The latest snakeoil to hit the streets to help ease high gas prices and stimulate the economy is this notion of a federal gas tax holiday. One day where the 18.4% federal excise tax would be lifted at gas stations nation-wide.
Obama opposes it but both Hillary and McCain are in favor of it. Hillary, however, wants to replace this particular tax with a tax on Big Oil profits which, of course, will have to be made up for at the pump as Big Oil is simply not going to take this out of hide. That lost revenue is going to have to come from somewhere.
Like the economic stimulus plan or any of the proposed housing/mortgage crisis bailout plans being hurled about Capitol Hill, this tax holiday grandstanding does nothing to actually improve the situation. This tax holiday does nothing to actually bring more oil to market to satisfy the demand of a slowing but still robust economy that's not quite up and running on ethanol and solar cells (any day now...).
And don’t get us wrong… a skepticism of the long-term usefulness of this plan does not prevent acting upon an enlightened self-interest, jack – we’ll be more than happy to pocket that $10-15 we’ll save by filling up that day.
Bush, yesterday, had the temerity to mention ANWR for which he was roundly criticized. ANWR is just a drop in the bucket… and actual oil for ANWR won’t make it to market for years. Well, how long have we been talking about ANWR? 5 years, 10 years, 15 years? Truth of the matter is, ANWR first became a topic of national consideration during Clinton, Bill’s first term – certainly a long enough time ago that ANWR’s drop in the bucket would’ve had some positive impact NOW in relieving the constrained supply had it been acted on THEN.
Thanks. Thanks for nothing.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Which Voodoo do you do?
Posted by Dean at 4/30/2008 07:18:00 PM 0 comments
Labels: ANWR, Barack Obama, federal gas tax holiday, gas prices, Hillary Clinton, President Bush, snakeoil, voodoo
Hillary: Reagan Democrat?
David Brooks of the NYT breaks down the cultural and educational divide within the Democratic Party. Good read. Our assessment of the voting trends during the primaries leads us to the conclusion that Hillary has experienced success in reining-in many rural whites and urban/rust belt ethnic conservatives (read: Catholic and Eastern Orthodox descendants of Southern and Eastern Europe, respectively) that voted for Reagan and both Bushes. This has been aided in no small part by the Republicans themselves tossing to the curb their brand as fiscal conservatives and social conservatives with shameful spending and a handful of highly-publicized sex scandals.
Article does include one very interesting and suspect line:
“In Pennsylvania, Obama did everything conceivable to win over Clinton’s working-class voters”
Was Brooks in a coma when Obama bowled that 37 and when he made the “bitter” comments?
Posted by Dean at 4/30/2008 06:08:00 PM 1 comments
Labels: David Brooks, demographics, Hillary Clinton, New York Times, presidential primaries
Unintentional Comedy, served here.
We may burn for this but we couldn’t resist… from Harry Reid’s autobiography “The Good Fight”:
“But by the time I came along - December 2, 1939 - the leading industry in my hometown of Searchlight, Nevada, was no longer mining, it was prostitution.”
Posted by Dean at 4/30/2008 04:46:00 PM 1 comments
Labels: Harry Reid, mining, prostitution, questionable heritage, Searchlight Nevada, unintentional comedy
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Common sense, we suppose
In what appears to be a victory for common sense, the Supreme Court upheld by a 6-3 margin yesterday an Indiana state law that requires prospective voters produce photo ID. Story here.
The dissenters Breyer, Ginsberg and Souter claimed the law targets “voters who are poor and old.” No, the law targets those who can’t provide reasonable proof of who they are.
But may we offer some mild dissent? We worked at the polls during the 2006 midterms (…and btw, it was a long, grueling 16-hour day and entirely worth it. Never before did we feel as much as descendants of the Founders as we did that day when we were temporary caretakers of the most fundamental act of democracy) and our instructions were pretty simple: we were there to facilitate the voting process – nothing more, nothing less.
California law does not require any ID, photo or otherwise. If we could not find a particular person’s name on the voter registration list, we were instructed to provide a provisional paper ballot to the individual, extending every courtesy to make sure that person was not disenfranchised.
The issue of legitimacy was left to the registrar’s office and we were totally fine with that. With our lack of experience and training, we would not feel comfortable denying anyone the vote because a) they could not provide ID or b) could not provide what would appear to us to be legitimate ID… a determination better left to bar tenders and bouncers.
A personal discomfort with the practical execution of these types of laws aside, on balance, we're good with the concept of requiring that the name listed on the voter registration list is really you.
Posted by Dean at 4/29/2008 05:35:00 PM 0 comments
Labels: disenfrachisement, Indiana, supreme court, voter ID, voting
It's all Beginning to make Sense
The fervor by which both the President and Congress have pursued fixing the mortgage/housing crisis has seemed a little over-the-top, even by the normal standards applied to elected representatives all clamoring to “do something” in the face of a crisis.
A little over-the-top that is until we heard an ad on the radio for these guys. Yep, why lose tax revenue when you can artificially prop-up house values now and have future generations pay for it later?
Posted by Dean at 4/29/2008 04:44:00 PM 0 comments
Labels: congress, housing crisis, lowermypropertytaxes.com
Monday, April 28, 2008
A cast of characters... and then some.
There is a common theme running through the Chargers' top draft picks from the last 2 years: 4-year starters who also happen to be “character” guys. Off-field incidents the past couple of years involving Steve Foley, Shawne Merriman, Terrence Kiel and most recently Stephen Cooper have revealed a fairly high “dumb-ass quotient” running through the roster and it appears that G.M. A.J. Smith’s drafting policy is reflective of trying to lower that significantly.
Eric Weddle (Utah) last year, and first-rounder Antoine Cason (Arizona) and third-rounder Jacob Hester (LSU) from this year have all been described as team leaders with strong work ethics and a good head on their shoulders. And this in no way is to imply that last year’s first round pick Buster Davis or any of the other players the Chargers have drafted recently are anything but stand-up guys, its just apparent from how scouts, coaches, other players and former guidance counselors (we’ve got some inside scoop, there) speak of these guys that “character” was definitely a draft day M.O. these past couple of years.
Article here about Antoine Cason (pictured, on right) formerly of Los Alamitos High School up in the OC.
Also, Darren Rovell, here, thinks that this draft may have been influenced by a book that came out last fall extolling the importance of having an outstanding left tackle. Left tackle being that position which is primarily responsible for blind side protection of the quarterback. In this, the first draft where the effects of this book could be monitored, there were 7 left tackles chosen in the 1st round (including the #1 overall, Jake Long of Michigan). In the previous 6 drafts, there were an average of 2 left tackles taken in the 1st round. Looks like Rovell may be on to something.
Posted by Dean at 4/28/2008 08:54:00 PM 0 comments
Another bad day for the Olympic torch yesterday as Chinese students clashed with anti-Beijing protesters and where one man, a North Korean defector, attempted to immolate himself as the torch made a stop in Seoul, South Korea.
Story here also prompted the line of the day:
“Today, the Olympic torch begins its first-ever run through North Korea, where the flame was assured a trip free of anti-Chinese protests.”
(ed. note: This line appears in the print version of today’s paper but not in the attached electronic version.)
Posted by Dean at 4/28/2008 06:57:00 PM 0 comments
Labels: Beijing Olympics, China, immolate, North Korea, Olympic flame protests, Olympics, South Korea
While Obama confronts (or perhaps more accurately, America would want Obama to confront) his suspect associations with a racist, anti-American pastor and domestic terrorists, Arianna Huffington knows who the real wackos are. (Sorry, no embed. Gotta Click here... tell you what, we'll spare you the trouble - she is of the belief that Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly are part and parcel to the fringe Right and therefore the true threats to the Republic.)
“They will not be as powerful when we are done dealing with them.” Why does the creepy factor go up when spoken in that Euro-accent?
Article here claims its high noon for the American Left. For over 40 years now decent patriotic FDR/Kennedy liberals have had to share the big (D) tent with the likes of Reverend Wright and William Ayres who are held far more in “mainstream” regard than “fringe” in the Party structure.
From the last paragraph of the article:
“So the entire American body politic has a festering sore on its hands. This will not go away by itself. It will not be bought off by more money. It must be repudiated by the sensible Left, if it is still there. Just as William F. Buckley denounced the anti-Semites on the right, and sensible Americans rejected segregation and the Klan, just as American unions expelled Stalinist unions from the AFL-CIO, the time has come for the decent Left to draw a bright line in the sand, and keep the hate mongers out.”
(Referenced but unnamed, Samuel Gompers is the man singularly responsible for keeping American unions free of Communist influence and a man on our list of most underrated Americans.)
That quote “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me” attributed to Ronald Reagan comes to mind here.
The challenge offered for the Democratic Party will be far more daunting though than the convulsed birthing of the conservative movement within the Republican Party in the 60s as the defeatism, anti-Americanism and relativism that informs and guides much of Party policy, legislative agenda and rhetoric is far more engrained even than the “me-too”, Rockefeller country-club vibe of the 50s and 60s Republican Party.
Pragmatically speaking, the good liberals’ dreams of universal healthcare, a “living wage”, affordable housing and the like suffer because of these associations. And contrary to the claims that Republican demagogueing of “wedge” issues is responsible for middle America voting against their own best economic interests, its these associations that are at the core of what’s (really) the matter with Kansas.
Update #1: Wright’s speech at the National Press Club earlier today. For the most part, he refrains from tottering off the beam. Click here if embed is inop.
And round-up of his speech yesterday at the NAACP can be found at Gateway Pundit, including some interesting parallels between Wright’s reasoning on the differences between African and European brains and those of the KKK.
Posted by Dean at 4/28/2008 04:11:00 PM 2 comments
Labels: Barack Obama, NAACP, National Press Club, racism, Reverend Wright
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Rick Monday - You Made a Great Play.
It was 32 years ago today out at Dodger Stadium where then Chicago Cub Rick Monday reminded us that a simple yet courageous act by citizens of this country render a Flag burning amendment unnecessary.
Love the reaction by the knucklehead on the right after Monday grabbed the flag. "Curse you, Rick Monday… I will now throw my, my, my unlit match at you."
As Monday, who became a Dodger himself the following season, alludes, there is no physical feat or accomplishment he could have achieved inside the foul lines that would top this. Monday is currently on the Dodgers radio broadcast team along with Charlie Steiner and the legendary Vin Scully. And mustering all Christian charity possible, it is hoped the two miserable bastards that attempted this have been living very quiet, anonymous and completely insignificant lives.
P.S. That’s Vinnie himself with the call.
Posted by Dean at 4/27/2008 07:22:00 PM 2 comments
Labels: baseball, Chicago Cubs, Dodger Stadium, flag burning, flag burning amendment, Los Angeles Dodgers, Rick Monday, Vin Scully
"Lions and Tigers and... Obama on Fox, Oh My!"
All this hot, humid weather and football this weekend was reminiscent of August. Former West Wing writer-producer, Lawrence O’Donnell (of whom we had some thoughts) was musing on things August with a screen-play here depicting a scenario where Obama and Clinton both arrive in Denver at the Democratic National Convention lacking the necessary delegate votes to secure the nomination. Good read with a short story-like twist at the end.
Also, Obama went on Fox News today for an interview that will air tomorrow and the Kos-ters aren’t too happy. (Read article and comments here for the wailing and gnashing of teeth.) This boycotting of Fox News by the leading Democratic candidates never made any sense to us. It made them appear petty, juvenile and contemptible of Fox viewers.
Regardless of your opinion of the network, why would you freeze-out a major cable outlet and thus deprive yourself exposure to millions of people? Were we running for any sort of high profile office, we could never see ourselves turning down an opportunity to pitch ourselves to the hundreds of Air America listeners out there merely because we had political differences with the network. That’s just bad campaigning.
Posted by Dean at 4/27/2008 04:23:00 PM 6 comments
Labels: Barack Obama, Fox News, Lawrence O'Donnell, presidential politics
A Public Service Announcement
Mongo our friend. Mongo smart because he watch T.V. Mongo pass this along to us ‘cause he doesn’t think you no PBS even if Bill Moyers punched you in the stomach. PBS all-access on big navy ship start tomorrow night. Mongo wanted you to no that.
For a preview click here
Posted by Dean at 4/27/2008 01:49:00 PM 1 comments
Labels: Mongo, PBS, USS NIMITZ
Saturday, April 26, 2008
"Its obvious the Jets know something the people up here don't."
Blogging will be light today as the staff of BwD will be at the first annual BwD/Tom Brady is my Hero NFL Draft Day extravaganza at the residence of TbisH proprietor Mr. Styles.
We do leave you with a couple of vids shamelessly plucked from the vaults over at East Coast Bias. First one is of a fan rally sponsored by the Miami Dolphins last year. The fans’ mild sense of betrayal is apparent when they selected Ohio State WR, Ted Ginn Jr. as they were hoping for this guy.
And this one NEVER gets old. New York Jet Draft Day Fan React and Meltdown. Even the commish, the late great Pete Rozell, seems to be in on the joke because as the years progress he develops a pregnant pause between announcing the position… (Jet fan: “Dear Lord, please make it Marino”)…. And announcing the actual player chosen.
Hope everyone has a great day.
Posted by Dean at 4/26/2008 09:04:00 AM 1 comments
Labels: Brady Quinn, Miami Dophins fans, New Yor Jets fans, NFL, NFL Draft
Friday, April 25, 2008
KBwD is on the Air
Children of the 80s as we are, we remember exactly where we were when we heard our first strains of (pregnant pause….) alternative rock. Growing up on the Beatles, Zeppelin and the Stones from our big brothers’ record collection made hearing “Radio Free Europe” by R.E.M. in the folks’ big brown Ford van while on a family outing in Cherry Valley, CA, a musical slap upside the head.
R.E.M. was cool but nothing could top these ragamuffin gunners from Minneapolis, these oft-besotted beautiful losers who upon being informed their early recordings would be released on CD, broke into their record company offices, grabbed as many master tapes as they could and cast them into the Mississippi hoping that Prince who lived in a mansion down river would pluck the tapes like Moses from the rushes and upon hearing them would change his own musical direction…. or so the legend goes.
Anyway, never ones to be bothered with the art of commerce which in the music business meant making videos, we believe our guys would’ve fully endorsed as official this proxy of mid-80s high schoolers having some Midwest fun on their public access call-in show.
Ladies and Gentleman…. The Replacements and “Kiss Me on the Bus” off of one of the best albums of the ‘80s, “Tim”.
"...they were like the opening band for the opening band." Yep, that's the 'Mats.
Posted by Dean at 4/25/2008 06:01:00 PM 2 comments
Labels: alternative rock, Back Porch Video, drunkards, great music, KBwD, Minneapolis, n'er do wells, Prince, screw-ups, the Replacements
Thursday, April 24, 2008
You Go, Girl!
Good lord, its been a veritable love-fest for Hillary in the right-wing blogosphere these past couple of days as she staved-off elimination once again with her victory in Pennsylvania. Certainly, this is a broad-brushed assessment but the general mood is palpable, just as an opposite mood is apparent at the liberal websites.
The “inevitable” label to which Clinton was tagged early in the primaries has now been transferred to Obama. Many Democrats, weary of this months-long slog, wish that Hillary would just gracefully bow out so that they can move their man on to the main event against McCain.
Now, some of the glee directed towards Hillary by Republicans/conservatives is indeed based in schadenfreude as this primary grinds on into May but the majority of it is an honest-to-goodness respect for a woman who simply refuses to give-in or give-up. This is an admirable trait for a prospective CinC… hell, it’s a completely necessary trait.
Obama outspent her 2 to 1 in Pennsylvania and he still couldn’t get it done. And if there is one single thing that men dread hearing more than anything else be it in regards to work, love or sports it is: “Dude can’t close the deal”. Ouch. And this is the state of Obama currently and one in which this suspicion is now spoken openly.
He had the chance to step on her neck and crush any chances she had and he relented. And now the stories of his association with Weather Underground terrorist William Ayres are beginning to gain traction and his FORMER pastor is going to be giving a speech Monday at the National Press Club. What could possibly go wrong, there?
As for Howard Dean’s and many other Democratic big-wig's and blogger's edict that this thing gets wrapped up sooner than later and that the superdelegates decide on their candidate by June 1st, don’t count on it. The best explanation we’ve heard for this comes from John Podhoretz:
“Yes. Sure. Because politicians with the most valuable votes in America are just going to choose up sides and not spend three months being courted and feted and promised. They are going to forswear having their feet kissed, their backs massaged, their views requested, their wants fulfilled, their needs anticipated. They are going to throw their vote away rather than milk it for all it’s worth.
It’s time for people like Yglesias and other Democrats to grow up and get this straight. The point here is: A thousand or so people are going to decide this primary. It behooves those people to have this go on as long as possible, because that is how they are going to get the most goodies. Maybe this is what Hillary truly understands”
Its a single elimination tournament for her now but Clinton just keeps on grinding. On to Guam!
Posted by Dean at 4/24/2008 08:22:00 PM 8 comments
Labels: Barack Obama, death march, DETERMINATION, guam primaries, Hillary Clinton, john mccain, presidential primaries
The Iranian Economic Stimulus Plan unveiled
Employing some the same back-handed logic to which some fringe Greenie groups allude with regard to the environment and population sustainability, Brother Mahmoud thinks what’s wrong with the economy is, well…. you. Here’s BroMoud holding forth on his Big Idea in a speech Wednesday in the city of Hamedan as reported by the Mehr News Agency:
"If we want to build the country, maintain our dignity and solve economic problems, we need the culture of martyrdom."
He described martyrdom, dying or being killed for one's religious beliefs, as "a quick and shortcut way to reach the summit of salvation."
Cudos to the Islamicist think-tank that came up with this idea for its actually quite brilliant. They combine the twin elements of waging jihad AND reducing the unemployment roles. And the benefits of this plan are even more dramatic if you can umm… employ into this stimulus plan the sick, mentally retarded, gays and females… you know, the unproductive and unclean members of your 8th century-grounded society. Everybody wins!
H/T: Gateway Pundit
Posted by Dean at 4/24/2008 07:06:00 PM 1 comments
Labels: awesome ideas, economic stimulus, Iran, jihad, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, martyrdom
Earmarks. $450 at a time.
If you don’t have time for organizations like Big Brothers/Big Sisters or the like, fear not, there is still a way you can “sponsor” disadvantaged youths, particularly minority ones.
There you have it… when one gets outside of one’s own rigid paradigms, there are numerous avenues out there for good in this world to be done.
Posted by Dean at 4/24/2008 03:21:00 PM 5 comments
Labels: abortion, Big Brothers, defenseless, eugenics, planned parenthood, voiceless
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Mumia Lost his House, too?
The merry men of reason.tv were on hand in D.C. last week taking in a protest by something called the Ad Hoc National Network to Prevent Evictions and Foreclosures outside a meeting of the Mortgage Bankers Association. Does adding Ad Hoc to your title give you wiggle room for being really disorganized? After watching the video it would appear so.
There’s no way of knowing for sure if it went down like this but we imagine these people are fairly sane, rational folks who are a little miffed that the government is bailing out the greedy, corporate banks…. instead of just handing over all that jack to them directly. No biggie. Pretty standard thinking this day in age, unfortunately, but nothing too radical.
So there they are having their little rally, minding their own business when….. these people start showing up. The kooks, the Commies, the no-blood-for-oil types, the free Mumia types, the whole miserable lot of them that never met a protest they didn’t wind up crashing.
(the embed is not cooperating. Please click here for video. Sorry) (Hey, maybe it is - give it a crack)
We love the minimal number of questions they are asked. Reason.tv has been doing enough of these too know that if you just let these knuckle-heads ramble on for anything more than 15-20 seconds, the wackyness will start foaming over the top.
But the ones they do ask often have devastating results. Our fave: Little Miss Riding Red: “…. And life expectancy (in communist Russia)….. was longer than before the Revolution”. Reason.tv: “Except if you opposed Stalin” Little Miss Riding Red: (morphs into Miss South Carolina)
Anyway, looks like everyone had a good time, no one got hurt and you all will still be bailing out the banks AND these people. We’ve half a mind to go to one of these things to distribute our name and email address so we can be contacted when they’re all ready to pay us back, thank you very much.
Update #1: If you're scoring at home the song in the video is the Byrds doing "Pretty Boy Floyd" off of their seminal country-rock album "Sweetheart of the Rodeo"
Posted by Dean at 4/23/2008 08:23:00 PM 1 comments
Labels: Commies, kooks, leftists, mortgage bail-out, mumia abu-jamal, protest-crashing, protests
The Play-doh Offensive Update
How are things coming along, people? Remember, you were warned. Until we start getting some positive feedback regarding efforts to secure some simple school supplies for Teresa who is currently serving in Afghanistan, we will continue our Jimmy Carter-like nagging.
The following are portions of an email that Teresa sent to Mongo:
...Did I tell you that when I was on the medical mission seeing patients,
that I was seeing an old woman, and she was crying.. because she cannot work
and take care of herself. That she had no money and no way to support
herself. no way to get medical care. I see people who are drug addicts,
Women without a male in the family.... children that are small due to poor
nutrition. many without proper medicine for their ailments... including
adult onset diabetes. a lack of a good water supply, which is the source of
illness and uncleanliness. The stench is horrible, but can not be helped.
when the locals come into be seen you can barely stand the smell, because
they are so filthy. their cloathing is in rags and dirty.... it is like a
page out of a history book... people here still uses donkeys as vehicles,
and donkey carts to load supplies and cart things places....
...I got another package for the humanitarian aid! It is soo nice of people
to do this... There was a little boy that came into the clinic yesterday, he
has a rare genetic disorder that causes his bones to break and bend very
easily... not much can be done for him really, but they did fundraisers and
bought him a chair... I am either going to give him my computer when I
leave, (the new one I got) or buy him an inexpensive new one... he cant go
outside and play, so he needs something he can do while sitting down. He was
such a cute little boy, he was nine years old but looked more like a six
year old... and his bones were all deformed... he can not go to school, but
his family tries to help teach him... I have nominated myself, (no one else
was doing it) to be in charge of setting up fundraisers here... We have a
car wash, (we will be washing the military vehicles for people) and possibly
a poker night and karaoke night in the works...
Well I did go on a medical mission the other day, and it was wonderful. I
had the opportunity to actually see the patients, and if they had any
problem that was beyond my ability then I referred them to higher care. I
have to tell you that the main problem was poor diet, poverty and
oppression, (as I saw females). One woman in particular started to cry
because she was so poor, old and could not work to support herself. It was
so tragic. Mostly they needed vitamins, and basic pain relievers like
tylenol, basic hygeine products like tooth brushes and tooth paste
...The things that you send do go to where it is needed and even though some
people do not believe in handouts because they feel it makes these people
dependent... I think if they were to see the hunger and the hope in the eyes
of the most in need, they would readily change their view... Poverty is not
a joke, and some of these families have a male head of the family who is
only a small boy. women cannot find work... and are oppressed and it is only
the well educated that can pull themselves up, but these are few and far on
the female side. Partly because some women were never given the chance..
very sad. The men say... oh they get used to it, refering to the burka...
and oh they like it, but if you ask the women they do not... or they hide in
it. Sad either way. anyway... I love the people here.. I think this is a
beautiful and enchanted land, for all of the war, violence, ignorance,
religious fanatisism... it is a good learning experience and I know that I
am blessed to have this opportunity...
We make runs to the front gate about one to four times a week to look at
burns to small infants and children.... usually due to abuse. most of the
time they are small second degree burns, non life threatening, but blistered
over and pretty painful looking. I wrote a poem about it... simple poem, but
you might like it.
It seemed as though time had stopped
The moment I saw her weatherd face
Her youth, hardship and pain had robbed
The lines of worry and fear, had become her disparing lace
You see the saddest beauty in her joyless eyes
In her shame from a life of oppression, she tries to hide
A land and people broken from political and religious lies
This barren piece of earth seems a void where only tears reside
The tiny bundle wrapped in her distraught embrace
Burns on his leg, cuts and scratches on his face
Malnurished, impoverished, and dirty, his little eyes gaze
With a look still trusting that time will soon erase
Where is Rumi with his poems of truth and devoted love?
I see no light posts lighting the way
No angels of mercy, no white doves
Not even a park where the children can play
Take away forever the veil that hides your torment
Lift your faces to the sky and feel the warmth of day
it is long past due for your freedom and atonement
With a song of joy in your heart, sing as you kneel to pray...
I must believe in the will of God
In the kind hearts that hear your broken sobs
One day instead of Armies marching through your land
I pray officers of peace, who in integrity will stand
It is not an Army that this country needs
But schools, hospitals, jobs and police
It is only further sarrow that these seeds we sow will reep
For the wounds in these hearts and souls are growing ever more deep...
anyway... there you have it.
you have been a very good friend. Thank you for being so supportive.
I hope you are having a wonderful Easter.
And this from an email just received by Mongo a few days ago:
... everyday I see more that causes me heart ache... everyday I cry for the children... I pray that more good then harm will come from our presence here.
You are wonderful.. you really are... thank you for trying... please GOD... please.. let someone give... let the children have a chance to laugh and play...
Perhaps we can not cure all of the problems in this land... perhaps it will be a long time for an answer to come.. but maybe we can make a difference in one or two peoples lifes.. perhaps we can give one or two smiles.. one or two good memories among a centuries of bad.
We don’t think we can make this any more clear. If you are already an active participant (no, penning checks doesn’t count) in a service-related cause, then you’re off the hook. If not, then please make this one or one similar your own, if for no other reason than to prevent all that gratitude from going to Mongo's head. We know where you live – lets not make this unpleasant, shall we?
P.S. Our package arrived in country in just under a week. The impact of your effort is immediate.
Posted by Dean at 4/23/2008 04:41:00 PM 2 comments
Labels: humanitarian aid, not just charity, The Play-doh Offensive, This country's obligation, World of Good
Quote of the Day
Robert Downey Jr., the talented yet troubled actor on living the high life... and the low life:
"I have a really interesting political point of view, and it's not always
something I say too loud at dinner tables here, but you can't go from a
$2,000-a-night suite at La Mirage to a penitentiary and really understand it
and come out a liberal. You can't. I wouldn't wish that experience on anyone
else, but it was very, very, very educational for me and has informed my
proclivities and politics every since."
The timidity by which he felt he had to address such discourse in the Hollywood chow hall was addressed by us here.
H/T: The Weekly Standard
Posted by Dean at 4/23/2008 03:42:00 PM 0 comments
Labels: drugs, group-think, healing, Hollywood, liberal intolerance, political awakening, rehabiliation, Robert Downey Jr.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Congratulations, Racists! PA to Hillary!
… or so would Nora Ephron’s line of reasoning be as revealed in piece here she penned for HuffPo yesterday.
Perhaps along with condescension we can lump-in contempt as an affliction suffered by the liberal-Left elite that run the Democratic Party.
In the article, Ephron bemoans the fact that the election has become solely about gender and race. And in case you doubted the heartfelt-ness of this assessment, she puts her personal stamp of irony on the PA primary by stating:
“This is an election about whether the people of Pennsylvania hate blacks more than they hate women. And when I say people, I don't mean people, I mean white men.”
Some other gems:
“white men cannot be relied on, as all of us know who have spent a lifetime dating them.”
Still not over Carl Bernstein dumping her 30+ yrs. ago… but having no such practical experience in the matter of which she speaks here, we’ll take her word on it.
“As for the Democratic hope that McCain's temper will be a problem, don't bet on it. A lot of white men have terrible tempers, and what's more, they think it's normal.”
Anecdotal stereotyping over empirical data is always the foundation of any astute political analysis. Besides, we prefer to think of it as “passion” or “pricipled conviction”, toots.
Anyway, this isn’t some fringe kook or a ‘Kos diarist… this is the establishment of the Democratic Party emoting this raw bile and spiteful contempt and this is the sort of “mainstream” logic that will be on full display during the general election and why it is that despite Obama’s unsavory associations, McCain will fare much better against Clinton than Obama in the general.
Quick note: Michael Barone on the telly this evening said that the exit polling was overrepresenting Obama’s actual poll results. The Bradley effect will be something to keep an eye come November should he be the Democratic representative.
PA primary result story here
Posted by Dean at 4/22/2008 09:12:00 PM 3 comments
Labels: Barack Obama, contempt, Hillary Clinton, Huffington Post, Nora Ephron, racism, sexism, the Bradley effect
Its a California Thing... You wouldn't understand.
If you were born here in California after WWII then you know what this is all about.
Article here sent a wave of nostalgia through us as it recounts what has been a long-standing tradition in California’s public schools and that is the 4th grade project to build a scale replica of one of the 21 Spanish missions from San Francisco Solano in the north to San Diego de Alcala in the south.
Article points out that this project has become so engrained in California culture, it even has its own Wiki-page (you know you’ve arrived, when…). And indeed, while doing a web-search for the same, we saw numerous sites devoted to mission project ideas and “how-to” instructional guidance for constructing the missions.
Of course, article starts delving into what many see as perhaps an overemphasis on these missions that formed the cultural, religious and logistical backbone of the Spanish colonial period in California during the 18th and early 19th century and whom are also critical of the school curriculum that tends to overlook the forced conversions to Catholicism and enslavement of the California natives.
But hey... nothing was going to ruin our way-back buzz. Just look at the smiles on these kids’ faces…. Doesn’t it make it all worth it?
Posted by Dean at 4/22/2008 05:27:00 PM 7 comments
Labels: 4th grade missions project, California missions, California public education, popsicle sticks, Spanish Colonial period, sugar cubes
“Yes, yes… for the Love of Allah, we will agree to these terms but sadly, it is time for you to go now, Mr. Carter.”
One has got to think that Hamas “agreed” to a peace proposal just to get the old nag out of their hair.
For as much fun as it might’ve been for Hamas to stick the “kick me” sign on Carter’s backside for a few days its almost certain that the old adage regarding fish, houseguests and a 72 hr. shelf life certainly applied here.
After much fanfare and a waste of 24 column-inches in today’s fishwrap (story here), Carter ultimately has or most certainly will have nothing to show for his efforts.
Bottom line: despite the proposed formation of a Palestinian state and recognition of Israel based upon a referendum of the Palestinian people AND despite assurances by Hamas that they will abide by this referendum, the terms agreed-upon still give Hamas substantial room to back out later. Further, Hamas leader-in-exile, Khaled Meshaal, (pictured) who met with Carter in Syria has gone on record as saying Hamas will not recognize Israel despite any referendum passed by the Palestinians.
So there you have it. America’s premier affordable housing developer continues to be a tool….. of terrorist interests in the Middle East.
Posted by Dean at 4/22/2008 04:46:00 PM 7 comments
Labels: Hamas, Israel, Jimmy Carter, Middle East Peace, Palestine
Monday, April 21, 2008
The Face of the Democratic Party?
We missed the Democratic debates last week but no matter because on the eve of the Pennsylvania primaries, the resounding theme this entire past week has been Waaaaaaaannnnnnhhhhh!
Good lord, never in our life have we heard as much whining as has been coming out of Camp Obama only to be counter-whined by Clinton Inc. as to their own alleged superior aggrievement.
All this revolves around the line of questioning put to Barack Obama during the debates where ABC moderators Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos had the nerve to question him on his “bitter” comments and his association with Reverend Wright. It should be noted that these are the first debates since those two flare-ups went public.
Article here from HuffPo takes pains to break down the type of questions that have been asked of the two candidates in their last 4 debates with one another and concludes that indeed, ABC is the muckraker and biased towards Clinton.
(We thought it interesting that the author regarded questions concerning Rev. Wright, Obama’s association with 60's radical William Ayres, and the “bitter” comments as “scandal” questions. Not sure we would classify those as “scandals”… the implication is that this line of questioning was not a serious, kitchen table policy-related one – just superfluous fluff).
Here is a fine example of whine/counter-whine on Meet the Press Sunday (sorry for the link - embed was inop). As we were watching this clip, it was obvious to us that given a different set of circumstances, Axelrod and Garin could easily be sitting in the other’s chair working for the other candidate. We wanted to slap these guys.
And for the amount of times we’ve heard both sides levy the “Republican-style hit pieces” and “Rovian” tactics when whining about each other, we wonder when the irony is finally going to set in as it might become apparent to some people that perhaps these “low-brow tactics” may not be the exclusive domain of the GOP, afterall.
A quick word about “going negative”: The term is beginning to sound a lot like “wedge issue” to us… meaning “going negative” is simply bringing up an issue, a past quote, an association or a vote that the opponent may not necessarily want publicized as it does not cast him or her in the most positive of lights.
We leave you with Hillary’s recent Republican-style fear-mongering ad.
H/T: HotAir... Gateway Pundit
Posted by Dean at 4/21/2008 08:14:00 PM 4 comments
Labels: Barack Obama, belly-aching, bitching and moaning, crybabies, Hillary Clinton, Pennsylvania primaries, presidential primaries, whining
An Outrage or just Plain Silly?
Time for a new poll, folks.
We’ve been around the block enough to believe that the editors of TIME know exactly what they’re doing when they pull a stunt like this. The new cover of the venerable weekly photoshops a fallen redwood in place of the American Flag in perhaps the most celebrated and iconic image in American history: the Marines hoisting the Flag atop Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima during WWII.
The imagery is an unabashed exhortation towards picking up the mantle of unswerving environmentalism in this country.
Its tough for us to get offended by this image as we have zero idea of what real combat is like. For veterans who have been on the receiving end of shots fired in anger, we imagine they might have good reason to be offended but we can’t be offended on their behalf.
Is is silly? Is it juvenile stunt? Is it purposely provocative? A resounding yes on all counts. The complete unseriousness of the cover image is probably why we can't get up our gander on this one. As we suggested, the editors know this will cause a stink in some quarters and that will all be free advertising for one of the standard-bearers of a fading medium.
But… we would like to hear what you think by participating in the poll at the top of the right-hand margin. And by all means expound on your opinion in the comment section… especially if you think we are way off-base.
Thanks in advance for playing along.
Posted by Dean at 4/21/2008 04:27:00 PM 8 comments
Labels: environmentalism, Iwo Jima, TIME Magazine, U.S. Marines
Sunday, April 20, 2008
First off, an apology… Foxfier (aka Head Noises) has been blogrolled under our “Friends of…” section for a couple of months and it is only now that we are getting around to formal introductions. Please stop by the blog of a proud former member of our nation’s armed forces when you get a chance. Welcome aboard, Foxie!
And in keeping with the general American attitude of not paying any attention to the NBA until the playoffs, we present Free Darko which of course will be ‘rolled under our Recommended Sports sites. If you are into a more free form, existential style of writing AND you are into the NBA then… then you probably know about the site already. Hell, you probably write for the site. Seriously, its one of the most original and creative sports-related sites we’ve run across in our journeys.
And we’ve updated our “Ass:…” feature. They were one of our first KBwD performers and we’re inserting Fishbone into the rotation for a spell. Bono and the Boys have been up there for a while… longer than we had intended. We will endeavor to do a better job in refreshing what is supposed to be emotionally uplifting and physically energizing music for life’s dead spots.
Finally, this evening we our proud to ‘roll two of the most prominent political websites in the ‘sphere: that would be of course, the Huffington Post and the Daily Kos. Hey, what’s with the blank looks? Just thought it would be a good idea to be a click away from seeing what’s going on with our friends on the other side of the aisle, that’s all. There were a couple of pieces that jumped out at us which we’ll share later.
Good night, all.
Update #1: Woops. Totally forgot about rolling East Coast Bias in our recommended sports blogs. We were alerted to these D.C./ACC-centric gents a while back by DeadSpin for their coverage of the suit being brought against Duke University by the Duke LaCrosse team over the unholy and felonious mess the U. made of the alleged rape case. They are very comment friendly so drop on by when you get a chance.
Posted by Dean at 4/20/2008 09:02:00 PM 3 comments
Labels: Daily Kos, Free Darko, Housekeeping, Huffington Post
We'll remain selective of our Australian imports
The excellent theo-katic politics/religion/culture blog, Blue Crab Blvd. aka Prelate to the Primates has a round-up of Australia’s recently concluded “idea conference”.
“Some 1,000 experts, activists, politicians and celebrities put forward more than 40 proposals after two days of brainstorming.”
Experts, activist, politicians and celebrities…? Well, shoot-howdy. You just KNOW there are going to be some useful and entirely credible ideas to be generated with that stellar cross-section of folks.
The American version of this would look like that IBM ideating commercial but with the likes of Tim Robbins, Puff Daddy, Ward Churchill, Harry Reid, Michael Moore and Rosie O’Donnell all in the reclined position brain-storming their way to a better American tomorrow.
Posted by Dean at 4/20/2008 01:35:00 PM 1 comments
Labels: big waste of time, IBM, ideas, ideating, unwanted ideas, unwelcome ideas
Beijing '08 Olympics Update
(One in an occasional series provided during the run-up to the ’08 Summer Games in Beijing, China. Archived posts in this series can be accessed by entering “Olympics” in the blog search box above).
The dunder-headed IOC has got your politics, alright.
The U.S. women’s softball team is making a 45-city barnstorming tour throughout the United States currently that is dubbed Bound 4 Beijing and which from account here is part sold-out rock band tour and farewell tour. Farewell tour? What say ye? Apparently, softball is viewed as being to Americanized by the International Olympic Committee as they voted 52-52 (a majority is needed) to drop the sport after the Beijing Games. The American side has won all 3 gold medals since being included as a medal sport in ’96 and most recently outscored its opponents in Athens ’04 by a combined score 51-1.
Of course, this business about the sport being too Americanized or too dominated by Americans is petty, selfish and extremely short-sighted. It was precisely the beat-downs handed out by the American men’s basketball Dream Team in ’92 that kicked what was already a popular international sport into over-drive as the world got an up-close look at the game’s superstars like Michael, Magic and Larry. The image of the Angolan player gleefully showing his Charles Barkley autograph to his teammates and friends after that same Charles Barkley cheap-shotted an elbow into this guy’s chest is the indelible moment of those Games for us.
One can draw a straight downward-trending line from those Olympics to the present as representative of declining American performances and results, and conversely, rising international peformenaces in the Games.
Though we are no means real followers of the sport, we do enjoy the game and will catch what we can when ESPN broadcasts the women’s college world series. Unlike baseball, softball is briskly-paced and one whose participants are very often quite attractive. Sue us!
Anyway, it is hoped the IOC can pull its head out of its rear end long enough to realize that women like Lisa Fernandez and Jennie Finch (pictured) aren’t just heroes to young women here but represent democratizing and gender-equalizing influences around the globe and re-instate softball as an Olympic sport.
Posted by Dean at 4/20/2008 09:09:00 AM 5 comments
Labels: IOC, jennie finch, lisa fernandez, Olympics, politics, short-sightedness, softball
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Buckley, the Birchers and the original Arizona Maverick
Alright, gang. After having been shut out of the beer convention going on here in San Diego (“whaddya mean there’s no tasting room?”) Mr. Styles and ourselves are taking matters into our own hands by paying a visit to the Stone Brewing Company up in Escondido today so blogging will be light.
In our absence, though, we left you all with a little history lesson from WFB describing a critical juncture in the development of the modern American conservative movement… the purging of the kooks. Enjoy.
Posted by Dean at 4/19/2008 10:28:00 AM 1 comments
Labels: Barry Goldwater, Stone Brewing Company, The John Birch Society, William F. Buckley
Its all micro-economics to us
Whether they do or don’t harvest shade-grown coffee beans or regardless of causes they may or may not support, we’ll continue to purchase our $1.85 grande’ cup of very mediocre coffee and occasional pastry if it helps prevent shuttering of storefronts like the ones right next door.
Posted by Dean at 4/19/2008 10:00:00 AM 1 comments
Labels: economy, mediocre coffee, slowing economy, Starbucks, vacant storefronts
Friday, April 18, 2008
KBwD is on the Air
Pulled from our iPod Playlist “Quite possibly the coolest songs of all-time”. Culling the iTunes selections for George Baker reveals the Dutch singer-songwriter wrote some bad music…. really awful stuff. But he will always have this. #21 on the U.S. charts back in 1970 and near #1 in our hearts, Ladies and Gentleman: The George Baker Selection performing… (and doing a lot of walking around the countryside) "Little Green Bag".
… and nothing says old-school like riding side saddle.
Posted by Dean at 4/18/2008 07:51:00 PM 3 comments
Labels: George Baker, George Baker Selection, KBwD, Little Green Bag, Resevoir Dogs
Oldest Tree has a story to be told, hope scientists
The world’s oldest tree has been located. Story here.
Wow… if that tree could talk, it would…. it would… damn thing would put us to sleep.
Central Sweden? Not Jerusalem or Rome or even Moscow…. central Sweden…?
Posted by Dean at 4/18/2008 06:57:00 PM 5 comments
Labels: spruce trees, trees, world's oldest tree
Steve Rosenthal would like you to know he's a pretty big deal
Video below has been making the rounds for a few days now and takes some light-hearted but insipid shots at John McCain and specifically John McCain’s age. It’s a curious ad as it doesn’t raise any serious misgivings about the Senator’s age or suggest why his relative old age might pose a problem…. so, what is the point?
Commentors are of basically two themes: one in which we agree and the other in which we disagree. Agree that this ad is counterproductive as there is nothing like potentially offending the voting block that turns out the best. Disagree that this ad should be viewed as offensive as no one questions Hillary being a female or Obama being black (or half-white, if one wants to get genetically technical) so why should people question McCain's age?
Age is different from gender and race. We can’t quite place our finger on it but it just is.
No one gets birthday cards from friends ribbing them about being a woman or being a black male. Perhaps joking around about age is some sort of subconscious gallows humor…. as if, we’re all going to get there (old) eventually, so we might as well yuck it up at someone else’s expense while we can.
Video directs you to YoungerthanMcCain.com which is supposedly run by some guy named Steve Rosenthal, a Democratic operative who humbly refers to himself in the 3rd person on his blogger profile page and quotes the New York Times about himself: one of the Democratic Party’s “smartest and most influential strategists”.
After viewing this “ad”, Beers with Demo fully believes that is precisely what the New York Times would say about Steve Rosenthal. “Nice work, Steve”, says Beers with Demo and “keep it up”.
Posted by Dean at 4/18/2008 04:06:00 PM 1 comments
Labels: counterproductive campaign ads, presidential politics, Steve Rosenthal
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Laissez les mal temps roullez!
Several years back as the housing market was just starting to take off and the median price for homes here in San Diego was rumbling past $300,000 (300 grand!), two of our office mates were concerned and perplexed that “no one would be able to afford a home at those prices”. We took pains to inform them that someone, in fact, many people must be able to afford them or the prices would not continue to rise as they were.
It turns out though, our colleagues were, in a sense, correct – it’s just that they didn’t know in what manner they were correct or why they were correct in their assessment.
At the time, some 7 years ago, we were not yet hip to the “creative financing” and sub-prime lending practices that were being effected to get a feverish public (“home rushers”?) into their new homes so we mistakenly equated “purchased” with “afford”.
Recent data now shows that the San Diego median home price has fallen under $400,000 for the first time since November of ’03. Story here.
And this is just one of the many things that bothers us about the proposed Congressional bailout plans…. Did any of you out there who own a home honestly think those prices of some 2 years ago were going to keep going up or at least stay steady? Did you? We don’t think any sensible homeowner started making early retirement plans after their home’s value doubled, tripled or even quadrupled in the span of 5 years. We sure as heck didn’t.
And now Congress is trying to paper over what can be accurately described as a correction (because, again… no sensible person expected the good times to keep rolling). And we have to laugh at this notion of a “crisis”. A crisis? The current median price is still just under 2 times what it was back in ’99 when we purchased our crib. Some crisis.
One of the arguments we’ve heard by the bailout proponents is that it will get empty houses occupied quicker because empty houses are bad for morale, we suppose. Fair enough but guess what? We’ve lived next door to an empty house for over a year now (it was just purchased this week). Didn’t like it, but we kept the weeds down in the front lawn, made a couple of responded-to emails to the property management firm as to the status of the property and made nearly daily checks around the property to prevent any unsavory activity. We dealt with it.
The house was originally listed at $630,000 and ultimately sold for $360,000. The realtor had to “correct” downward to the more sensible market value. We can only imagine that Congressional meddling to falsely prop-up the price of this house would’ve only invited more sub-prime shenanigans… the same that ultimately did in the previous owners.
Dear Congress, Let it go…. just leave this one alone and it will all sort itself out.
Posted by Dean at 4/17/2008 08:32:00 PM 4 comments
Labels: Congressional bailout, falling house prices, false crisis, housing crisis, mortgage crisis
A Reversal of Fortune?
Your antidote for future-generations hand-wringing can be found here.
H/T: The Coffee Shop Blog via The Scratching Post
Posted by Dean at 4/17/2008 06:24:00 PM 1 comments
Labels: encouraging, hope, optimism, wow
The term "finest" is not meant to be univerally applied, here.
Apparently, even the clueless can be the beneficiaries of a boot in the ass every once in a while. Amid sweeping proposed budget cuts made by Mayor Jerry Sanders,
the San Diego City Council voted themselves a 24% raise (to $93,485) earlier this week.
They also voted to eliminate an annual $9,600 auto allowance whose legality had been called into question. So they avoided the nasty little legality/ethicalness question by simply rolling up that $9,600 as part of their raise. Problem solved. Nice work, gang. (It was suggested during the council meeting that the auto allowance be added to the base salary plus a 3% raise. Councilman Ben Hueso thought that was pretty good but had an even better idea: How about the base plus the auto allowance and a 10% raise? Rock on, Ben!)
And though the 5-3 vote was veto-proof it may not have been riot-proof as yesterday 2 of the "for" votes (including Hueso) reacting to getting pummeled by emails and talk radio, consulted their inner-political survival instinct and withdrew their support for the raise. Story here.
The more we live and learn, the more we are convinced that the greatest amount and degree of incompetence, ineptitude and corruptness in any level of government, exists at the city/municipal level.
Posted by Dean at 4/17/2008 06:09:00 PM 0 comments
Labels: America's Finest City, san diego, San Diego city council
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Life has Meaning once again
An oasis this weekend between the end of college hoops and the NFL Draft and NBA Playoffs: the international Craft Brewers Conference and World Beer Cup competition is being held this week here in San Diego.
For reasons here inexplicable, San Diego has carved out a nice little niche’ for itself in the world of craft/microbrew beers. To wit, Ratebeer.com’s ranking of the planet’s top 100 beers places 19 of them from SD county. Not too shabby, eh?
The conventional wisdom is that Karl Strauss got the ball rolling towards San Diego becoming a microbrew mini-mecca which would be ironic, in our opinion, as we’ve never been big fans of Karl’s beer. Now the pork chops at his restaurant, on the other hand…? Anyway, we’re partial to Ballast Point, Pizza Port (Solano Beach) and particularly Stone, makers of Arrogant Bastard Ale as in-town brews.
Maybe we’ll see you down there.
Full story here.
Posted by Dean at 4/16/2008 08:08:00 PM 2 comments
Labels: a sandwich in every glass, beer, beer is good, craft beers, microbrews, mmmmm.... beer
Its all fun and games until someone loses their Irony
We’re clearly late to the whole Obama “Bittergate” episode so any opinion we may have has probably been vented a dozen times over on radio, TV and internet, so... what’s a slacking little blog like ours to do except react to the reaction.
But first, in case any of you have been comatose for the past few days, here are the words spoken by Obama at a San Fran fundraiser that have got him into so much trouble:
“You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them (editor: go cry that tune to the buggy whip manufacturers, pal). And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
A look at the Bittergate dust-up here by George Will who claims “Obama may be the fulfillment of modern liberalism”. With assistance from the indespensible pollster/demographer Michael Barone, Will traces a line from what we’ll call bread’n’butter FDR liberalism through the smug Adlai Stevenson to today’s Obamamania whose campaign’s spritual overtones combined with his desire for governmental hyper-activity recalls the quote from Socialist/Communist pioneer Moses Hess: “The Christian… imagines the better future of the human species…in the image of heavenly joy… We, on the other hand, will have this heaven on earth”.
And here is an interesting and ultimately bizarre piece from WaPo columnist E.J. Dionne. Dionne takes Obama to task for his choice of words but not necessarily its intent or purpose. He then goes after Clinton for parroting Republican talking points about Al Gore, John Kerry and Obama not really respecting values/faith voters. But then in the last few lines, he completely loses it:
“It has been sickening over the years to watch Republicans, who always rally to the aid of the country's wealthiest citizens, successfully cast themselves as pork-rind-eating, NASCAR-watching, gun-toting populists. To have the current White House occupant (Yale, Harvard Business School, son of a president) run as a good old boy should have been the final straw. But here are the two remaining Democratic candidates, Obama by speaking carelessly and Clinton by piling on shamelessly, doing all they can to make it easy for Republicans to pretend one more time that they are the salt of the earth.”
Look. In a two party system there is naturally going to be that inherent “big tent” membership whereby each party will attract people across the economic spectrum so to start claiming which party is for the big guy/little guy will start looking like an endless tennis volley. We do have our thoughts on the matter but its beside the point of this post.
And by no means is this meant to be any cheerleading for the Republican Party as their collective behavior over the past few years has us feeling like, ironically enough, RINOs ourselves... but how does Dionne square his disgust with reality?
This reality, of course, is a Party whose leadership has consistently fought tooth and nail against any sensible restrictions on abortion (parental notification and the gruesome practice of late-term abortion), has consistently voted against tax cuts, has consistently campaigned for more gun control laws, has consistently been in silent consent with those who want to wipe religion from the public square, has consistently opposed school choice/voucher programs, has consistently offered, at best, tepid support for the military when not deriding it obliquely or directly…. Issues all that could by varying degrees be considered under the big tent of “traditional values” for rank and file Democrats and Republicans, alike.
And Dionne has the unmitigated gall to feel disgusted and sickened that despite all the above, those wascalwy Wepublicans have somehow slithered their way to the mantle of Party of the common man?
Dionne is either being intellectually dishonest with his readers or he’s been asleep at the wheel for the last 30-40 years. Policy, planks, positions… throw’em all out the window. Dionne’s attitude is perfectly exemplary of the biggest electoral problem Democrats have had since the late 60s and why it is they are setting themselves up for their 8th presidential election defeat in the last 11: condescension.
In that statement and by conveniently neglecting the choices and the battles Democratic Party leadership has fought in charting a course for the Party, Dionne exhibits the EXACT same condescension he takes Obama to task for in his choice of words and the poor dolt, most likely, doesn’t even realize it.
They still don’t get it. Its amazing. You just can’t make up this stuff.
Posted by Dean at 4/16/2008 05:29:00 PM 3 comments
Labels: Barack Obama, Bittergate, condescension, E.J. Dionne, George Will, Hillary Clinton
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Ted Kennedy scoffs, err.... mumbles at your 50% tax rate
Jason Mattera of Young America’s Foundation caught up with Ted Kennedy to pick his brain on the estate tax (our thoughts on the estate tax, here) of which Kennedy has been a strong supporter. Mattera queries Kennedy on what at first blush would seem to be some inconsistencies between his vigorous defense of the so-called death tax and the financial handling of the Kennedy estate itself. In response, Kennedy is his usual reasoned, eloquent and coherent self.
... and finally... you didn't think we we're going to let this day go by without this most appropriate sign-off, did you?
H/T: Hot Air
Posted by Dean at 4/15/2008 07:28:00 PM 4 comments
Labels: estate tax, Jason Mattera, Ted Kennedy, Young America's Foundation
We'll show you our check if you show us yours.
We were advised by our tax preparer (Liberty Tax Service… our first plug...? Yes, that’s the one with the ummm… rather down-on-their-luck folks dressed up in those ridiculous Statue of Liberty outfits waiving to passer-bys in traffic) that we would be receiving our $600 economic stimulus check in the mail around May 9th. Vrooom-vrooom. Can you feel the excitement? We’ve half a notion to divvy it up among our nieces and nephews and have it put into some sort of trust fund, whereby they could only access it to pay down the mountain of debt we will be leaving them.
True. The shear numbers we're talking about (nieces and nephews, that is) makes this well-intended gesture more symbolic than anything else, but its far greater than any real help they can expect from our elected representatives who speak in grave tones about the environmental legacy we will leave future generations but can’t quite seem to muster the necessary solemnity when speaking of unfunded entitlements future generations will need to cover.
We will applaud John McCain then for at least carrying the right tune on Medicare and Social Security in his speech today that was covered more extensively in the previous post:
“They and others argue that the tax increase is necessary in part to finance Social Security and Medicare. Unfortunately, this claim only serves to remind us of Congress' consistent failure to repair both of these programs even under the best of circumstances. For years, Congress has been buying time, and leaving the great challenge of entitlement reform for others to deal with. And now the two contenders in the other party have even proposed enormous new federal commitments before the old commitments have been kept -- trusting that others, somewhere down the road, will handle the financing and make all the numbers come out right…. And you have my pledge: as president I will work with every member of Congress -- Republican, Democrat, and Independent -- who shares my commitment to reforming and protecting Medicare and Social Security.”
Anyway, we would love to hear what you are going to be doing with your economic stimulus check. Drop us a line in the comment section.
Posted by Dean at 4/15/2008 06:28:00 PM 3 comments
Labels: bashful, economic stimulus, fiscal irresponsibility, meaningless gestures
A Warming Trend Pt. III and... the quote of the day.
Never more appropriate than on tax day, John McCain delivered his big economic speech at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh today and took on his prospective Democrat opponent on the very issue of taxes. We cover the highlights below, full text can be found here:
First, some broad-themed talk on economics:
“In our free society, it is left to each one of us to make our own way in the world -- and our jobs, businesses, savings, pensions, farms, and homes are the work of years. Take these away and you are diminishing a lot more than the GDP, or the final tally on the Big Board on Wall Street. Take these away, and a million dreams are undone. The gains of hard work and sacrifice are lost. And something can be lost that is very crucial in our economy, and very slow to return -- confidence.” Every once in a while, he lets that Reaganite within him out to romp a bit.
Then a little red meat for the unwashed among us:
“In the same way, many in Congress think Americans are under-taxed. They speak as if letting you keep your own earnings were an act of charity, and now they have decided you've had enough. By allowing many of the current low tax rates to expire, they would impose -- overnight -- the single largest tax increase since the Second World War. Among supporters of a tax increase are Senators Obama and Clinton. Both promise big "change." And a trillion dollars in new taxes over the next decade would certainly fit that description.”
Now, taking Hillary, Obama and Congress (run against Congress, John, implores B-Daddy) to task for their positions on the Columbia Free Trade Agreement – Columbia, a legit but fragile democracy is a strategic ally and also happens to be in a warm war with Venezuela and their deplorable leftist leader, Hugo Chavez. This agreement needs to get done and Congressional fecklessness in this matter is inexcusable:
“Free trade can also give once troubled and impoverished nations a stake in the world economy, and in their relations with America. In the case of Colombia, a friend and crucial democratic ally, its stability and economic vitality are more critical now, as others in the region seek to turn Latin America away from democracy and away from our country. Trade serves all of these national interests, and the interests of the American economy as well -- and I call on the Congress once again to put this vital agreement to an up or down vote.”
But its still McCain, right? And he won’t be getting 10s across the board as he is all for you bailing-out other people for their poor decisions:
“Under the HOME plan I have proposed, our government will offer these Americans direct and immediate help that can make all the difference: If you can't make your payments, and you're in danger of foreclosure, you will be able to go to any Post Office and pick up a form for a new HOME loan. In place of your flawed mortgage loan, you'll be eligible for a new, 30-year fixed-rate loan backed by the United States government. Citizens will keep their homes, lenders will cut their losses, and everyone will move on…”
In place of your flawed mortgage loan…? …and everyone will move on…? Deep breaths, deep breaths… Let’s just get to the money shot before we take back those nice things we’ve been saying.
First, though, a little swipe at His Awesomeness:
“I do not seek the presidency on the presumption that I am blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save my country in its hour of need. I seek the presidency with the humility of a man who cannot forget that my country saved me.” That’s a keeper.
And finally this:
“Under my opponents' various tax plans, Americans of every background would see their taxes rise -- seniors, parents, small business owners, and just about everyone who has even a modest investment in the market. All these tax increases are the fine print under the slogan of "hope": They're going to raise your taxes by thousands of dollars per year -- and they have the audacity to hope you don't mind.”
That's good… too good perhaps to be used this early. Maybe he can salt it away for latter use in the general election campaign this fall. That is to say, if he is facing Obama in the general. Mmmmwwwwwaaaahaaahaaahaaahaaa!!!!
H/T: National Review Online
Posted by Dean at 4/15/2008 03:23:00 PM 3 comments
Labels: Barack Obama, economy, Hillary Clinton, john mccain, presidential politics, taxes
Monday, April 14, 2008
Obama's supporters really wish Hillary’s supporters would quit wasting everyone's time.
If article here is to be believed, there is a nasty little misogynistic undercurrent to the glassy-eyed Obama support the Senator receives from his straight male supporters. There’s always been some bitterness among Clinton supporters that the Obama phenomena was not just sweeping away but sweeping away in dismissive fashion the best chance feminists might have in a very long time to put a woman in the Oval Office but now many young female Hillary supporters are complaining that this dismissive-ness has taken the form of good old-fashioned sexism and distrust of women in power.
Guy friends and boyfriends alike are getting quite perturbed with their Hillary supporting girlfriends… “like, c’mon, ladies… let’s all get onboard here – can’t you see Obama is the real deal – can’t you see that Obama possesses all those transcendent qualities Hillary does not… your behavior is becoming quite embarrassing…”
Also, for a man who has to be cognizant of the messiah complex charge against him, he and/or his surrogates don’t appear to be doing much to dissuade this notion. In fact, it appears the campaign embraces it. Check out video here. Glassy-eyed, indeed.
“We are the ones we have been waiting for”… We don’t suppose there has ever been a more self-indulgently narcissistic campaign slogan in recorded history. We’re not even sure what it means so throw in “vague” and “incomprehensible” as well. If its one of those “The time is now” or “Our time has come” sort of things, then just say it. We get dizzy just trying to wrap our pea-brains around the circular logic of “We are the ones we have been waiting for” Aaaaaghhh…. Make it stop! The antidote is here by some dudes that sound like Cake.
Posted by Dean at 4/14/2008 10:27:00 PM 1 comments
Labels: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, presidential primaries, We are the ones we have been waiting for
Your first time is always special.
It had to happen sooner or later but.... we didn't expect it to come in this form. Getting Rolled.... Scratching Post style.
Posted by Dean at 4/14/2008 06:37:00 PM 2 comments
Labels: bamboozled, dirty tricks, low down no good so and sos, paybacks, revenge, rickrolled
Sunday, April 13, 2008
You may think we sit around all day and wait for gems like this to fall into our lap. Normally you’d be wrong but since we were out for a few days we can take no credit for doing any actual homework as this has been very big news in the sporting world… at least in the European Formula One racing sporting world manner of speaking.
It seems that FIA (Formual One’s governing body) HMFIC, Max Mosley is in a bit of hot water for what a British tabloid alleges as him having sex with multiple prostitutes (sometimes referred to as an “orgy”). Probably no biggie given the European sensibility regarding private affairs but the tabloid claims this particular romp to have involved “Nazi role-playing”. Woops. Story here.
Several F-1 teams have asked Mosley to stand down from his position of President. Mosley, for his part, has termed the tabs actions an “illegal invasion of privacy” but has not come out denying the event took place as described.
We're kinda with Max on this one if for no other reason than to shamelessly exploit his misfortune for the sole purpose of recalling the wisdom of P.J. O’Rourke regarding carnal pursuits and political affiliation. O’Rourke in the introduction of his masterpiece, "Give War A Chance", slices open the liberal mindset and motivation with surgical-like precision. At the very end of the intro, though, he realizes his politics leave him open to certain unsavory accusations for which O’Rourke, of course, finds the silver lining and reminds us to, perhaps, quit our own bellyaching over this matter:
“…you may be wondering-don’t I sometimes get called a Nazi? Yes, name-calling, in which conservatives such as myself are so loath to indulge, is a favorite tactic of the liberals. I have often been called a Nazi, and, although it is unfair, I don’t let it bother me. I don’t let it bother me for one simple reason. No one has ever had a fantasy about being tied to a bed and sexually ravished by someone dressed as a liberal.”
Posted by Dean at 4/13/2008 06:09:00 PM 0 comments
Labels: Formula One Racing, Nazi role-playing, Nazis, orgies, P.J. O'Rourke, sex scandal
Remind us again of why we have to go to work tomorrow...
OK, were back from our annual spring outing to Joshua Tree. Though its good to be home we hardly remember a case where it was hotter here in San Diego (outside thermometer sez 100) than it was at the Tree where expected highs were to be in the mid-high 80s. All in all, outside a few minor falls and scrapes, a spectacular weekend. Never recall seeing so many wildflowers. We’re debating on embarking on one long, self-indulgent post (w/accompanying pictures ) or breaking it up a bit. We’ve been going out there for over 30 years and each time we discover something new, something different and we’d like to share. An amazing place.
P.S. Many thanks to B-Daddy for keeping things moving along here at the site.
Posted by Dean at 4/13/2008 02:59:00 PM 2 comments
Labels: Joshua Tree, san diego
Friday, April 11, 2008
Plenty of Blame to Go Around in Airline Mess
B-Daddy here. If you're stranded in an airport today and stumbled on our humble little blog by accident, my condolences and best wishes in finding a flight. Godspeed, to coin a phrase. However, don't get angry at the poor woman behind the ticket counter. I have a list of candidates on whom to vent your ire, provided for your consideration.
Some background. In 2006, yeah that long ago, the FAA told the airlines to check wire bundles in the wheel wells of MD-80, MD-88, and MD-90 aircraft. The goal was to ensure that the wires were secured so as to prevent them from becoming chaffed. Purportedly, checks were performed and no chaffing was found. The wiring bundles were also to have been secured to prevent future chaffing. Important point to note, at that time, the airlines were given 18 months to comply.
So why the hubbub? In a second round of spot checks, the FAA found "slack wires, clamps in the wrong position, insulation that was too thick...." blah, blah. OK, there were problems, but why did they then deny American Airlines' request to space out inspections and repairs over several days? After all, they had waited 18 months already.
The answer starts with our Congress. Sen. John Rockefeller, also famous for accusing McCain for knowing nothing of real war, and chair of the Senate aviation sub-committee has been lambasting the FAA repeatedly. Along with other lawmakers, he has asserted a cozy relationship between the agency and the airlines.
So what's a bureaucrat to do? The FAA spinelessly creates a phony crisis that will cost an airline hundreds of millions of dollars and create havoc for the flying public. That'll learn them West Virginian politicians.
Meanwhile, what about the management at American Airlines. Couldn't we fix the wheel well wiring correctly in the first place? Just because you get 18 months to get the job done, does that mean you do it half-a***d?
Finally, what about the highly credentialed union mechanics working for American? I have more than once heard the argument on behalf of unions, that they ensure a trained and qualified work force is on the job in industries important to the welfare and safety of the nation. Not in this case, most of the defects had to do with properly measuring the placement of banding around cable bundles to prevent chaffing and these guys couldn't get it right. The real concern is how they're doing with safety retrofits that are really important.
H/T: San Diego Union-Tribune
Posted by B-Daddy at 4/11/2008 09:43:00 PM 4 comments
Labels: Airlines, Congressional jack asses, FAA
We may have to re-evaluate the term "civilian university"
And we thought we had it tough at Seminary. We normally don't do the Universities-as-bastions-of-liberalism thing but this ..... this was special.
Posted by B-Daddy at 4/11/2008 08:24:00 PM 1 comments