Sunday, February 5, 2012

Last Call

MoDo The Red may actually have found somebody she despises more than Michelle Obama: Callista Gingrich.

IF you want to figure out why Newt Gingrich is still out there grasping for lost power, howling at the moon like King Lear, look to Callista. 

You can find her anytime standing statue-still on stage next to Newt as he speaks, gazing at him with such frozen attentiveness that she could give a master class to Nancy Reagan. 

Yeah, at this point she's blaming Callista for Newt still being in the race.  She hates Michelle Obama, but man if she were in an elevator with Callista, MoDo would stab her.  Like, 27 times.

In business, the Transformational Wife is less complicated. In politics, she’s a double-edged spouse. She feeds his ego like a goose destined for pâté, but drains support among some women and some evangelicals who disapprove of a man who keeps trading in wives, even sick ones. 

At the Texas meeting of evangelicals last month, one of the leaders, James Dobson, questioned whether Callista, “a mistress for eight years,” as he put it, would make a good first lady. 

Gingrich’s communications director, Joe DeSantis, has airbrushed Callista’s Wikipedia page 23 times since 2008, often to banish unflattering details from the site, according to BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski. 

DeSantis edited the introduction, taking out the fact that she is “the third wife of,” and excising the sentence, “She met her husband while he was in the House, and had an affair while he was conducting the impeachment investigation for President Bill Clinton.” 

As The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza reported, the top Google search for Gingrich in Florida during the primary there was “Callista,” right up there with “Newt wives” and “Newt scandals.” 

That may be why she has a largely nonspeaking role in the campaign, as silent as the slender heroine of “The Artist,” even though Newt relays that she has described herself as a hybrid of Nancy Reagan, Laura Bush and Jackie Kennedy. The campaign does not want to remind voters that the relationship, portrayed as so redemptive, was born in sin and hypocrisy.
Damn.  I mean I know it's petty, catty malarkey and all (MoDo's specialty) but it's just as awful when directed at Republicans as it is when it's directed at the First Lady.  The difference is that she's right about Newt's hypocrisy, but directing that anger at Callista isn't healthy.  Pin it on Newt, where it belongs.

And stop penning columns while drunk.

Learning To Fail... It's A Good Thing

A top girls' school is planning a "failure week" to teach pupils to embrace risk, build resilience and learn from their mistakes.

The emphasis will be on the value of having a go, rather than playing it safe and perhaps achieving less.

Pupils at Wimbledon High School will be asked how they feel when they fail.

The headmistress, Heather Hanbury, said she wanted to show "it is completely acceptable and completely normal not to succeed at times in life."

Ms Hanbury's pupils achieve some of the highest exam scores - but from Monday they will be invited to focus on failure.

There's a lot to be learned in failing.  It is inevitable when experimenting.  It is how boundaries are found and limits are established.  Failure is a part of life, and people who go out of their way to avoid it can shortchange themselves.  Learning how to deal with it and absorb all the necessary lessons will go further.  Fear of failure can be crippling, liberating people of that can set them free to dream big.

Perhaps nobody is as eloquent regarding failure as Thomas Edison.

“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” 
― Thomas A. Edison

“Five percent of the people think; 
ten percent of the people think they think; 
and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.” 
― Thomas A. Edison

“Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” 
― Thomas A. Edison

“We often miss opportunity because it's dressed in overalls and looks like work” 
― Thomas A. Edison

I really went in search of the first one, but the others seemed relevant enough to include.  We should not be afraid to fail, only of failing to learn our lessons from having done so.

Greek Fire, Part 50

And as we reach the big five oh in the Greek Fire series, we have a very instructive video lesson from Irish economist David McWilliams about why European austerity has failed, and why the latest EU German/French plan of requiring balanced budgets will end the euro, the EU, and most likely crash the global economy yet again.

Bon tells me she's learned a lot from my series on the Greek Fire, so this video is yet another helpful tool to explain what's going on over there.  Watch:

Now here's the killer: keep in mind that what Germany and France are demanding from the EU is the same exact thing that Republicans are demanding from the 99% here in America:  that taxpayers have to foot the bill for the bank's losses over the last 4 years, and as a result we must balance the budget at the expense of social programs or face collapse, they tell us.  We have no choice, they assure us.  Austerity on an unprecedented scale, another Herbert Hoover collapse into depression, is all but assured in Europe now.

What's going on in Europe right now is where we'll be under another GOP regime in 2013 with similar results:  massive austerity that will destroy growth, reward the 1%, transfer wealth and power upwards, and will continue until we all demand it ends.  It will create massive economic inequality.  And economic inequality always leads to crashes.

Do take a look.  We don't have anything close to a debt crisis now.  We will if the Republicans win in 2012.

Leaving Las Vegas

Mittens took the Nevada Caucuses last night by a substantial margin over Newt, and in his victory speech Romney once again attacked President Obama for destroying capitalism, even as the job numbers have shown recent and real improvement.

Romney thanked supporters at his campaign headquarters in Las Vegas, telling them that, "This isn't the first time you gave me your vote of confidence, but this time I'm going to take it to the White House," alluding to his win in Nevada in 2008.

But then he turned his attention to President Barack Obama, saying Nevada has had enough of his kind of help in fixing its home mortgage crisis and that he failed at bringing down unemployment, saying, "America has also had enough of your kind of help."

Entering the race as front-runner, Romney had largely ignored his Republican rivals and focused on Obama. But as Gingrich rose to challenge him in polls, he was forced to address the other candidates in the race.

His victory speech was a one-on-one with Obama.

"This president began his presidency by apologizing for America. He should now be apologizing to America," Romney told cheering supporters.

Never mind the fact that the "Obama apology tour" nonsense is a lie, the "YOUR kind of help" is code-word racist garbage, and that the President has failed to bring down unemployment is also a massive load of bull.  It doesn't matter.

The Republican spin is now "The Red State Recovery."

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), a Mitt Romney surrogate, said Sunday that the improving economic situation is thanks to Republican governors, not President Obama.

"Look, I'm glad the economy is starting to recover but I think it's because of what Republican governors are doing in their states. Not because of the president," McDonnell said on CNN's State of the Union.

"It's been a complete failure of leadership," he said of Obama.

Got that?  When the economy is bad, it's because "President Obama's policies are destroying business."  When the economy is improving, it's "Republican Governors are leading the way."  And President Obama?  He's "bribing the voters" with your money.

During his victory speech following the Nevada caucuses, the candidate told a crowd of supporters that voters shouldn’t expect a “free ticket” when he is president.

“I will not attempt to bribe the voters with promises of new programs and new subsidies and ever-increasing checks from government,” Romney declared. “If this election is a bidding war for who can promise the most benefits then I’m not your president. You have that president today.”

“I’m asking each of you to remember how special it is to be an American. I want you to remember why it was that you or your ancestors, who sacrificed to come to America and to overcome the challenges of life in a new country, why they came here. It was not for a free ticket; it was for freedom.”

And those of us whose ancestors didn't have much of a choice when they came here, well, you don't count.

They will never give the President credit.  Never.  That's because all they have has is lies and they know it.  They're counting on America to either believe them or be so turned off they refuse to vote.  Either way, they win.  That's why taking a President Obama victory for granted in November is a massive mistake.  Get out there and counter the lies among your friends and family.

And vote.  Your country depends on it.

Octogenarian Gets Titanium Jaw

Too bad she isn't a boxer.

This improves quality, wait time and recovery time. Unless she starts asking everyone if they are Sarah Connor we have quite a medical advancement here.

The University of Hasselt (Belgium) announced today that Belgian and Dutch scientists have successfully replacing a lower jaw with a 3D printed model for a 83 year-old woman. According to the researchers, It is the first custom-made implant in the world to replace an entire lower jaw.

This development is led by Research Institute BIOMED at Hasselt University, in collaboration with surgeons from the Netherlands, including the Orbis Centre in Sittard-Geleen, Xilloc Medical BV, Maastricht and Cam bioceramics BV in Leiden.

The 3D printer prints titanium powder layer by layer, while a computer controlled laser ensures that the correct particles are fused together. Using 3D printing technology, less materials are needed and the production time is much shorter than traditional manufacturing. The mandible was finally given a bioceramic coating compatible with the patient's tissue by BioCeramics in Leiden. The artificial jaw weighs 107 grams, it is only 30 grams heavier than a natural jaw, but the patient can easily get used to it.

The operation was performed in June last year in the hospital in Sittard-Geleen. One day later the lady could start talking and swallowing.

"Computer technology is causing a revolution in medical industry", said professor Jules Poukens from BIOMED. "A traditional surgery takes up to 20 hours, and the patient should definitely stay 2 to 4 weeks in the hospital. But this operation lasted four hours and the woman could go home after four days."

Ron Paul Gets Brutally Honest

There's candid, there's revealingly honest, and then there's too much information.  Pretty much everything out of Ron Paul's mouth goes into the third category.

In an interview from Las Vegas on Piers Morgan Tonight, Morgan asked whether as a man with daughters and granddaughters, Rep. Paul (R-TX) thinks that abortion is warranted if a woman has been impregnated by a rapist.

“If it’s an honest rape,” Paul replied, “that individual should go immediately to the emergency room, I would give them a shot of estrogen.” He claimed, however, that if a woman is “seven months pregnant” and says that she was raped, “It’s a little bit of a different story.”

The candidate was not forthcoming as to precisely how the “story” is different or what constitutes an “honest rape” versus a dishonest one.

Given Ron Paul's known views on social issues from his newsletter, my immediate thought is that Paul meant "honest rape" as "physically against the woman's will as part of a brutal crime, probably committed by a slope-brow minority" as opposed to a dishonest one, which is "she really meant yes all along, the bitch."

Not sure which is worse.  I am sure that Ron Paul is arguably one of the least deserving human beings on earth to have a leadership position in US politics.

The Hunt For October Surprise

If you want to know what the GOP agenda is for 2012, this week was an excellent barometer: the effort to turn Bush-created executive branch programs into impeachable Obama offenses is the only thing congressional Republicans now have left on their dance card.

Following a recent promise by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) “to do a better job of holding [President Obama] accountable,” the White House was in the GOP’s crosshairs this week on two highly controversial issues: Solyndra and Operation Fast and Furious.

Two-dozen House Republicans pressed Attorney General Eric Holder on Friday to invalidate a 2011 Energy Department restructuring agreement that ensured private investors who agreed to inject more capitol into failed solar firm Solyndra would be repaid ahead of the taxpayer if the company collapsed.

The day before, a bevy of GOP lawmakers on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee grilled Holder for four hours over his role in the botched gun tracking operation Fast and Furious, which oversaw the sale of nearly 2,000 guns to known and suspected straw purchasers for Mexican drug cartels in the southwest and may have contributed to the murder of a federal agent.

The hearings this week come in the aftermath of a speech Boehner delivered to the Republican think tank, the Ripon Society, in which the top House Republican said his majority needs to hold a tougher line when it comes to oversight of the White House.

“He’s clearly trying to make this about everything other than his own records, so he’s going to beat up on the Congress and do a lot of other things,” said Boehner last week ahead of Obama’s State of the Union address.

The reason why neither investigation has gotten anywhere after nearly a dozen hearings total over the last 12 months is that both programs that created these "fiascos" were Bush-era holdoversThree separate "gunwalker" operations were implemented in the Bush DEA/ATF and dozens of alternative energy companies got investments under the Bush Energy Department (including Solyndra) and yes, some of them went under.  These same Republicans did nothing then.

But when these things happen under a Democrat, he's a "thug", a "tyrant", a "criminal".  Holding as many hearings about these two subjects is literally the only thing the House GOP actually plans to do for the rest of the year.  It's not like the economy is still shaky and people are suffering.  Nope, time to go after the President.
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