Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Good News, Bad News

Good News:

We were able to take a semi-spontaneous and not at all well-deserved long weekend trip to the Florida Panhandle.

Bad News:

Good News:

The place we rented had a Netflix account and they just added new episodes of "Call the Midwife!"

IUf you have not seen "Call the Midwife," you must immediately stop what you are doing, log on to Netflix and begin with Season 1, Episode 1.  
Now! Or you'll face my stern disapproval!

To be honest, this really isn't the sort of show I would have expected to like. When it was recommended to me, I thought it sounded like one of those silly English sit-coms, so I figured I'd give it a whirl. It is not. Definitely not. 

What it is is a period piece, set in 1950s London about a group of nuns and nurses who provide midwifery services to the women of an impoverished East End neighborhood. Sounds like it could be corny, but it isn't. It touches on issues ranging from domestic violence to racism to the impact of crushing poverty without ever getting too "heavy." 

Fair warning, though, if you are, like me, squeamish about childbirth, you may have a bit of trouble watching some scenes. I tend to watch through my fingers shouting "tell me when the scary part is over!" Unfortunately, the Missus does the same, so we have to guess when it's safe to look again. 

Go watch it now.

Unless you are a baseball fan.
Then watch the Giants clobber the Pirates first.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

3 People who feel entitled to their own numbers

1. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal:
Yeah. He got elected with that slogan.

     After many years of Republican governance, Georgia surprisingly ranks dead last in unemployment.

Georgia's unemployment rate jumped to 8.1 percent from 7.7 percent in July to the highest among all the states. It was followed by Mississippi at 7.9 percent.

So, naturally, Deal has questioned whether some mysterious  entity might be "influencing" the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

“It’s ironic that in a year in which Republican governors are leading some of the states that are making the most progress, that they almost, without exception, are classified as having a bump in their unemployment rates,” he said in a clip circulated by the Democratic Governors Association. “Whereas states that are under Democrat governors’ control, they are all showing that their unemployment rate has dropped. And I don’t know how you account for that. Maybe there is some influence here that we don’t know about.” 
Or maybe that's what they want you to think! 

Asked to clarify the governor’s remarks, a Deal spokeswoman pointed out that the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics had in previous years reported high unemployment rates in July and August only to revise them downward the following year.
“Given the increase in jobs we’ve seen this month, the BLS’ pattern of downward revision and the drop in unemployment claims, the number doesn’t make sense,” said the spokeswoman, Jennifer Talaber. “States with Republican governors across the country are also seeing spikes in their unemployment rates.”

Why, it's almost as if Republican economics don't work or something!

2: Paul Ryan
Pretty much "serious thinker" personified!

Whenever someone takes the time to look at one of Ryan's proposed budgets, the obvious thing that jumps out at them is that the enormous decrease in revenues will inevitably lead to even larger defecits.

So, rather than revise his numbers, Ryan would rather change how the math is done:

He tells Klein, “Those of us who live in the tax system want to lower everybody’s tax rates.” If you lower everybody’s tax rates, then everybody will be paying less in taxes, and then the government will have less revenue, right? That’s where Ryan’s solution comes in: He plans to press the government budget agencies to adopt the optimistic assumption he prefers, which is that cutting tax rates for the rich creates faster economic growth. Ryan spent much of the Bush years assailing what he called “static scoring,” which is the standard budget practice of measuring the fiscal impact of tax cuts as if they do not contain magic pixie dust.

Because if you're just going to assume that less money coming in results in having less money, then I just don't think we have anything left to discuss! Obviously cutting revenue decreases the deficit, because I really really want it to!

3: Me.
 As far as you know.

Because I know damn well that I weigh a nice even 200 pounds, no matter what the scale at my doctor's office says.

This Just In. . .

Eric Holder To Step Down As Attorney General

Injury Update

I've been having a back issue that makes sitting at the computer for long stretches very uncomfortable. So posting will likely be spotty for a little while.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

We have reached maximum derp.

The nexus of evil and stupid has been discovered:

Michele Bachmann: Phyllis Schlafly Is A Feminist Role Model Because She Ended The Cold War

Well that's just silly. Everyone knows that Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War by saying "tear down this wall" and then Gorbachev was all like "oh, shit I guess I better tear it down then, because this senile washed-up actor said I have to" and then the Germans tore it down during the Bush I administration.

I believe that Phyllis Schlafly is the most consequential female woman in public policy in the last fifty years of the 20th Century. Had there not been a Phyllis Schlafly, I believe that we wouldn’t have seen a rise of the pro-family movement. Had there not been a rise of the pro-family movement, I don’t believe that there would have been a Ronald Reagan. Without a President Ronald Reagan, I don’t think we would have seen the ability to defeat the evil, and yes that’s what it was, Soviet empire and to bring a conclusion to the Cold War. Just as Ronald Reagan was consequential, Phyllis Schlafly was extremely consequential because she was a tee to tee up this president that we had.

Okay, can we pleeeeease be clear about this? The Soviet Union was an unworkable, unpopular, top-heavy system that collapsed under its own weight just as everyone always predicted they would. Ronald Reagen gets zero credit for having been in office just prior to the inevitable collapse. He does get credit, however, for pretending that the Soviets were much stronger and much more of a threat than they ever were and using that as a reason for an insane military spending binge that helped to make us the world's largest debtor nation.

But back to Phylis Schlafly. 
Lookin' good, Phyl!

Schlafly is a uniquely nasty piece of work, a woman who made a very successful career of telling women they shouldn't have careers. A woman who became powerful and influential by telling women that they should never have power or influence. Also, just a nasty, smirking snake of a human being that delighted in trying to make other people's lives worse.

But sure, she's Bachmann's "heroine." The worst heroin since Black Tar.

Gawd, just watch this video:

Love how she starts out mentioning that Schlafly was "smack in the middle" of the ERA "topic" without mentioning that she was one of the leaders of the opposition. That she was a woman who opposed rights for women. So, sure, she was smack in the middle just like Simon LeGree was smack in the middle of the slavery/abolition debate.

Then she explains how a pamphlet works. Seriously. She explains that it's the front of the paper and then the inside and then the back. And she says it like she's just amazed by this innovation which, come to  think of it, she actually may be.

And she says "everything Phyllis said, you could take to the bank" just as the video shows the  Schlafly Report headline "Social Justice: a Code Word for Anti-American." 


Pictured: a more sensible headline.

Also, she really thinks she's taking a courageous stand by referring to the Soviet Union as "evil." 

And she sees no irony in a woman who opposes the idea of equality for women running for Congress. She apparently sees no hypocrisy in someone who opposes the idea of women having equal status with men putting herself up as a candidate for a position of authority. I mean, it's hard for me to wrap my head around the idea of someone who is most known for saying that women should have no power or authority and should stay at home submitting to their husbands turning around and saying "vote for me to be a goddamned lawmaker." But all Bachmann sees is that aw, darn it, she didn't win!

Then she says that she is "her biggest fan, if not one of her biggest fans" which is fucking backwards, you idiot! You mean to say "one of her biggest fans, if not THE biggest." Otherwise it makes no sense. The way you said it means "I'm her biggest fan although I am not one of her biggest fans" which makes less sense than the things you normally say.

Then comes the coup de dolt:

"Phyllis was willing to be everything feminists wish they were, decades before feminists figured out that they needed to be independent women in their own right," she said. "Phyllis was already there. And so rather than lifting Phyllis Schlafly as the tremendous role model that she has consistently been throughout the decades, she was slashed and slashed by the feminists when she was exactly the epitome of what they had hoped to be." 

Holy what the Huh???

How do you even come up with something like that?

I'm fairly certain that figuring out "that they needed to be independent women in their own right" is pretty much the dictionary definition of becoming a feminist.
And why on Earth would you think that feminists would "lift" up someone whose entire raison d'etre was to try to thwart their goals? And tried to insult them at every turn?
A woman who famously says shit like:
“Feminism is doomed to failure because it is based on an attempt to repeal and restructure human nature.”
 “Men should stop treating feminists like ladies, and instead treat them like the men they say they want to be.”
"By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don't think you can call it rape."

Why would you think that feminists would want to elavate someone like that? It's like asking why the Giants don't have a statue of Tommy Lasorda at their stadium.
 'Cuz fuck that guy!

 Anyway, it goes on for a few more minutes like this and it's goddamm insane. Watch the video, it's actually worth watching in the same way that "Plan 9 From Outer Space" is worth watching.