taxes?

Probably. According to the IRS, in 2009, 35,000 wealth Americans paid no income taxes. Romney is likely one of them.

In recent decades the tax code has been manipulated so wage earners pay a higher tax rate (35%) than the idle rich who make money gambling in the stock market (15%).

The tax code is chock-a-block with deductions that only the idle rich can take advantage of such as Romney deducting the expenses of his dressage horse. Have you ever tried to deduct the cost of caring for your pet dog?

Moreover, Romney used his untaxed IRA to hide winning investments while claiming tax breaks on his bad bets.

Given all these advantages it is probable that, throughout the Bush years, Romney paid less in total taxes than his landscape gardener. His tax liability was a big, fat goose egg. All perfectly legal.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Five Ring Circus

Sport As Fiction
NBC's prime time Olympics show is like a made for TV docudrama, it's "based upon actual events" but large parts are pure fiction. The over the top attempts to create drama, even when there isn't any, is making suspension of disbelief rather difficult. Still, it is marginally more entertaining than everything else.

Live(ish) Is Better
The daytime broadcasts are far more interesting. The streaming videos are outstanding mostly because there are no annoying announcers.

Horse Sense
The chart over there (----->>) compares the upkeep of Mitt Romney's Olympic show horse with what it costs to support the average American family. And Romney got way more in tax  credits for treating a horse like a princess than the average American gets for raising an entire family.

Fall Programing
I really feel sorry for NBC's programing chief for the sad selection of new programs they are promoting. I mean, even the trailers are fucking boring and those feature the best parts of the shows.

Future Olympics
The Sochi Winter Olympics broadcast promises to be just as phony as these London games. I'm looking forward to Rio in 2016 where NBC will force the Olympic organizers to schedule marquee events for 6am so they have the time to edit reality. That should be fun.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Voodoo Economics

We now know the calculations used in Romney's economic plan.