Obvious Observations

There are several news stories and events that I have random thoughts on and I decided to throw them out there.

  • Am I the only one who is sickened by people who are upset that the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, didn’t die quick enough for them. I mean you can debate whether he ever should have been released and it should be investigated whether the BP connection really was there, but my god people, wishing someone to die quicker is pretty sick.
  • The miners trapped in Chile…I’ve heard people talk about the mental problems it will cause and whether they will be able to survive mentally. I immediately thought about prisoners who are put in solitary confinement and how that affects them mentally. I know we aren’t ever concerned about prisoners, people really have no compassion for prisoners whether they were busted for a joint or they murdered someone…they are all the same right, criminals. Until it is your nephew or niece, then they all of a sudden they become people. I think the miners are going to be just fine, now the prisoners I’m not so sure about. When they get released into society, then we can all see how that works out.
  • To all the people on the left who scream and yell about warrantless wiretapping of American citizens and internet privacy, have you ever heard of cookies (browser type cookies not chocolate chip)? How about spyware? I’ve heard and read several stories about how marketers know every little damn thing about us, target their ads to individual people and how there are massive databases on our every move we make. So if the marketers can know everything about us, what is the big deal with the government knowing the same info. At least their goals of protecting the public from terrorism is a noble goal, instead of a capitalistic one. And yes, I don’t like it when Republicans are in control but that is the price we pay for our democracy. I have a friend who was always paranoid about being watched and listened to by “the man” or big brother and I remember thinking to myself, what the hell do they want to spy on me for? They are wasting their damn time spying on me and since I’m not doing anything to be worried about, why worry about it?
  • Republicans lie without conscience. They actually just make shit up, with no basis in reality and then spread it around to purposely mislead their own followers. Do they really think it is healthy to lie to their mindless followers? I’m certainly no saint and have done my fair share of embellishing or covering my own ass, but I don’t ever remember just making shit up and then spreading it around. What kind of morals do these people really have that they can look themselves in the mirror and think, it’s OK to just make shit up to hurt other people and then realize…Oh no, I’m late for church.

Get A Job Robert Reich!

Is Robert Reich bitter about not getting a job in the Obama administration? Why doesn’t he get a real job and get the hell off my television. Both him and Howard Dean seem to have nothing better to do than to sell their own brands on cable news. They are the fallback critics of everything the Democrats have been doing since Obama took office. They are shameless self promoters who like to shift blame from wherever it belongs….congress, Republicans, media…to the Obama administration. That’s not to say that the administration doesn’t deserve some blame occasionally, but these guys clearly have issues with the current administration. They love to say “they should do this or they should have done that”. Arm chair Monday morning quarterbacks who love the sound of their own voices and the cable networks just love bringing them on to blather their egotistical blather. For supposed Democrats, they sure spend a lot of time bashing Democrats when they should be helping their own party and attacking the real problem, the party of no.

Updated

I read a piece from Reich the other day on the Fuckington Post and of course saw him on the television saying “It’s nonsense to think of the economy heading downward again into a double-dip recession when most Americans never emerged from the first dip.” What is nonsense is that someone who is supposed to be an economist is helping to spread misinformation about the economy for his own egotistical gain…or monetary, who knows? The definition of a recession is very clear, it is defined as a decline in GDP for two or more consecutive quarters. GDP has been growing…we are in a recovery. Yes, the last couple of quarters have been pretty anemic, but growth is better than contraction. Reich and others have been mixing up jobs growth with GDP growth and trying to change the definition of what a recession is. Why would they do that? To keep themselves in the limelight, to get clicks (I’m looking at you Arianna) and to make a little money on spreading the misinformation.  We have enough ignorance in this country, we don’t need supposed liberal economists spreading more misinformation to the idiot masses.

The Republican Party in a Nutshell – Emphasis on “Nut”

Big thanks to Karoli at Crooks and Liars for the link to this post by Howie Klein at DownWithTyranny. He said so many things that I have been thinking. Enjoy some pieces below but go read the whole thing and you should bookmark it for future reading too.

When this whole mosque/cultural center nonsense began to be trumped up out of nothing by the right wing element and their hack media outlets, I wasn’t going to write anything about it because I felt it was getting plenty of exposure, but then, I started thinking it’s not just about the mosque story but also about what this story says about the minds of those who vote Republican. Obviously, this is about more than just a mosque. It’s also more than just a wedge issue. It leads us to the horror of what Republicans are at their core. It’s about people who always need someone to hate. They are addicted to it.

[…]

The mosque insanity is 2010’s Terry Schiavo “crisis,” pushed forward by the usual gang of republikook congressloons and mediagoons. Should we ban Catholic churches being built because of the actions of some pedi-priests? Are ALL Catholics evil because of the actions of a few? Did we send all Germans back to Germany because of the Nazis? No. In fact, after the war, we brought many of them here.

[…]

And, I wonder, how far would be good enough for such people? How far? Try this: The American Family Association is already putting out the idea of no mosques in America, period. What’s next for the Repugs? No temples of any kind. No Synagogues, just Southern Baptist churches? Just Snake Handler churches?

(emphasis mine)

Republicans seem to have an almost idiot savant talent for focusing obsessively on certain specific minutia to the exclusion of any other pertinent information that might provide a more complete picture or a clear view of reality. That’s easy to do when you are fighting mightily to see the world only as you want to see it. It’s the key to how they do their messaging so well. If something just doesn’t fit the world as they want it to be, they toss it and throw a fit just like a petulant child would when confronted by a parent or sibling doing something that didn’t fit the child’s plan for the day. This is more than just childish behavior, though, because it is perpetrated by adults who have learned just enough to be able to manipulate those who don’t have the time, inclination, or experience to gain or process enough information that would give them a bigger picture. If you want to see something a certain way, it’s easy as long as you can exclude chunks of reality. You start with a preconceived notion that enables your hate, and you ditch any contradictory evidence. You can even ignore all of the American Muslims that died in the towers as though they didn’t exist or, more likely to Republicans, they didn’t matter.

[…]

Well, of course, the Republican mind does want to know. Let’s face it, if they are so obsessed with who you are sleeping with, who you want to marry, what kind of music you’re into, what books you read, and which PC god you worship, they’ll certainly want to know everything else about you, too. The irony for the Repugs is that, with all their whining, they have guaranteed that the money to build the center will now be flowing in like a tide of BP’s best hitting the shores of Louisiana. Money will be coming from everywhere. Nice work, loonies! Can I hire you next time I want to raise some cash? Please, say something bad about me so I can hang my sign out, too! What a bunch of losers; a whole damn party of whining, pathetic, mental defective, dumbass losers. I mean, come on!

The Problem With Polls – The Media Obsession

The latest news stories being generated for mostly cable news consumption is that two different polls show that 1/4 and 1/5 of “the public” believe that President Obama is a Muslim. I’ve seen it all over the blogs and cable news and I’m sure it made it on network news too, although I didn’t catch any of them. I have this issue with public opinion polls in that they really don’t tell you much of anything about what people are really thinking. A few issues with poll results…

  • Most people don’t pay attention to politics, news or inside Washington “conventional wisdom”.
  • Polls of 700 people or so have a margin of error of +/- 3.5%, which is a 7% swing.
  • People lie to pollsters frequently, sometimes to tell them what they think they want to hear and other times because they dislike someone, they just answer every question negatively. Think the Muslim question, don’t you think people who dislike the president are more likely to say he is a Muslim whether they really believe it or not. They just want to get a jab in on him.
  • Proof that people don’t really pay much attention is the fact that polls can swing wildly depending on what the current outrage is.
  • The economy has a huge impact on how people feel about many issues. It’s the economy, stupid. It doesn’t matter who is president, if the economy is in rough shape, the president will be blamed. Fairly or unfairly.
  • The order of questions or the tone of a poll can have a big impact on results, pollsters know this but still like to do it.
  • Polls have a “push” effect by bringing ideas to the attention of the participant as the question is being asked, they are put on the spot to give an opinion whether they’ve actually thought about it or not….and depending on the tone of the poll, they will resort to trying to answer “correctly”.
  • The “bandwagon” effect is alive and well, Republicans try to use it incessantly, but it only has so much effect. Every little bit helps when you are trying to spin.
  • Emotions are easily evoked by wording of questions and topical questions, example immediately after 9/11 George W. Bush received unprecedented numbers that were based on emotions and patriotism. It’s not a bad thing, necessarily, but it becomes bad when the spinners interpret it for us.
  • Election polls become reliable the closer you get to the election, the vast majority of people are not political junkies like you and I and make up their minds at the last minute. It’s still the economy, stupid.

So even though these polls reveal that there are a lot of ignorant people and people who are just plain in denial about a lot of things, I really don’t think those numbers are very accurate. And I would add that ignorant people who may answer a poll question because it is easy, will not drag their lazy, stupid asses to the polls to vote. That would take some effort and they have better things to do than register to vote and then actually go to the poll and stand in line. So why do we give a shit what these ignorant people think anyway? The media has become incapable of actually seeking out a story and writing about it, they just have to wait for Pew to send them the latest poll results and they can just regurgitate the numbers and put their slant on them. Edward R. Murrow has probably rolled over so many times in his grave that he’s several miles away from where he was buried.

Updated:

And another thing….

The way the media often interprets polls shows their utter stupidity, but it’s a group think thing, so you can’t necessarily blame any individual for it. They act as if “the American people” change their minds from one day to the next in wild swings. Does anyone with a brain really think that one day someone hates President Obama and the next day they love him? And simply saying “the American people” believe this or that based on a given percentage of people sampled in a poll of 700 – 1000 people who picked up their land line phones and were in the mood to answer questions from a computer or a snotty minimum wage college kid? To make blanket statements like “the American people are against this or that” based on a poll is really taking a giant leap. Like I said in the above post, the vast majority of people don’t pay attention to the media, remember the media is ranked down their with child molesters…below politicians. Maybe that is why the media just loves taking down a politician, it’s a jealousy thing.

On President Obama’s poll numbers, I’m not concerned at all about them. I don’t think the White House is either, since I truly believe that Barack Obama came to Washington to get shit done, not get reelected. That’s why the media can’t quite deal with this administration, they are obsessed with the perennial elections that flow from one to the other and when someone does something that might have a political downside, it does not compute with them. I guess that is one of the main reasons why I like President Obama, he really is in politics to make a difference, not to cash in.

President Obama Is A Man Of His Word – Combat Operations Are Over In Iraq – As Promised!

I went back in the Google archives and found this story from the Guardian about the speech President Obama gave at Fort Lejeune in February of 2009, where he spelled out his plan in Iraq. Last night that promise was fulfilled on schedule and exactly as he laid out. Eat it, critics. Here is a reminder of what was said in that speech, from the Guardian piece…

Obama flew from Washington yesterday morning to Fort Lejeune, North Carolina, to deliver his speech in front of 8,000 marines. He told them it was going to be a speech with far-reaching consequences: “Today, I have come to speak to you about how the war in Iraq will end.”

Of the 142,000 US troops in Iraq, between 92,000 and 107,000 are to leave by August next year. The mission at that point will change, from combat to one that deals primarily with training Iraqi forces, supporting the Iraqi government and engaging in counter-terrorism.

So of course I remember how much skepticism there was from people in the “professional left” or as I like to call them “the Obama-haters”, so I did a little googling to find out what these folks were saying back then. Think how they are talking about Afghanistan now….do you see any similarities and will these assholes admit that they were wrong, yea right…

According to Ricks, military brass and foreign policy officials express deep skepticism toward Obama’s withdrawal timeline and “[m]any of those closest to the situation in Iraq expect a full-blown civil war to break out there in the coming years.”

“The quiet consensus emerging… is that U.S. soldiers will probably be engaged in combat there until at least 2015 – which would put us at about the midpoint of the conflict now.” In a summary of his book, Ricks concludes: “[T]he events for which the Iraq war will be remembered probably haven’t even happened yet.” (Washington Post, 2/15/09)

Here is some more skepticism from back when the president announced his plan, I wonder how many people are listening to these people and their predictions about Afghanistan today?

Iraq’s Parliamentary elections have not yet been scheduled and don’t even have an electoral law, and according to a number of senior Iraqi politicians probably will not be held until March 2010 (not December 2009). That would then give the U.S. about five months to withdraw the bulk of the dozen combat brigades which would reportedly remain. And then, keep in mind that U.S. officials generally agree (correctly) that the most dangerous period of elections is actually in their aftermath, when disgruntled losers might turn to violence or other destabilizing measures. So the following month will likely not seem a good time either. So that would leave four months to move, what — 9 brigades? Did someone say precipitous? Good luck with that.

Some people are just in denial about it, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering there is a lot of that going around amongst the Obama-haters. Here is a piece from the one and only Obama-hater Glenn Greenwald from October of 2009…

Beyond Afghanistan, Obama continues to preside over another war — in Iraq:  remember that? — where no meaningful withdrawal has occurred.

Oh, and another from Glenn Greenwald further down in that post, emphasis is mine…

It’s certainly true that Obama inherited, not started, these conflicts.  And it’s possible that he could bring about their end, along with an overall change in how America interacts with the world in terms of actions, not just words.  If he does that, he would deserve immense credit — perhaps even a Nobel Peace Prize.  But he hasn’t done any of that.  And it’s at least as possible that he’ll do the opposite: that he’ll continue to escalate the 8-year occupation of Afghanistan, preside over more conflict in Iraq, end up in a dangerous confrontation with Iran, and continue to preserve many of the core Bush/Cheney Terrorism policies that created such a stain on America’s image and character around the world.

Where is the credit for fulfilling his promise to get combat troops out of Iraq? Hmmmmm, nothing on Glenn’s blog about the Iraq withdrawal at all, nada, nothing. Surprised? Not me. While that small but very vocal minority of Obama-haters keep chattering on, our awesome President keeps doing what he said he would do and delivering on his promises. Washington pundits don’t know how to act when someone actually does what they say and doesn’t let the media push them around with poll results. Keep it up, “Prez”, you’re doing an excellent job.



Did I Mention Huffington Post Sucks Ass And Should Be Boycotted?

I periodically go over to Huffington Post just to see what sort of bullshit they are pushing on any given day and to get stuff for my two widgets on the right of the main page. I saw this stupid ass post by Dan Collins which I won’t link to, because I don’t want to give those assholes any more clicks than they already get. But here is a bit from his post…

Obama Does New York No Favors

People who don’t know New York City often make the mistake of assuming that because we’re so wildly diverse, we’re wildly tolerant.

Add Barack Obama to the list.

Last week, the president made a stupendously unhelpful entry into the controversy over the so-called Ground Zero mosque.

So by giving a speech where he talks about being tolerant of other religions and spelling out very eloquently what our founding fathers had in mind when it comes to religious freedom, he is being “stupendously unhelpful”. And backing up a little on that quote, he says that New Yorkers aren’t tolerant, they are diverse, but not tolerant? Really? It’s a New York thing, man, you wouldn’t understand. It’s amazing the extent to which people will contort themselves to try and blame every goddamn little thing on President Obama. This has to be one of the worst examples of the type of horseshit that shows up on Huffington Post and “Fire”bag”lake” multiple times in a day. He goes on with more…

But the issue had been decided legally in favor of the Muslim cultural center. The roar was dying down until the president put it front in center in the national political debate. At a dinner commemorating the Muslim Ramadan, Obama spoke out for freedom of religion and the right “to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances.”

The issue wasn’t dying down, if anything it was ramping up and someone had to step up and defend the principles our country was founded on, you putz. And almost everyone with a brain was able to realize that if he hadn’t said anything at the Iftar dinner, people would have said he was dodging the issue. I’m sure the author of the bullshit, Dan Collins, would have wrote a slimy piece about the president not stepping up to the plate.  Even more of his crap…

Then he backtracked. “I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there,” Obama said after he had turned the issue into a national, radioactive debate.

“After he turned the issue into a national, radioactive debate”, give me a break. Newt comparing it to Nazi symbols or Peter King going on any cable news show that would put him on….that didn’t have anything to do with this “radioactive” debate? Nah, the president talking about tolerance and then clarifying that it is a local issue, but in America, people have religious freedom….that is what made it radioactive? What in the hell is wrong with some people? Like I said before, this is a perfect example of how normally thinking people can twist and contort their own beliefs when they hate someone enough. President Obama didn’t backtrack at all, he was asked a question at a rope line that was very specific and he answered it. His speech at the Iftar dinner was perfect, go read it here if you haven’t already. Nothing he said on the rope line backtracked from anything he said at the dinner. Backtracking would entail taking something back or changing something he said, he didn’t do that and thus, there was no “backtracking”. He actually reiterated what he had said at the dinner right after the comment that Collins quoted, he kind of did a Breitbart and conveniently didn’t print the whole quote because that would interfere with his real motive, to bash the President.

STOP READING THE HUFFINGTON POST – THEY SUCK ASS