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 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.