Saturday, May 30, 2009

Boston Coming to a Close - On to New York!

Exploring Boston consisted of a tour around a cemetery, drinking at a bar called Sunset and trips to Harvard, Boston College and MIT to see what the campuses look like (Harvard was the least attractive of the three, and that saddens me).

Next up, New York, where I will be dumping some of the clothes I own in order to make room in my bag to purchase inexpensive trinkets from Chinatown, Korea(n?)town, Little Italy and more. Woo ha.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sotomayor for Supreme Court

Thus far she seems like a good pick. Moderate enough to please most fringe partisans but not moderate so far as to lean to the right. And at 54, if she is to become a good justice, she should have many healthy years on the bench. We'll see what comes out these next few weeks before this pick is thoroughly judged.

It is also nice that she is a Hispanic woman. That's two different qualities that have never/rarely been seen on the Supreme Court. Though I am not generally fond of the idea that one should pick based on any sort of political pressure, so far she seems to be very well qualified. I will reserve judgment until I hear some of the decisions she has made, but so far it is leaning in the right direction.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Traveling for 3 Weeks

Updates will be sparse, but there will be updates. In the meantime, there's this:

Ever since it looked like a Democrat had a good shot at the White House, gun rights groups have been loading for bear. One example: Alan Gottlieb and Dave Workman published a book last year titled These Dogs Don't Hunt: The Democrats' War On Guns, which wondered if it's "something Democrats drink that causes them to climb aboard the Gun Control Express."

Candidate Barack Obama's record on the Second Amendment was anything but supportive; he appears to have once endorsed a complete ban on handgun possession, though aides claimed someone else filled out the survey. Other prominent Democrats, including Sen. Chuck Schumer, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Rep. Henry Waxman, and then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, seemed equally enthusiastic about new restrictions targeting law-abiding gun owners.

So what persuaded a sizable majority of the House and Senate to vote for a bill lauding the "the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens?"

Though I'm anti-gun in the general sense, handguns are last on the list of priorities. I can see a reason to carry them, at least in the home. Still, it surprises me they even bothered with this legislation. Gun rights have become less of a "hot topic" of late, so the timing of this seems odd. But hey, whatever.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

All Those Whiny Conservatives

It was not long ago that Republicans painted liberals as whiners that created useless and embarrassing protests that somehow made them less American. To an extent, they were right - there were a remarkable amount of protests that were, at least to this liberal, embarrassing. The Code Pink women come to mind as something I could have done without. Interrupting a speech for mindless shouting rarely gets the message across (no one can hear it on TV), and often makes the speaker look that much better for ignoring it with grace.

But once again proving that it has zero to do with the political stance and 100% to do with being powerless, conservatives decided to take it upon themselves to show the same type of whiny disregard for their own public appearance.

As police officers took the protester away, much of the stadium cheered his removal. A few moments later, another single protester began shouting “Abortion is murder.” The crowd erupted with loud boos directed at the heckler and then broke into loud chanting of Mr. Obama’s campaign slogan, “Yes, we can.”

This quote from the NYTimes is nearly identical to what we heard about Bush's speeches and the Code Pink (and other) protesters that were there to disrupt the speech, only to get booed away.

This is not to say that protesting is bad. It's not. In a way, I don't even have a problem with the Notre Dame protests. Go right ahead. But it is important that Republicans realize that they are doing the same tactics they ranted that only liberals did, and stop being hypocritical in their complains about the other side.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I Came, I Saw, I Market

Politics as usual gets boring. Anyone that has read this blog (Hello all 3 of you) knows that I generally enjoy making jokes about what's happening. Unfortunately, not a whole lot of funny things are happening, and those that are (Conservatives rallying the troops to block on Obama judge appointment because that's what they do) are almost cliche in their sadness.

When not blogging (so... 6 days a week), I help people market websites, as well as my own side projects.

So I'm debating whether or not to occasionally use this blog to market some things, in between political posts. I would not stop writing about politics - on the contrary, I would probably write more because I would have something reminding me to write something. But those posts are going to greatly annoy anyone that comes to this site (looking at you, Kristin). So maybe I won't. Thoughts?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Tax Increases in Perspective

"Who is going to pay for this?!" is a common question by those against Obama's plan to fix the economy. Arguments like "this debt will be passed on to our children!" are thrown around as though your child is not going to have a single dime to their name, and will be living on the streets. But this is a poor argument on cost alone:

There are 100 million taxpayers in America. If every taxpayer (regardless of income level) pays $1,000 more every year (hardly financially crippling to almost any Americans - approximately $19.23 a week), the Government will see an increase of:

100,000,000 x 1,000 = 1 trillion dollars - cutting the deficit by a substantial margin.

But wait, it isn't that simple. The number taxed is actually going to be lower than that, scaled based on income. Obviously $1,000 can be more crippling to lower income taxpayers than higher income taxpayers. So if we adjust that number to assume a 1% tax increase, that is only 300.00 for those making $30,000 a year ($5.76 a week). $1,000 for those that make $100,000 a year. And $10,000 for those making 1 million - soon that trillion is even easier to swallow, since poorer Americans will only be forced to pay the price of a cup of coffee.

That 1% increases will help provide:

1) Universal Health Care
2) A vastly improved economy
3) Greater job security
4) Social security
5) Safer streets

To put that in perspective, I pay $2,500 a year for health care alone (I may actually SAVE more money than I'm taxed). Most Americans pay upwards of $4,000. In addition, an improved economy will bring in more money as well as cost the government less over time, making future budgets larger and deficits smaller to non-existent.

No one likes tax increases, and the hope is that Obama will not have to raise taxes on middle class Americans at all. Cutting the Bush taxes alone will bring in far more money that will help widdle down the deficit. But "who is going to pay for this?!" assumes that somehow any tax increase will be financially crippling, and it won't be. If your children have to pay an extra $1,000 more a year in taxes, just be thankful they have a job and rest assured they'll be fine financially.

Worst of Recession Over?

I <3 Barack Obama, but I think this may be a little premature:

Evidence is piling up that the worst part of the recession has ended...

A better-than-expected unemployment report Friday - job losses declined to the lowest level in six months - capped a week of encouraging news, including firmer home sales, a revival in consumer spending and fresh optimism about the biggest U.S. banks.

If the worst of the recession is over, than Obama did a f*cking amazing job. I'm inclined to believe it is not ending yet - and that's okay, because it was not supposed to start ending this quickly. But even the belief that it might be on its downturn already is an encouraging sign.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

No One Cares About Swine Flu

And as a result, there is less to make fun of. So enjoy this article, as well as this part of it:

What worse message could you send to teenage girls than the one they delivered at the Republican convention: If your handsome but somewhat thuglike boyfriend gets you with child, he will clean up nicely, propose marriage, and show up at an important family event wearing a suit and holding your hand. At which point you will get a standing ovation.

Now a single mom on the outs with the father of her baby, Bristol wants a new kind of happy ending.

“I just want to go out there and promote abstinence and say this is the safest choice,” she said on “Good Morning America.”

“It’s not going to work,” said her ex-boyfriend, Levi Johnston, in a dueling early-morning interview.

If you have ever watched Levi Johnston on TV for two minutes you will appreciate how terrifying it is when he has the most reasonable analysis of a social issue.

I would also like to add that Bristol Palin - an underage girl with a child - is essentially saying "Holy shit, stop having sex or you'll be stuck with this baby like I am." ... And his name is Tripp. That's 2 p's. This is going to be one messed up kid.

Friday, May 1, 2009

You Have Got to be Kidding Me

Closing an entire elementary school for a week because someone feels "mild flu symptoms" is ridiculous. And apparently it is one of 7 schools.

Do they close school during regular flu season? No. Do they close school for chicken pox? No. Do they close schools for any disease that is infrequently deadly and happens every year? No.

They don't even teach safe sex in high schools, which will result in millions of new AIDS cases every year, and the constant spread of the far deadlier disease.

Really, learn priorities. It's not hard.