Friday, June 4, 2010

Last Call

Had a discussion with my parents today.  They are worried about me and this blog and the trolls.

The really funny part is the people stalking me at work are stalking work.  On company time. Certain amount of failure there.

Political Cartoon Of The Moment

The Miami Herald's Jim Morin:

Steve M. has more on this as he dissects the meaning behind BP CEO Tony Hayward's op-ed guessed it...the WSJ.
This would fit perfectly with several ideas the right is at great pains to push: that government is toxic and shouldn't be in charge of anything (yes, everyone's demanding government intervention now, even right-wingers, but that has to change soon), that Obama is inept, that all Obama is destroying capitalism by accident or design (see Bobby Jindal complaining about expected job losses as a result of the Obama administration's ban on offshore drilling), and that quite possibly even the administration's failure to force an end to the crisis was part of a sinister conspiracy to block drilling and force cap-and-trade on an unsuspecting public.
They tried the same thing with health care reform.  Remember "Keep your government hands out of my Medicare, Obama"?  It's the definition of Obama Derangement Syndrome:  no matter what happens, the bad parts are always, always, always Barack Obama's fault.

The Race To Erase Race

OK, this story is beyond disturbing, it's horrendous. Arizona, you suck.

A group of artists has been asked to lighten the faces of children depicted in a giant public mural at a Prescott school.

The project's leader says he was ordered to lighten the skin tone after complaints about the children's ethnicity. But the school's principal says the request was only to fix shading and had nothing to do with political pressure.

The "Go on Green" mural, which covers two walls outside Miller Valley Elementary School, was designed to advertise a campaign for environmentally friendly transportation. It features portraits of four children, with a Hispanic boy as the dominant figure.

R.E. Wall, director of Prescott's Downtown Mural Project, said he and other artists were subjected to slurs from motorists as they worked on the painting at one of the town's most prominent intersections.

"We consistently, for two months, had people shouting racial slander from their cars," Wall said. "We had children painting with us, and here come these yells of (epithet for Blacks) and (epithet for Hispanics)."

Wall said school Principal Jeff Lane pressed him to make the children's faces appear happier and brighter.
"It is being lightened because of the controversy," Wall said, adding that "they want it to look like the children are coming into light."

Lane said that he received only three complaints about the mural and that his request for a touch-up had nothing to do with political pressure. "We asked them to fix the shading on the children's faces," he said. "We were looking at it from an artistic view. Nothing at all to do with race."
Nothing at all to do with race.  Here's the best part:
City Councilman Steve Blair spearheaded a public campaign on his talk show at Prescott radio station KYCA-AM (1490) to remove the mural.

Yeah, that's right.  An elected city official did this.  To an elementary school mural.  On his AM talk radio show.  You know, because the little black and Latino kids might have actually seen a face that looked like them in an artistic depiction at a school that, you know, has Latino and black kids in it, when we have an African-American president and First Lady and kids who look like some of them playing on the swingset in the White House.

There are people who will never, ever, accept that. And they will make life a living hell for these kids and their parents and their community in the name of "taking their country back".

But it's not about race. It's never about race. Because if you point out the obvious fact that it is about race, and there's a campaign to rid the country of anybody who's too dark or has a weird or funny religion or wants to marry somebody of the same're the problem for pointing it out.

Racists, bigots...they hate to be called that more than anything else, you know.

Way to set an example for the 21st century, Arizona.

Applied Plummeting For Dummies

Dow off 324.  Euro under the buck twenty line.

Best article of the day:  Happy-Face Financial Media is now complaining we're halfway through the stimulus and is asking "Hey, what happens when that runs out?

Any questions?

Gosh, I remember saying we needed a significantly larger stimulus back, oh, 15 months ago...

Another Milepost On The Road To Oblivion

Just how screwed are we? This screwed:


Oh, and that dotted red line that shows the job recovery is flattening out?

That's the job numbers without the Census hiring.

Have a nice day.

All Downhill From Here

Bob Janujah drains all the happy out of the Happy-Face Financial Network with this interview where he lays out the worst-case scenario for the next couple of years financially:

“Over the next 6 months we will see private sector deflation pushing 10-year yields down to 2 percent. This will see the policymakers mistakenly attempt to kick-start the economy and market with a global quantitative easing program worth between $10 and $15 trillion dollars."

That of course will whipsaw us from deflation into hyperinflation, and from there it gets really, really bad. Also, the teabaggers will take over as a result.

Like I said, worst case scenario.

Laura Bush Helps Clean Up The Mess In The Gulf

Not Obama's, she's helping rehabilitate her husband's broken image.
"I think they're doing everything they can do. Absolutely. Just like we did with [Hurricane] Katrina," Bush, 63, told "Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts in an interview taped Wednesday that aired today. "You know, it's not one person's responsibility. The president can't do every single thing there is to do."
She's good, I'll give her that much. Comparing her husband's efforts during Katrina to Obama's in the Gulf and saying "Well gosh there's no way either President can do anything more" is a terribly backhanded compliment.

The problem is while Obama could be doing more in the Gulf, Bush could have done a lot more in New Orleans after Katrina and didn't.  Trying to rehabilitate Dubya's image by using Obama's cleanup efforts in the Gulf is pretty low, even for Republicans.  Sending Laura Bush out to do it is either brilliant or borderline repugnant.

It's probably a bit of both.  Let's not forget that the Republicans are actively comparing the Gulf oil mess to Katrina and they're using a former First Lady to do it.

That's low, even for them.

Silver Goes For The Gold

Nate Silver, that is.  After blogging politics for only about six months longer than I've been doing it, Nate Silver's is partnering up with the NY Times.
In the near future, the blog will "re-launch" under a domain. It will retain its own identity (akin to other Times blogs like DealBook), but will be organized under the News:Politics section. Once this occurs, content will no longer be posted at on an ongoing basis, and the blog will re-direct to the new URL. In addition, I will be contributing content to the print edition of the New York Times, and to the Sunday Magazine. The partnership agreement, which is structured as a license, has a term of three years.

There are two particular reasons why we felt the Times was the best home for FiveThirtyEight. On the one hand, I very much see what we are doing as a type of journalism, in the sense that it consists of doing original research on a timely basis to help inform the public discourse. Thus, the Times' unflinching commitment to quality journalism makes for a natural fit, and I expect that the relationship will evolve in exciting ways as FiveThirtyEight is incorporated into a "traditional" newsroom setting. On the other hand, the terrific work of their graphic and interactive journalists was a major draw. The new blog should look and feel great, and should be substantially more robust and feature-rich than the simple, one-page design that we have now.
It's good to see the blogosphere's best stats guy get the props he deserves.  Nate's one of the reasons I got into blogging, after all.  If a baseball stats junkie can try to make sense of the world of Washington politics, then anyone can try their hand at it.

Nate of course is much better than most, and congratulations to him and the FTE staff.  If anyone can keep the Times honest on the numbers of politics, it's Nate Silver.

Maybe he can take some of the stupid out of Village Stupidity.

Nikki Haley And The Comments

It's Rock Around The Clock indeed coming out of South Carolina.  GOP Gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley has a bit of an image problem with not one but two men coming forward to say that Haley had affairs with them, but now the embattled politician of Indian descent is running into that other favorite candidate in any South Carolina political contest...racism.
Today, the Christian Broadcasting Network published a story about Nikki Haley, the frontrunner to become South Carolina’s GOP gubernatorial nominee, saying that she “recently changed the language on her website to reflect a more Christian tone.” The story said that although Haley has “gone out of her way to make sure people know she is a Christian,” she was raised in the Sikh faith and placed more emphasis on that tradition when she ran for the state legislature in 2004. This evening in an interview with Pub Politics, state Sen. Jake Knotts (R-SC) — who is supporting a different candidate — slammed Haley by using a racial slur:
We already got one raghead in the White House, we don’t need a raghead in the governor’s mansion.
The South Carolina Republican Party has issued a statement condemning Knott’s remarks, saying, “Senator Knotts should apologize for his inappropriate comments, so that we can put this unfortunate incident behind us and focus on issues important to moving our state forward.”
Yeah folks, this is South Carolina's GOP basically tearing itself apart.  Not that agree with very many of Haley's political views at all: she's Bobby Jindal with actual charisma and absolutely in the mold of Sarah Palin and the rest of the Club For Growth knuckleheads.

But racism is racism, and it's pretty depressing to see it used so openly.  Then again...if given the chance I'd ask Nikki Haley honestly:  you're running as a Republican in South Carolina.  Have you not been paying attention to the party's long and storied history of intolerance, ignorance, and bigotry?  This guy wasn't a random voice, he's a state Senator, one of your colleagues in your own party is saying this about you publicly and on purpose to try to sink you.

How can you stand being a Republican?


The good news?  411k new jobs in May.  The bad news?  Only 41k were private sector...the rest were Census temp hires.

This is not, by any stretch of the imagination, good news.  The stimulus is running out.  We're only in positive territory because of that.  The deficit cutters are back in control, and when they cut off spending, our economy will plummet into depression for sure.

As awful as 2010 is, 2011 will be far, far worse.

America Is Bee Pee'd Off

BP isn't exactly winning the hearts and minds of America out here with their 0 for 6, soon to be 0 for 7 performance in capping this well.  In fact, people are starting to get really, really mad at the company.
Anger over the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico is spilling into streets as protests are organized at BP’s offices and gas stations around the country. 

A multi-group protest made up of environmental groups is planned for Friday in Washington D.C., for example, while a week of demonstrations in several cities was kicked off yesterday by a new campaign, Seize BP. 

Besides the organized demonstrations, anti-BP Facebook accounts have popped up online. And in New York City, some one or several people have splattered what looks like brown paint on the logo of three different BP gas stations. 
Becoming the corporate poster child for greed and destruction was pretty difficult considering how well Goldman Sachs had settled into the role of Biggest Corporate Assholes In America.  But BP's managed to destroy entire industries for generations like Gulf fishing in just a month and a half (and unlike Goldman, there's not a line of other big players lining up to back BP, either.)  Unlike the call for a government takeover of the banking industry, seizing BP as a punitive measure is starting to gain real momentum.
After several protests in May, Seize BP kicked off a week of demonstrations on Thursday in Washington, New York and Chicago and has plans to continue into next week in 26 cities and towns across the country. 

The group is pushing for the U.S. government to seize BP’s funds and place it in trusts now to help reimburse those affected by the oil spill, said Carl Messineo, spokesperson of Seize BP. 

“We’re seeking urgent and immediate resolution,” said Messineo. 

Online, the Boycott BP Facebook group has over 330,000 members, calling for a boycott of all of BP stations including their other brands including Castrol and Amoco. BP’s official Facebook group, by comparison, has just over 8,000 members.  
I just don't see how BP survives this as a company.  I certainly don't see how BP CEO Tony Hayward doesn't lose his job over this.  As far as that boycott goes, there's a couple of BP stations I plan to no longer visit here.

And I'm betting before this is all over, a whole lot of Americans will be doing the same.

Meanwhile, Back At The Crawford Ranch

Ol' Dubya is still getting the hang of this "ex-President" thing, getting one of those Facey-Bookie things on the internets and all, but he really should learn not to admit to international war crimes he committed while in office.  He's going to need a little help on that.
Speaking to a crowd in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Wednesday, former president George W. Bush told onlookers that his administration did in fact waterboard alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and suggested that his action saved American lives.

"Yeah, we water-boarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed," Bush said, according to a local newspaper. "I'd do it again to save lives."
Somewhere, Dick Cheney just threw a cute animal down a flight of stairs.  The thing is, we waterboarded this guy over and over and over again, and it didn't save any lives, because the guy told us whatever we wanted to hear to stop waterboarding him instead of actual intelligence we could have used.

You would also think Dubya there would have the grace not to brag about breaking the Geneva Conventions and admit to torturing people, which if he went to a country that actually paid attention to international law, well some enforcement officials in crisp uniforms might want to have a word with him.

Reflects rather poorly on us, yes?


Related Posts with Thumbnails