Saturday, February 4, 2012

Last Call

Next time somebody says DEMOCRAT VOTER FRUAD ACORN BLAH BLOOGITY BLAH please calmly direct them to Indiana's GOP Secretary of State Charlie White being convicted on six of seven voting fraud felony counts.

Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White was convicted of six felonies early this morning, and consequently lost his job.

But the Republican could get it back soon.

White, 42, Fishers, plans to ask a judge to reduce his convictions – all class D felonies – to misdemeanors at sentencing. It’s uncertain whether that move would allow him to reclaim his job.

“We don’t know the right answer to that,” White said. “This is all very new.”

Shortly after White’s verdict was read, Gov. Mitch Daniels announced in a news release shortly before 3 a.m. that he has appointed Jerry Bonnet, White’s chief deputy, as interim secretary of state.

“I have chosen not to make a permanent appointment today out of respect for the judge’s authority to lessen the verdict to a misdemeanor and reinstate the elected office holder,” the Republican governor said in the news release. “If the felony convictions are not altered, I anticipate making a permanent appointment quickly.”

Now, if all of these players were Democrats, what would your reaction to this be, conservatives?  And what is Mitch Daniels thinking, allowing to keep a man convicted of voting fraud as the state's top election official if the charges get reduced to misdemeanors?  If any Democratic party governor tried that, it would be national news about the "corrupt Dem voting fraud machine".

But reports on the actually corrupt Republican voting fraud machine that exists to the point of a Secretary of State being convicted on voting fraud crimes?  Doesn't count.

It's Okay If You're A Republican(tm).

Chart Of Darkness

The problem with this Zero Hedge "implied unemployment rate" chart that the wingers are screaming about as proof of a massive "Democrat Party scam" is the fact that Tyler Durden ran the numbers back for 30 years and it exists all the way back to the Reagan era, and it shows that the "real" unemployment rate under President Bill Clinton was actually under two percent. Slick Willie was such a monster that he lowballed his numbers every month for both of his two terms and spotted himself a 4.0% plus unemployment rate instead, and then George W. Bush came along and quadrupled it from 2 percent to 8percent.

Not only that, but the implied rate under St. Ronaldus was far worse than anything currently under the Obama administration, meaning that if we're measuring who the worst President in history is by the implied unemployment rate and by how far the numbers are "lying" then that particular crown goes to Reagan. His guys basically shaved 3.5 points off the unemployment rate for the entirety of his first term and still got him re-elected overwhelmingly in 1984.  Of course, since that's the benchmark, it doesn't count.

You know, because President Obama is judged by a different standard for reasons that nobody on the right can seem to articulate...

Getting Serious On Syria, Part 5

With bloody crackdowns by the al-Assad regime continuing and Russia and China both vetoing at UN Security Council vote on what to do about it, CNN asks around for a number of scenarios on how things could play out in Syria and comes up with a number of possibilities.

Here are what I personally think are the three most likely ones, in the order of possibility:

Al-Assad’s regime yields to a transitional coalitional government 
This is basically the Arab League’s plan, and - by extension - what the United Nations would prefer. Ideally, this is accomplished without any dragged-out civil war that might tempt outside powers to intervene militarily.  Consider it a Libya-lite.

Because of the International Criminal Court’s reach, al-Assad would probably end up in some gorgeous “dacha” outside Moscow. The distracted West would love this outcome, as would any rival of Iran (the Turks and Saudis), but given Syria’s religious divisions, this would likely end up being a fairly unstable waypoint to something worse.  Right now, al-Assad shows no signs of submitting, so the longer the current fighting goes on, the more likely we’re looking at some serious - and permanent - dissolution of Syria as a unitary state.

And yes, I agree that this still leaves Syria as a major problem down the an election year here in the US.  But this scenario basically serves as a punt until 2013 after the US elections, which is why I think it's the most likely outcome.  Any UN Security Council action on Syria is going to become the proxy for President Obama's foreign policy going into November, and he will be ruthlessly attacked by the GOP no matter what he does.  This plan is what the US has been signaling since the start of the Syrian crackdowns, and the UN will now follow suit, including Russia.  Despite the veto, I foresee modified language that Russia and China can accept as the most likely eventual outcome.  It's a punt, and eventually Russia and China will take it as one and move on.

Al-Assad holds on as figurehead while a transitional government is negotiated
This would be more to Moscow’s liking. Vladimir Putin has drawn his “redline” on swift regime change but probably could stand some drawn-out version, so long as his fellow dictator wasn’t given the bum’s rush . . . to the International Criminal Court.

Putin is feeling pretty touchy right now about how far north the whole “spring” dynamic might extend, plus he desperately wants to hold onto Russia’s naval basing rights in Syria - as decrepit as those port facilities are.

But since these are mostly “nice to have” outcomes that speak to global perceptions of Russia’s superpower decline, it’s hard to imagine Putin going to the mat on this one, meaning al-Assad should keep his bags packed.

This second scenario may be the price for Putin's cooperation, plain and simple.  Putin may not push for more than this and likely he won't, but this is basically all the stuff in the first scenario, only Assad gets to "retire" somewhere afterwards.

Civil war is mercifully short, perhaps accelerated by a limited “Western” military intervention 
This truly would be the Libya-2 scenario, with NATO getting virtually pulled in by Turkey’s decision to expand its current sanctuary zones for refugees and opposition fighters into Syria proper. This creeping “no-something-zone” logically segues into Ankara openly supporting the Free Syrian Army in a game-changing bid to end the conflict on decisively Turkish terms. And you know what? Turkey’s NATO partners, being otherwise occupied with their own internal fiscal crises, might just silently go along with that.

Plus, this scenario has the added benefit of getting everyone off the Israel-Iran conflict.  I see this as less likely because of the elections, Republicans will simply scream nonsense that our NATO ally in Turkey is really under Islamist control and that they are dragging us into another deadly war, but the success of the Libya intervention really makes this more likely than letting Syria descend into mass bloodshed.

Personally I'm hoping for the first, planning for the second, and resigned to accept the third.  We'll see.  New tag:  This Is Syria's Business.

Bon Is Pissed, Part 2

This time I'm royally pissed.

Adam Lambert is set to replace Freddie Mercury?  What the ever lovin' hell is going on?

First, there is no replacing Mercury, one of the most brilliant musicians of our generation.  Ever.  He wasn't just a guy with a guitar, he was classically trained, brilliant and more talented than an entire stage of Adam Lamberts.  He left a footprint in musical style and brought a whole new sound to life.  His whole existence was an accomplishment.

Adam Lambert?  You've got to be kidding me.  Though he is equally annoying, Justin "you will someday find out I am the antichrist" Bieber would be a more suitable choice.  He is more than just a voice, he is at least a true and honest musician.  I have heard and seen Lambert perform.  He is one-dimensional, and gimmicky.

I'm not just pissed. I am white hot nuclear meltdown pissed, and I will never, ever get over this.  While keeping Queen going, there were hundreds, no thousands, of better choices.

The only thing I hear now is the quiet sound of my Saturday going to hell.  Adam Lambert can feel free to hitch a ride.

Bon Is Pissed, Part 1

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Another teacher has been arrested at Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles on allegations of lewd acts on young pupils, authorities said Friday.

Capt. Mike Parker of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department said that Friday's arrest is "quite different" from the arrest earlier this week of another teacher, Mark Berndt.

Berndt, 61, was accused of taking bondage photos of more than two dozen students in his classroom, some showing suspected semen-filled spoons at the children's mouths, authorities said.

Investigators from the special victims bureau arrested the second teacher, Martin Bernard Springer, 49, of Alhambra, California, on Friday, Parker told reporters. Springer's arrest came after investigators received "new information" on Thursday morning that led them to the teacher.
Authorities say that the allegations involved two young girls "who were allegedly fondled in the classroom" by the suspect, Parker said.

The girls were about 7 at the time of the alleged offenses, which occurred "during the past three years," Parker said.

By all means, read the full article. I actually left out some information because I just couldn't quite bring myself to put it in this article.

I don't give a crap about No Child Left Behind. I'm sick of standardized testing scandals. I want to see a nationwide focus on protecting our kids from this.  This right here, which is happening all over the place.  From coast to coast, we have teachers abusing young children, and aren't even bothered to read the full story when a teacher takes sexual advantage of high school students.

They deserve our protection, and for God's sake, they deserve our effort to keep this from happening.  If that means orientation that tells kids what to report, cameras in classrooms, or whatever else it might take.

Taking Stock Of President Obama

And while nobody noticed in the "liberal" media today, both the Dow and the NASDAQ quietly hit milestones on Friday's close under President Obama's supposedly "anti-capitalist" business policies and "crushing regulatory burden" imposed on our poor corporations.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 156.82 points (1.23 percent) to finish at 12,860.23, its highest closing level since May 2008.

The Nasdaq Composite added 45.98 (1.61 percent) to 2,905.66, its best close since December 2000 and the collapse.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 19.36 (1.46 percent) to 1,344.90.

"The S&P 500 Index extended its best start to a year since 1989 as positive employment data brought bids to risk assets," Wells Fargo Advisors analysts said.

Yep, looks like the markets really, really hate President Obama and can't wait to be rid of him.   Why, he's put 6,000 points back on the Dow, doubled the S&P 500 and more than doubled the NASDAQ composite off their early 2009 crash lows.  But he's bad for business, and you'll hear that lie every day from our media for the next nine months.

Now think of where the economy would be without House Republicans blocking everything.  You know what?  You can fix that in November.

StupidiNews, Weekend Edition!

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