Category Archives: Politics

Good Example of Spite

Via a reader email to Talking Points Memo: Regardless of which side of the political fence you're on, you have to admire this type of personal animosity:
My next-door neighbor is a life-long Democrat who has spent the last 20 years as a registered Republican. He switched his registration just so he could vote against Arlen in the GOP primaries. When Arlen switched to the Democrats, so did my neighbor. I have disliked many a politician but have never been tempted to switch parties to get another opportunity to vote against him an extra time.

Michele Bachmann and the Census

If you remember this summer, one of the crazies leading the charge against this year's Census was Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. However, in the last couple months she's taken a backseat in the anti-Census after realizing that Minnesota is one of the states at risk of losing a seat in Congress after population shifts are calculated. And which Minnesota seat would be cut? Apparently, Bachmann's:
The really fun fact, as I've learned from Minnesota experts, is that Bachmann's district would likely be the first to go if the state lost a seat. The other seats are all fairly regular-shaped, logical districts built around identifiable regions of the state (Minneapolis, St. Paul, the Iron Range, and so on). Bachmann's district is made of what's left over after such a process, twisting and turning from a small strip of the Wisconsin border and curving deep into the middle of the state. As such, the obvious course of action if the state loses a seat is to split her district up among its neighbors.


Govermental Dreams

Emanuel Derman dreams:

I had a fantasy in which the Fed and the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) switched roles.

If a bank failed at 9 a.m. one morning and shut its doors, the TSA would announce that all banks henceforth begin their business day at 10 a.m.

And, if a terrorist managed to get on board a plane between Stockholm and Washington, the Fed would increase the number of flights between the cities.


Via Felix Salmon

Predictable Idiocy

Airbus A330-300 C-GFUR
Photo by Flickr user caribb
So, because the most recent al-Qaeda dipshit tried to light a firecracker on a plane, we're not forbidden to get up or hold anything on our laps during the last hour of a flight:

“Among other things,” the statement on Air Canada’s Web site read, “during the final hour of flight customers must remain seated, will not be allowed to access carry-on baggage, or have personal belongings or other items on their laps.”

The suspect in the Friday attempt, identified as Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, tried to ignite his incendiary device in the final hour of the flight while the plane was descending into Detroit.


We all recognize that this is beyond stupid, right? We're letting al-Qaeda write our flight security regulations by proxy. Whatever they do, we overreact: shoes, liquids, laps. At some point, will Americans get fed up and stop flying?

God Forbid We Follow The Science!

We just might have the stupidest legislature on Earth:

The Democrats’ health care bill would generally require insurers to provide preventive treatment recommended by the expert panel, the United States Preventive Services Task Force. But lawmakers in both parties made clear that they wanted doctors to decide when a mammogram is medically necessary and that insurers should be required to cover the cost if the procedure is needed.

“There’s much discussion about whether or not you should get a particular service at a particular age,” Ms. Mikulski said during the floor debate. “We don’t mandate that you get a service. We leave that up to a decision made with the woman and her doctor.”

Republicans, in Ms. Murkowski’s amendment and in a separate amendment by Mr. Vitter, specifically sought to set aside the task force recommendations on mammograms and to bar the federal government from relying on the findings. Mr. Vitter’s amendment was adopted without a vote on Wednesday night.


That's right. By law, we can't follow the guidelines of an independent, scientific, medical commission. God help us.

Terrorists Will Kidnap Your Daughter!

AQ00107
Photo by Flickr user ChuckHolton
Rep. John Shadegg (R-Moron) makes the case against civilian trials for accused terrorists:

"I saw the mayor of New York said today, 'We're tough. We can do it.' Well, Mayor, how are you going to feel when it's your daughter that's kidnapped at school by a terrorist?" Shadegg said.

"How are you going to feel when it's some clerk -- some innocent clerk of the court -- whose daughter or son is kidnapped? Or the judge's wife? Or the jailer's little brother or little sister? This is political correctness run amok," he continued.


Isn't this actually an argument against ever trying any criminal anywhere in a court? If the very presence of an accused criminal in a city is a threat to its citizens, shouldn't we just do without trials and, like, shoot our criminals into space?

Or maybe it's only super evil terrorists who can, under armed guard in a courtroom, kidnap the mayor's daughter. Honest to God, the Republicans think Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is Magneto.

(I would like to note that I wrote this post before Ezra wrote his.)

Two Links from Two Weeks Ago

Two links from two weeks ago that you may or may not have seen, but I had saved to share and not gotten around to it yet.

The Yes Men sent out a hoax press release from the US Chamber of Commerce saying they had changed their position on climate change. Obviously the media was interested in this so the Yes Men rented a room at the DC Press Club and gave a fake press conference. Then it gets really awesome when a representative of the Chamber shows up and shuts down the presser. And now, they're getting sued for it



Via TPM.

If you saw the profits made by the big banks last quarter and wondered how they were doing it, Philip Greenspun has an answer:
Because of the Collapse of 2008 financial reforms, the big investment banks are able to borrow money from the U.S. government at 0 percent interest. Then they can turn around and buy short-term bonds that pay 2 or 3 percent annual interest. Now they’re making 2 percent on whatever they borrowed. They can use leverage to increase this number, by pledging some of the bonds that they’ve already bought as collateral on additional bonds.


It's all so awesome, isn't it?



2008 Election Look Back

Last year, I spent about a month putting together this 2008 Election Round Up of reactions, articles, thoughts, videos, etc. It's fun looking back at it now and actually using it the way it was intended. It seems like a year was a long time ago and yet not that long ago. I'm not sure how many of the links are broken now, but take a look through it and pass it on.

Oh, ProJo, You’re Such A Comedian

Ha! Ha! See, it's funny because government is bad:

Government agencies will be eyed as more than the sources of speeding tickets and income tax forms this week at a special job fair to be held on the campus of Bryant University.


Those stupid government agencies, always enforcing public safety laws collecting revenue for the purpose of funding public services. Losers.