Thursday, January 5, 2012

Last Call

Rick Santorum fails at spin so badly, it makes me wish for the relative Oscar Wilde-level erudition of one Michele Bachmann.

Epic Fail.

“I looked at that, and I didn't say that. If you look at it, what I started to say is a word and then sort of changed and it sort of - blah - came out. And people said I said ‘black.’ I didn't," Santorum said while smiling away.

“And I can tell you, I don't use - I don't - first off, I don't use the term ‘black’ very often. I use the term ‘African-American’ more than I use ‘black' ... I think sometimes you want to give someone the benefit of the doubt if it's a little bit of a blurred word."

That may in fact be the most lame thing of the year, and the year is 5 days old. It's so lame I'm giving Santorum his own tag: The Misadventures Of Rick's Slick.

Local Stupidity: Ya Freaking Think So?

In 2010 Nick Ibarra was involved in a hit and run.  He called the police and no charges were filed.  He came clean about the circumstances and all was resolved.  The only thing that set him apart from anyone else is that he was on the Springfield City Council.

Springfield City Council has been plagued by problems in the last few years.  Citizens resent many decisions and behaviors they demonstrate.  My personal pet peeve is that they have forced our city to suffer under Mediacom cable company, thanks to an exclusive deal they signed we have no competition in our area.  Several other people were angered when the city was trying to decide how to fund the firemen and policemen pension funds.  In the middle of a discussion, the city won a huge settlement, money that was meant for the people of Springfield.  Ibarra was one of the people who took the entire settlement and gave it to the pension fund.  The citizens of Springfield were not only not involved, they were intentionally bypassed.

But now Ibarra has created more legal troubles, and the local paper is calling for him to step down.  The News-Leader has no balls when it comes to their opinions but they respectfully ask Ibarra to walk away until his legal battles are over.  What legal battles?  Well, it doesn't look good.

First, on Thanksgiving afternoon, he was involved in a "road rage" incident that resulted in injuries.  The details were fuzzy then, they are no clearer now.  In fact, when the story was first released it wasn't even clear which end of the incident Ibarra was on.  Now we know he was on the "rage" side of the ordeal.  But now he has an actual felony to worry about.  It seems in a domestic disturbance he has been accused of unlawful use of a weapon.  No matter how you slice it, that's bad news.

What we have is a chance to clean out our City Council.  Will it happen?  Well, at least one of them is on the way out. There's a lot more to do, but it's a start.

So Long, Pie Fairy

For 35 years, a pecan pie was delivered to Bill Welch.  He thought his adult daughters were behind it, but they denied all involvement.  In fact, they encouraged him to throw the pies away because they were concerned.  Bill ate the pies, and never suffered an ill effect.  Until recent years, they were handmade.  This year, the tradition will come to an end, with a farewell note from the fairy.

“It has been a great ride,” the fairy wrote. “Still not telling you who I am yet, but my wings are shorter now and I am a little too fat to fly anymore. But I still love you!!”

The note that announced the end of the pie gifts concluded this way: “Won’t say bye or so long, just . . . keep on keeping on!”

Certainly good advice for a man in his late 80s. I'm sure he has wondered over the years, it's sad to think that too much time may pass for the fairy to reveal their identity. It has been a long run, but it would be a shame to never know.

Parenting Logic: Returning To The Basics

I have followed a lot of Stupid Parent Tricks lately, researching for a larger piece that I am writing.  Once in a while, I come across a gem that echoes my opinion that parents are not doing enough to teach their children life skills, moderation and how to deal with disappointment.

This article is from my local paper, and explains why teaching kids moderation and decision making is a better solution than just banning sodas.  The reality is, everyone gets a Coke once in a while, even kids.  The other reality is parents supply the soda or the soda money and fail to set a good example.

A long but awesome piece talks about why letting your kids have tantrums is a good thing.  It clearly defines the difference between appropriate times of comfort and letting toddlers holding families hostage to their mood swings.  It also explains how our reactions teach kids how to differentiate between "oh drat" and "I'm in agony" because in infants the reaction is the same.  Giving fair allowance to how our bodies and minds are trained to comfort children, it reminds us that "no" is a good word for kids to learn.  Limits and boundaries are necessary, and while it's tempting to give in when we reward bad behavior we are guaranteeing more will follow.

For parents who are feeling overwhelmed or unsure of how to regain control over their children's behavior, this is for you.

"Why We Should Let Men Cheat On Their Wives" And Other BS

I'm going to  go into this saying I understand and agree with a few points from this article.  Our world has changed rapidly, as has our concept of marriage, raising kids, and what is normal for families.  The article makes several points that illustrate why men are physically and socially engineered to cheat, and how they can bang a waitress and still love their wife.  In other words, have their cake and eat it too at someone else's expense.  I call bullshit, but more on that in a minute.

It is a starting point for another honest discussion we need to encourage young people to have once in a relationship.  Girls in my generation were taught to be business moms.  We were supposed to wear suits with shoulder pads, and juggle family and work with a bemused grin.  Clair Huxtable is the perfect example of what I mean.  We were encouraged to marry young and know our path in the workforce well before we could buy a drink.  Times have changed so much, and young adults are slower to marry and at least more honest about promiscuous behavior.  The dynamics have changed and we should empower people to say what they want in a relationship.  That means all people on board are making informed decisions.  

My major problem with the article is that it has a "oh those rascals, who can blame them" tone that really annoys me.  There's more to cheating that a bump and a giggle.  There is the possibility of pregnancy, disease, stalking and a thousand other Very Bad Things.  When one spouse has no idea they are being exposed to those risks, it's not fair.  When the person brought into the affair doesn't have full disclosure, that is equally wrong.  The difference is intent and honoring the other person's right to make decisions for themselves based on facts.  The article is written in the wrong slant, it says "controlling one's partner to prevent it only makes matters worse -- it makes them want to leave you."  It should say "be honest with your partner so you two can decide if what you want is right for both of you, or just you."

The article doesn't address women cheating.  Infidelity is painful regardless of gender, a woman cheating is equally as despicable, right?  Or because we aren't engineered to do so, is it more of a crime against our partner?  Feels like more BS to me.

It's all about choice.  People are going to live how they wish, there's no point in trying to enforce a stranger's morals on a group of adults, and why should we?  However, we need to understand the complexity of relationships and respect for other's rights to know what is going on in their marriage.  That is the trick for more than just this problem, but perhaps our divorce rate and the issues of blended families as well.

The Odious Attempt To Stop Cordray And The CFPB

The path Republicans are choosing to take as their response to yesterday's recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau goes through our old friend, The Odious Patrick McHenry.

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) wrote to Richard Cordray Wednesday to request his presence on Jan. 24 to discuss how he will "implement and enforce the unparalleled powers of your new office."

Cordray was the subject of a partisan firestorm Wednesday, after President Obama opted to circumvent Republican opposition and recess-appoint him to head the new agency, created by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

Exacerbating GOP ire is the fact that Republicans do not consider the Senate to technically be in recess, because several brief pro forma hearings have been held during the holiday break in an effort to block such recess appointments. Several Republican lawmakers have called Obama's move unprecedented, with some suggesting it violates the Constitution.

McHenry said in his letter that the appointment is in "apparent contravention of constitutional requirements."

However, White House attorneys have concluded that the seconds-long pro forma sessions do not actually prevent a recess, freeing the president to push through picks during congressional breaks.

The CFPB declined to comment on whether Cordray would agree to testify, but if he did, he would be squaring off against a GOP lawmaker with a history of feuding with the CFPB.

So McHenry wants a another public screaming fit involving Cordray, the CFPB, and President Obama, does he?  I'm not sure what he's trying to accomplish other than to become the very visible poster child for the GOP backing the big banks over the voters in an election year.  I hope he's ready for that.  There are a couple of Democratic challengers back home waiting for him this year.

Just playing this confrontation between McHenry and Elizabeth Warren should be enough to get the attention of all the unemployed folks back where I grew up.  Since McHenry took office, unemployment has tripled from around 5% to nearly 15% in parts of his district.

So go for it, Pat.

Another Milepost On The Road To Oblivion

It seems 2012 is the year that Birthers make their court challenges to President Obama's "eligibility" as a birth certificate issue in as many states as possible.  This week, Birther Queen Orly Taitz takes her pretty little hate machine to Georgia.

Deputy Chief Judge Michael Malihi in the Office of State Administrative Hearings denied a motion by Obama asking to dismiss the complaint that seeks to keep his name off the state ballot during the March presidential primary. The judge’s decision now sets the stage for a Jan. 26 hearing on the issue in Fulton County.

Obama is not required to attend the hearing, a court official said.

Initially filed in November by Taitz on behalf of a Georgia resident, the complaint argues that Obama isn’t a natural born citizen and is ineligible from being president.“He does not satisfy the ‘natural born citizen’ constitutional requirement for President to be on the ballot due to his foreign citizenship and allegiance to three other nations,” the documents state.

On her blog, Taitz lauded the judge’s ruling, claiming she could now depose Obama.

“I can now depose Obama and everybody else (i)nvolved without any impediment,” the California attorney posted on her website.

It will never end, frankly.  They'll try to knock him out in every state they can in order to give the win to the Republicans.  The Republicans of course can pretend they wash their hands of this, but the reality is they want to see as many of these lawsuits as possible so that they can continue to attack the President on these idiotic grounds.

They'll do anything to stop the re-election of a black President, especially since they know it's possible for him to win.


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