Monday, October 8, 2012

If Only She Were Still Around

President Obama has been accused of being an extreme liberal and a socialist. Unfortunately he is neither. His description of his mother as a New Deal Democrat is one made by a Third Way pragmatist. It is affectionate but still has a touch of non-partisan dismissiveness of her liberal idealism.

One of the sleaziest aspects to the WND/birther conspiracy crazies are their attacks on Stanley Ann Dunham. How history will judge President Obama is uncertain, but the crackpots who spread rumors about his mother will be grouped along with the Klan and Neo-nazis for their desperate trash talk.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Out of Control


The Associated Press reports:

Russian girl band Pussy Riot on trial for anti-Putin stunt

Charged with hooliganism for staging 'punk prayer' protest at church

The line in the story that caught my eye was:

Patriarch Kirill has condemned the rockers' act as "blasphemous" and denounced those believers who called for the church to forgive them. 

It's sad to see another religious leader denouncing those preaching forgiveness.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wisdom of Doctor Doom

Dr. Doom (Nouriel Roubini): "Karl Marx Had It Right. At Some Point, Capitalism Can Destroy Itself. You Cannot Keep On Shifting Income From Labor To Capital Without Having An Excess Capacity And A Lack Of Aggregate Demand"

 If You Redistribute All of the Wealth Upwards, the Free Market Capitalist System Self-Destructs 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012



— Jul. 22 3:14 PM EDT
US poverty on track to rise to highest since 1960s

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Most Arrogant Man In The World?

The GOP got creative with their latest anti-Obama ad, but the humor falls flat due to a few inherent flaws. If a Paulite had created this video it might have had some bite. The parody begins by pointing out that newly elected President Obama had done nothing to win his Nobel Peace Prize, but rather than continue pointing out that he expanded the war in Afghanistan and joined in a third war in Libya, it moves on to imply the President Obama isn't being sufficiently warlike with Iran. Pointing out that President Obama pushed the health care individual mandate isn't amusing either, considering he's running against Mitt "Romneycare" Romney. Mocking Obama's choice of Biden might have been amusing if the Republican VP nominee had been someone other than Sarah Palin.

Here is my response to the most arrogant party in control of Congress.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Raising Questions

This week the Chicago Tribune Watchdog published an analysis to outrage the Illinois taxpayer:
CEO pay hikes raise eyebrows
Average raise in 2009-10 for CEOs of 18 nonprofits double that for private-industry workers
June 21, 2012By Matthew Walberg and Joe Mahr, Chicago Tribune reporters
During the height of the recession, employees at one of the area's biggest nonprofits were not supposed to get pay raises greater than 6 percent — but that didn't apply to the CEO. The board for the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County gave CEO Robert Wharton a 10 percent raise in 2009, followed by a 15 percent raise in 2010, boosting his total compensation to $275,000 to run a nonprofit that gets more than 90 percent of its money from taxpayers.
What bothered me about the article is that it didn't compare non-profit CEOs raises and compensation to those of other CEOs-just workers. Of course, executives at the biggest Chicago area corporations receive annual compensation packages worth more than the entire operating budgets of the non-profits listed in the article. Last spring the Tribune ran an article identifying
the median pay for top executives in Chicagoland's 100 biggest companies as $5.3 million. Executives at the top saw their compensation more than double.
Certainly it's not a fair comparison to contrast compensation between Greg Brown of Motorola Solutions Inc. who received $29.3 million last year (up 113 percent from $13.7 million in 2010) and Robert Wharton of the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County who received $275,107 in 2010 (a raise of 12.3%). It's also not fair to compare the pay of a nonprofit CEO to the pay of a private industry worker-as the latest Tribune article does.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Blessed are the Blah!

Every election cycle, the Republican party gets that old time religion. For the last year we've heard folks like Perry, Gingrich, Bachmnn and Santorum using classic appeals to good Old Testament prejudices. Jesus's message to heal the sick and help the poor and bring liberation is overlooked. Food stamps, subsidized health care and "bla..uh people" receiving welfare are all condemned. We hear how Regulation, the Nanny State and Big Brother are all threatening Americans and corporate people's liberty, yet these same lovers of freedom are quite comfortable with regulating non-believers' personal lives-especially women's private lives.

Saturday, March 31, 2012


I offended several people this week on Facebook posting about the shooting of Trayvon Martin. One nutjob on the Norman Goldman page accused me and my "ilk" of "hating whitey," which is funny considering I'm a bald, middle aged, nearsighted white male.

I also offended several progressives by speculating about the missing minute or less when Trayvon was confronted by Zimmerman and shot. From my own experience, I've been hit, kicked and punched by teenagers from tough backgrounds while working in urban schools and walking at night. I speculated that Trayvon could have been instructed, like so many students have told me when defending their actions, that"my mama says if anyone messes with me-hit'em."

When a kid is walking along the street talking on a phone armed with a bag of Skittles and iced tea and ends up dead, clearly something unjust has occured. Was the shooting a hate crime, an accidental blunder, or something in between? Was Trayvon the one "standing his ground?" There is no question that Mr. Zimmerman is guilty of stalking, shooting and killing an innocent teenager, but the exact nature of his guilt and this tragedy is not clear. Unfortunately, as various parties try to influence the media circus covering the story, it won't be clear for months to come-if ever.

Friday, March 30, 2012


During my 2 1/2 hour struggle to get my five kids to school on time, I'm usually joined by Justin and Jessica, a brother and sister from next door who go to our neighborhood elementary school. Both their parents work mornings, so they hang out for 20 minutes talking and eating dry breakfast cereal on days when we have something sugary, the we walk to school together. This morning Justin announced, "She thinks you're black."


Jessica asked, "Aren't you black? I know your wife is white and I thought you were black."

Now comes the awkward part. I love to joke and tease, and several responses ran through my head. I thought of repeating TV's Gary Coleman's phrase "Whatchu talkin' 'bout?" I remembered Dick Gregory referring to white people's "skinny little nostrils" and considered drawing attention to my own. I considered clapping my hands and swaggering like a favorite former student with autism who had a style of walking that my African American assistant referred to as "pimpin'." I even though of saying "why thank you!"

Instead my 5 second delay allowed me to say "Gollly!" in an exaggerated 1950s voice. So what pops up in my head when I think of black people? A combination of stereotypes, physical attributes, and struggle to maintain proper racial etiquette: DON'T SAY ANYTHING STUPID, STUPID!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

More news from the Irrational Rifle Association...

Gun manufacturer Ruger is a month away from completing its Million Gun Challenge to donate a dollar to the NRA for every firearm they sell. Business is booming and it looks like they'll exceed a million sales!

US forced to import bullets from Israel as troops use 250,000 for every rebel killed

By Andrew Buncombe

US forces have fired so many bullets in Iraq and Afghanistan - an estimated 250,000 for every insurgent killed - that American ammunition-makers cannot keep up with demand. As a result the US is having to import supplies from Israel.

Read more:

NRA's LaPierre: "This Is The Most Dangerous Election Of Our Lifetimes"

February 10, 2012 4:05 pm ET by Matt Gertz

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

You Auto Know Better

U.S. loses $1.3 billion in exiting Chrysler

July 21, 2011: 5:41 PM ET

I was listening to Stephanie Miller this morning and heard a right-wing caller criticize the Clint Eastwood ad as a waste of tax payer dollars, since GM and Chrysler owe the government over a billion dollars. Stephanie and the others on air laughed at the caller, imitated his southern accent and claimed the auto industry paid back everything it owes. Unfortunately, the caller was correct that the bailout was over $1 billion in the negative. Where conservatives are wrong-in my opinion- is that the bailout was a waste of money.

If Chrysler and GM had not been rescued, the economic dominoes crashing Detroit and affecting all the employees and businesses connected to them would have been far more costly than a billion dollars. It's similar logic to that of rescuing Wall Street. The real question is what to do to make sure that no bank or car company is too big to fail in the future.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Religion tackles Football

From "The Super Bowl as Religious Festival" by Joseph L. Price
The specifically American character of the mythology has to do with the violent nature of the game. Not only does it dramatize the myth of creation, it also plays out the myth of American origins with its violent invasion of regions and their settlement. To a certain extent, football is a contemporary enactment of the American frontier spirit.

From "The Superbowl Culture of Male Violence" by Eugene C. Bianchi

...this great national sport, which claims the devotion of a significant percentage of our population, mirrors in a ritual way some of the worst characteristics of our culture. ... it interlinks four qualities that drive the American violence machine: physical brutality, profit-maximizing commercialism, an authoritarian-military mentality and sexism.

... I have come to the conclusion that the fundamental evil from which the others flow is sexism. The basic way by which the male in our culture establishes his sexual identity is a prime source of exaggerated aggression in the interpersonal, economic and political realms. The problem can be put thus: How are males in our society conditioned to value themselves as persons? What are the criteria of self-worth and social acceptance among American men?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Corporations are people with Robots

Headline and lede from Fox Business website:

US HUD's Donovan: 'Very Close' To Robo-Signing Settlement

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said Wednesday that a pending settlement of an investigation into banks' foreclosure-processing problems would benefit about 1 million families with cuts in the amount they owe on their home loans.

Headline and lead from Daily Kos:

Obama to Grant Banks Robosigning Immunity in Showdown With Breakaway AGs


Without considering the guilt or innocence of the five major banks involved, the Obama Administration is poised to let Wall Street off the hook for foreclosures where as many as one million borrowers were "harmed" by robo-signing practices.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Whose Facts are Bigger?

Even "fact checkers" can put their own spin on facts, for example:
Obama’s claim of having passed the “biggest middle-class tax cut in history” is ridiculous. He might have been on more solid ground if he had claimed the “broadest” tax cut, but that doesn’t sound very historic.
received 4 pinocchio rating

A more accurate answers was posted a couple years earlier:

Are the tax cuts in the stimulus bill the largest is U.S. history?

Yes, sort of.