Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Random Thoughts

  • The $300 million man is getting all folksy. Romney's handlers must constantly try to come up with new ways to make Mitt seem like a man of the people, that he is one who can surely relate with the common man. It’s hopeless, but their latest tactic seems to be for him to get all Huckabee on us. Yech.

    Why golly, listen to him wax nostalgic about good ole dad, by gosh he was good at spitting out those nails: "It's one of the lessons I learned from my dad. He never graduated college. He was a plaster carpenter. He was good. He could put a mouthful of nails and spit them forward."

    Next up, look for Mitt to be downing Bud Lights with Joe The Plumber.

  • Ecuador is willing to preserve about 4,000 square miles of rain forest for a measly $3.6 billion -- and they're having difficulty raising the cash! Wealthy countries are balking at this deal, one that would preserve one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet, keep 800 million tons of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere, and maintain an enormous air filtration system by way of the huge forest. Need I remind that $12 billion was literally "lost" in Iraq, and we and other wealthy countries can't pony up close to $4 billion? Incredible.

  • Some are now saying Obama intentionally elongated the contraception ruckus for well over a week in order to aid Santorum at the expense of Romney. It's no secret Obama would much rather face Rick than Mitt. In any case, I would argue the Republicans are once again idiots when it comes to playing their cards smartly. They ran with this canard, figuring it would do harm to Obama. But the fact is those voters likely won over by this "outrageous overreach" by Obama were going to vote Republican anyway. However, there were many more who were fence-sitters and likely much less socially conservative than your typical Republican and by threatening access to birth control, the GOP lost most of these undecided voters. Net-net another loss for the dopey right.

  • Another classic rant by Bill Maher. This time he slams the "Country First" Republicans for despising New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington DC and LA/Hollywood, not to mention other highly-populated areas of the USA. Maher: "[T]hey accuse Obama of dividing America....[W]hen it comes to dividing America, it's Republicans who in recent years have carved out a nation into two distinct territories. There's the heartland, and then there's the rest of the country: a vast nightmarish wasteland of college professors, museums, and people who recycle." Or the red welfare states vs. the blue states giving more than they receive.

  • Did you know that genetically modified food has insecticide built into its DNA, and it "was detected in the umbilical-cord blood of pregnant women"? That can't be good. But of course it's legal, thanks to lobbyists hard at work.

  • By November, the unemployment rate should be much lower. Is it any wonder the Republicans are beginning to panic, looking to create wedge issues out of contraception and TV ads starring Clint Eastwood?

  • Santorum defends the Crusades?? Hey Rick, why not categorize the Spanish Inquisition as misunderstood? And what do you have to say about the 200 priests suspected of sex abuse living in California?
  • Thursday, February 09, 2012

    62% Of Canadians Oppose Fracking

    What does that say when the majority of people in this generally very pro-energy country is against this form of natural gas extraction? I think at minimum it says in the U.S. we need to slow down, roll up our sleeves and begin to really examine and investigate what is becoming an increasingly worrisome practice. If we don't, like global warming, it will be too late.

    Wednesday, February 08, 2012

    Unemployment Falling, Obama Rising

    The unemployment rate has been steadily falling since 2009, a chart (below) the Obama campaign will be sure to show often.

    Have to laugh, Wall Street folks love a rising stock market but they generally dislike Obama. Unemployment rate going down is good for the economy and stock market, and good for Obama. Hmmm, sounds like a conflict to me....

    Sunday, February 05, 2012

    Another Romney Campaign Fail

    Concerning Romney's latest campaign gaffe ("I'm not concerned about the very poor"), many are writing about what he should've said instead, or why he said it at all (dog-whistle code to his wealthy supporters).

    To me it's just another rookie-like screw-up. Given Romney has been in campaign mode for many, many years, he should know better than to utter such things, period. For him to claim later that he was taken out of context is exactly the point: a seasoned campaigner knows what not to say specifically because in this day and age of sound bites, a string of 8-10 words will be cut and pasted all over the news, leaving out any extra words that may have changed the inference. It's that simple, a "duh" truism.

    But Romney continues to not get it. The no-concern-for-the-poor comment is just the latest. There was also the I-like-firing-people, you-wanna-make-a-$10K-bet? and I-didn't-make-much-in-speaking-fees doozies, the latter two further crystalizing how out of touch he is with the average American. Does the average American make a friendly bet for $10 grand? Would the average American regard almost $400,000 paid in speaking fees as not that much money?

    It's clear the man is politically tone deaf, and more so it appears he can't help himself, that it's serial in nature. How do you explain the recent repeated offenses after running for office so many times? His wealth and elitism is deeply ingrained within his DNA, to the point where no matter how often his handlers attempt to coach him and purge these tendencies, they will always surface, like pea soup coming to a boil.

    Romney is safe as long as he remembers to stick to talking points and preconceived tag lines. But once he ventures off script and attempts to be genuine with his answers, to actually speak in what are real terms for him, that's when he gets in trouble. Again, it's not just that he then says things that further confirm his stereotype, but more so that he says things that are simply ill-advised and stupid with regards to smart campaigning. You just don't say these four words: "I like firing people."

    In many ways, it's equivalent to John Kerry's I-voted-for-it-before-I-voted-against-it debacle. Those of us who heard it in full context know what he actually meant, but it didn't matter. I recall all to well hearing Kerry say those words live at the time and wincing, realizing it was likely his Dukakis-army-tank or Dean-scream moment. I think it was a huge fail.

    But Kerry really only had this one, albeit a big one. In contrast, Romney seems to churn out these misspeaks or "fails" about once a week.

    The Obama people must be licking their chops. After all, despite Republicans labeling him the "Teleprompter President," Obama is actually quite good off-script. He can be very effective, actually reaching and impacting his audience, and doing so with facts and few if any unfortunate gaffes. I would very much like my odds in this regard versus Romney. After all, and as we've seen already, Mitt can't always be pre-programmed and there will be plenty of opportunities before November for him to say something that could sink his candidacy. It's just a matter of time....

    Thursday, February 02, 2012

    Social Conservatives Are Dumb -- Literally

    "Low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, the study found."

    But then I suppose I'm guilty of intellectual elitism just for citing this study.

    Wednesday, February 01, 2012

    Idle Youth

    This chart can’t bode well. Increasing numbers of idle youth + increasingly less funds for government benefits due to austerity = recipe for eventual civil unrest. The Eurozone best snap out of their Hayek spell and come around to Keynes before it's too late....