Thursday, December 16, 2010

Whither thou goest

With so little to say I figure 140 characters ought to suffice.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

As Good As It Gets... Maybe

James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal points out that candidate Obama was against a federal mandate requiring citizens to buy health insurance. His opponent, Hillary Clinton, was in favor of a mandate and so Obama opposed it.

At a debate in February 2008 Senator O said:

"Sen. Clinton believes the only way to achieve universal health care is to force everybody to purchase it. And my belief is, the reason that people don't have it is not because they don't want it but because they can't afford it."

Of course when the House ramrodded the Senate version of Obamacare through in the dead of night it contained the mandate. Obama cheered the bill and the outrageous Pelosi maneuver that would eventually cost his party 63 seats and control of the House.

And now it's clear that the mandate may be the undoing of the whole miserable law. Republicans don't seem particularly cheerful these days, but just think of what their opponents have done. They passed a bill so wildly unpopular it gave Republicans an electoral tidal wave that was unimaginable in 2008. And, even better, the law they passed may very well be Dead On Arrival.

The tired phrase WIN-WIN leaps to mind.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

DeMint Says NO

"I’m glad the President recognizes that tax increases hurt the economy. I mean, I guess that’s progress... most of us who ran this election said we were not going to vote for anything that increased the deficit. This does. It raises taxes, it raises the death tax. I don’t think we needed to negotiate that aspect of this thing away. I don’t think we need to extend unemployment any further without paying for it, and without making some modifications such as turning it into a loan at some point."
-Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) on The Hugh Hewitt Show

Our favorite Senator points out how lacking the tax compromise with Obama is. He won't vote for cloture and he won't vote for the bill should it make it past filibuster.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Morning After O's Hostage Tape

Reviewing this morning's TV/Radio chatter, news sites, and the more important twitter activity, it's clear that Republicans are generally happy this morning regarding the tax deal President Obama announced last night. As best as I can tell the happiness stems mainly from the fact that the Democrats are furious with Obama for "caving in" to the Republicans. If Dems are spittin' mad, the center-right should be happy I guess.

That seems like a pretty poor line of reasoning. I admit it's fun to see the party of the left ripping apart, but that doesn't mean we should be excited about the "deal" as it has been portrayed.

Here are a few reasons why I think this way...

1. The idea that the current tax rates are being extended for two years promotes the ridiculous notion that there are some normal tax rates and that those normal rates are higher than the current rates. In my lifetime I can't count how many different federal tax rates have existed. The "correct" rate is the lowest possible, paid by everyone at an equal percentage, that covers the legitimate revenue needs of Washington DC. I assure you, the rates that are being extended aren't "correct". Not even close.

2. Currently there is no federal estate tax. Rather than leave this as it is the Republicans have apparently agreed to a return of the death tax, albeit at rates better than what they would have been January 1st if no action was taken. This misses the point entirely-- a federal estate tax is immoral. Bringing this immorality back at any rate is simply wrong. By what right does any government raid the purse of a dead woman or man? To applaud that it will tax every penny beyond $5M at a 35% rate rather than every penny beyond $1M at a 55% rate is just sick. What happened to "No Taxation Without Respiration" ?

3. The language has been a disaster from the very beginning for the right. Even the supposedly conservative FOX News has consistently portrayed this as an "extension of the Bush tax cuts." Republicans seldom corrected this misnomer. In fact when one pointed out to Clueless Bob on "Face The Nation" this past Sunday that there was no tax cutting on the table it actually became news. But the horrible language issue for Republicans didn't stop there. R's stood on the Senate floor arguing forcefully one after another that when the economy is struggling it's no time to allow tax rates to go up. Of course this assumes that when unemployment is under 5% and GDP is growing at 4% annually it's A-OK to jack up tax rates. Republicans really need to get their language straight.

Now I know that Republicans got something done here despite the fact that Dems control the House, Senate, and White House. My point is that if they think this dog's breakfast of a deal is something to throw a parade over they will be leaving DC in January of 2013 by the carload.

7 December

Pearl Harbor survivors still get together after 69 years.
God Bless each and every one of them.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Left Or Right? Whatever.

OK. It could happen to anyone.

But Slow Joe botched the swearing in of the Republican who won Obama's old Senate seat.
It's not too good for the White House when a major American daily paper routinely identifies the VP of the US as "gaffe prone."

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Stuxnet Part 2

The assassination.

While we're going crazy over wikileaks there is a big game afoot.

Monday, November 29, 2010


An amazing story about Iran's nuclear progress.

Slowed by a worm. A worm described as similar to sending a modern jet fighter to a World War I battlefield.

Friday, November 26, 2010

What A Hoot


The best way to point out how unhinged they are.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Your Thanksgiving Turkey

Apparently Conyers only reads the articles.

Look at this: Mr. Smut Goes To Washington

Really makes you proud of our elected officials.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Miggy Comes in Second

The most dangerous hitter in the American League came in second in MVP voting.

He got better news than that, however. His team is signing a power hitting switch-hitter

to bat behind him in the lineup.

The signing of free agent relief pitching stud Joaquin Benoit last week was a major move as well.

With the loss of so many great old Tigers this past year or so: George Kell, The Bird, Mr. Harwell, and Sparky, it's good to look to the future. These are some hopeful signs in The D. Time to bounce up off that .500 season and contend. How long 'til pitchers and catchers report?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Take Off The Party Hats

And put down the noisemakers.

IBD has something to say about that "successful" GM IPO.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Here's The Knife

Joel Kotkin, no knuckle-draggin' right-winger he, suggests that historians will cite the 2010 midterms as the official end of America's California era and the start of her Texas era.

Insights here.


Worth a Thousand Words

h/t Maggie's Farm

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Fall To Forget

It was an interesting time.

And I mean that in the sense of the old curse, "May you live in interesting times."

Around 1 PM on Saturday September 18th I experienced a stab of pain in my abdomen. It was abrupt and painful enough that I sat down and opened my pants a la Al Bundy to relieve the pressure. I had no idea what it was but decided to treat it like bad gas-- antacid tablets. When that did nothing I tried a laxative thinking if I just got everything out of my system relief would come.

I didn't find relief but I did spend that evening in the worst pain I've ever felt while also experiencing chills and fever. By the middle of the next day, Sunday the 19th, I was still in pain. My wife and I headed off to the sparkling new emergency center about 10 minutes from the house. After a wait of about an hour they checked my vital signs and got me into a bed and on a morphine drip for my pain. Late Sunday evening I drank the dye solution, an hour plus process, that would allow them to do a CT scan of my guts. When that scan was read everything went into high gear.

I was told that an ambulance would be speeding me to Carolinas Medical Center where my surgeon was already waiting. He had seen my scan and knew what he would be doing. The ER doctor didn't tell me what exactly the problem was, only that speed was needed. She said that my surgeon would explain everything. However, she did ask me if I knew that I had diverticulitis. I didn't. Oddly enough I had a colonoscopy scheduled for the end of September. An appointment I now wouldn't make.

We met with the surgeon just outside the operating room and he explained that I had a perforated intestine and my abdomen had filled with gas, fluids, and the contents of my intestines. Peritonitis had set in and it was extremely important to open me up and get that infection under control. At 1 AM on September 20th my surgeon began a successful two hour operation. I spent another 5 days at CMC and then recovered at home. Recovered enough strength to endure a second surgery on November 6th.

That surgery, just eleven days ago, was also successful. I remained at the hospital for 6 days before coming home. The first days at home have been difficult-- the second surgery was actually tougher than the first emergency one. But this past weekend I turned the corner and can now see my way to a healthy future. Since the doctor removed a foot and a half of colon he assures me that I will never have to worry about diverticulitis again.

The sudden nature of this was, of course, striking. One moment you have no major health concerns and the next moment you are in real trouble. It does strike you how fleeting life is and how important it is to not waste the time you are allotted. More importantly it reminded me how much I cherish my family and my home.