Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Last Call

And a final Valentine's Day thought from Lexington Herald-Leader cartoonist Joel Pett:

Hope you had a good day, folks.

Use Only As Directed

Steve M. has a very valid point here that for the GOP fat cats pulling the levers of power in the party, what they want most out of a nominee for President is a compliant, spineless idiot who can make the sale.  Eight years of George W. Bush was pure bliss for them.  Now they want Mitt Romney to finish the deal.  Anyone who expects a Romney administration to pivot to the center is in for a shock.  Grover Norquist and his tax cuts uber alles goons are already bragging about pulling his strings.

The principal piece of "legislation that has already been prepared," and that Romney would rubber-stamp, is, according to Norquist, the Paul Ryan budget.

I find that entirely plausible. It exactly matches the M.O. of all the GOP governors who got elected in 2010: Get in and start enacting the agenda before the voters know what hit them. (And, yes, I know that doing this got most of the Teabag Year Zero governors into trouble with the voters, but I'm not sure their demise is guaranteed, and I'm not sure they care in any case. I'm sure the Kochs and their allies will take care of all of them if they get big chunks of the wingnut agenda enacted and then lose office via electoral defeat or recall.)

Let's recall under Bush, we took a surplus and spent it into complete oblivion through tax cuts and war spending, a deadly combination that completely broke our economy in roughly six years.  Now they want to double down on those same policies and finish the job with their plan to starve out the federal government.

But notice that when it comes right down to it, Norquist may not have the kind of control over the GOP he thinks he does.  Orange Julius completely bailed yesterday on offsetting the payroll tax cut with spending cuts, and now Old-Age Mutant Nimrod Turtle Mitch McConnell is saying hes not happy with the idea at all.  Norquist wants to see both types of cuts, not one or the other.

But I certainly wouldn't expect Mitt Romney to stand up to Norquist.  Not after this.  Neither should any voters expect that either.

Also, I'm soooooo keeping "Old-Age Mutant Nimrod Turtle" as Mitch McConnell's tag now.

Non-Special Non-Delivery

And now it's time for one of those policy decisions the President is proposing that I disagree with, and that's ending Saturday mail delivery for the US Postal Service in order to save money in the 2013 budget.  I find myself in agreement with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont:

“(The president) is wrong to suggest the ending of Saturday mail delivery service,” Independent Senator Bernie Sanders told Reuters. “In the long run, if the Postal Service is to grow and become financially stronger, speed and maintaining the current mail delivery standards are terribly important.”

Rural lawmakers have criticized bills in the House of Representatives and Senate for allowing the Postal Service to close some post offices and processing facilities. The White House plan is silent on the issue.

The agency is considering closing thousands of facilities this year. Postal officials agreed to a moratorium on closings until mid-May but are continuing to look at which facilities should close.

More than 100 lawmakers in the House sent a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe on Monday calling for the agency to consider obtaining more data before closing post offices. They cited a recent report from the Postal Regulatory Commission that said the service could have done more analysis to determine which post offices to close.

“The closure of post offices, stations and branches will undoubtedly affect communities and lead to the loss of middle class jobs,” the letter states.

Living here in Kentucky, the loss of rural postal jobs is not something that will go unnoticed around here.  And frankly, the USPS provides good jobs for hundreds of thousands across the country.  Cutting tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of postal jobs is a pretty horrific mistake, and Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown is fighting to keep those jobs, having bought mail processing centers and post offices in the area until May 15th.

I'm really not sure the Obama administration is choosing to look the other way on the Post Office, and especially why while the President insists we need to spend more money on the country's basic infrastructure to create jobs, a working postal system and preserving tens of thousands of jobs there is not among those infrastructure priorities.

This is something I hope the President can be convinced to come around on, and I'm glad to see Sherrod Brown and yes, even Bernie Sanders leading the way on this issue.  That's why there's more than one branch of government, folks.  The executive is not infallible.

A Valentine's Day Love Story

DALLAS (AP) – Diane Aulger was about two weeks from her delivery date when she and her husband decided there was no time to wait: Mark Aulger had only days to live, and he wanted to see his child.

Diane Aulger had her labor induced and gave birth to their daughter Jan. 18. When tiny Savannah was placed in his arms, Mark Aulger "cried, and he just looked very sad," his wife said. He died five days later from complications related to his cancer treatment.

Aulger was already experiencing "pre-labor" symptoms, so the induced labor wasn't pushing the time up much. The staff wheeled Mark in, and their beds were side by side while his daughter was born. He held her for about 45 minutes, and he got to see her face. Though she won't have any memories to keep with her, he died knowing her, and her older siblings will help her know him through stories and pictures.

That's what love is. Now go hug somebody.

Hef's Son Arrested For Domestic Violence

There is a lot left unsaid in the articles (who would dare take on The Hef?) but TMZ says Marston Hefner is suspected of injuring Playmate of the Year Claire Sinclair.  They have been an off and on again couple and he admits to an argument, but not to striking her.  Every other version is of the news break is much more safely worded, but TMZ's version is detailed and decidedly Not Nice.  Good old Harvey hates to be wrong, so I imagine the facts will line up with them, if not every detail.

Apparently, the injuries were serious enough to warrant an emergency restraining order.  I'm curious to see what comes out over the next few days.

I, Douchebag On iTunes

Apple and Sony, you lose at all the things for this.

Apple and Sony Music are being criticized after the price of one Whitney Houston album more than doubled following the singer’s tragic death.

Digital Spy first reported that the price of Houston’s 2007 Ultimate Collection skyrocketed from £3 ($4.70) to £7.99 ($12.60) within 30 minutes of her death on Saturday.

“To say I am angry is an understatement and I feel it is just a case of iTunes cashing in on the singer’s death, which in my opinion is totally parasitic,” one fan, who spent two hours trying to buy the album at the old price, told Digital Spy.

“The album itself is great so please don’t be put off purchasing it, just [realize] that you will merely be lining some fatcat’s pocket before Whitney’s lifeless body is cold.”

Regardless of price, Houston’s albums are expected to stay at the top of the charts for the next few weeks.

By Monday, seven of her albums were on Amazon’s top ten list. Her 1992 remake of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” was the number one single on iTunes. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” also made it on to the the top ten list.

Houston died Saturday, aged 48, in a Beverly Hills hotel on the eve of the Grammys, triggering shock and a wave of tributes as music stars gathered for the annual awards show.

I hope the ghost of Steve Jobs is haunting some executives right the hell now.  PS, Apple, this is why when it comes to content, I choose to do business with your competitors like Amazon.  Not that Amazon is full of sainted individuals either, they're just not quite as obviously money-grubbing douchebags.

The GOP Gets That Poll-Asked Look, Yet Again

Both the latest Public Policy Polling and Pew Research polls contain some very interesting data to pore over.  First, both polls show Santorum now ahead of Romney. PPP has him up BIG in Michigan's primary at the end of the month, 39-24%, while Pew has a much narrower 30-28% lead for Frothmaster General nationally.  Either one is very, very bad news for Mittens.

PPP's poll concentrates on the upcoming Michigan primary, which is open.  Among Democrats and Independents polled, Santorum is doing very well (which makes me think more than a few Michigan Dems want to stick it to Mitt "Let Detroit Die" Romney and prolong the pain, if you're a Michigan Dem, make sure you ruin Mittens' day, will you?)

Nationally, Santorum's lead in the polls is majorly helped by Christian evangelicals and Tea Party voters, both of whom are for Santorum nationally at 40%+ and rising.  The conservatives are beginning to lock on to Ricky here, and that can't be good for Mitt at all.

If Mitt can't close the gap in Michigan especially, where his own father was governor, then Super Tuesday may just be the event that breaks this open into a brokered convention.

And I can't wait.  Chaos reigns supreme.

StupidiNews, Valentine's Day Edition!

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