Archive for January, 2011

Didn’t really care.

Jan 27, 2011 in Disappointing Dems

Would have suited me just fine if Rahm Emanuel got booted off the ticket in Chicago. Politicians should generally actually live where they’re getting elected. Some say it allows us to have more good choices for leadership. On the other hand, over time the ruling class is less and less representative. And screw Rahm anyway.

-hw

The Party of Less Government Strikes Again!

Jan 27, 2011 in Politics

Won’t Somebody Think of the Children?

Here we go…

Jan 27, 2011 in Energy

I knew Obama was going to get a reaction for daring to mention oil subsidies. This seems like a pretty mild one so far…after all, do either the oil companies or the GOP really want to get into a fight over oil subsidies?

Perhaps, “…by naming this specific subsidy, the president put Republicans into the position of having to be overt in defending their masters in something unpopular with most Americans, or come up with another way to handle investments in the clean energy sectors.”

It’s rather amazing how elementary it seems that we need to invest in clean renewable energy, and that at the very least our efforts should certainly match oil subsidies. That would be a compromise I’d bitterly swallow. But when funds are getting tight, it makes perfect sense to shift our dollars from yesterday’s power source to tomorrow’s.

-hw

About what (TT and) I said, them not really believing most of what they say…

Jan 26, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
24 Hour Nazi Party People
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> The Daily Show on Facebook

What, the FOX audience is going to fact-check FOX? Just say it’s not true, doesn’t matter if it’s true. The audience stays happy, and just those dirty liberals will make noise but that’s okay because whatever pisses off liberals is good.

-hw

Don’t call them stupid!

Jan 26, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives

Mean Chris Matthews, lambasting Michelle Bachmann for saying the Founding Fathers ended slavery and the big Tea Party honcho who can’t help but run cover for her.

Republicans really hate when you call them stupid, and the last thing that matters is whether or not they were actually being stupid. They just run to their friends and talk about how mean liberals are and swear to get revenge at the ballot box. Maybe they can, but the result is rewarding stupidity, and it’s coming from the party that says it’s about personal responsibility. But they say all sorts of stupid things, that turn out not to be true, don’t they? And the supposedly smart ones like this Sal Russo are ever too cowardly to push back against the maroons on their own side.

-hw

Iowa Liberal sucks.

Jan 25, 2011 in Politics

It’s the baby, I swear.

President dared mention oil subsidies tonight and took on the repeal monkeys. Wonder which will generate more outrage?

Of course, what should produce outrage is the symbolic earmark and discretionary spending fluff that won’t come close to paying for the “bipartisan” tax cut deal Obama just signed. It was nice of him to get in front of the Republicans in 2012 and signal that he’s against extending it beyond that year, but he only gets the credit if he doesn’t cave again. Maybe he doesn’t understand, but with Republicans it’s always time for more tax cuts. He won’t get a better deal.

Overall, though, he did well. The fact that the comments thread over at CSPT is babbling about teleprompters should tell you plenty.

-hw

Best president of my lifetime, ctd.

Jan 19, 2011 in Barack Obama, teh gay

Another milestone:

New regulations regarding hospital visitation rights went into effect Tuesday, paving the way for members of the LGBT community to have further control over their own medical decisions.

Under the new protocol, initiated last April and developed over the following months, hospitals partaking in Medicare and Medicaid must now allow all patients to decide visitation rights, as well as who to entrust with making medical decisions on their behalf, regardless of sexual or gender identity.

“This policy impacts millions of LGBT Americans and their families. The President saw an injustice and felt very strongly about correcting this and has spoken about it often over the years,” White House deputy director of public engagement Brian Bond wrote on the White House blog.

Actual family values. Isn’t that something?

-hw

My god, it’s full of stars…wait, no-

Jan 19, 2011 in Science

For a good primer on dark energy and how Einstein saw the signs but lost faith in himself, this is a must read.

If the dark energy doesn’t degrade over time, then the accelerated expansion of space will continue unabated, dragging away distant galaxies ever farther and ever faster. A hundred billion years from now, any galaxy that’s not resident in our neighborhood will have been swept away by swelling space for so long that it will be racing from us at faster than the speed of light. (Although nothing can move through space faster than the speed of light, there’s no limit on how fast space itself can expand.)

Light emitted by such galaxies will therefore fight a losing battle to traverse the rapidly widening gulf that separates us. The light will never reach Earth and so the galaxies will slip permanently beyond our capacity to see, regardless of how powerful our telescopes may become.

Because of this, when future astronomers look to the sky, they will no longer witness the past. The past will have drifted beyond the cliffs of space. Observations will reveal nothing but an endless stretch of inky black stillness.

This kind of stuff is like liquid crack to me…

-hw

Preznit sez be nice.

Jan 18, 2011 in Politics

So I take care of my baby and work on breaking through the difficult second act of the screenplay that has vexed me for six years. Wondering what good web tools there might be to showcase, say, 10 pages or so.

-hw

The real lesson of the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords.

Jan 17, 2011 in WTF?

Democrats can take a bullet to the head and live.

-hw

R.I.P. Trish Keenan

Jan 14, 2011 in Culture

A particularly vicious case of pneumonia means the band Broadcast is no more…

-hw

Forgive us our pugilistic ways…

Jan 13, 2011 in Barack Obama, Culture

Obama takes the high road for all us sinners:

I wish he was standing where the country needed him to be more often, but today, without a doubt, he had it all under control.

-hw

I don’t care who you are…

Jan 12, 2011 in Culture, Politics

…or what you believe. You must believe there is significance in this video:

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords warns Sarah Palin about her incendiary language and a year later gets shot in the head, now lying in a hospital with half of her skull removed so that her brain won’t swell up against it. It would seem that the first group of people to see import there would be the faithful, those who don’t necessarily rely on pure scientific reason to draw their conclusions about reality and the intervention of the supernatural. How do you believe in the Christian god that Sarah Palin believes in and not see importance in this sequence of events?

But if ye be not one of those inclined to credit unearthly forces, then perhaps you believe in karma. While Rep. Giffords certainly did nothing herself to reap her shooting, if you draw back to look at karma within society, the waving of pitchforks is unlikely to be unconnected to death by pitchfork.

And if even that is too mystical for you, then you believe in science, and fractal interactions between human beings that produce a general effect of “reaping what you sow.” A world in which politicians freely talk of “Second Amendment remedies” for lost elections and voters approve is by several orders of magnitude more likely to feature politicians getting shot. In a world where a butterfly’s wings in China knock over a tree in Iowa, loose talk of “Second Amendment remedies” gets public servants killed.

Ultimately, if you’re just a remotely decent person, you recognize Sarah Palin and other prominent GOP figures using violent language about the Democrats being Socialist Fascists seeking to kill Grandma and destroy American culture, fulfilling sinister Marxist plans to turn American Communist from the inside out…and then you see somebody actually take a bullet to one of those Democrats. It’s that moment when you realize just how far off the reservation Palin and her Tea Party were. It wasn’t just heated political banter. People actually get killed in politics, and historically it’s practically the norm. Sometimes reality intervenes, and we realize how nonchalantly we bantered over serious things.

All I’ve been looking for from the right is some sense of, “We’ve been stupid, and we will do better in the future.” In a turn of events that has me in a stupor, Roger Ailes has actually sent a memo to the FOX crowd to tone it down. Risking the admission of guilt, Ailes realizes that the extreme rhetoric may potentially backfire on FOX further. It’s difficult to believe he had it in him, but then again, it seems the barest minimum of decency.

-hw

Not surveyor scope marks.

Jan 12, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives

So, there’s this excuse running around on the right that the marks on Sarah Palin’s map

…were surveyor marks, not gun sights.

First of all, it was gun sights until Gabrielle Giffords was shot. Now we find out it’s just a surveyor’s scope after somebody’s been shot? Ah, but don’t waste your time:

A shooting target, of course. Or still a gun sight, there’s no reason to think otherwise.

As far as damage control efforts go, I’d call this one a backfire. The surveyor’s scope story should be a red flag to any reasonable person that they’re being sold snake oil by a GOP lackey. I don’t think this story is going to gain much traction though. Too much slime to gargle…

-hw

Faces/souls?

Jan 11, 2011 in We'll post whatever we goddamned want to, WTF?

There must be something to it.

-hw

The constant trainwreck resumes.

Jan 07, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives, Constitution, Politics

The 2010 election is a story that remains to be told. We’ve always maintained that the rhetoric of the past two years was a mishmash of unserious mumbo jumbo and crack junkie promises from a defunct and bankrupt party that has lost sight of how to govern and thrives on resentment and paranoia. Not to mention they just cannot stop fibbing, fabricating, and fudging the facts. So what happens when such a group arrives in power?

-The paltry promise to cut $100 billion is already shoved aside.

-They want tax cuts to not be counted as contributing to the deficit, Reaganism by fiat instead of results.

-Two House Republicans missed their swearing in because they were at a fundraiser, thus violating the Constitution when they voted.

-$1 million was blown so the Constitution could be read aloud, excerpting all the nasty parts about blacks being 3/5 a person, etc.

-The repeal of the Affordable Care Act is being tossed out there with no alternatives, and no response to the devastating CBO news that it would cost $100-200 billion to repeal except to attack the CBO. Yeah, because Republican numbers are always so much more trustworthy…(Comprehensive rebuttal here, but do we need to even bother anymore wondering if Republicans are getting their facts straight?)

-Paul Ryan, supposed champ of fiscal responsibility, has blown it and proven that he doesn’t really have any plans whatsoever.

-Republicans block amendment that would require members of Congress, public employees, to disclose their health care benefits. Democrats voted for it, Republicans against. So Republicans want to keep tens of millions of Americans from getting health insurance while keeping it mum that they get government health care.

-Darrell Issa is walking back his stupid claim that the Obama administration was teh most corrupt evah. It’s funny how you go on Rush Limbaugh’s show and you can’t help but join in with the lying bullshit, no?

-Bawl-baby Boehner can’t name his budget cuts in a Brian Williams interview.

Should be a good two years. At least they convinced the public to give them another chance in 2010 instead of 2012.

-hw

How You Know They Don’t Mean Anything They Say

Jan 05, 2011 in Politics

Can you imagine what the right-wing blogosphere would have sounded like if Nancy Pelosi had been “moved to tears” on January 4th, 2007? Can you imagine what we’d be hearing from Malkin, Coulter, Buchanan, all the way down to our esteemed friends at Common Sense Political Thought, had a Democratic speaker wept while taking the reigns?

Let’s be clear. Right-wing bloggers can front all they want about this, but if a Democrat assuming power had cried, today’s right-wing blogs would be exploding with accusations of unmanliness, of the feminized liberal male, of the unfitness of Democrats for command, etc. Had Pelosi wept, she’d have been ridiculed all up and down K street. Instead, the wingers today are upset that the speaker whose term actually represented an historic moment talked too much for their liking.

Don’t get your old pal TT wrong. I have no time for Democrats. But I have less for Republicans, who wouldn’t know how to keep their values consistent if their lives & careers depended on it.
-TT

Republicans want to kill grandma!

Jan 05, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives, Politics

One of Dana’s crackpot authors got aroused after reading this bit of theater in The Hill:

Incoming House Speaker John Boehner’s office (R-Ohio) pointedly vowed on Tuesday to push ahead with legislation repealing healthcare reform.

Boehner’s office responded to a letter sent by the Senate’s top five Democrats, vowing to block a House bill repealing healthcare reform, with a terse, 65-word note.

Boehner’s office wrote:

Senators Reid, Durbin, Schumer, Murray and Stabenow:

Thank you for reminding us – and the American people – of the backroom deal that you struck behind closed doors with ‘Big Pharma,’ resulting in bigger profits for the drug companies, and higher prescription drug costs for 33 million seniors enrolled in Medicare Part D, at a cost to the taxpayers of $42.6 billion.

The House is going to pass legislation to repeal that now. You’re welcome.

– Speaker-Designate John Boehner’s Press Office

Just to clear up any confusion, Boehner is talking about Medicare Part D, a bill written and passed by a Republican congress. Boehner voted yes on Medicare Part D and also voted yes to the amendments that would guarantee exclusivity to stateside drug manufacturers.

Here’s John Boehner singing the praises of the bill:

When I first arrived in Congress I promised to be an advocate for fiscal responsibility and accountability. Here are some things I’ve been working on to keep that promise; to curb the growth in government spending and to ensure that what is spent is spent wisely.

… Even the Medicare reform act that passed in 2003 contains provisions aimed at lowering costs in the long-term. The inclusion of Health Savings Accounts, which allow individuals to save money in a tax free account for routine medical expenses, will go a long way towards reducing the liabilities of the Medicare program.

John Boehner is a deficit peacock who has no real interest in going up against Big Pharma but he is clever enough to know that Teh Librul Media will dutifully transcribe and disseminate anything he wishes to proclaim regardless of it’s accuracy. Especially if it conforms with Beltway free-spending-Democrats and fiscally-conservative-Republicans stereotypes. But the result in two years would be that Democrats wouldn’t have to spend a dime producing “Boehner wants to kill grandma!” themed 30 second spots because companies like Novartis and Pfizer will have them ready to run during prime time.

Boehner can strut all he wants but he can’t go back and change his voting record nor does he have the backbone to attempt to sell free market theology to the DC pharmaceutical lobby.

-mg

That was easy.

Jan 05, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives, Deficit

How are Republicans going to balance the budget? By using disappearing ink in the books.

Republicans’ deficit reduction platform, which may have helped catapult them into the majority, is about to run headlong into a hard reality: Many of their key policy goals will increase the deficit dramatically.

To get around this fact, they’ve included measures in their new rules package to exempt some of their biggest legislative priorities from deficit consideration. Among the exceptions, which the House is likely to consider in the 112th Congress, are the health care repeal bill (scheduled for a vote a week from Wednesday), the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, an AMT patch, extending the estate tax, and more…The health care law, according to the Congressional Budget Office, will reduce the deficit by $143 billion through the end of the decade, and more so in the decade after that. Thus, repealing the law will blow a similarly sized hole in the deficit.

Republicans wave this off.

Of course, Very Serious People still aren’t sure if the Republicans are serious about the deficit or not. Because it’s so difficult to tell whether or not a party that believes in only cutting taxes, never raising them, is serious about paying the bills.

-hw

They don’t write anti-Semitic screeds like they used to.

Jan 05, 2011 in Politics

I found a Chick Tract at work this past week which is usually an event of great joy because it turns an otherwise dull afternoon into one filled with light-hearted laughter. The tract was titled “SCREAM” and its lack of anti-Catholic messaging let me down. The usual two dimensional artwork of scary monsters torturing super creeps was present but the story was trite even for a Jack Chick publication. A man is confronted by a life threatening situation when he is burned badly in a fire. “Fred” winds up in a hospital room in a full body cast (which isn’t how burns are treated but eh…). The hospital chaplain tells Fred that being trapped in a burning building ain’t so bad because hell is just like that except it’s, like, ten times as bad. The chaplain then dutifully reminds Fred of all the shenanigans he pulled in a life dedicated to avarice and vice and tells him if he doesn’t stop chasing whores he’ll know what real burny-burns feel like.

So that’s it. Fred thanks the preacher (who bears a striking resemblance to John Waters) and surprisingly chooses an eternity of love and happiness with Space Jesus over searing pain and endless suffering. J.T.C.’s used to remind the followers of Satan (Jews, Catholics, Teh Gays, Captain Beefheart, Jobriath) of what awaits them in the afterlife using lurid language and hilarious cartoon sketches of devils and demons. They generally serve as more of a comfort object for the devoted than they do a word of warning to the lost because they reassure the fragile egos of the pious and prim that the jerks who laughed at their offers of free copies of Watchtower and shut the door in their faces during last Wednesday nights “outreach” would sizzle in Old Scratch’s frying pan for a thousand years. Feigning sympathy for and feeling superior to the heathens is part of it but actually seeing it illustrated and detailed is the big payoff. Chick’s gone soft.

For those hard of hearing.

Jan 04, 2011 in Politics

Total visits to Iowa Liberal in the month of December was 42,512.

Iowa Liberal daily visits

Had half of those people commented we’d be taken seriously by some of our blogging lessers since the number of comments spawned by trolls, crackpots, and anti-government hypocrites is the only metric by which they judge success. If that’s what it takes then count us out. We’re happier with our more enlightened and humble readership.

Thanks for sticking with us all these years.

P.S. I know the graph isn’t showing up unless you click on the image above. I thought it looked like a Peter Saville design so I kept it.

Compensation.

Jan 03, 2011 in Politics

Well, if our posts are reduced in frequency because I’m usually holding a very energetic 7-week old boy, I should throw readers a bone and do a little baby bloggin…

He does a bit of talking the first minute and a half, little vocalizations. I pretty much turned everybody off my Facebook feed with all the pictures I’ve put up, so I won’t overdo it here.

-hw

Okay, so he’s no Trey Parker or Matt Stone.

Jan 03, 2011 in Where's the outrage?!?!

Okay, if an XO on a ship out to sea wants to spend his free time making juvenile and boorish comedy videos, I really don’t think this should be an big issue. It should, perhaps, inspire a review just to make sure he is actually performing his job, and certainly an administrative swat from above. If he can pass a white glove test on the job, that’s where he should stay. Perhaps on that South Pole route, but hey, somebody’s gotta do it…

-hw

On the other hand…

Jan 03, 2011 in Environment

I like to believe we’ve got a decent shot at creating a sustainable world civilization that can perpetuate for many hundreds of thousands of years.

Sometimes, and this brings me deep regret to ponder it, I wonder how on earth we’re going to make it through the next ten. Well, outside of turning into a Road Warrior-like society. And what’s got me more worried than a super-virus?

The damn bees dying. What stunning foolishness will it look like to the surviving world after 90% of the world’s food supply is rendered sterile? I just had a child, and although I would not like to believe I brought him into a world that will be wrought by devastation, Nature really doesn’t give a rat’s ass what my dreams are. If there’s not enough food, both the good and the wrong will starve alike.

I suppose I’ll have to stick this fear in the back of my mind for now, but while we’re on the subject of George Will’s desire for more science funding (previous blog post), some R&D on post-bee agriculture might be prudent. I mean, not to be all Communist or anything, but preventing the destruction of our food cycle is one of the government’s top priorities.

-hw

Marxist Uprising update

Jan 03, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives

George Will says we need to increase spending on scientific research and development.

Research, including in the biological sciences, that yields epoch-making advances requires time horizons that often are impossible for businesses, with their inescapable attention to quarterly results.

George Will just suggested the government can do some things better than corporations, and that they can improve the country and improve its fortunes to boot! Communists also wear bow ties, I guess.

-hw

It’s hilarious that it’s even a question.

Jan 03, 2011 in Deficit, Journamalism

Washington Post starting to taste reality?

Are House Republicans serious about dealing with the deficit?

When was it established that they were ever serious?

Now they’ve used their political clout from the legendary victory of 2010 to blow a trillion dollar hole in the deficit and have proudly announced their intention to completely de-link tax cuts from deficit calculations.

Y’know, Wal-Mart lowers their prices because it gets more butts in the store. When the government effectively lowers its prices, and says you can have all this wonderful infrastructure and aid, not to mention the world’s largest military complex (in order to play global chess) for less, people will get their butts in that government store. By telling people that if they want a program, they’re going to have to pay taxes for it, I’m being responsible. By telling people they don’t have to pay taxes for anything, and they swear to get around to making some cuts in the future, the Republicans pulled off quite a con job in 2010.

If it appears they weren’t able to foresee a single thing past Election Day, your eyes aren’t lying.

That said, I expect the press to spend the next two years still asking themselves this question. There are narratives to consider, you know.

-hw