Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bush to Historians: Make Me the Worst

Apparently realizing that his only chance for a true legacy is to become the worst president of all time, Bush has decided to rush a few agendas into action. One of those agendas?

WASHINGTON — The Labor Department is racing to complete a new rule, strenuously opposed by President-elect Barack Obama, that would make it much harder for the government to regulate toxic substances and hazardous chemicals to which workers are exposed on the job.

The rule, which has strong support from business groups, says that in assessing the risk from a particular substance, federal agencies should gather and analyze “industry-by-industry evidence” of employees’ exposure to it during their working lives. The proposal would, in many cases, add a step to the lengthy process of developing standards to protect workers’ health.

"Oh no! I only have a few months left! Quick, let's make sure that we make it easier for employers to kill their employees with toxic fumes!!!"

This administration makes so little sense it blows my mind.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Unhappy With Your Riches Cuz You're Piss Poor Morally

Some businesses deserve to fail. On Friday I was told I could get a package to Boston on Tuesday, December 2nd for $10.00, or on Wednesday, November 26th if I pay 26.00 for 3 day mail (ironically named considered it would have been 5 days).

I sprung for the 3 day mail so that it would arrive before Thanksgiving. 16 extra dollars for what is essentially 1 business day. It is often referred to as "3 day guaranteed" mail.

Today is Wednesday. Package did not arrive. UPS tracking said that they, without warning, "rescheduled" it for December 2nd - 11 days after I paid for the service, and the same date I could have gotten had I only paid 10.00. The UPS store I went to was more than happy to refund the money, but they had to call the corporate office to get permission, and the corporate office denied any refund. UPS makes $49,700,000,000 per year. They denied a $16 refund for a service which they failed miserably.

There are two cars, a Kia and a Mercedes. The Mercedes is more expensive, but it is better, so you pay the extra money. The company thanks you for your purchase, but rather than give you the Mercedes, the company gives you nothing but an engine, three tires, a back seat and an ash tray, all of which originally came from the Kia. The company sees nothing wrong with this.


The moral? Some companies deserve to go out of business, because they are run by complete morons with [ironically] small packages. While I may support the automotive bailout, that in no way implies that just because a business employs many people it automatically deserves government help if it runs itself into the ground. If UPS ever lobbies for assistance, I'm going to personally go down to Washington and see that they don't get it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Higher Standard

While some are annoyed, I believe it is nice to see the complaints Obama is getting for keeping former staff members and bringing the Clintons back to the White House. The idea is that to "Change" Washington, you need to use only new people in high Washington posts.

Well, that is neither here nor there. George Bush used new people. But at the same time, it would be nice to hear a name that is a surprise. That said, when was the last time you heard a Republican upset with his own party for choosing a party leader that has expertise in the area?

That type of accountability is nice to see, no matter how warranted it is.


With the election over and Obama elected, I am running out of interesting things to talk about.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Automotive Bailout

Whether you agree with bailouts or not, Mitt Romney's "let the company fail" can't work. Almost 2 million jobs have some tie in to the auto industry, and if it goes out of business, there is a chance that at least half of those jobs are lost, if not more.

That said, the "Big Three" are awful companies - awful. An untrained monkey could have run these companies better. What kind of moronic institution lobbies the government to not require they make their cars more fuel efficient and then act shocked as the more fuel efficient cars sell better? While this is not an industry I think the government should control, sometimes I wish that the government just bought the auto industry so they could fire the morons in charge. Each and every one of them deserves to go out of business, and if the country could survive with them gone, I'd demolish them all.

But a bailout, unfortunately, is necessary. So what should be the conditions?

Here are my thoughts. Add your own:

> Must be paid back in 15 years
> All cars should be have a minimum highway MPG of 50 by 2012 (this should not be difficult, the technology already exists).
> If the company can get all their new cars to 50 before 2012, they can keep some of the bailout without having to pay it back. If their models drop back below 50, they owe it again.
> Researching alternative energy should be mandatory. Strict government oversight in that area, however the government can help pay for the research.
> Government has a "say" - though not a final say - in executive management. Not decisions, but leadership. If the companies are ever run that stupid again, the government is allowed to try to oust them. Beyond that, no government involvement in management.

Any others?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Women Still Secretaries

Badum Bum. Hillary Clinton? While Bill Richardson would probably be a better choice, Hillary Clinton has earned a spot in the White House, and still represents a fairly brilliant politician. So... Neat.

Considering this is not necessarily real news, here is a photograph of Snoop Dogg back in High School.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Disappointed in My Own Community

One of the interesting aspects of online polling is that it allows far more people to be accessible for cheap - something that is not true with phone and paper polling. One of the least interesting aspects of online polling is that it allows people to game the polls, cheat, lie, and steal - whatever they can to win.

Dailykos readers participated in this type of deceit and slander with a recent college scholarship. A liberal blogger was running against a sports blogger, and in an effort to win once the sports blogger was over 7,000 votes down, he and a few of his friends started scamming Dailykos, posting 1 new story an hour and making up some almost unbelievable lies against the sports blogger. Their hate speech got so strong, that Right Wing blogs thought it would be funny to ask people to vote for the sports writer out of spite. What did the liberal writer do? He claimed that the Right Wing blogs supported the sports blogger because he was a neocon and continued to make up lies to win more votes. With voting coming to a close tonight, it looks like he is going to win the 10,000 dollar scholarship.

Contrary to many of the sports blogger's supporters, I see no real problem with spamming Dailykos - That is one of the main reasons that online polls are stupid, but that is how people win, so okay. But the tactics that this liberal blogger used are ridiculous, and he should be ashamed of himself, as should all other Dailykos commenters who propagated that bullshit. You have given every legitimate liberal a bad name, and you do not deserve any award or respect for what you did.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Educated Guess

One thing was very clear with this past election: Strictly negative, substance-less platforms are not the perfect political strategy - and may be on there way to a loud, obnoxious and well deserved death.

Rove politics are not dead, but they are severely damaged. They have shown a weak link - and that link is that when the candidate can generate positive news coverage about himself, people tend to ignore - and possibly even respond to - stupid, personal character attacks.

How bad was it this year?

There are a lot of different stats that can be explored, but the best is number is 52.

52% of all individuals that make over 250,000 dollars voted for Obama. They knew there taxes would be raised (the entire Republican platform) and they still voted for the Democrat.

When the Republicans cannot even grasp their own platform, their political style is gone. But interestingly, the far right - the people whose sole claim to fame is that they are generally voted in overwhelmingly by the uneducated racists that vote against their own interest - sees no problem with this strategy and are still spouting it constantly on Fox News.

Part of the reason for this is that the uneducated vote in the uneducated. So a lot of Republican politicians, particularly in the House of Representatives, are complete idiots. Obviously idiots are going to say stupid things. That idiot from Georgia who compared Obama to Hitler is a prime idiot example. What a colossal idiot.

But they are certainly not alone. There are a number of Governors, Senate members and other individuals that are not quite as dumb as those in the House and still using character slams to win their point. In fact, I'd say they represent over half of the Republican party.

Which brings me to the point of this post.

Republican political strategy may still be to demonize intelligence, but there are still intelligent people in the Republican party - people that do not care as much about social issues and simply believe that Republican tax policy is the best way to run the country. Whether these people represent 50%, 40% or 20% of the Republican party, there is no way they are going to be able to stand these moronic political tactics for much longer - especially if the Republicans keep losing elections.

And because of that, I predict that by the 2012 election, the Republicans may experience a huge split in their party if they do not change their philosophies. In fact, if they select another hard right candidate (Sarah Palin), I predict there is about a 50% chance the party splits in two, and some moderate Republican runs as an independent, taking all other moderates with them.

There is no way that intelligent Republicans, however many there may be, are going to be able to stand for these things any longer. Anyone that has... you know... thoughts... is going to have a difficult time believing that the best way to run the country is to make everyone hate everyone else.

When Republicans were winning, it was easy to ignore these tactics in the interest of getting things done. While I do not believe that McCain is a moderate, it is not hard for me to believe that he probably only enacted his character slams of Obama in order to win, and not because it was the right thing to do.

But they are no longer working, and if they are not working I cannot see any way that actual moderates are going to take it anymore, even if it means losing.


Friday, November 14, 2008

It's a New Day

It still feels good. One week later, two weeks later - every day feels better than it did the day before, and it is nice to finally not be worrying about what is going to happen tomorrow. For at least 2 years and as many as 8 years, I am going to be less worried about how decisions are made, and what their consequences will be.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How to Tame the Fat Ugly Beast (Working with Congressional Republicans)

Barack Obama may have won the election, but congressional republicans still exist, and through no fault of their constituents they tend to all be assholes. John Boehner is a complete prick, and he has surrounded himself with equally moronic individuals dead set on pretending as though they have something important to fight for.

While the Republican party may have many beliefs I disagree with, generally they are just disagreements. But Boehner and them are awful in every way, and the fact that they are in control of the Republican representatives in the house is nothing short of a death sentence for the future of Republicanism, and a huge stupid barrier in front of getting anything accomplished during the Obama presidency.

So how should they be dealt with?

Ignoring them is mistake number 1. While many bills can pass without them, their verbal response is going to make it hard for the Democratic party to win support in 2010 and 2012 if even a single bill does not accomplish what it is expected to accomplish.

So one possible proposal is for Barack Obama himself to call these Republican leaders in to a meeting, one at a time, in order to play what is essentially a game.

Barack Obama is a liberal senator, Boehner is a Conservative. Perhaps instead of discussing issues from their point of view, they should argue the opposite point of view.

In other words, Obama plays the conservative, Boehner plays the liberal, and they have a real, non spiteful debate trying to explain "their side" in order to come up with a compromise. The only way to do this is to play each role (liberal for Boehner, conservative for Obama) very seriously, doing a lot of research and trying to ensure they are well versed in expert reasoning for their "new" side. Then they slowly start to give until they can come to a middle ground that works well enough for both of them.

At that point they present the bill as a dual effort. It becomes a bipartisan bill that isn't going to make everyone happy, but is a good enough compromise that it will help to get things done without too much disagreement.

That is one thought. There are many other ways to deal with them - and all of your ideas are welcome in the comments section below - but I think that is Obama's best option especially if he hopes to be reelected in 2012.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Need Work

This song seems particularly fitting.
Press play.

So now what? Obama is president, the Democrats control the house and senate, Bush is out of office in 2 months... There is little left to openly complain about.

Obama, as great as he is, is not going to solve all of the world's problems. I expect that there will be several things that start to occur once he takes office, few of them positive, but few of those his own fault. I expect John Boehner to be one of the worst people in the world on a regular basis, and I expect the psychopaths that frequent Michelle Malkin's site to continue to spew their ignorant bile because that's what they do.

But all of that is significantly less interesting. For 2 years+, there was ample material, and now there will be only minor nitpicking. Interesting. I suppose it is going to be time to simply start talking about whatever, and hopefully life will be as frustrating and funny as politics.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Barack Obama is the Next President of the United States of America!

Thank. God.


Thank. God.

It's almost over. A vote today and then a chance to sit back and watch the results. Whatever happens, it will be done, and that - in itself - is a victory.

The only question now is whether or not the polls were right. The likely voter models do not adjust for youth, so Barack Obama can have a very good turnout, but they also do not include the rigged election vote, which has always been notoriously anti-Democrat, so they should even each other out. I still expect 70% of the undecided voters to go to McCain, because I believe they are likely Republican leaning independents that needed an excuse to vote for McCain, never got one, claim to be undecided independents and will ultimately just vote for him in the voting booth. But that should not be enough to win McCain the election unless the rigged election vote gets a record turnout.

We'll see what happens. At any rate, tomorrow there will be drinking.

Monday, November 3, 2008

John McCain:Leader - A Case Study

1) Palin Goes Rogue, McCain can't stop her.
2) McCain Says "No Reverend Wright." 2 Republican groups spend over 3 million of Rev Wright ads.
3) McCain wants clean campaign. Supporters discuss murdering Obama at his rallies. McCain doesn't stop them.
4) McCain says he will stop his campaign to be in charge of bailout talks. Goes to meeting. Claims success and bailout fails. Republicans don't vote for it.

John McCain: Leader.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Uneducated Voter Enigma

When voting rules were established, the founders were left with two choices:

1) Only those educated in American politics who understand current issues and current events could vote.
2) Everyone, regardless of social status or intelligence, could vote.

They chose the latter. And they chose to let everyone vote because the belief is (rightfully) that by allowing uneducated, unintelligent individuals to vote, politicians (who we assume are more intelligent than the population as a whole - insert snark) would be forced to consider everyone - including those of a lesser social class and lesser intelligence - when they decide how to run the country, because they will need their votes.

Everyone's ability to vote is why the government created social programs to help those in need. It is why scholarships were invented. A number of great things came from allowing everyone to vote.

So it is a strange turn of events, then, that so many of these uneducated, poor voters vote completely against their own self interests. In fact, they are a driving force of the Republican party, a party that essentially believes that those without money are worthless. And it is the educated voters with good, high paying jobs that are voting for Democrats - a political party that supports social programs.

Conclusions are for another day. Today is simply a day to marvel at that phenomenon.

Bradley Effect - Asian Americans?

According to all pertinent evidence, there is no proof the "Bradley Effect" will have any play in this election, and there is even evidence that it did not occur in the race it is named after.

That said, already this election 3 Asian American friends of mine (who do not know each other) have performed the action (saying they are voting for Barack Obama, voting for McCain) that the Bradley effect is named after.

That is a small sample, and there is a good chance that their Asian American background has nothing to do with that decision. However, when you think about the Asian American community, you start to notice some trends:

- Many Asian Americans live in tight knit communities.
- These same communities often have their own politics.
- Those politics make a number of families relatively indifferent to US politics.
- There are a lot of social conservatives in the Asian American communities that do have strong US political beliefs (they will vote for McCain).
- Fiscal conservatism and tradition make Republicanism not necessarily conflict with their values.

All three of my friends that voted for McCain had either a boyfriend (2 of them) or a parent (the other) that is incredibly socially conservative tell them that they are voting for McCain, and their relative indifference to American politics led them to simply vote for McCain instead.

In this election, it is hard to be indifferent to American politics. Even if you don't care about politics, it is very hard not to care between McCain and Obama. So my interest is in those people who can still have this general indifference between McCain and Obama, and what their vote will end up being.

To summarize, I think Asian Americans will end up voting for Obama in high numbers - 60-70% at least. But I wonder who is still "indifferent" about this election, and who is going to be influencing that vote. I will be interested to see what the results end up producing.

This election needs to be over already.