Thursday, December 30, 2010

The O'Donnell Delusion

And here I thought the 15 minutes of fame were up for Sarah Palin wannabe Christine O'Donnell. The tea party wingnut who had her a** handed to her in her latest bid to win a Delaware Senate seat is now apparently under investigation for how she spent campaign funds.
The Justice Department is investigating whether former U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell violated federal law by diverting campaign funds for personal use, law enforcement sources said Wednesday.

The probe of the Delaware Republican arose in response to a complaint from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. The watchdog group alleged in September that O'Donnell had used campaign funds for rent, meals and other personal expenses.

Of course she is a perfect angel that would do nothing wrong (except lie about her education or pay her taxes) so according to her it has to be an attempt to disparage her reputation masterminded by the political establishment that she seeks to change.
We’ve been warned by multiple high-ranking Democrat insiders that the Delaware Democrat and Republican political establishment is jointly planning to pull out all the stops to ensure I would never again upset the apple cart. Specifically they told me the plan was to crush me with investigations, lawsuits and false accusations so that my political reputation would become so toxic no one would ever get behind me. I was warned by numerous sources that the DE political establishment is going to use every resource available to them. So given that the King of the Delaware Political Establishment just so happens to be the Vice President of the most liberal Presidential administration in U.S. history, it is no surprise that misuse and abuse of the FBI would not be off the table. And further connecting the dots, do you think it is just a coincidence that Melanie Sloan was a senior Biden staffer just before she joined CREW and filed her complaint against me?!

I guess I could possibly believe the GOP would be out to get her considering what any campaign she enters does for the party's chances of winning. But why exactly would "the King of the Delaware Political Establishment" which she claims to be headed by Vice President Joe Biden want her discredited?

You would think that they would wish that she could run for as many major political offices as possible because it would be an automatic win for the Democrats. Nothing says vote for the democrat more that some of these O'Donnell whoppers:

"One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar, and I didn't know it. I mean, there's little blood there and stuff like that. …We went to a movie and then had a midnight picnic on a satanic altar."

"God may choose to heal someone from cancer, yet that person still has a great deal of medical bills. The outstanding bills do not determine whether or not the patient has been healed by God."

''American scientific companies are cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains.''

''During the primary, I heard the audible voice of God. He said, 'Credibility.' It wasn't a thought in my head. I thought it meant I was going to win. But after the primary, I got credibility.''







''You know what, evolution is a myth. Why aren't monkeys still evolving into humans?''

While those in Delaware had plenty of evidence (see above) to work with demonstrating that O'Donnell was a crazy empty suit,  we here in South Dakota had similar situation in our House race. But unlike Delaware and despite the evidence, we elected our empty suit, an habitual law breaker that rails against government spending while at the same time bellying up to the government trough to accept millions in subsidies.

At least they didn't fall for their version of hype over substance...what does that say about us?

Monday, December 27, 2010

IQ Test Not Required

After watching this video from NYC, it appears that intelligence is not a requirement to work in their snow removal department. (NSFW - language)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Liberal Media Says Media Is Conservatively Biased

You hear it all the time, such and such network it just an arm of the Democratic party or that network is run by that Republican so they have to be biased etc. News these days seems to be believed or disbelieved based on which network or web site reports it and who is reading/watching it. Long gone are the days when you would turn on the 6PM network news and honestly believe everything being reported.

So when someone writes an article claiming a certain bias in the media all I do these days is yawn. Such is the case with this piece from John Merline on AOL. Merline breaks out several examples of media reporting from the near past in an attempt to prove that the media is in fact conservatively biased. Comparing the reporting done of Palin vs Biden, Christine O'Donnell vs Alvin Greene, Beck vs Olbermann all point in his mind to an obvious bias to the right.

Of course when reading this, conservatives will shrug it off calling into question the facts used to reach this conclusion while pointing out examples they see of bias to the left and liberals will likely say I told you so. Such is the state of politics today.

Network news is still on every night at 6pm reporting the news but now we have cable news outlets trying to fill their channels with content 24 hours a day 7 days a week. To fill this time they have hired talking heads that don't even try to hide their bias. Fact checking is becoming a lost art and the wording of news reporting is now often dictated by executives taking their leads from political party talking points. Such has become the state of news reporting with the only determining factor as to which channel or web site you view being which way you lean politically.

The problem today is not that the media is biased because it obviously is at least to some extent. The real problem is that most people know it is biased but still take everything  their network or web site of choice says as if it is gospel.

Liberal bias, conservative bias, whatever. The media is what it is, a business concerned only about ratings and money with the real bias issue mainly lying with those receiving the news. Let's face it, if we really wanted unbiased fact based journalism would we watch a former morning zoo top 40 DJ to get it?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Noem Double Speak

Kristi Noem is quoted in yesterday's RCJ pledging to steer a collision course with the president and to "investigate, challenge and thwart" the Obama administration. Then no more than a few paragraphs later she says she will work to find common ground with the Senate and the administration. Say what?

It is going to be an interesting next couple of years.

In Honor Of The Season

The holiday season is upon us and in honor of that Conan O'Brien gives us an update on the Christmas classic Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer which answers the question what would happen in Sarah Palin's version.



UPDATE: Not to be outdone, Jimmy Kimmel also chimes in on an updated Rudolph



(via deadline.com where they also have another Kimmel classic)

Somebody At The CIA Has A Sense Of Humor

The CIA has announced a task force to assess the impact of the leaked information from WikiLeaks. Setting up task forces of course isn't surprising, our government seems to have a task force to investigate everything. What is a least somewhat humorous about this particular task force is it's acronym.
The CIA has launched a task force to assess the impact of the exposure of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables and military files by WikiLeaks.

Officially, the panel is called the WikiLeaks Task Force. But at CIA headquarters, it's mainly known by its all-too-apt acronym: W.T.F.

WTF? Quite a fitting name for just about anything the government does lately...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Throwing The Baby Out With The Bath Water?

I realize that political parties exist because of differing viewpoints on many issues but this is becoming ridiculous.

The US has had an arms reduction treaty in place with Russia effectively since the SALT I treaty in 1969. The latest of these treaties, SORT, is set to expire in 2012 so in 2009 the US and Russia negotiated the "New Start Treaty" to continue the process.

Congress has been debating the final approval of New Start since Obama signed it in April and like seemingly everything else that doesn't involve bringing pork to South Dakota, our Senators line up on completely opposite ends of the debate.
Democrat Tim Johnson said he will vote for the New START treaty as an important part of national security. Without it, Johnson says U.S. has no inspectors in Russia.

Republican John Thune said on Sunday that he would vote against it because it doesn't hold the Russians to a strict enough inspection program.

I am having a really hard time trying to understand Thune's position as wouldn't voting this down effectively replace the inspections called for in the treaty with nothing? That certainly doesn't sound very strict to me. I would think having something in place that reduces both country's ability to blow up the world from 15 times to only 10 and keeps verification procedures of some kind in place would be a whole lot better than having nothing at all.

EPA's Latest Promotion Of The Ethanol Boondoogle Appealed

Back in October the EPA gave it's blessing for the use of 15% blend of highly subsidized ethanol gasoline in cars and trucks manufactured after 2007 despite the concerns of just about every company that makes products that would use the fuel. In response to the EPA's actions, those groups have now fired back by appealing the EPA ruling claiming that they have overstepped their authority under the Clean Air Act.
A collective of automakers and engine manufacturers today filled a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, requesting judicial oversight and review over whether EPA's "partial waiver" approval for E-15 fuels violates the federal Clean Air Act provisions. The petition states the Clean Air Act limits the circumstances under which EPA can approve applications for new fuels and fuel additives.

...

Critics of E-15 say the 50 percent increase in ethanol could damage catalytic converters in older vehicles, as well as engines of boats, motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles, chainsaws, lawnmowers, and other gas-powered lawn equipment.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Iced Over Cleveland Lighthouse

I remember seeing this lighthouse every time I would go into Cleveland to attend a Browns game. Of course it wasn't fully covered in ice then (and the Browns actually won once in awhile as well).

Thune Is Angry

Oh the irony. Senator John Thune is upset that, get this, the lame duck Congress has actually brought bills to the floor and got them voted on. How dare they do their jobs!
Republican Senator John Thune says he's surprised the U.S. Senate is staying so busy in the final days of the session.

He says some of the issues should be carried over to the next session of Congress and shouldn't be taken up in a lame-duck session.

Amazing how things work when Republican's don't have the votes to block bills from being voted on. I hope Thune feels better come January when the House Democrats turn around and give the GOP some of their own obstructionist medicine. (That is if the Dems ever grow a pair...)

Irony Defined

Ok, so here we have a Catholic priest telling us that there is something wrong with those that have imaginary friends...Father Morris, Webster's is calling to ask if they can use your picture under the definition of irony.



(via Friendly Atheist)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fox News Accomplished Their Mission

Discussions of death panels, government takeover of our local elections, Obama's birthplace, etc. shows that last month's election was mostly driven by misinformation. Attend just about any tea party rally and one would likely scratch their head wondering where they got their information. After seeing the results from a new World Public Opinion poll we might have a better idea on where the misinformation came from.

First the numbers. The poll found that a large number of voters were misinformed on many different issues that were on the forefront during last month's election including stimulus job creation numbers, climate change, and heath care reform. Some other numbers:
• 40% of voters believed incorrectly that the TARP legislation was initiated under Barack Obama, rather than George Bush
• 31% believed it was proven true that the US Chamber of Commerce spent large amounts of money it had raised from foreign sources to support Republican candidates
• 54% believed that there were no tax cuts in the stimulus legislation
• 86% assumed their taxes had gone up (38%) or stayed the same (48%), while only 10% were aware that their taxes had gone down since 2009
• 53% thought that the bailout of GM and Chrysler occurred only under Obama, though it was initiated under Bush

Also telling (but hardly surprising) was the discovery that a large number of those misinformed about the issues also claimed to be daily watchers of one network while those doing better on the questions had different viewing habits.
In most cases those who had greater levels of exposure to news sources had lower levels of misinformation. There were, however, a number of cases where greater exposure to a particular news source increased misinformation on some issues.

Those who watched Fox News almost daily were significantly more likely than those who never watched it to believe that most economists estimate the stimulus caused job losses (12 points more likely), most economists have estimated the health care law will worsen the deficit (31 points), the economy is getting worse (26 points), most scientists do not agree that climate change is occurring (30 points), the stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts (14 points), their own income taxes have gone up (14 points), the auto bailout only occurred under Obama (13 points), when TARP came up for a vote most Republicans opposed it (12 points) and that it is not clear that Obama was born in the United States (31 points). The effect was also not simply a function of partisan bias, as people who voted Democratic and watched Fox News were also more likely to have such misinformation than those who did not watch it--though by a lesser margin than those who voted Republican.

I'd say Fox "News" accomplished their mission...

Wingnut Jewelry Company

First we had the wingnut siding company working to end secularism one piece of siding at a time and now we have the wingnut jewelry company urging you to get your swag so you look your best for the second coming.



(Consumerist via the Friendly Atheist)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Headline Says It All

I know, nothing really new in another story on Fox News framing an argument to fit the GOP agenda. The latest example has Fox editors telling reporters to always preface any story on global warming by "pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question".

What struck a chord with me this time though was the headline ars technica used for the story, Fox News on climate: skip the science, report the "controversy".

I think in that one headline they summed up my feelings on the state of the "media" today.

Fox and MSNBC are the most well known "news" companies riling up the troops often using questionable sources and news reporting but with the proliferation of blogs and other online sites preaching such questionable ideas, it is getting harder and harder to pick out the wheat from the chaff. No where is that more evident than when reading the posts and comment sections of most blogs where it's pretty easy to figure which channel the authors tune in to most often strictly by the talking points they cite.

Unfortunately for most of them, that channel is rarely the "Science Channel"...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Metrodome Collapse Video

By now you've probably heard that the roof of the Metrodome in Minneapolis collapsed this morning, here's the video from inside when it happened.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Noem Speaks

It is becoming obvious that the GOP has found their next poster child in our very own Congresswoman elect Kristi Noem. Just roll up your pant legs before watching as she can dish the political doublepseak with the best of them (pretty good since she hasn't even been sworn it yet!) as demonstrated by her performance on today's "Weekly Republican Address".

Thursday, December 9, 2010

So Now Democrats Grow A Pair?!?

So what gives? During the first 2 years of the Obama administration the Democrats who controlled Congress and rarely could get enough of their members together to pass gas let alone formulate and pass legislation have now somehow grown some balls.

Unhappy with the compromise Obama made with the GOP on Bush tax cuts, the lame duck Democrats somehow gathered enough moxy to actually reject the Obama proposal today, albeit through a non binding vote.
House Democrats have rejected a tax cut deal struck by President Barack Obama with the Republican opposition.

The non-binding vote was led by liberals angry about the extension of tax cuts for the rich.

The White House had spent the week lobbying Democrats to back the bill and had appeared to be winning support.

Unless the Congress acts, all American taxpayers face a big hike in their tax bill beginning in January and millions will see unemployment payments end.

"We will continue discussions with the president and our Democratic and Republican colleagues in the days ahead to improve the proposal before it comes to the House floor for a vote," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

No doubt voting with your ideology is a lot easier after you've already had your butt handed to you in an election and you don't have to worry about the next one. Too bad...

Fair And Balanced

More fairness and balance from the only network that matters...
At the height of the health care reform debate last fall, Bill Sammon, Fox News' controversial Washington managing editor, sent a memo directing his network's journalists not to use the phrase "public option."

Instead, Sammon wrote, Fox's reporters should use "government option" and similar phrases -- wording that a top Republican pollster had recommended in order to turn public opinion against the Democrats' reform efforts.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Finally Some Consistency In Sports

I always love it when athletes praise their god of choice after a big play or a career milestone but we never hear those same athletes chide that same imaginary friend when something goes wrong, until now.

Yesterday the Buffalo Bills were driving for what would have been a winning score against Pittsburgh when Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson dropped a perfectly thrown pass in the end zone. He then used his Twitter account to lay some blame.
I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO...

Now we just need to have someone question those calling it a miracle when someone survives some horrific crash or natural disaster that killed scores of others considering that while performing that same "miracle", the all powerfully deity did nothing for everyone else involved in the same event.

One step at a time I guess.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Airport Security

There has been an ridiculous number of articles and news stories lately over the new TSA screening procedures that include invasive techniques including full body imaging technology and pat downs by TSA screeners. Leaving out the homophobic angle that I expected from some (and they didn't disappoint) there are some facts that should be addressed.

Safety

The full body imagers use primarily one of 2 technologies, millimeter wave, and the more prevalent backscatter or xray technology. Current knowledge of the health risks of these devices is limited at best but a New Scientist article does a good job of explaining both the technology and the known and suspected risks.

The truth - For infrequent travelers there is likely no risks as you are exposed to more xrays during your flight than while being scanned. For frequent flyers, the jury is still out.

Opt Outs

The latest effort by some to try to circumvent perceived invasive TSA screening procedures is having airports opt out of the TSA screening program. A little known provision of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act allows airports to opt out of the TSA screening program so that they can hire one of 4 or 5 pre-approved private screening companies. Orlando Sanford airport has decided to do just that in an effort to try and lure security procedure weary passengers to their airport.

The truth - Opting out simply changes the name of the payee on the paycheck for the screeners and has no effect on what screening passengers are made to endure. Private screening companies must follow all TSA mandated screening procedures and use all currently available screening technologies and are still supervised by the TSA. In other words pat downs and full body imaging (if units are installed) will still be done.

Don't believe me? Anyone flying out of Sioux Falls in the past 3 years has been screened by a private screening company.

All flyers will be exposed to body imagers

Most articles discussing these new procedures would have one believe that they will certainly have to go through one of these new body scanning machines when traveling.

The truth - Currently this technology is installed in approximately 65 of the 430 or so US commercial airports with a mandate for many more to receive them in the next year meaning it all depends on where you are going. Those flying out of any South Dakota airport will not have to go through these machines and there are currently no plans for them to be installed anytime in the foreseeable future.

Privacy Concerns

There seems to have been a recent surge in images being released out onto the internet of people being scanned by this technology. What is to prevent some screener from posting your body scan on the internet?

The truth - Images from these machines are only viewed by trained screeners in a room separate from the security checkpoint. While these units allow for image saving, it is only supposed to be used in a training environment and cell phones with cameras are not allowed in the image viewing room. Consider that information and decide on your own as to whether it is sufficient for your own piece of mind.

Finally just an observation. I personally have no issues with the new procedures though I might take offense if my wife and daughters were subjected to it but I must ask, where was all this 4th Amendment privacy outrage when the Patriot Act was being forced down our throats?

Disclaimer

While I have tried to stick to only known facts regarding the new TSA screening procedures I should inform readers that while I do not work directly for the TSA, I do work with the TSA. I am in no way speaking for the TSA or my employer and any information provided here is freely available from sources not affiliated with either entity.

Friday, November 5, 2010

More Evidence Of Problems With The Democratic Party

How bad do things need to be with the Democratic party to drive gays to the GOP, you know the party with the platform that specifically targets their rights?

Whatever that tipping point is, the 2010 mid-terms seem to indicate that we are getting closer to that point. Exit polling has the percentage of gays voting Republican being listed as high as 31%, up from 19% in 2008.
"I have been very concerned over these last two years that the connection between the gay rights community and the Democratic Party is in danger of being broken, because I think expectations were set so high as a result of the 2008 election, and people are extremely disappointed," said Richard Socarides, a former assistant to President Clinton and senior White House adviser on gay rights.

It seems that it is official now, the Democratic Party has issues with just about every part of their base.

Olbermann Is A Liberal? Really?

Apparently MSNBC is just now becoming aware that their "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann is a liberal as it is being announced that he has been placed on indefinite suspension for donating to 3 Democrats during the just finished silly season.

Of course I am kidding and from what I am reading he should have known better as NBC has has a policy that forbids employees from being associated with political campaigns. But would knowing that Olbermann had donated to Democrats actually changed anyone's mind about how they feel about him or for that matter, any talking head on the cable networks so-called news shows?

In South Dakota we went through a similar issue earlier this year when Rapid City ABC affiliate KOTA suspended one of their news anchors, Chad Olson, after he spoke at a Tea Party Rally. Of course the difference here will certainly be that while the Tea Partiers were outraged over Olson's punishment, the same folks will likely be piling on the Olbermann suspension.

Now if Fox only had a similar company policy maybe they would put Glenn Beck out of our misery but then Rupert Murdoch would have some explaining to do as well so I won't be holding my breath.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Rhetoric Over Substance

I am personally skeptical over some of the reasoning being used to explain the massive shift in power after this year's election. Many would have you believe that they voted the way they did because those in power didn't do enough to fix the economy, to lower the debt, or to uphold the Constitution. I tend to think people were fed-up in general and the Democrats were they obvious scapegoat.

One reason I believe that finding a "scapegoat" had more to do with the election than anything else is Constitutional aspect of the anger coming from the right. They often complain that many of Obama's policies go against the Constitution and should be repealed based on that fact alone (see our own Attorney General's lawsuit over Obamacare). While the Constitutionality of many of these policies can and will be debated, other similarly Constitutionally challenged policies have remained pretty much undiscussed especially when it comes to the Patriot Act and more recently the changes made in FISA regulations.

These changes initiated during the Bush Administration and continued during Obama's term have led to easing of the requirements related to government wiretapping activities often allowing wiretaps on US citizens to be performed without getting warrants first.

The furor over the breaching of our 4th Amendment rights all in the name of "protecting" us from terrorists has been strangely absent from most of the Tea Party folks, most of whom would have busted a blood vessel in anger if their 2nd Amendment rights were even remotely challenged. In Congress, the outrage over these changes was even less noticeable as evident by the ease in which it passed, except for one individual.

Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold was one of only 16 Senators to vote against the 1st Amendment breaking Internet Decency Act of 1996 which was eventually struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Feingold was the only Senator to vote against the Patriot Act while also being one of the few to fight against giving immunity to the Telecom companies that participated in The Bush Administration's illegal warrant-less wiretapping activities. From Wired:

Feingold and retiring Senator Chris Dodd (D-Connecticutt) attempted to filibuster a provision that provided legal immunity to telecoms that helped the Administration spy on Americans’ internet and phone use without warrants. That provision, along with expanded government surveillance powers, eventually passed in July 2008 with the support of then-Senator Barack Obama, who promised to revisit that law, but has not.


Sounds pretty pro-Constitution to me doesn't it?

I have no doubt that many voted out of office yesterday deserved their fate and Feingold did have his issues as he often times aligned himself with the Obama Administration on fiscal issues which likely made him an easy target for defeat in this Democrat unfriendly environment. But if one claims to be truly worried about getting our country back in line with the Constitution, Russ Feingold was someone many would have thought should have been worth supporting.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Post Election Thoughts

As expected the GOP swept into power in the House winning as many as 60 seats from the Democrats while picking up a few seats in the Senate but still fell short of winning the majority. Also as expected, the 2010 edition of the winds of change blew South Dakota's lone member of the house into her next job maybe working with her lobbyist husband.

Now the fun really begins. The Republicans fired up their base by promising to create jobs, cut taxes, balance the budget, and repeal Obamacare all while failing to explain how they will do it. Making things even worse for the GOP, Democrats still control the Senate and the White House and they don't have the numbers needed to override any veto that surely will happen.

So what does this mean?

My guess is the newly elected Tea Partiers will hit the ground running in the House only to find that politics as usual is still the norm making passing much of their agenda almost impossible. With little if anything accomplished 2 years from now we will be talking about fixing many of the same problems and voting in a whole new bunch of useless politicians promising that they have the cure for what ails us.

In South Dakota on the other hand, can our state Democratic party be any more worthless? Democrats are now outnumbered 29-6 in the Senate and 51-19 in the House. For the first time in decades they couldn't even muster up a challenger to run against John Thune and we again were forced to sit through another Governor's race that was over before it began. I consider myself a somewhat center right independent that was a registered Republican for much of my adult life but must admit that a majority of that magnitude in our government can't be good. Just remember though, if you don't like what is and has been going on in South Dakota, you can't blame the Democrats as they barely have a heartbeat here.

We now have a state house restocked with homophobes, religious fundamentalists, and science deniers with just about nobody to balance the scales. Can we be far away from more abortion ban legislation, marriage definition amendments, or climate change is caused by astrology resolutions from the party that touts a "belief" in limited government intrusion on one hand while doing everything they can to intrude on the other?

We have only ourselves to blame...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Be Careful About What You Ask For

I've been quiet here lately and for someone that has as deep of an interest in politics as I do, that should be telling. I always feel an element of disgust each election cycle when having to wade through the chaff that politicians disseminate, but this year the BS was unbearable.

How often have we had to deal with a fringe element who's "leaders" likely couldn't spell Constitution let alone preach to us with a straight face that we have strayed from it but yet still command an amazing amount of political clout?

When is the last time we've had a "mainstream" candidate for the US Senate that felt it was necessary to begin a campaign ad with the phrase "I am not a witch"?

Locally we have a candidate for the state house who goes out of his way to tout his military street cred as a reason to vote for him all while trying to explain why we must continue to prevent tens of thousands of patriotic men and women who want to serve from doing so.

Even more telling, it has been less than a decade since our lone house representative with a less than stellar driving record was forced to resign because he killed someone after running a stop sign. Yet believe it or not the likely winner of that seat this year unapologetically has a driving record that includes 20+ moving violations and numerous "failure to appear" citations and arrest warrants. And no Kristi you can't blame Nancy Pelosi for this.

Of course I can go on and on with examples from both parties but the message is clear at least in my eyes. People have become so fed up with politics as usual that they blindly believe that change for the sake of change is the answer. We thought that in 2008 when the Democrats swept into power and I believe we think that doing so again this time will have a different result. (isn't that a definition of insanity?)

The problem with this mindset though is it usually ends up putting the fringes of the political spectrum into power and unfortunately as thousands of years of human history can attest, nothing good happens when that is the case.

I am guessing that after today, the GOP will likely have a much bigger say in Washington after several years of only having their obstructionist tactics to keep them warm at night. With that being the case, will this finally mark the start of when American's hold them to their promises? I doubt it...

Obama promised us the moon when he won the White House and instead his first 2 years have produced higher debt, higher unemployment, and lower hopes and dreams for our future all while the GOP has done nothing but whine, complain, filibuster, and blame others.

Guess what, it appears we will again listen to the promises that claim a lowering of the debt, creation of jobs, and a return to Constitutional principles (I will expect a repeal of the Patriot act very soon...) and many political neophytes will likely win because of those promises. I personally will be holding you to those promises and Ms Noem if you do win today, your party will likely control the agenda in the House this time around so that excuse will no longer fly. Both you and Herseth Sandlin promised a lot all while giving few details on how you would accomplish them but accomplish them you better as I will be watching.

And finally on a personal note directed to our state treasurer candidate Rich Sattgast. I have to say that political ads in general turn me off but I normally can get through them at least once. Your commercial spoofing the AFLAC duck though has to be the most obnoxious and annoying commercials I have ever seen to the point where I mute it before ever getting to hear your message. You might have had a great platform but since I could never get past the freaking duck, I never heard it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Juan Williams Fired From NPR

I found it interesting that NPR felt the need to fire Juan Williams the other day for his comments on Faux News about being nervous when flying with devout Muslims. Wasn't Williams simply expressing the feeling many xenophobes have been expressing for years? But what I find even more interesting is how many Conservatives are going ballistic over the firing with many even calling for the boycott of NPR.

Of course the interesting part isn't the Conservative's call for a boycott as one would have expected that, it is that they would think that folks at NPR would be worried about losing people that never listen to NPR to begin with...

UPDATE: Love it! NPR reps in Washington are reportedly getting numerous scripted calls stating that due to the Williams firing, they will never "watch" NPR again.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rolling Stone At A Tea Party Rally

I know the teabaggers hate it when non-teabaggers describe what they actually experience at one of the various Tea Party rallies across the country so I am sure that they will love this observation by Matt Taibbi from his visit to a rally in Kentucky published over at Rolling Stone Magazine.
Scanning the thousands of hopped-up faces in the crowd, I am immediately struck by two things. One is that there isn't a single black person here. The other is the truly awesome quantity of medical hardware: Seemingly every third person in the place is sucking oxygen from a tank or propping their giant atrophied glutes on motorized wheelchair-scooters. As Palin launches into her Ronald Reagan impression — "Government's not the solution! Government's the problem!" — the person sitting next to me leans over and explains.

"The scooters are because of Medicare," he whispers helpfully. "They have these commercials down here: 'You won't even have to pay for your scooter! Medicare will pay!' Practically everyone in Kentucky has one."

A hall full of elderly white people in Medicare-paid scooters, railing against government spending and imagining themselves revolutionaries as they cheer on the vice-presidential puppet hand-picked by the GOP establishment. If there exists a better snapshot of everything the Tea Party represents, I can't imagine it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Maybe That Is Why They Are Atheists?

A new survey by Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that atheists and agnostics were more knowledgeable on the bible, Christianity, and other world religions than those professing to follow those religions.
Researchers from the independent Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life phoned more than 3,400 Americans and asked them 32 questions about the Bible, Christianity and other world religions, famous religious figures and the constitutional principles governing religion in public life.

On average, people who took the survey answered half the questions incorrectly, and many flubbed even questions about their own faith.

Those who scored the highest were atheists and agnostics, as well as two religious minorities: Jews and Mormons. The results were the same even after the researchers controlled for factors like age and racial differences.
The more you know...?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Noem Claim Debunked By FactCheck.org

FactCheck.org did what it does, fact checks political claims and this time around they took on the GOP claims that the stimulus didn't add any jobs. Their findings?
Yes, the stimulus legislation increased employment, despite false Republican claims to the contrary
And
Simply put, more people would be unemployed if not for the stimulus bill. The exact number of jobs created and saved is difficult to estimate, but nonpartisan economists say there’s no doubt that the number is positive
Certainly politicians running for office "mis-remembering" facts is nothing new but this time around one of those specifically called out for being a little loose with the truth by the FactCheck folks was none other than our own Kristi Noem.
Kristi Noem, a Republican House candidate from South Dakota, calls the measure a "jobless stimulus."
According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget office, Noem's "jobless stimulus" actually lowered the employment rate between 0.7 and 1.8 percentage points and increased the number of those employed by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million. Not earth shattering by any means but whether or not you think we got enough bang for our buck, it still was not exactly "jobless" like Noem claims.

The ad in question is below.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

DADT - Change Obama Style

In case you hadn't heard, the Dems tried to overturn the military's policy on ignoring gays otherwise known as "Don't Ask Don't Tell" by attaching it to the National Defense Authorization Act.

Earlier this week the Senate attempted to put the bill up for debate and as has been the case with most legislation in recent memory, the GOP filibustered, the Dems cowered in fear, and President Obama whom had earlier said overturning DADT was a priority sat back and said almost nothing. In other words, business as usual in Washington.

Cartoonist Rob Tornoe has now chimed in with this in honor of our fearless leader's willingness to back up his promises with actions.



Change we all can believe in...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Political Math?

Leafing through the election news from the recent primaries brought to my attention an interesting tidbit from the Connecticut GOP primary. It seems that the winner of that primary, Linda McMahon, spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $22 million of her own WWE money to garner the win in the 3 person field.

My question is why would anybody spend that much money (plus likely much more between now and November) to win an election to a job that pays $174K a year? At that pace it would take 126.5 years in office just to break even, a feat that even Strom Thurmond was not able to achieve.

The fringe benefits package must be killer...

Before She Was Delaware's Tea Party Candidate

Christine O'Donnell is the latest poster child for the Tea Party after her senate primary win the other day in Delaware and many heads in the GOP including Karl Rove are still exploding over that result. Being so far away from Delaware I hadn't kept up on why she was a Tea Party fave but now I know...



She'll fit right in with the Sarah Palin crowd.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Funnies

I had to laugh a bit when the War College linked to an ABC story about Kristi Noem's appearance on GMA that referred to Noem as South Dakota's Sarah Palin. With the GOP's relentless pounding of Stephanie Herseth Sandlin on her association with Nancy Pelosi, maybe the Dems should be playing up the Noem/Palin comparison's considering this is what she is being compared to...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Drill Baby Drill!

Deja Vu all over again...

GRAND ISLE, LA - An offshore oil rig has exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, west of the site of the April blast that caused the massive oil spill. Coast Guard Petty Officer Casey Ranel says the blast was reported by a commercial helicopter company about 9:30 a.m. CDT Thursday. Seven helicopters, two airplanes and four boats are en route to the site, about 80 miles south of Vermilion Bay along the central Louisiana coast.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Breaking News - Herseth Sandlin Outed As A Democrat!

Republican's are in stunned disbelief across South Dakota this week as Conservative bloggers have just confirmed that our lone Congressional representative, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, is actually a Democrat with a sometimes left of center voting record. Luckily, after years of exhaustive investigation, local Conservative sleuths were able to discover this just in time for the November elections as her longtime membership in the Democratic party had until now effectively hidden this information.

Of course it is too soon to tell how this will play in the minds of South Dakota Republican's but this lone writer thinks that this could possibly mean that Conservatives that would never have voted for Herseth Sandlin before will likely still not be voting for her this election cycle. Time will tell.

More news on this breaking story to follow once the South Dakota GOP releases another press release of Fox News talking points or the SDWC and it legions of anonymous political experts provide more irrefutable evidence gleaned from other non-partisan GOP sources providing further proof of this previously unknown story.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Wingnut Siding Company

End secular socialism one piece of siding at a time.

Publish Post

via Unreasonable Faith

Global Warming? Nah, It's Just Been Hot...

...you know like historically hot.

NOAA's latest State of the Climate Global Analysis:
* The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for June 2010 was the warmest on record at 16.2°C (61.1°F), which is 0.68°C (1.22°F) above the 20th century average of 15.5°C (59.9°F). The previous record for June was set in 2005.
* June 2010 was the fourth consecutive warmest month on record (March, April, and May 2010 were also the warmest on record). This was the 304th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last month with below-average temperature was February 1985.
* The June worldwide averaged land surface temperature was 1.07°C (1.93°F) above the 20th century average of 13.3°C (55.9°F)—the warmest on record.
* It was the warmest April–June (three-month period) on record for the global land and ocean temperature and the land-only temperature. The three-month period was the second warmest for the world's oceans, behind 1998.
* It was the warmest June and April–June on record for the Northern Hemisphere as a whole and all land areas of the Northern Hemisphere.
* It was the warmest January–June on record for the global land and ocean temperature. The worldwide land on average had its second warmest January–June, behind 2007. The worldwide averaged ocean temperature was the second warmest January–June, behind 1998.
* Sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean continued to decrease during June 2010. According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, La NiƱa conditions are likely to develop during the Northern Hemisphere summer 2010.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday Funnies - Obama On Autotune

The synthesizer of today's generation also known as autotune, applied to Barack Obama.



For those that think listening to Obama is like fingernails on a chalkboard, this should be icing on the cake.

Monday, July 12, 2010

How's That Whole Tea Party Thing Working For You?

Tea Partier's like to tout as one of their successes, the victory of Republican Scott Brown in the race to fill Ted Kennedy's seat in Massachusetts. So I am wondering how they feel today after learning that Brown has agreed to be one of so far only 2 Republican's to agree to vote for the Democrat's financial regulatory reform legislation?
Republican Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts says he will support a sweeping financial regulatory bill, moving the bill closer to the 60 votes it needs to ultimately win final approval.

Brown joins Sen. Susan Collins of Maine as two crucial Republican votes for the legislation.

Maybe Democrats should back tea party candidates after all...

Vatican Rules That Women Priests As Bad As Pedophiles

A woman's place in the Catholic Church has been re-enforced with the latest update of church rules by the Vatican which adds "attempted ordination of women" to the list of most serious crimes against church law. The rules update now makes attempting to ordain a woman a crime against Catholicism on par with a sexual offenses against a minor.
The Vatican is preparing to update the 2001 norms that deal with priestly sex abuse of minors, in effect codifying practices that have been in place for several years.

At the same time, it will include the "attempted ordination of women" among the list of most serious crimes against church law, or "delicta graviora," sources said.

Sexual abuse of a minor by a priest was added to the classification of "delicta graviora" in 2001. At that time the Vatican established norms to govern the handling of such cases.

Provides an interesting perspective on the feelings towards women from the ultimate "boys club" also known as the Vatican doesn't it?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

People Say The Darnedest Things

You do have to love the Argus' letters Section. Todays classic:
Letter: Believe in God Party
The United States for years has had two political parties: Democrat and Republican.

During President Abraham Lincoln's time, the Whig party was prominent. Recently, the tea party had notable candidates. My idea is that we could have a party called the Believe in God Party.

To my way of thinking, this party would not contradict any of our constitutional laws. I do not have the knowledge to establish this party. However, I am sure the expertise to do this exists among those who read this letter and take an interest in seeing it to its completion.

Membership in this party would come from conservative thinkers.

Please feel free to call me if you chose to take on this project.

Doesn't this already exist, you know a church?

Would I have to take a test on bible knowledge, sort of like being confirmed, before I could be in this party? Would our leaders/candidates have to be celibate like the Catholics? Could a woman run? What if you are gay?

Somebody please get this going, I really want to see how it shakes out.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Embarrassed Former Clevelander

This is a purely personal post that I felt the need to write in response to the whole Lebron James "The Decision" debacle last night on ESPN.

Anyone that knows me knows that I am a die hard Cleveland sports fan. It doesn't matter what sport, if Cleveland has a team I follow them without fail. So what happened last night was just the latest disappointment in a lifetime of disappointments. I grew up following Cleveland sports so I expected LeBron James to chose to leave because that is what athletes do in Cleveland. So believe it or not this isn't going to be the greedy athlete screws over a city post.

Don't get me wrong, while I understand James choosing to leave, he did screw Cleveland over. The way that he broke up with us on national TV will never be forgiven and earns him a place near the top of the list of most despised figures in Cleveland sports right behind Art Model. What happened afterwards though I think is much worse and should have Cleveland and Cavs fans feeling embarrassed and angry.

Dan Gilbert, the owner of the Cavaliers, posted an open letter to Cavs fans late last night after the announcement that was filled with childish name calling and finger pointing which was more fitting for a 12 year old than a millionaire businessman and NBA owner. His rant, posted below, in my mind did just as much damage to the Cavs and to Cleveland's reputation as did Lebron's choosing to sign in Miami in front of millions of viewers and provides another reason for players to want to stay away from Cleveland.

It is bad enough that we already have to deal with the less than flattering rust belt image, the "mistake by the lake" moniker, the burning Cuyahoga River, and crappy winters. Heck even the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, one of the few Cleveland landmarks, holds their induction ceremony in New York instead of on location so who wouldn't want to move to Miami if given a choice? But to top it off our NBA team will now have to deal with one more hurdle, a childish and vindictive owner with no grasp of reality. Seriously, a championship in Cleveland before Lebron wins one in Miami? Whatever you are smoking, I want some...

So Dan Gilbert thank you for making me feel embarrassed to be from Cleveland.
Dear Cleveland, All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight;

As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.

This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his "decision" unlike anything ever "witnessed" in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.

Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us.

The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.

There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.

You simply don't deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.

You have given so much and deserve so much more.

In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:

"I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE"

You can take it to the bank.

If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our "motivation" to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.

Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.

Sorry, but that's simply not how it works.

This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown "chosen one" sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And "who" we would want them to grow-up to become.

But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called "curse" on Cleveland, Ohio.

The self-declared former "King" will be taking the "curse" with him down south. And until he does "right" by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.

Just watch.

Sleep well, Cleveland.

Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day....

I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only:

DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue....



Dan Gilbert
Majority Owner
Cleveland Cavaliers

Oh and Dan, whats up with the Comic Sans font (see original link above), did you not have Wing Dings available?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Headline Of The Day

Tired Gay succumbs to Dix in 200 meters

Oregon (Reuters) - Olympic bronze medalist Walter Dix edged out Tyson Gay in the former world champion's hotly-anticipated return to the 200 meters at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting on Saturday.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

New Tea Party Logo?

And then again maybe not as it looks like everything is spelled correctly.



Via People of Walmart

A Step In The Right Direction?

At least he didn't molest children right?
Kevin Gray, a priest at Sacred Heart Church in Waterbury, Connecticut, is expected to turn himself in after being charged with siphoning $1.3 million from church coffers to pay for his secret gay lifestyle.After a lengthy investigation, the authorities have charged Gray with first-degree larceny, which could carry a 20-year sentence if he's eventually convicted.

Apparently for the past seven years Gray has been spending church money to fund trips to New York and pay for sessions with male escorts, and he also racked up $200,000 in restaurant bills including a large tab at Tavern on the Green.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Wyoming Tea Party

The Boston Tea Party involved people dumping tea into the harbor over taxes and 236 plus years later Cory points out how Wyoming gun nuts are staging their own little tax protest based on the absolutely ridiculous premise that no sales taxes should be charged on gun sales because of the 2nd Amendment. And again the "Tea Party" name comes into play.
The gun goonies cry that taxing their gun show sales infringes on their Second Amendment rights. If that's the case, then taxing my purchases of paper, pens, computers, and Internet service infringes on my First Amendment rights.

So what does this have to do with the Tea Party? I thought this part from the same article sums that up quite nicely and is just another example of why the Tea Party movement is on the lunatic fringe of America.
The position of his group, Bouchard said, is that the state shouldn't charge sales tax on gun and ammunition sales because of the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

"Everybody's on edge," said John Wise, director of the Pine Bluffs Shooting Association and of the gun show.

Identifying himself as a "tea partier and damned proud of it," Wise said Friday that people are angry at the federal government over health care reform and other actions.

Now keep in mind the highlighted quote was given by someone explaining why tax agents had felt increasing animosity (re:fear) to the point that they felt it wise to stay away from these nuts. In other words don't piss off a tea partier when he is near his guns and heaven forbid you do anything that affects his ability to shoot things, you know like tax it...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Obama Addresses The Conspiracies

Obama finally goes on record on his place of birth as well as addressing other questions on his eligibility to hold office.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

South Dakota Values

Continuing with my thoughts on wingnut talking points from yesterday I'd thought I ask about a real common one that we hear all the time from fungelicals in our state and I am betting is something we will be hearing quite a bit from Kristi Noem during the next 4 1/2 months, the infamous "getting back to South Dakota values". Now please forgive me as I have only lived in the great state of South Dakota for 13 years but I must ask, what exactly are South Dakota values, when did we get away from them, and what makes them different from say Ohio values or New Mexico values?

Do these values consist of complaining about the Government spending more than they make while taking millions in government subsidies or gladly taking much more from the Federal Government than we pay in while complaining about government pork? Is it that we value having some of the lowest wages in the country to the point where some consider a Walmart greeter to be a "good paying" job? Or maybe South Dakota values include railing against a state income tax while accepting far more injurious to the middle class government revenue streams that include sales taxes on food and video lottery? Or just maybe they are making it so that credit card companies can setup shop in our fine state and allow them to charge whatever interest rates they want to the people that can usually least afford it? Those South Dakota values?

Maybe the next time a candidate uses the "getting back to South Dakota values" talking point someone should ask them which values exactly they are talking about...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Christian Nation? The Constitution Would Suggest Otherwise

Watching Gordon Howie during his 4th place campaign for the GOP House slot we were again subjected to the far-right's assertion that American has drifted away from our "Christian founding/Christian heritage". We heard this from Sarah Palin during the Presidential campaign and continue to hear it from fungelicals even as they try to explain away their defeats in their attempts to win public office despite using that argument. Of course being one with no belief in a higher power, listening to these arguments makes me cringe while seeing them lose helps restore my faith in our sensibilities as a nation (of course Texas is an exception).

After hearing Howie and his followers continue this argument at their sparsely attended rallies even after being trounced, I thought I'd throw out my thoughts on the subject.

First let's put aside for this argument on whether we are a Christian nation the fact that the 11th article of Treaty Of Tripoli ratified by Congress and signed by President John Adams in 1797 specifically states that the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion. Secondly let's put aside the establishment clause for just a moment, though I will get back to it in a minute, which seemingly also contradicts the Christian nation claim when it states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion". Let us also not mention the fact that the Constitution not once even mentions Christianity which makes one wonder what nation would be founded on a religious foundation and then not mention that foundation anywhere in their most important document?

For this discussion let us instead look at an argument that I rarely come across that concerns the 10 Commandments, you know those 2 tablets sent from God (Mel Brooks intimates that there were actually 15 until Moses dropped one of the tablets but that is from a different version of the history of the world) that contain the basis for much of the so-called Christian morality that Howie et al want our nation to get back to following. Considering the importance of those 10 do's and do not's to the faithful especially back in the puritanical days of our nation's founding, one would have to really wonder why our founders would then turn around and pretty much make any attempt by the government to enforce 4 of those "laws from God" Unconstitutional?

For example:
'You shall have no other gods before Me.' - Violates the Free Exercise clause of the 1st amendment.
'You shall not make for yourself a graven image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.' - Also Violates the Free Exercise clause of the 1st amendment.
'You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.' - Violates our freedom of speech guaranteed by the first amendment.
'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.' - Seems to spit in the face of the establishment clause which would prevent the government from establishing a specific day of religiosity.

Of course this is not proof of the intent of our founders but it is just some more food for thought to consider when the Sarah Palin/Gordon Howie wing of the Republican party trots out their "Christian nation" meme at the next Tea Party rally.

Monday, June 21, 2010

New Far Right Texas Education Standards Hit Snag Caused By Far Right Political Policies

Texas has become the poster child for the far right with the Governor's comments on secession to the state Board of Education's attempt to inject religion into the public school curriculum. The Board of Education's recent vote to change the textbook standards to include such goodies as glorification of McCarthy's communist witch hunts and questioning climate change though appears to have hit a snag, they can't afford to pay for the new textbooks.
The state normally replaces textbooks on a rotating basis every 10 years. With Texas facing a budget shortfall of at least $11 billion in 2011, the money isn’t going to be there. Textbooks covering the new science standards would have cost $400 million, and the Legislature is already expecting a bill of $888 million for textbooks already ordered.

Interestingly, it also appears that part of the reason they can't afford the textbooks is because of their wingnut governor Rick Perry's aversion to federal aid.
The lack of textbook funding underscores Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) constant compulsion to oppose federal funding that could help his state.

Quite the wingnut conundrum ain't it?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Is He Really That Stupid?

While upwards of 2.5 million gallons of oil a day leak into the gulf you would think that BP CEO Tony Hayward would be working to do whatever he could to get this tragedy fixed. If you thought that you'd be wrong.
Just when it seemed Gulf residents couldn't get any more outraged about the massive oil spill fouling their coastline, word came Saturday that BP's CEO was taking time off to attend a glitzy yacht race in England.

Joe Barton: Why People Despise Politics As Usual More Than Ever

Texas Congressman Joe Barton's ridiculous apology to BP for being "forced" to set up a 20 billion dollar fund to help pay for some of the damages from the spill has been written about just about everywhere but when you watch this is there a more perfect example of why people are so fed up with bought and paid for politicians?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Can We Stick A Fork In Him Yet?

One day before the primary election can we finally stick a fork in the run for Governor of "Tea Party" candidate Gordon Howie? His failure to stay current on his taxes has been in the news for a while and now Bob Mercer lets us in on another Howie tactic.

In an obvious attempt to get around South Dakota election rules calling for $4000 annual limits on individual donations, Howie laundered tens of thousands of dollars from single donors by using various pro-Howie PAC's which don't have those limits. (he's not alone on this by the way as Mercer points out and Howie fails to mention)
Howie went even beyond what was done for Heidepriem in the use of laundering PACs. In April, Howie established a half-dozen new PACs.

Those PACs and two other pro-Howie PACs were used by a Rapid City couple, Gary and April Wenzel, to ship about $140,000 from the Wenzels to Howie's campaign.
So what does Howie have to say about this latest news? Well in typical Tea Party fashion he doesn't come out and deny that he funneled the money into his campaign war chest or try to explain why he chose to circumvent election reforms, he instead blames the media for attacking him while wondering why they weren't calling out the likes of George Soros.
Well, the ever diligent media is beginning to prepare the next attack... The first stories are appearing in the blogsphere today with the question "Are some candidates abusing the PAC system?" and alleging that I may be the worst offender by "laundering" contributions through the PACs... and that this is a new way candidates are "bought and paid for".

I wonder where they have been as George Soros has spent millions of dollars advancing liberal agendas?
When they begin to assail the commitment of those who have made a significant contribution to the cause of liberty, freedom and good (conservative) government, are they mindful that our founding fathers pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor for their country?

Why then should patriotic men and women of today be somehow barred from such a commitment? Perhaps because their sacrifices are in pursuit of an agenda unlike that of Mr. Soros??

Would it be fair to examine the financial contributions of those in the media? If we did, we would either find them supporting a left-leaning agenda, or not making any contribution at all, under the guise of being "un-biased"
Yep, that Tea Party sure is cleaning up the political process isn't it but I do like how he shoe horned the Tea Party buzzword "patriotic" in there as if circumventing election law was somehow patriotic .

Rush Married For 4th Time

Anyone else find it funny that Conservative mouthpiece Rush Limbaugh, whom has such wonderful quotes attributed to him as "When a gay person turns his back on you, it is anything but an insult; it's an invitation", hired Elton John to play at his 4th wedding?

And maybe even more surprising is that John agreed to perform...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kent State 40 Years Later

It has been 40 years since a family acquaintance, Bill Shroeder, and 3 others were killed at Kent State University just down the road from where I was growing up. Up until then I had been effectively shielded from the Vietnam War but Schroeder's death from shots fired by the Ohio National Guard while he was walking to class forever changed that.

With 2 unpopular and seemingly endless conflicts currently taking the lives of our young men 1000's of miles away, many continue to wonder why we didn't learn from Vietnam. For the 100's on the campus of Kent State on May 4th 1970 though, it is a lesson that they will never forget.

In remembrance of the incident also know as the "Kent State Massacre", Neil Young wrote Ohio.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday Funnies - A Birther's Dream Come True

Will Arizona's new immigration law finally settle Barack Obama's citizenship question????


Via Dvorak

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Drill Baby Drill!

Good thing President Obama bowed to Conservatives and big oil and wants to allow more offshore drilling.
Gulf Oil Spill of 'National Significance': White House
Government officials are racing to the scene, but time may be running out.

Offshore winds pushed a giant oil slick closer to the Louisiana coast Thursday amid a frenzied effort by authorities to contain what one official said had become a disaster of "national significance."
The White House pledged "all available resources," including the military, to avoid an environmental catastrophe, and the Defense Department said it was studying ways to help as officials revealed that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill was far worse than believed.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

San Francisco Beware

I didn't have a horse in last night's Sioux Falls Mayoral runoff as I don't live there but it was sure fun to watch. On one hand you had Kermit Staggers, a career part time legislator who seemingly never voted "yes" on anything in his life (love the Dr No. nickname Todd) and on the other hand you have a career credit card industry executive, Mike Huether, who cut his teeth in the predatory lending division of First Premier Bankcard. Just that background alone made for must watch TV but when it was learned that Huether had hired Democratic super consultant Steve Hildebrand, it became almost comical.

Fresh off his success helping Barack Obama win the White House, Hildebrand, who might be the most hated liberal from South Dakota, joined Huether's campaign and the sparks began to fly. Did I mention that Hildebrand was Gay? That fact didn't get lost on Sioux Falls blogging pastor Steve Hickey and soon thereafter we have this:

Mike Huether a step toward Sioux Falls becoming a haven for gays nationwide?

A fascinating, and only recently disclosed "detail," is that former Obama campaign genius Steve Hildebrand is Sioux Falls Mayoral candidate Mike Huether's campaign manager. Who are we kidding, Hildebrand has never even hinted that he gives a rip about Sioux Falls economics. To quote the Washington Post a few weeks ago… "[Hildebrand] is especially frustrated about the lack of progress on gay rights". It's well established that he's all about gay rights and gay marriage and now gay adoption. And, good for him. I wish him well. Yet, friends tell me he's been heard on a conference call to have said something to the effect that he aims to see Sioux Falls become a gay-friendly mecca. Maybe he didn't use the word mecca, but the idea was that our city would become a place where homosexuals nationwide could come and live openly.

Of course as soon as Pastor Hickey went down that yellow brick road, the parrots in the homophobia flock began chiming in.

what’s next? city policy driven by the gay and lesbian crowd?
The gay community is puny compared to the number of values voters in town. Did you know Hickey is the president of the ministerial association? Obviously you are unaware that gobs of people are switching from Huether to Staggers right now because of the questions Hickey is raising. You should thank him for stirring them up by sending up this Giant Fireball warning. Giving gays the key to the city is economic suicide and Huether needs comment on any promises he has made to Hildebrand on gay issues.
So after the homphobic calls to action from the huge values voters block in Sioux Falls what happened? Exactly, Huether won going away.

I guess the only questions left to ask Mike Huether after his win last night are:

When will the gay and lesbian community in Sioux Falls get their key to the city?
When is the first annual gay pride parade?

Better watch out San Francisco, Huether is on the job.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Noah's Ark "Found"!

There are many things in the Bible that I find utterly ridiculous, near the top of that list is the fable of Noah's Ark. Putting aside the utter impossibility of fitting 2 of every species on Earth onto one boat, the fact that every one on Earth would have to be a decedent of Noah and his son's just doesn't pass the smell test (or DNA test).

Fast forward to a story posted today on World Nut Daily that claims that "evangelical archaeologists" (ok, I haven't stopped laughing at that either) have possibly found the remains of that mythical RV on Mount Ararat in Turkey.
A new claim is being made for the discovery of Noah's Ark, as evangelical explorers from China and Turkey believe they may have found the remnants of the legendary biblical vessel.

 So what makes these folks think that the remains found are from the Ark? (emphasis mine)

The team says it recovered wooden specimens from a structure on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey at an altitude of 13,000 feet and that carbon dating suggested it was 4,800 years old. 

Yep that's right, the very same procedure many new earth creationists claim to be bad science whenever it is used to show that the Earth is in fact Millions of years old. Stay tuned for more when and if they can get absolute confirmation from Ark experts.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Drunken Sailor

A former squid tells us why Obama isn't really spending like a drunken sailor (being a former drunken sailor myself, I'd have to concur).


Monday, April 5, 2010

More Tea Bag Logic

Orlando Urologist turns away his patients who voted for Obama because of the new heath care legislation but then has to admit that he has no idea what is in it.
This week, Cassell's medical office posted a sign for patients and their families: "If you voted for Obama...seek urologic care elsewhere. Changes to your healthcare begin right now, not in four years."
The ethically-challenged physician told the Orlando Sentinel he wouldn't deny care to patients who support the president, but Casell wants those patients to feel unwelcome and seek medical treatment from doctors who don't care how they voted.
And the rest of the story...
But perhaps the most important coverage was an interview between Cassell and Alan Colmes on the radio Friday night. The host tried to get a better sense of why, exactly, Cassell hates the Affordable Care Act so much. The urologist specifically argued that officials, in light of the new law, are "cutting all supportive care, like nursing homes, ambulance services."

Colmes: What do you mean they're cutting nursing homes?

Cassell: They're cutting nursing home reimbursements.

Colmes: Isn't what they're cutting under the Medicare plan what was really double dipping; they were getting credits and they were getting to deduct them at the same time.

Cassell: Well you know, I can't tell you exactly what the deal is. [emphasis added]

Colmes: If you can't tell us exactly what the deal is, why are you opposing it and fighting against it?

What a good question. Cassell struggled to explain himself, saying he'd seen some things "online," and adding that the information he needs to understand the law "should be available to me."

Of course, the information is available to him, and has been for months. Cassell chose not to do his homework before driving patients away -- patients who, it turns out, may know a lot more than he does about the law he claims to hate.

This is painfully common -- some of the loudest, angriest critics of the Affordable Care Act are also some of the least informed, most confused, embarrassingly ignorant observers anywhere. In this case, Cassell has become a national joke because he's repulsed by a health care reform plan that he fully admits he doesn't understand.
Another talking point Zombie exposed.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Teabonics


Flickr user Paragon puts all the pictures in one place documenting what happens when we cut education funding....Tea party rallies and the new language used in their protests now dubbed Teabonics. (h/t Dvorak)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Open Letter On Hypocrisy

I love finding examples of the hypocrisy in our political discussion mainly because they are so prevalent and easily found. In fact one of my many past blogging projects was called "Politics and Hypocrisy" so this open letter from American Dad written to Conservatives was right up my alley.

Hypocrisy
You can't flip out -- and threaten impeachment - when Dems use a parliamentary procedure (deem and pass) that you used repeatedly (more than 35 times in just one session and more than 100 times in all!), that's centuries old and which the courts have supported. Especially when your leaders admit it all.
You can't vote and scream against the stimulus package and then take credit for the good it's done in your own district (happily handing out enormous checks representing money that you voted against, is especially ugly) --  114 of you (at last count) did just that -- and it's even worse when you secretly beg for more.
You can't fight against your own ideas just because the Dem president endorses your proposal.
You can't call for a pay-as-you-go policy, and then vote against your own ideas.
Are they "unlawful enemy combatants" or are they "prisoners of war" at Gitmo? You can't have it both ways.
You can't carry on about the evils of government spending when your family has accepted more than a quarter-million dollars in government handouts.
You can't refuse to go to a scheduled meeting, to which you were invited, and then blame the Dems because they didn't meet with you.
You can't rail against using teleprompters while using teleprompters. Repeatedly.
You can't rail against the bank bailouts when you supported them as they were happening.
You can't be for immigration reform, then against it .
You can't enjoy socialized medicine while condemning it.
You can't flip out when the black president puts his feet on the presidential desk when you were silent about white presidents doing the same.  Bush.  Ford.
You can't complain that the president hasn't closed Gitmo yet when you've campaigned to keep Gitmo open.
There is quite a bit more to be found in American Dad's post but I am sure you get the idea.

(h/t Unreasonable Faith)