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Of Politics, Sports and Sex

OK, so there won't be a LOT on here about sex, but tell the truth, that's most of the reason you entered this site, right? So, I'll slip some things in from time to time just to keep you coming...back.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

My mom was right: "It's not clean "down there", tho I didn't realize she was talking about Washington DC til now

It probably won't take me more than a month or two to wish I hadn't said this, or at least to change my mind, but after careful thought, I've decided that my hope for the outcome of the 2010 mid-terms is that the GOP will take control of the House by 5 or fewer people. It's the best hope, though not the only one, that we have for getting Obama re-elected. I was trying to figure out how I could explain why, but John Boehner took care of it for me, via The Hill and the dailykos:

Boehner: "We will not compromise"
 For the third time this week, a top Republican leader has made it clear that the GOP will not cooperate with Democrats after the election. The Hill reports:

Boehner: 'Not a time for compromise'

Republicans aren't in the mood for compromise, especially on repealing healthcare reform, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Wednesday.

Boehner, the party leader who would likely become Speaker in a GOP-controlled House, distanced himself from a senior senator's suggestion last week that trying to repeal the new healthcare reform law wasn't in Republicans' best interest.

"This is not a time for compromise, and I can tell you that we will not compromise on our principles," Boehner said during an appearance on conservative Sean Hannity's radio show.

Boehner echoes comments by Mike Pence and Mitch McConnell who said that the GOP would not compromise with Democrats after the election and that the GOP's top goal after November is defeating President Obama in 2012.

For the next two years, the only thing these guys want is paralysis. And that's exactly what they are promising to deliver

Politicians just don't learn - they get swept into office and the power makes them lose all sense of right and wrong and what people really want - smart people, working together to do what's best for the country, not their own particular self-interest, which usually translates into, first and foremost, re-election, and a close second, control of the committees and chairmanships. In other words, all the stuff that makes us want to take a shower after we've paid even just a little bit of attention to what's going on in the political world.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Or even just Anti-one-of-my-friends

"Maybe the president could be anti-me for a while. I could use the money."

Slow to Spend

The anti-business president’s pro-business recovery.

by Ezra Klein
August 07, 2010

This White House has “vilified industries,” complains the Chamber of Commerce. America is burdened with “an anti-business president,” moans The Weekly Standard.
Would that all presidents were this anti-business: according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve, corporate profits hit $1.37 trillion in the first quarter—an all-time high. Businesses are sitting on about $2 trillion in cash reserves. Business spending jumped 20 percent last quarter, and is up by 13 percent against 2009. The Obama administration has dropped taxes for small businesses and big ones alike. Maybe the president could be anti-me for a while. I could use the money.
The reality is that America’s supposedly anti-business president has led an extremely pro-business recovery. The corporate community has recovered first, and best. The populist tone that conservative magazines and business groups decry is partly in reaction to this: as corporate America’s position is getting better and better, the recovery is looking shakier and shakier. Unemployment is high. Housing looks perilously close to a double dip. Job growth is weak. And corporate America, for all its profits, isn’t hiring. The 71,000 jobs the private sector added in July aren’t sufficient to keep up with population growth, much less cut into the ranks of the unemployed.
Pundits have expended a lot of energy on this puzzle, but there’s actually no puzzle at all. A look at the history of financial crises shows that our slow, halting recovery is right on schedule, and the business community’s caution is predictable.
In their book, This Time Is Different, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff look at every financial crisis over the last 800 years. It’s an exhaustive study, and its conclusions are depressing for a country that believes itself exceptional even in its suffering: we’re not special.
If you look at unemployment, housing prices, government debt, and the stock market, Rogoff says, “the U.S. is just driving down the tracks of a typical post–WWII deep financial crisis.” In some areas, we’re even a bit ahead of the game: economic output usually drops by 9 percent. We held the drop to 4 percent.
Even the unevenness of our recovery is predictable. “Housing and employment come back much slower than equity and [gross domestic product],” Reinhart says. GDP usually falls for two years and then recovers. Equity can move even faster, which helps explain corporate America’s rapid recovery. But employment tends to fall for five years, and sometimes it never quite recovers. And housing? That’s usually a six-year slide.
So business may be back, but its customers aren’t. That’s the Catch-22 of our recovery. Businesses will start hiring when the economy recovers. And the economy will start to recover when businesses start hiring. But that shouldn’t obscure what is, in fact, sort of good news (the frustrating stuff recoveries are made of): businesses can expand, they’re just waiting around to do so. “If you’re running a business, you can’t start hiring on speculation [that the economy is getting better],” says Joseph Kasputys, chairman of IHS Global Insight. “You have to wait until you see market signals that things are getting better. The smart businesses are looking for the early signs so they get the first advantage. They’re ready to move.” That’s a lot better than a world in which they don’t have the ability to move.
So what can we do to speed things along? More government stimulus—either through direct spending or further tax cuts—could offer some quick help, but Senate Republicans won’t allow anything large enough to make much of an impact. The Federal Reserve could step into the breach, but so far it’s been reluctant to do so. The Republicans want to see the Bush tax cuts extended and Obama’s health-care and financial-regulation bills repealed, but none of that will make a big short-term difference.

Instead, we’re left with that frustrating old standby: time. A financial crisis, Reinhart says, “is not something that policymakers can undo quickly. If you look at the big, historic panorama, deleveraging takes time. That’s not the answer people want to hear, but these [recoveries] are lengthy.”

So businesses are watching consumers, consumers are watching businesses, and everyone is pointing at Washington. But given the history of financial crises—and in the absence of further government intervention—there’s not much left to watch but the clock.

Never you mind that President Obama won by about the same margin!

I'm reading all sorts of advance predictions of what will happen in the days and months after the Republicans gain overwhelming control of the House, mostly in the NYT. And also advance reasons for its happening.

One prediction I haven't seen, that I'll make here is that dozens, or more, of the races will be won by Rs by less than 5% of the vote at which point partisan D's, which is to say, people like me, will claim it doesn't mean that the country is overwhelmingly upset with us or Pro-Republican, but in fact, it is a squeaking edge, and possibly, someone will add up all the votes cast and see that the overall total actually bears that out...unless we need to twist those numbers to even better advantage, as needed!

One more prediction - if the Senate ends up at 50-50 or 51-49, the two most powerful people in the Senate will be Two Guys Named Joe: Manchin and Lieberman, both of whom will be heavily coddled by both sides for every close vote.

Interesting that the Senate could end up with more Rs than Ds but that the Ds will retain control because the two Independents caucus with the Ds. I think most people will see Lieberman continuing to straddle the middle, but if he really wants to be reelected in 4 years, which I'm not sure he does, he'll go farther left, than right.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Juan was a good time to fire him? How about a year ago?

I totally disagree with NPR's decision to let Juan Williams go after his comment on Fox that he is afraid of boarding a plane if he sees a group of Muslims get on too. I think they should have fired him long before he made the comment.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lets just hope we don't go the way of Betamax

If you worked for a company that made a product or provided a service that was WAY better than their main rival, but was terrible about showing the country, or even the world, that your product or service was much better,wouldn't it drive you crazy?

Well, then you know how I feel as a Democrat.

You either believe in a country By and For the People...or the Corporations.

Let's review. In less than two years:

1. The Democratic-led Congress enacted major reforms to the federal student loan program for college students, freeing up an additional $60 billion for students that would have gone for bank fees and profits.

2. The Democratic-led Congress enacted a “bill of rights” for credit card holders that will prevent credit card companies from gouging ordinary people and wrecking their credit. We are already seeing the results of that law.

3. The Democratic-led Congress enacted major reforms to the banking and financial sectors, reining in corporate excesses and restructuring many things, so that our nation will not soon be wracked by the same type of recession that hit us in 2008. One part of that law is a new consumer financial protection agency, an entity sorely needed.

4. The Democratic-led Congress enacted one of the most significant income tax cuts for middle-class and working families in history last year. The Republicans don’t want you to know about that, so they claim that Democrats oppose tax cuts. But the Republicans are wrong on this – Democrats cut income taxes for the middle class. If you aren't aware of this, you may check it out on fact check.

5. The Democratic-led Congress also enacted significant tax cuts for small businesses – more than once. Republicans enjoy ranting about how Democrats hurt small businesses, but they are wrong on the facts. Democrats have taken numerous steps to help small businesses, including tax cuts, which the Rs consistently voted against them. If you don’t know about this, please look it up.

6. The Democratic-led Congress enacted legislation to provide better and more comprehensive health care to combat veterans from our recent wars, as well as benefits to their caregivers.

7. The Democratic-led Congress raised the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour. When the Republicans held the majority, they stonewalled any increase for years and years, exacerbating poverty and homelessness for working Americans. The Democrats also enacted a law guaranteeing equal pay for women after the super-conservative, super-activist Supreme Court said that existing law did not guarantee such equality.

8. The Democratic-led Congress passed a landmark health care bill that we should all be thankful for. Among its many provisions are these: 32 million people who have been without coverage will soon be able to have it; insurance companies can no longer impose lifetime expenditure limits on anyone, even those with major illnesses; no one can be denied health coverage because of pre-existing conditions; all of us now have a “patients’ bill of rights;” and Medicare is strengthened for years to come. Furthermore, everyone can keep their current health coverage if they wish. These are huge steps forward for our nation. Ironically, on the very day that several of these provisions took effect, Republican leaders declared their fundamental opposition to such progress and vowed to repeal health care reform if they obtain a majority in Congress. In addition to the comprehensive health care bill, the Democratic-led Congress expanded the SCHIP program that provides health care for low-income children, and strengthened the Medicaid program for low-income adults.

9. The Democratic-led Congress faced up to the recession and extended unemployment benefits for those who are out of work and unable to find work, while Republicans strenuously opposed such payments to those in great need.

10. Finally, there is the stimulus package, enacted by the Democratic-led Congress. Republicans rail endlessly about how terrible it was, but a majority of unbiased economists declare it a solid achievement, a real success. Every American should be thankful for Democrats’ thoughtful and prompt action on the stimulus package, because it helped to halt our steep slide into recession, and put millions of unemployed folks back to work. The stimulus package was and is a solid, practical response to difficult times, a true building block for the economic recovery.

11. The Democratic-led House enacted a major clean energy jobs bill that will benefit our nation in numerous ways. Senate Republicans have so far blocked it in that chamber, but Democrats will keep trying to achieve bipartisan approval.

12. Democrats have proposed a thoughtful, workable plan to deal with immigration issues. Republicans have no plan beyond rounding up millions of immigrants and sending them back, plus placing more troops at the Mexican border.

13. Democrats in Congress are striving to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” so that every American who wants to serve in the military will be permitted to do so. Republicans have blocked repeal because they fundamentally oppose full freedom for gay people.

14. Republican leaders have pledged to increase the nation’s deficit even further in order to cut taxes for the super-rich. They attempt to scare the rest of us by suggesting that President Obama’s proposal for graduated higher taxes of the super-rich will translate into higher taxes on everyone, even though there is no evidence for that.

15. The Democratic-led Congress enacted an increase in vehicle fuel standards that will both decrease our dependence on foreign sources of oil and clean up our environment.

16. Several Republican candidates for Congress are committed to privatizing Social Security, while Democrats strongly oppose such an effort. Imagine what pain and anguish would have set in among our nation’s seniors during this recession if their monthly Social Security checks depended on the stock market. Democrats will protect Social Security and make it solvent for decades to come. (In a further attack on seniors, one Republican candidate has even pledged to work for the elimination of Medicare.)

17. The Democratic-led Congress worked closely with President Bush in 2008 to enact the TARP bill, which prevented the recession from becoming much more serious than it was. We hear Republicans routinely decry that bill, but it was actually a stunning bipartisan success, saving many American companies and jobs. Although the initial projection for TARP expenditures was $700 billion, the success of the program and the rapid rate of repayments now point to a final cost to taxpayers of less than one-tenth of that amount.

18. Republican leaders announced their goal to remove reasonable rules and controls on Wall Street, so that investment bankers can return to their Wild West approach and make themselves richer.

19. The Democratic-led Congress voted to penalize American companies that ship jobs overseas, while Republicans again opposed such legislation.

20. Finally, the Republicans have several candidates who are truly beyond the pale. A Republican House candidate in Ohio sometimes wears a Nazi uniform in public. The Republican Senate candidate in Alaska urged repeal of the 17th Amendment, which provides for Senators to be elected directly by the people; he wants to go back to the days when state legislatures chose senators, with lots of backroom horse-trading. The Republican Senate candidate in Kentucky have called for repeal of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Some Republicans are even backing repeal of the 14th Amendment, which enabled African-Americans to become citizens of this country.

We can re-elect a thoughtful, forward-looking Congress that has been in place or bring back the party of opposition and obstruction.

Beyond the 20 points above, take a minute to think about: military spending, nuclear weapons treaties, public education, living wage, approach to terrorism, reproductive choice, farm policy, climate change, stewardship of natural resources, personal liberty, labor issues, meals-on-wheels, transportation and Indian affairs. I trust Democrats to handle all of those matters in a much more thoughtful and effective way than the Republicans.

Big money is flowing to the Republicans in this election, hoping to buy a Congress that will ignore the interests of average people. We need to fight big money and cronies with our ideas and votes. Two simple suggestions:

(1) Forward this message widely. Send it to everyone in your address book. Urge them to vote on Nov. 2 and encourage their friends too.

(2) Get out and work for Democrats between now and Nov. 2 in any way that your local group or organization is in need of or asks for.

Despite the unprecedented personal attacks and smear tactics against this administration and congressional leaders, there are still such things as facts, truth, and reality. Don't let these be lost.

I vote for Napkin Rings!

I'm guessing someone else has asked this question long before I thought of it, but...I just wonder: What was the greatest thing BEFORE sliced bread?!

And have we really not come up with anything better since then, that we can all agree on, so we can start updating the standard comparison to something besides sliced bread?

Unless she'd prefer that we hold her under water for 5 minutes as the determinant

I say if Christine O'Donnell loses her Senate race in Delaware, we can all agree that she is not a witch, but if she does, it will confirm that she is one.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

At least it beats keeping my eyes peeled

Having been in 48 of the 50 states, and at many different times of year, I can honestly say that there are times when I think about a place like San Diego, where the temperature is 72 and sunny, pretty much 350 days a year, and I think - yeah, that wouldn't be so bad - as proud as I am of our 4 seasons here, it would be nice to be warm every day and not to be drenched in sweat on other days, but then there are weeks like this one.

Driving down route 282 from Glenmoore to Downingtown should be a requirement of anyone thinking of moving anywhere else because of their weather issues. The colors are just so incredible on such a windy road, that it's difficult to stay focused on staying between the lines of the road on some of the curves. I just can't take my eyes out of the trees sometimes.

Wait, maybe I should re-phrase that.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Well, that and when they start spending more time in front of a mirror than the television

I think the precise point at which a person changes over from childhood to being a teenager has nothing to do with puberty and everything to do with when we are no longer fascinated by using our straw to blow bubbles in our chocolate milk.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Yet more evidence that hate and ignorance go hand-in-hand (too bad the colors of those hands always seem to be the same)

I don't know which is more disappointing: that so many people think President Obama is a Muslim or that, of those who do, they automatically use that as another reason to dislike him, instead of thinking that Hmmm, then maybe all Muslims aren't bad people after all.

Friday, October 15, 2010

What's black and white but not read or red all over? My Blog!

Maybe this is just my left-wing bias, but after numerous "discussions"..ok, "debates"...ok, "arguments", with my conservative friend...friends, it strikes me that there is an interesting dichotomy in looking at our approaches.

Conservatives like to deal in a black and white, you're with us or you're against us, mentality. It's one of the reasons far-right, all-hate radio is so popular. They tell us the answers to all our problems, with no hesitation or sense that it would be one way or the other, it just is THIS way, as we explain it to you

We Progressives dwell in the gray areas, consider all the more subtle sides of any issue, and that makes our opinions far less palatable. It doesn't make for especially good radio....witness NPR.  We all want ANSWERS. We all want to know who's good and who's bad. We want to know good policy and bad policy. We want a definitive answer as to what will happen if we choose option A vs option B.

And to me, that's why there are such obvious links between political cconservatives and fundamentalist religious types. They want clear and obvious answers to all the unknowables, foremost among them being what will happen to us when we die, telling us what kind of lives we must lead and things we must say and do, to go to the "right" place when we do die, where we will spend all of eternity.

OK, those are all the observations that are not particularly revelatory. What suddenly struck me recently, in reviewing the discussions/debates/arguments I have with Conservatives is that when I argue, I stick mostly to facts. Few of the examples I use to prove my point have to do with opinion. As Steven Colbert said. "reality has a well-known liberal bias". On the other hand, my conservative friend/s speak in supposition and conjecture and in terms of what might happen if this and that happen. Like the need to hire 16,000 IRS agents as a result of the health care bill. And most amazingly, they don't see it as opinion, they seem to see it as fact.

So the people who like to deal in black and white use opinion as their proof and the people who wallow in the gray areas, use facts as their proof.

And if you need more facts to prove that, let me know. It's just my opinion.

Except my awesome wife, I mean...I can always listen to her!

Oh, and in reference to the previous post, below this one, there is one thing that seems to separate my friends of equal intelligence to me and puts them at a level well above me is their ability to sit and listen to one person talk for hours on end.

I was at a conference in Hartford last week and went to 7 seminars in 3 days, ranging from 90 minutes to 8 hours, with breaks of course. But it is just torture for me, listening to people talk for that long, no matter who it is, or what they're talking about. And part of why I am so bad at speaking to anyone for even short amounts of time is that I really can't believe anyone really cares that much about what I have to say...about anything. So I just unload it here, never having to care how many people "listen" or ever really knowing if they do.

Besides Wall Street, I mean

Probably 90-95% of the people I know and hang with are in the same general range of intelligence as me. That said, of those who are clearly smarter, pretty much all of them are lawyers. It's probably not their fault that's how they've chosen to apply said intelligence. Just seems like we oughta find a better use of that brainpower than lawyering.

And just think how deprived they are, ya know, not being able to ever have access to brilliant observations like these

I remember when this new thing called an answering machine was invented and people were so freaked out by them at first. I heard people say so many times, "I'm not leaving them a message on that machine! If they need me, they can just call me back!" As if the person was supposed to intuit that someone had called and not reached them.

Then people were a little freaked out by computers and emails. Of course, I'm mostly talking about people who didn't have to adjust to these things because they didn't have to learn for business purposes. Ok, mostly, I'm talking about my mom here, but honestly, don't we all know people to whom the idea is still quite uncomfortable and to whom there really is little point in sending an email?

And forget about the "internets", as George W. Bush one famously called it...them. I can still remember just within the past few years hearing someone say, "I can probably plug a computer in, but after that, I wouldn't even know what buttons to push to go to a website.

And I still know people who are afraid to use Facebook for any number of reasons, the most prominent being that the CIA monitors everything we do there...and the Russians too. Seriously. And this includes someone I know under the age of 30.

All that said...I'm drawing the line at Tweets. I went to the site, signed up and went back once a month later. Sorry - I just don't get it...them.

Or maybe we have Reagan to blame for all of this...on more than one level

I'll bet if I think hard enough, I can find someone who was elected earlier than Jesse Ventura to mark the start of what I think may be even more responsible for the results of some recent elections than their respective platforms, and that is a combination of our fascination with celebrity and the desire to just shake things up.

It seems to show more on the Republican side, but there are examples everywhere: Al Franken, Jerry Brown, Christine O'Donnell. Heck, I think it's one of the main reasons the Tea Partiers have been so successful. It's not just that people like what they stand for, tho they think they do. It's more because they are so different: Carl Paladino, Rand Paul, Sarah Palin, Sharon Angle.

Or maybe I just have such a hard time thinking people really want, not just to to significantly cut spending and taxes, which most people would support but to repeal health care legislation and financial regulations passed this year, and to phase out Social Security and Medicare in favor of personal savings accounts, to permanently extend the tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush and to eliminate the estate tax, but also to replace the progressive income tax with a flat tax or a national sales tax. Several candidates advocate abolishing the Internal Revenue Service entirely and to eliminate the Departments of Agriculture, Education, Interior, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy and others to return to a "constitutionally pure government."

If you went down line by line on each of those issues, I don't think you'd find a majority in favor of any of those positions, but here we are with, according to a headline in today's NYT: "Tea Party Set to Win Enough Races for Wide Influence".

Let me be the first to say it: Crazy times we're in.

Don't vote for him - he's one of the ones who got us into this mess!

CHICAGO — An Illinois gubernatorial candidate's name was mistakenly listed as "Rich Whitey" instead of Rich Whitney on thousands of Chicago electronic-voting machines and will be corrected, elections officials said Thursday.

This is news? Hasn't this same guy been running for hundreds, nay, thousands of years?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

How republicans argue - When you can't win on facts, attack the messenger

This was an actual exchange on my facebook page, after I posted this "status update" which was just a joke from Jimmy Fallon's show. Even though you can see it on my FB page, I have changed the name of my Republican friend, who is a Supervisor in a nearby Township. And in his defense, I find that the later it is in the evening, the more bitterness and vitriol he spews, and let's just say, I don't think it's because he's getting tired, if you catch the way I've drifted:

Jamie P. McVickar: Jimmy Fallon: "EA Sports released a new version of the video game NBA Jam that features Obama, Biden, Bush, and Cheney. Bush and Cheney play the first half, then Obama and Biden try to come back from a 6 billion point deficit."

John D. Republican: LOL. Problem; there's no comeback; the hole just gets deeper.

Jamie P. McVickar: except for the part where when Obama took office, we had just lost 780,000 jobs in just the previous month! And now we've had 9 straight months of private sector job gains...and the part where the Dow has gone from 6500 to 11,000, but other than that, i guess you mean.

John D. Republican: You are sooooooooooooooo biased that it is not worth a conversation. If the most wonderful person in the world was a Republican, they would still be an idiot in your mind and would never get your vote. So much for Quaker tolerance.

Kate Fitz-Henry Wow, John, really?! For real? -I'm tempted to copy what I posted on MPR's page the other day and post it here. And then everyone will tell me that of course you're joking, and I'll feel sheepish - that's how it'll go, right?!

Judy McVickar Biased? Those are facts, John. What about Jamie's retort is biased? Sorry for butting in, but I just don't get it.

John D. Republican: Well, first of all you have to remember that I love Jamie from all my heart despite my disagreements; then you have to remember that "facts" are used by all sides to support their particular view. I would so love to say lets just love one another and forget these petty political disagreements. In fact, that is my world view, totally above politics, just love the people that God puts into your life.

Kate Fitz-Henry ‎...while falsely (and publicly) accusing them of character flaws which they obviously do not possess - yep, I feel it! I feel the love! -May you find a more helpful way to express that love in the future.

Kate Fitz-Henry ‎(I will also point out that this current discussion went like this: Jamie: humorous reference. You: unfounded cynicism and implied insult of current administration Jamie: Relevant, factual rebuttal You: Unfounded, irrelevant and rambling... insult of Jamie Judy: challenge to insult You: complete change of subject addressing neither Jamie's rebuttal nor Judy's challenge, and completely at odds with the spirit of your previous statements. --If you want to have a political discussion where your views are taken seriously, you'll really need to change your tactics.)See More

John D. Republican: I did not accuse anyone of any character flaws; bias is not a character flaw, it is normal. Besides, I wasn't catering to the rest of you; this was Jamie's post and he knows me very well. If you actually knew me Kate, you wouldn't be so reactionary in your counter comments. But I do not blame you; you took them at face value.

Kate Fitz-Henry Bias? You didn't accuse him of bias. You accused him of being so unable to rise above bias that his views aren't worth hearing; you accused him of being so blinded by it that he's incapable of rational, critical judgment, and on top of tha...t, you insulted his faith.

That said, if the true intent of your message is so obscured by your method of delivery that it becomes irretrivably lost in the chaos of misplaced negativity - to the extent that it is intelligible only to those who 'know you well', then I'll also advise you to improve your style of communication, cause it sure ain't workin'.

Jamie P. McVickar Goodness gracious. I go to bed, wake up the next morning and all kinds of stuff has busted loose! Kate & Judy - nicely done. When they get beat on facts, they go to the personal attacks. It worked for Karl Rove for 8 years, right?

Craig Hughes My god, Bush and Cheney did their best to imitate Democratic spending and get hell for it. I would think you would have been proud of that accomplishment Jamie.

Jamie P. McVickar ‎:-) Difference is, Craig, the Dems practice fiscal responsibility where if they increase spending, they pay for it, like back when the economy was humming at full speed in the Clinton presidency...with higher tax rates on the wealthy. Or you go the R way, cut revenue and increase expenses...but they pretend to know more about how to how to run a country? Let's invade countries, even if they are no threat, and lets give more money to rich folks! Nice plan. Now, as we're starting to dig out, let's give them another shot to see if they get it yet!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

People come and go so quickly here!

I think I had to read this story about ten times in three different newspapers before I finally figured out what they were trying to say. Oh heck, I just read it again, and now I'm not so sure. See if you get it:

More people calling Philly home, study finds
Philadelphia Daily News

The number of people moving into Philadelphia has steadily risen over the past 16 years, according to a new study that supports recent census estimates that show the city's population stabilizing.

The report on migration patterns from the Pew Charitable Trusts' Philadelphia Research Initiative explains that while there are still more people leaving than entering the city each year, the difference has dropped in recent years. Aided by births and foreign immigration, the city's population is rising, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

According to IRS data analyzed by Pew, the city suffered a net-population outflow of 9,846 in 2008, compared with 20,284 in 1995. The data, which do not include information about births, deaths or foreign immigration, show just one part of residency patterns.

Roy Halladay Fun Facts

Three interesting facts about Roy Halladay that I haven't seen anyone else mention:

1 - He has now allowed just 2 hits and 1 walk in his last 18 innings pitched.

2 - That's gotta be the two most statistically, quantifiably dominating back-to-back pitching performances in baseball history, and one of them was a playoff game against the best hitting team in the league. Johnny Vander Meer famously pitched back-to-back no-hitters in 1938, but he walked 12 guys in the process.

3 - The most dangerous contact any Reds' hitter's bat made with any ball last night was when the ball hit the bat that was lying on the ground on the last play of the game.

If only they were as good at testing as they are at texting

I frequently hear parents say about their allegedly underachieving kids that their special kid just isn't a good test-taker, and will never get good grades as a result.

In retrospect, I now realize I had the same problem, and, interestingly, I found it to be especially true when I didn't study before taking any said test.

Swing at a Myth

There are a number of myths surrounding past political events that the numbers just don't support. One of the ones I've maintained for years is wrong is that the reason that Gingrich and the Rs swept into office in 1994 was because of the Contract with (on?) America. I remember hearing at the time, the day after the election this is, that in exit-polling, very few people had even heard of it. But somehow it had become conventional wisdom that it was the main thing that drove people to vote Republican. Ever since, I've wanted to see the numbers to see if I had remembered it wrong. And after the recent "Pledge to America", Jed Lewison on Daily Kos wrote this:

"The GOP's Pledge to America was a complete dud. 66 percent said they had never heard of it, and of those who had, more people said it would make them less likely to vote for the GOP (29 percent) than said it would make them more likely (23%). Compare that to the Contract With America which had similar awareness numbers but was a small net positive for Republicans (24 percent more likely, 21 percent less likely).
Second, and probably more importantly, President Obama's numbers have improved since he started campaigning after Labor Day. That they've improved isn't exactly a surprise, but the extent of the improvement is a bit surprising. One month ago, his net approval rating was minus 6 -- 46 approve, 52 disapprove. Now it's plus 3 -- 50 approve, 47 disapprove. That's a nine-point swing in just one month. Obviously, there's no single reason why the race is getting closer, but when one out of ten voters improve their rating of President Obama, that's a really big shift, and it's no doubt part of the explanation."

So, it's not overwhelming evidence that I was right, but it's pretty difficult to make the case that the CWA had a huge impact with just a 3 point edge in approval.
Two other myths that seem to have become conventional wisdom are:
1 - If Ross Perot hadn't been on the ballot in 1992, Clinton would have lost. Again, exit-polling showed that when Perot voters were asked for whom they would have voted if Perot hadn't been on the ballot, they were pretty much split between Clinton and Bush.
2 - John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate is what doomed him. Actually, McCain had been behind all summer until the Republican Convention. When he announced Palin as his choice, and she gave her very successful speech at the convention, she was a huge hit, and for the first time, McCain had a small lead in the polls. It was a lead that disappeared within a week or two as we came to learn more and more about his choice of a running mate.

Monday, October 4, 2010

A test you probably didn't get in school...and please show all work

A friend on Facebook commented that I had plenty of posts on here about sports and politics and not as much about "ya know", so, as I sat in some Land Trust seminars here in Hartford today on IRS issues regarding substantiation versus administrative technicalities, my mind wandered, as it so often does to, well, ya know.
And as I thought of things to post, I thought, what the heck do I know about sex really. I may not have the broad swath of experience to draw from that some guys say they do, and anything I could say has probably been written about extensively by people who either have a great deal more experience or who get paid to research and write on such things. So that said, instead of making statements about sex, I'll ask questions. I doubt anyone will respond, if only due to the sensitivity of the topics, but regardless, I'll spout away:
 - Is it true that the more women have sex, the more they want/need, and the more guys have sex, the less they want/need?
 - Do women have fewer sexual fantasies than men, and to the extent they have them, are less willing to share them? And are they more likely to share them with their girlfriends in just girl talk-like conversations, or their husbands/boyfriends?
 - Do most women have, brace yourself, rape fantasies of some sort? (This can be misconstrued. I think we have occasional fantasies that I am quite sure we would never really want to have happen. And I often wonder if that's just because of the repressed social mentality we have to sex.)
 - I wonder who has more fantasies of having multiple simultaneous partners during sex - men or women?
 - Is it true that women have a much larger variety of possible ways they like to be sexually satisfied, whereas men, it's all pretty simple really. Or is it?! Or is it that women don't necessarily have a larger variety of ways, but it's much more difficult to hit the right spot, as it were, whereas, again, guys have a pretty easy target?

How'd I do, Martie? Is that enough for now? I'm sure there is a lot of head-scratching and looks of - you are SO right, Jamie - you have NO idea what you're talking about! But heck - I'm not just sayin', I'm just askin'!