Saturday, August 27, 2011

Last Call

It's arguably one of the worst jobs in the world I can think of right now, and it's about to become vacant:  Japan's Prime Minister.

The race to pick Japan's sixth leader in five years appeared on Friday to be shaping up as a battle between the most popular contender and a rival backed by a party powerbroker, although with five candidates in play, the outcome was hard to call.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who came under fire for his response to the massive March tsunami and the radiation crisis it triggered, stepped down as ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) leader, clearing the way for the Democrats to pick a successor on Monday.

"I want to make every effort to realize a society that does not rely on nuclear power," Kan told a news conference. Kan's proposed energy policy shift is backed by most voters, but he was unable to parlay that public support into popularity.

Six Prime Ministers in five years?  C'mon, that's not just unstable, that's ridiculous.  Japan's economic problems aside, the Fukushima Daiichi plant disaster is still ongoing, and the next PM is going to have to be the one stuck with quarantining a healthy chunk of the northern part of the country for the next hundred years.

I don't see how the next PM will last more than a year, frankly.

Weighing Down The Elephant

A new Associated Press poll shows that Americans aren't happy with Congress (and in no way is this news) but they're really upset with Republicans in Congress in particular.

Only 12 percent approve of the way Congress has been handling its job, matching a historic low in the poll.

But the poll shows signs that Americans are increasingly blaming Republicans for congressional gridlock. While 68 percent disapprove of congressional Democrats, 75 percent disapprove of congressional Republicans. And 50 percent of the country strongly disapproves of Republicans in Congress, up from just 39 percent in June.

The full poll breakdown is here (PDF) and it's an interesting read.  By Rasmussen math, where we subtract the strongly disapprove number from the strongly approve number, President Obama was around -21 during the same time period as this poll.  Congressional Republicans by comparison are at -45.  Oh, but it gets worse for the GOP:

Only 29 percent of those polled have a favorable view of Boehner; the Republican leader won just a fifth of independent support.

Among the most troubling signs in the poll for congressional Republicans was the sentiment that voters were holding their own congressmen accountable, rather than just the Congress as a whole.

Traditionally, pollsters find that while Congresses might suffer bouts of unpopularity, most people continue to support their own representatives. But the AP-GfK poll showed that only 38 percent want to see their member of Congress reelected — a tough sentiment for House Republicans who are defending their majority in that chamber.

And there's the bombshell.  The numbers now are as bad or worse than in 2010 when voters gave the Republicans 60+ seats in the House.  America is already completely regretting that action and the GOP has only been in charge of the House for seven months.  Now granted, the numbers for the Democrats are not much better...but they are better.

How This Particular Game Is Played

There are rules to the Obama Derangement Syndrome game, folks.  The forms must be followed in American political Kanly, and a perfect demonstration is taking place this weekend.  Step The First, we have this tweet, courtesy of pro golfer and ESPN analyst Paul Azinger:

Facts: Potus has played more golf this month than I have: I have created more jobs this month than he has:

Now working for ESPN and not FOX News, the Zinger was told by his employer that this sort of thing was probably not a good idea.  He's not paid for his political analysis but his golfing analysis, and it's not like he's the first guy to get reigned in by a network or even the first analyst to get checked by ESPN for making public comments on Twitter.  That was Step Two, the response:

On Friday ESPN 'reminded" Azinger his venture into political punditry violates the company's updated social network policy for on-air talent and reporters.

"Paul's tweet was not consistent with our social media policy, and he has been reminded that political commentary is best left to those in that field," spokesman Andy Hall told Game On! in a statement.

Once again this shows how pervasive Twitter and Facebook have become in the social fabric of America.  In 2011, major corporations have social networking policies.  This goes especially for media companies.

But the way ODS works is to ignore all that logic stuff and go straight for the Obama Hate...and that means Dana Loesch at Big Lie, (and CNN too) who then says this proves Obama is controlling the liberal media bastion of ESPN because Kenny Mayne said something mean on Twitter about Sarah Palin, who is not President of anything and wasn't immediately flayed alive.  Step Three, The Faux-reakout.

Now the right wing blogs have picked up on this and are demanding that True Real American Patriots boycott ESPN (and watch FOX Sports, right?)  Step Four, The Growing Controversy.

Step Five, How Will Obama Handle This Mess He Created? is of course demanding that the White House "respond to this major controversy" when this "breaking story" is picked up by the rest of the Village.  ESPN analysts will be called in.  You will see Zinger on the TV talking politics.  Sports guys will become talking heads.

Step Six, We Declare Victory Over Obama is I don't know, a golf summit between Obama and Azinger, and then the RWNM attacks Obama for playing golf again (and POTUS has just proven that all he does is play golf!)

You see how this idiocy works, and yet it's the predictable news cycle and has been for three years plus now.  Every time.  More than cleaning out Washington of idiot politicians, we need to clean out idiot Villagers.

Rick Perry Signs Pact With Devil

WASHINGTON -- Republicans who support gay rights have seen their brief hopes for Rick Perry's candidacy dashed as old quotes surface, new pledges are signed and news of his forthcoming campaign events and associations emerges.

The Texas governor and leading presidential candidate briefly gave hope to the increasingly influential group of Republican LGBT advocates when he expressed his support for the rights of states to pass their own legislation governing marriage. Since then, however, he has said he would back a constitutional amendment banning the practice, while quotes from an old book surfaced in which he compared homosexuality to alcoholism. On Friday, meanwhile, Perry signed the National Organization for Marriage's pledge that would, among other things, commit him to support sending a federal marriage amendment to states upon becoming president.

It gets worse. This self-righteous bastard has decided to take it upon himself to define what families are, what marriage is, and what lifestyles are protected by the federal government. He has now committed to warfare on the rights of the very people he wants to lead. How can someone who does not understand or believe in freedom ever protect it? How does someone who goes back on their word and flip on a moment's notice dare claim to be strong and honest?  If moral differences are enough to ignore someone's rights, then who is next?  We're not talking about the general disdain that has become the stance of the Republican party, but a rabid attack on a gay citizen's right to function in society as a legal and equal adult.  That's above and beyond the call of discrimination, which you can tell because it is setting off alarms.

"It is unfortunate Governor Perry decided to turn to a big government, anti-conservative position by signing the National Organization for Marriage’s pledge," said R. Clarke Cooper, Executive Director of the Log Cabin Republicans. "This pledge is out of step with America and the general electorate the GOP needs to win the White House."

"Recent comments by David Barton about the bipartisan achievements made in advance of civil marriage equality is a devise position and not helpful for Republicans to win in 2012," Cooper added. "Achievements made by former RNC Chairman, and Log Cabin member, Ken Mehlman actually strengthen our party and bring back voters in support of the pro-economic growth agenda advanced by Republican leadership. The 2012 election cycle is an opportunity to expand the Republican victories among younger voters, centrists and independents who remain critical for winning any election... Current RNC Chairman Reince Priebus just stated today, 'We need to provide a clear and articulate alternative to Obama.' Obama can be beat, however, the Republican path to victory is compromised when gay Americans are perceived as being attacked for just being how God created them."

Don't fall for that song and dance,either. I have no doubt their support of the gay population would die upon election. They are just courting them to avoid alienating a demographic that has developed quite a voice. I am not encouraged. It all comes back to beating Obama. Not leading the country, doing good for the people, or improving our economy. They just want to win, that's all.  Jackasses like Perry will flip and flop and go back on their word to win.

And if they do win (heaven forbid), we're boned. That's all there is to it. Republicans show no effort to uphold the Constitution, they just want to claim victory and tell people how to live. The fact that we are supposed to be able to chose for ourselves is not even a factor. We have a fundamental right to build and  choose our families and live how we please. While some people may say families can't be chosen, I disagree. I haven't seen my biological family in nearly 20 years, but I am surrounded by loving nieces, nephews, and in-laws. If I had chosen a woman instead of my furry half, I would expect the same rights and treatment under law.  If I lived with a woman, how would I be different in the eyes of the court?  What legal system holds someone as second class based upon a choice that is legal and is none of their damn business?  The legal system that we'd have if someone like Rick Perry's vision comes true.  What an asshole.

Will You Be Having The Crow, Mr. Nixon?

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A new Missouri law prohibiting teachers from having private online conversations with students suffered a double setback Friday. First, a judge blocked it from taking effect because of free speech concerns. Then the governor called for its repeal.

The law limiting teacher-student conversations through social networking sites such as Facebook had been scheduled to take effect Sunday. But Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem issued a preliminary injunction blocking it until at least February, saying the restrictions "would have a chilling effect" on free speech rights.

A couple of hours later, Gov. Jay Nixon said he would ask lawmakers to repeal the restrictions during a previously scheduled special session that starts Sept. 6. Nixon's request goes even further than the judge's order, which was confined to private conversations on non-work-related websites. The governor also wants lawmakers to reverse new restrictions on work-related websites and abolish a requirement for schools to develop written policies by January on teacher-student communications.

Jay Nixon should have had his ass ripped off and handed back to him the minute he started down this.  Now he's taking a step back, not because he realized it was a mistake but because he saw the possible political consequences of holding his ground.  Nixon has ambition and this could be a pebble in his shoe years from now, when he tries to convince us that he cares about the common fella.

It is up to the parents to allow or not allow Facebook access and monitor their children.  At a time when the state is making drastic cuts, the last thing we need is to take on a responsibility that clearly belongs to someone else.  Nice try, jackass.

Your Political Cartoon Of The Moment

Jim Morin of the Miami Herald:

Won't it be fun when Republicans block relief money for the Northeast in order to demand Social Security and Medicare cuts?

Ron Paul Says "Let Them Eat Hurri-Cake"

Hey folks back home in North Carolina, when you're digging out from Hurricane Irene this weekend, remember that under President Ron Paul, you wouldn't be getting a lick of help from the Feds.

"We should be like 1900. We should be like 1940, 1950, 1960," Paul told a reporter for NBC News after a lunch-time speech in Gilford, N.H. "I live on the Gulf Coast; we deal with hurricanes all the time. Galveston is in my district.”

"There's no magic about FEMA. They're a great contribution to deficit financing and quite frankly they don't have a penny in the bank. We should be coordinated but coordinated voluntarily with the states," Paul said. "A state can decide. We don't need somebody in Washington."

This isn’t the first time the libertarian-leaning Texas Congressman had made controversial remarks regarding FEMA. In a May 13 interview with CNN, Paul called for the elimination of the agency.

“Why should somebody from the central part of the United States rebuild my house? Why shouldn't I have to buy my own insurance and protect about the potential dangers,” Paul said. “Well, the reason we don't have market insurance is it's too expensive. Well, why is it expensive? Because it's dangerous. Well, so why should - why should we take money from somebody else who don't get the chance to live on the Gulf and make them pay to rebuild my house?”

It's your stupid fault for being North Carolinians.  You should pay the insurance market premium for living in a dangerous area.  Hurricanes are all about the freedom to have your entire town wrecked and you rebuilding it.  Telling the less fortunate to "deal with it" is the American Way.

On the other hand, President Ron Paul would give us interstate pit fights.  Probably actually taking place on actual interstates.  American exceptionalism through elimination of the weak and poor!  I'll tell ya, Thomas Jefferson totally put that in the original draft of the Declaration of Independence.

Just because Ron Paul is Lex Luthor and not Godzilla doesn't make the cities any less destroyed when he's done, folks.

StupidiNews, Weekend Edition!

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