Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Real Iowa Straw Poll Winners Were G, M & T

That's Giuliani, McCain and Fred Thompson. Yes, I know that Mitt took the cake. But, 31%? Folks, three of the four front runners were not there and Mitt could not take more than 31% from the rest of the pack?

No matter how it is spun on tomorrows show's, this is a bad result for the Romney campaign.

But Was the Hat Yellow?

Man smuggles monkey aboard plane --under his hat!

Tired of Gay being an issue

Is anyone else tired of this being an issue? How can anyone believe that who a person chooses to kiss is in any way the government's business? It drives me crazy. I cannot accept any religious argument; the US is not a theocracy. The founding fathers did not want religious dogma interfering with policy and they were right.

Once again we are talking about the draft as the only answer to our dramatically over extended troops. Yet, the military is still discharging capable, dedicated and interested soldiers under don't ask, don't tell. It is insane.

What about marriage? Remember we have removed religion from the argument, lawmakers swear to uphold the constitution, not the Bible. So, without a religious argument, the only reason not to allow gay marriage (no, icky feelings are not valid reasons for lawmaking) is the support of the possibility of child rearing. Great. No benefits for people who choose to marry as seniors. Infertile couples who knowingly claim marriage benefits become guilty of fraud.

No, that won't work.

There are no non-religious arguments that hold water. Anyone who believes otherwise is a fool. Anyone who uses religion to hold a demographic down is allying themselves with those who used religion to support such serious threats to morality as the abolition of slavery and allowing women to vote.

I am so tired of this being an issue. People, we need competent people in our military and we need to get our politics out of the bedroom.

In the late '60s Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau said, “The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation.” He was right.

Tax on Bond's Ball --Boo Hoo

I can't stand hearing supposed experts saying that they would not want to be in the position of having to pay taxes on Barry Bond's home run ball.

One talking head on CNN just said that he would run away from the ball if it was coming his way because of the IRS. Is he insane?

Let me play in out for you.
  • Game starts, dude doesn't have a home run ball.
  • Dude catches the ball.
  • Dude fights off idiots who try to steal the ball from him.
  • IRS calls up the dude and tells him he has to pony up 35% of the ball's value.
  • Dude has to sell the ball for $500,000 because he can't afford the tax.
  • Dude pays IRS $175,000.
  • Dude puts $325,000 in the bank.
  • Dude doesn't have a home run ball.
  • Game over.
So, horror of horrors, the guy from Queens ends up like he began, without the ball. But now he has almost a third of a million smackers in the bank. Bummer.

Now the legitimacy of collecting tax on the ball immediately is a subject for another post. I would like to see it categorized as a capital gain and taxed only after it is sold. But, as I said, that is for another post.

Friday, August 10, 2007

All of the Candidates Positions

Click here to here to zoom in (will transport you to Flickr)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Bill Richardson Doesn't Get The Press He Deserves

Bill Richardson indisputably has the best foreign affairs resume in the primary game and yet in a time where foreign policy is the dominant issue he gets little or no press.

Too Bad, he has some great things to say. (and I love his "Job Interview" commercials)

Now he is coming out on the side of education. For anyone else this would seem as meaningless pandering but the way he ties it to the Iraqi situation is masterful and worthy of coverage --but I didn't see anything about it on CNN.
More in the Boston Globe.

How many presidential candidates have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize four times?

Outsourcing: Good For National Security?

Far from threats from Candidates like the suddenly hawkish Obama, Pakistan and General Musharraf could use the humble hand of friendly support from America's leaders. Sure he is no saint, but the repercussions of his potential loss of control over Pakistan could be devastating to the war on terror --and his support is dwindling.

Let's not forget that Pakistan not only has the bomb it is also where many of the enemies in the war on terror have chosen to settle and build training camps. Do we want an unfriendly administration to take over?

Now, to be sure, the help he requires might not be military, it might be economic. This is one place where national security might trump economics: outsourcing for the security of the nation. If we can keep Musharraf popular (by employing his people) we might be able to keep Al-Qaeda from getting their hands on a nuke.

This might be enough to get Lou Dobbs on the side of outsourcing.
More on Musharraf's plight in the Associated Press via the Chicago Tribune

But He Must Leave His Wife At Home

A Serbian farmer is allowed to take his prized bull to prison with him.
From Ananova

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Metric System. Is it just a Fad?

Here is a map of all of the countries that have not adopted the metric system.

A Good Day to Visit the Bank

Imagine walking into the bank to deposit about a grand and having more than three thousand times that much (Approx, $3,577,000) put in your account.
From Ananova

President of Canada?

In an election where foreign policy might be the number one issue (let's not forget that war is foreign policy) Barak Obama has made another blunder. This one might be small, but it might not. The question is, how rehearsed was his answer? Was it a slip of the tongue or did he actually think that Canada has a president?

The quote on trade aggreements:
I would immediately call the president of Mexico, the president of Canada, to try to amend NAFTA, because I think that we can get labor agreements in that agreement right now. And it should reflect the basic principle that our trade agreements should not just be good for Wall Street; it should also be good for Main Street.
There are several issues with his statement I will list two.

1.) Canada's government, a parliamentary democracy, has a very different form of government from the USA. Up there the figurative head of state is the Queen and the head of the government is the Prime Minister, there is no President. Barak should know this. Should he win the nomination and, subsequently, the election he will be meeting with Kings, Queens, Princes, Emirs, Presidents and Prime Ministers. It would be a good thing if he knew the difference.

2.) It is arrogant of him to think that he will just call up Mexico and Canada and alter agreements that have bolstered the economies of both nations. Canada is to a large degree an exporting nation, it is not in their best interest to "amend" an agreement that gives them relatively free access to the largest import and consumption driven market in the world. Why would they want to "amend" NAFTA? Why would Mexico? To bail out the US whose consumption addiction is now even more devastating than before due to their plummeting currency?

I don't believe that Obama's faux pas will have an effect on the primaries, but should he win the nomination, the merciless Republican machine will have yet another weapon to use to destroy him.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Bad Neighbor

Sometimes mosquito infestations call for drastic measures and sometimes absent neighbors can be troublesome, but arson is not the answer. Crazy.

Will We See a McCain/Giuliani Ticket?

This looks like the beginnings of a partnership.

Buddy, Wanna buy an AK-47?

There are somethings you lose (keys, remote control, virginity) and some things you don't lose (wedding ring, 363 tons of shrink-wrapped hundred dollar bills, 190,000 AK-47s and pistols). Guess which one America has not lost in Iraq? Even though some poor official has probably misplaced his wedding ring, that cannot be blamed on America. The scary fact is, the other two have gone missing.

Yes, I know the misplaced (oops) 12 Billion dollars is old news and could in fact purchase purchase over ten million AK-47s (according to a source well informed on these matters), the almost 200,000 missing Ak-47s and pistols is more disturbing to me. To know that American and allied men and women are being shot with their own weapons is astounding.

Issued to Iraqi Forces Listed in the Iraqi Property Books Missing
AK-47s 185,000 75,000 110,000
Pistols 170,000 90,000 80,000
Body Armor 215,000 80,000 135,000
Helmets 140,000 25,000 115,000

When I heard that the money went missing, I thought it was a typical situation on a very large scale, but we are not supposed to misplace weapons. And we are not supposed to misplace enough weapons to arm a significant force. Let's not forget that the bad guys will be able to use the weapons not just against us, but also as currency.

From the Washington Post
"They really have no idea where they are," said Rachel Stohl, a senior analyst at the Center for Defense Information who has studied small-arms trade and received Pentagon briefings on the issue. "It likely means that the United States is unintentionally providing weapons to bad actors."
Bad actors indeed. No, let us not down play the situation. The United States is unintentionally providing weapons to the enemy.

I thought there were checks and balances? When someone takes possession of a weapon, or a humvee, or a tennis racket don't they have to sign for it? Is there not a record of the chain of possession on enough fully automatic assault rifles, pistols, body armor and Helmets to stock 3 average sized Costco outlets?

Sorry, all I have right now is questions and an uncomfortable feeling in my gut.

Where is the responsibility?

Golf Story of the Week

A hole in one is something to brag about for the rest of your life. But on the wrong hole?

I'm afraid slicing is one of my problems.
From Ananova

Monday, August 6, 2007

A Quick Chuckle

The headline says it all:
Thai cops punished by Hello Kitty

No Warrant Required

It saddens me.

This administration continues to erode the freedoms that the founders saw as indisputable. We have often heard that the President's first obligation is the safety of the American people. This is, in fact, not true. The president's first sworn duty is to protect the constitution of the United States. The framers felt that the ideals of the country were more important than individual people, it is too bad that this President does not feel the same way.

We were told that the terrorists would win if we stopped shopping. That was absurd. Truth is the terrorists do not win when they blow up a bomb, or take down a building, or kill thousands of people; the terrorists win when they cause us to alter that which is fundamentally opposed to their way of life and foundational to ours: the Constitution and The Bill of Rights.

The founders would not be happy.
More in the New York Times

Cramer's Meltdown

I usually find Cramer's antics a little contrived --and I can't stand all the sound effects of his show. But, I became a bigger fan after watching his meltdown on CNBC on Friday.

I don't believe this was an act, I believe that this is a man that knows what he is talking about and cannot stand watching the Fed make a mistake that could put millions (yes, millions) of people out of their homes. He knows way more than I do and I am not going to make any points about what he is saying, however his extreme passion is well placed. Too often money shows are cleansed of emotion, this disregards the fact that peoples' lives are effected by the movements of the fed at a grassroots level: a small mistake by the fed hurts millions of people directly.

If you missed it, sit back, and click here.

After composing himself he gave this interview to explain the rant.

I almost wish he hadn't explained it.

Perhaps one day we'll see some emotion (other than defensive) in a presidential debate.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Republican Debate: The return of McCain?

This debate offered little other than the tired, slow-pitch questions coupled with pat, predictable answers and wired pseudo-attacks. That said, McCain did come out with a few duzzies reminiscent of the old McCain, the McCain that has given him non-partisan support over the years.

My two favorites:
I will veto every single bill that comes across my desk (with pork) and make the authors of those pork-barrel projects famous.

Look, I would be very careful that everyone understood that there is only one president. (A great dig at Bush/Cheney)
Ron Paul, again, went straight to the people with his return to old school conservatism message. But will the people pay attention? Not likely, the people will read the reports in the media and Ron P.'s message does not get coverage. I did like his Bush Cheney zinger:
...most people (in Washington), behind the scenes, think the Vice President is more powerful than the President. Philosophically, I think that this is the case.
We'll see what the big media has to say, but other than the above moments I saw nothing worth getting up early Sunday morning.

Maria B. on The Mclaughlin Group

For those who missed it, she held up well. Jumping into the fray when McLaughlin made the economy the issue, she even had a moment where she looked on Buchanan with great disdain. But --and there often is a but-- I can no longer watch her as I did before seeing her dismal performance on Jeopardy (here) where Anderson Cooper destroyed any vision of her being anything but CNBC eye candy.