Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cutting Spending Bad For Economic Growth?

I'll leave the statistical anaylsis of this to those like my friend Cory but it appears that despite what the GOP would have us believe, cutting spending is actually bad for growth.

From the start of the Great Recession in December 2007 through the end of 2010, 24 states have cut government spending by an average of 7.5 percent after adjusting for inflation. Another 25 states have expanded government outlays by an average of 11 percent. (The analysis excludes Alabama due to data problems reported by the National Association of State Budget Offices). And the differences in these states’ economic performance could not be more self-evident. Relative to national economic trends, states that increased spending enjoyed on average:
  • 0.2 percentage point decrease in the unemployment rate
  • 1.4 percent increase in private employment
  • 0.5 percent real economic growth since the start of the recession
In contrast, states that cut spending saw on average
  • 1 percentage point increase in the unemployment rate
  • 2.1 percent loss of private employment
  • 2.9 percent real economic contraction relative to the national economic trend
(S2PZGZKTTXA8)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Picture Is Worth...

In honor of the State Of New York's recent decision to allow gay marriage.


(h/t - unreasonable faith)

Michele Bachmann Is Good For Business, The Fact Checking Business That Is

Michele Bachmann's announcement yesterday that she was entering the race for 2012 has made plenty of people happy. Obviously the religious fundamentalists and teabaggers are overjoyed because of Bachmann's extreme right wing views but another group that has to be happy are the various fact checking organizations that will need to add staff just to keep up with Bachmann's outright lies, gaffes, and half truths.

See there, Bachmann is likely already creating jobs and she hasn't won anything yet!

One of those groups, Pulitzer Prize winning Politifact.com,  has documented 26 statements from Bachmann to date. Of those 26 only one proved to be true with 7 more being determined to be either half or barely true. The other 18 were proven to be false or even worse, "pants on fire" which is Politifacts' politically correct way of saying she lied her ass off.

She got her campaigning off to a flying start on Sunday with her latest gaffe. While speaking to Faux News she compared her spirit to that of another Waterloo, Iowa native John Wayne. Unfortunately for Bachmann, the only John Wayne that spent any amount of time in Waterloo was renowned serial killer John Wayne Gacy. But what the heck she was close right?

Some more of her highlights that don't even include her claim that God called on her to run:
BACHMANN: "If you look at one of our Founding Fathers, John Quincy Adams, that's absolutely true. He was a very young boy when he was with his father serving essentially as his father's secretary. He tirelessly worked throughout his life to make sure that we did in fact one day eradicate slavery." - On ABC's "Good Morning America."

REALITY: John Quincy Adams was not a Founding Father. He was 9 when the Declaration of Independence was made and 20 when the Constitution was adopted. His father, John Adams, was the Revolutionary War figure and an architect of the declaration - and therefore a Founding Father. Both father and son became president. Bachmann was defending her earlier, inaccurate remark that the Founding Fathers had devoted themselves to ending slavery.

BACHMANN: "Overnight we are hearing that potentially 10 to 30,000 people could have been killed in the strike." - Criticizing Obama in May for the "foolish" U.S. intervention in Libya, and citing what she said were reports of a civilian death toll from a NATO strike as high as 30,000.

REALITY: The U.S. ambassador to Libya, Gene Cretz, said in late April that U.S. officials have seen reports that 10,000 to 30,000 people may have died in Moammar Gadhafi's crackdown on protesters and the fighting between rebels and pro-government forces, but it is hard to know if that is true. He was speaking about all casualties of the conflict; no one has attributed such a death toll to NATO bombing alone, much less to a single strike.


BACHMANN: "It's ironic and sad that the president released all of the oil from the strategic oil reserve. ... There's only a limited amount of oil that we have in the strategic oil reserve. It's there for emergencies." - On CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

REALITY: Obama did not empty all the oil from the strategic reserve, as Bachmann said. He approved the release of 30 million barrels, about 4 percent of the 727 million barrels stored in salt caverns along the Texas and Louisiana coasts. It's true that the U.S. normally taps the reserve for more dire emergencies than exist today, and that exposes Obama to criticism that he acted for political gain. But the reserve has never been fuller; it held 707 million barrels when last tapped, after 2008 hurricanes.


BACHMANN: "One. That's the number of new drilling permits under the Obama administration since they came into office." - Comment to a conservative conference in Iowa in March.

REALITY: The Obama administration issued more than 200 new drilling permits before the Gulf oil spill alone. Over the past year, since new safety standards were imposed, the administration has issued more than 60 shallow-water drilling permits. Since the deep water moratorium was lifted in October, nine new wells have been approved.
It's going to be a fun campaign season...

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Romney/Huntsman Problem

Being that Barack Obama has among many things, failed to get us out of 2 unwinnable and costly wars (and has since added a 3rd), failed to do much of anything to fix the economy or create jobs, and has chosen to allow the continuation of the assault on the 4th Amendment under the guise of the Patriot Act, the 2012 GOP field holds more than a passing interest to me. Unfortunately though even disregarding the nutjobs that claim their imaginary friend in the sky told them to run, one still doesn't have much of a selection.

A couple that do peak my interest, partly because of their views and partly because our local wingnuts hate them (they must be doing something right don't you think?) are Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman. Obviously there is a lot of time left for them to screw up by pandering to the tea baggers or the religious right but even running a perfect campaign going forward, a new Gallup poll shows that both Romney and Huntsman must overcome a major handicap.
At 22%, Americans' resistance to electing a Mormon president, even one nominated by their own party, is exceeded only by their opposition to electing someone who is either gay or lesbian (32%) or an atheist (49%). By contrast, less than half as many, 10%, say they would not vote for a Hispanic, and fewer than 10% would not vote for a nominee who is Jewish, Baptist, Catholic, female, or black.


No matter what happens going forward it is likely it will come down to another election where many, myself included, will end up holding our noses when pulling the lever for whomever we do end up choosing. In Romney and Huntsman's case, being Mormon isn't going to help. But at least they aren't gay or an atheist or even worse, a gay atheist...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Pants On Fire

Jon Stewart was recently on Fox News Sunday and while there he happened to mention that Fox News viewers were often the most uninformed viewers of any of the major networks. Apparently his statement didn't pass muster with Politifact and he was happy to apologize as only he could.

Democrats In Bed With AT&T

A couple of weeks ago I came across what amounted to a propaganda piece in the Pierre Capitol Journal regarding the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger. Reading the article I had the feeling that it came directly from AT&T's marketing department and pretty much said so here.

Well it appears that local rags aren't the only ones in Ma Bell's pocket as 66 of 72 Democrats that co-signed a letter sent to the the FCC and the US Justice Department praising the deal that would cut the number of national carriers down to 3 received almost $500k in contributions last year from what would become largest cell phone carrier in the US if the deal does go through.

The list of 72 and their take:
G. K. Butterfield $10,500
Gene Green $10,000
Peter Welch $6,500
Joe Baca $10,250
John Barrow $10,000
Dan Boren $10,000
Robert Brady $9,000
Ben Chandler $7,000
Silvestre Reyes $8,500
William Lacy Clay, Jr. $10,500
Al Green $10,000
Alcee Hastings $10,000
Nick J. Rahall $10,000
James P. Moran $2,500
Gregory W. Meeks $9,500
Albio Sires $9,000
Tim Holden $8,000
Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. $11,250
Ed Pastor $10,000
Mike Ross $10,250
Rubén Hinojosa $7,500
Henry Cuellar $10,000
Joseph Crowley $10,000
Eddie Bernice Johnson $9,000
Luis Gutierrez $5,500
Adam Schiff $5,500
Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. $3,350
Adam Smith $4,500
Corrine Brown $6,000
Chaka Fattah $8,000
Henry C. Johnson, Jr. $2,000
Michael Michaud $8,500
Loretta Sanchez $11,000
Donna M. Christensen $7,500
Ted Deutch $6,000
Jim Costa $10,500
Betty McCollum $1,000
Ed Perlmutter $5,500
Brad Miller $2,000
Yvette Clarke $7,000
Grace Napolitano $4,000
Steve Cohen $5,000
Ron Kind $7,000
Betty Sutton $4,000
Heath Shuler $10,000
David Scott $11,500
Jared Polis NA
Cedric Richmond NA
Shelley Berkley $7,000
Frederica Wilson NA
Tim Bishop $10,500
Marcia Fudge $9,000
Rosa DeLauro $2,000
Karen Bass NA
Christopher S. Murphy $6,800
Frank Pallone $7,500
Laura Richardson $8,000
Dennis Cardoza $10,000
David Cicilline NA
Raúl Grijalva $2,000
Danny K. Davis $6,000
Brad Sherman $5,500
Ben Ray Luján $5,000
Dutch Ruppersberger $7,500
Terri Sewell NA
John B. Larson $5,500
Charles A. Gonzalez $10,500
James R. Langevin $8,000
Collin C. Peterson $4,500
Jerry McNerney $12,750
Joe Courtney $4,250
Gerald Connolly $9,500
Evidently the Republican's aren't the only ones in big business's pocket...

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Day Of Prayer Brought To You By Hatred And Bigotry

Texas Governor and possible GOP Presidential candidate Rick Perry is organizing what he claims is a non-denominational, apolitical, Christian (please explain that) day of prayer event in Houston August 6th and invited the 49 other Governors to attend. The event is being sponsored by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) listed hate group the American Family Association guided by the one and only Bryan Fischer.

You may or may not be familiar with Fischer but he has a long and storied history of gay, immigrant, and Muslim bashing, as well as just plain outright bigotry. With that in mind one would wonder why Perry, and believe it or not many other Republican's, would want to be associated with such a hateful group/person and so far only Kansas' Sam Brownbeck has publicly agreed to attend though Louisiana's Bobby Jindal would like to if he can get around a scheduling conflict.

All I can say to anyone believing that Perry or anyone else pandering to this guy and his organization (Michele Bachmann, Mike Huckabee, Tim Pawlenty, Haley Barbour, and Newt Gingrich that means you) should be anywhere near the White House is please watch Fischer at work below...and then re-consider.

Ohio Is Channeling Its Inner South Dakota On Gun Wingnuttery

I found out quite quickly after moving to South Dakota that if many here had their way we would all be transported back to the good old days of 1880's Deadwood where everyone was packing heat and our differences were settled at high noon in the public square. I did have high hopes though that the state of my birth wouldn't be dragged down into that vortex of wingnuttia.

Unfortunately I was wrong and it appears they have dipped even lower than South Dakota (never thought that was even possible) when it comes to pandering to the NRA crowd with a bill on the Governors desk waiting for his already promised signature.
The bill will allow concealed carrying of firearms in all of Ohio's Class D licensed liquor establishments, which include bars, restaurants, nightclubs, shopping malls, museums and sports stadiums.
Seriously?

Just what we need, a bunch of idiots mixing alcohol with guns. Can't wait to see what happens when a bunch of drunk Brown's fans in the "Dog Pound" at Cleveland Stadium get pissed off after Colt McCoy throws his next interception...

Ohio's Version of the 2nd Amendment

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear conceal arms to prove how big their "member" is in an environment where testosterone and alcohol flow freely shall not be infringed.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Homophobes Find Pleasure Watching Gay Porn

Psychology Today published a study that re-enforces the adage that those protesting the loudest are often hiding their own issues when they wrote about arousal levels experienced by homophobes vs. non-homophobes when watching gay porn. The study asked a group of heterosexual men questions concerning their feelings towards homosexuality to determine which would be considered homophobes (a few in our local blogosphere come to mind) and then had each group watch several clips depicting various heterosexual and gay/lesbian sex acts.

The results were quite telling and i'll let you read the article yourself for the details but the bottom line was:
Homophobic men were the most sexually aroused by gay male sex acts.
No wonder they support "Don't ask don't tell"...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Is God Hedging His Bets?

I've been reading a lot of analysis from Monday's GOP debate and researching the ever growing field of candidates in the day plus since it concluded and one thing stuck out for me more than anything else. God must be hedging his bets.

Why you may ask?

Well if you listen to at least 3 of the candidates (Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, and Michele Bachmann), they are all running because God has told them to run for the highest office in the land in one way or another. Apparently a 4th candidate, Mike Huckabee, was told by God not to run so I guess he does have some standards.

So with God backing 3 different candidates, who will win? And why would he feel the need to back so many? If God really felt someone was the right person for the job wouldn't he just go all biblical on the election and make it happen? He apparently steps in all the time in sports (still wondering why he isn't a Browns fan), so why would one not expect him to do so in the hugely more important political arena?

Or it could be that all 4 are just batshit crazy...

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Piece Of History Lost

One of only 14 remaining airworthy Boeing B17's known to exist crashed this morning in a corn field in Illinois. The restored "Liberty Belle" crashed shortly after take off on a scheduled flight to Indianapolis and luckily all 7 aboard were able to walk away. Unfortunately the same can not be said for the historic WWII bomber affectionately know as the "Flying Fortress".



More about the crash here.

Genesis Explained

The ever popular Cristina (aka ZOMGitsCriss) discusses the book of Genesis.



(h/t - the Friendly Atheist)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Gingrich's Staff Realizes What Newt Still Refuses To See

All of Newt Gingrich's Iowa staff as well as many of his staff in other key early primary states have all resigned today signaling that they finally have had to admit what most have known from the start. Gingrich has no chance especially after pissing off tea bagger's when he said Paul Ryan's Medicare dismantling was "social engineering".

Of course Gingrich, ever clueless, still plans to carry on.
I am committed to running the substantive, solutions-oriented campaign I set out to run earlier this spring. The campaign begins anew Sunday in Los Angeles.

It's About Jobs Stupid - Obama Speechwriter Lack Of Research Edition

Oops.

Less than a week after President Obama mentioned a Toledo restaurant as being a beneficiary of the local Chrysler plant's resurgence because of the government bailout, it announced it will soon close it's doors for the last time. But luckily it appears all is not lost for those soon to be unemployed restaurant workers, McDonald's is hiring and business seems to be so good at the fast food giant that they were responsible for over half of the already ridiculously low number jobs added in the US last month.

So where exactly are all those jobs that were promised by both parties last election? Oh and jobs generated by inexpensive, unhealthy, but all we can afford because we're all broke fast food joints don't count...

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Simply Astonishing

Sarah Palin speaks again and again I must wonder how anyone would think that this woman should be anywhere near our missile launch codes...