Saturday, December 01, 2012
Saturday, November 17, 2012
President Obama got Osama Bin Laden. How do you counter that? Why, Obama must be responsible for Americans killed at an embassy in the Middle East! And lied about! It's perfect.
Monday, November 05, 2012
Still ... ewww.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
I have to admit I have found Romney's campaign mystifying, but I think I have it sussed: he campaign's exactly like he does business, there's no strategy involved, it's all for short term gain. Just like during his time at Bain Capital, where he changed the business model completely to leveraged buyouts because they paid off faster, so does he pivot to the sensibilities of whoever he's talking to at the time. If he needs conservatives, as in the primaries, he's "severely conservative"; if he needs crossover voters, as in the debates, he's a moderate who sometimes even agrees with the President on policy.
I couldn't wrap my head around the long term game he was running, but that because he wasn't running one. After all, the people he's really working for, the people who finance him and use their influence for him, already know exactly what he is; they found out in boardrooms, or on the golf course. He doesn't need to convince them of anything, and he doesn't bother.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
The ACA is, in fact, a good example of the whole process. No one, not even conservative Republicans, believe that the American health system is in good shape. Even Republicans that believe that our health system is "the best in the world" (it's not) know, if they bother to read the projections, that the system is not sustainable in the long run. Almost no one believes it shouldn't change. So, Obama and the Democrats took a CONSERVATIVE healthcare insurance proposal (Mitt Romney's own, in fact, which was originally a Heritage Foundation counter proposal to the Clinton's health care proposals) which was actually written to make necessary changes while avoiding even a whiff of "socialism", and tried to get bipartisan support for it. The Republicans would have none of it, even though guys like Romney and Bill O'Reilly now say that much of it will need to be re-implemented after it is repealed (evidently the main problem with it is that it is Obama's). So, the Democrats in the Senate passed it, and then the House used that passage to pass it themselves with a bit of budget trickery, and the Democrats and the President took complete responsibility for it, despite the incredible political danger of it, because it HAD to be done. And now, we will cover a much larger group of people, and save a lot of money in the long run, in SPITE of the Republicans, but Obama might lose the election largely because of the ACA (which people hate, until you describe the things it actually does for them, and they find that they like all those things).
Do you see now why Obama (and Reid and Pelosi) didn't just try ram a lot of stuff through when they had the votes? But now we know they should have, because the Republicans put politics above what is good for the country, to an extreme never seen before. about a minute ago · Like
Monday, October 15, 2012
Sunday, September 09, 2012
"Social", to them, means Socialism. This is why some of the more disingenuous on the right tend to compare Liberalism with Nazism, simply because the Nazis used the word "Socialist" in their party name. And "Socialism" means "Communism", in their minds. The Republicans are literally still fighting the Cold War. They're like the Japanese soldiers from WWII who were never told about the end of the war and kept fighting decades later. And they believe that everyone except their own leaders are secretly commies themselves, but in reality their leaders are capitalists, and it's in their financial best interests to keep the "war" going, so they never tell their troops to stand down.
This is why the George W. Bush administration was taken by surprise on 9/11; they were still only concerned about the "Rooskis"! Condoleeza Rice was supposed to make a report on the defense of the United States on 9/12. She never got to make it, obviously, but the content of that report has never been released. Those who have seen it, though, tell us that there was nothing about terrorism in it; it was all about Russia as a nuclear power and Star Wars.
But let's be fair to Condi; she wasn't quite as ignorant as all that; she'd hedged her bet. After the Al Queda-coordinated bombings at our embassies in Africa Clinton had decided to destroy Al-Queda. He asked Richard Clarke to come up with the plan for this. The plan was ready to go just before Clinton left office, but rather than hand Bush a war they decided to give the plan to the Bush administration and let them handle it. Rice was impressed with the plan, and with Clarke, and kept him on the new administration and slowly, very slowly, went over the plan and moved it up the ladder towards the President's signature. After 9 months, the plan had finally been approved by the last group before the President would see it; that was on September 4, already far too late to prevent the 9/11 attacks.
Do you remember Condi Rice ever telling us about the Al Queda threat? Neither do I.
Monday, August 27, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
The bass player is playing a low G; what shall we play? We could play a D; that would leave the third undefined, and the listeners' minds would fill in the blanks with whatever they feel right now. Or we could play an F; down low or up high it would create a tension, suggest moving to a comfortable C along a bluesy highway.
We could play a B flat, take it minor, make it a little sad. Or a B natural, move it to a positive feeling, if that's called for. Or an A; the tempered A is a little out of tune to the natural A, but it's still clear enough to suggest harmonic movement. Or an A flat, which would create an almost unbearable tension, and suggest an incompetent punk or a masochistic free jazzer.
But let's keep it simple, and also play a G. Reinforce the bass note, up an octave or two. The note becomes more powerful; perhaps we're rocking out a bit. We could play the open G string: the lowest of the unwound strings, it has the most complex audible harmonics, and might suggest a folky flavor. It sounds almost comical compared to the other open strings. Or we could play the G on the fifth fret on the D string: it's wound, and has a very different sound than the open string, darker, blending better. Or even the G on the A string at the 10th fret; towards the middle of the string, it is full of odd harmonics, and emphatically more bassy, taking us towards a jazzy feel. Or we couFOR GODS SAKE SOMEONE HAND ME A COWBELL!
Friday, March 09, 2012
No, it's not the same thing at all. You can't take Maher's statement and infer that Maher thinks all women are "twats". But Rush wasn't talking about Sandra Fluke, really; he was talking about all women who use contraception. He was calling all of them "sluts". He doesn't understand how contraception works, and in his opinion, if those women would just keep their legs closed, they wouldn't need someone else's money for their contraception. It's one of the most heinous anti-woman statements I've ever heard in public media.
Wednesday, March 07, 2012
To paraphrase Ambassador Spock in Star Trek VI, these things are the beginning of wisdom, not the end. The only thing that really differentiates us from other animals is a feeling of responsibility for the greater good; if we don't have that, we are monkeys, at best.
(Actually, the thing that bothers me most about Ayn Rand is that she was a sociopath. A charismatic one, sure, but still just a human being damaged by her upbringing. Instead of trying to fix herself, she created a religion out of her damaged personality. Which is probably not that uncommon, really.)