Shenanigans


Can’t swing the proverbial dead cat without hitting some.

-The President Elect didn’t save jobs from Carrier. The state bribed them with tax breaks to not take them all. This is a strategy that worked out really well for Carrier in New York State where the only thing still functioning with the name Carrier on it is the dome.

-Saying you are “Draining the swamp” doesn’t preclude from the fact that you might just fool around and refill it.

-Coal jobs aren’t coming back. With wind and solar getting to be cheaper, it’s one of those industries that won’t dominate as it once did and for somebody to magically promise, without substantiation that the jobs are coming back is both exploitive and sad. But then again, so is believing that somebody.

-Did anybody ever take a more pained dinnertime photo than Mitt Romney? Whoever lit that table was editorializing in their own way. You can almost watch his soul leave.

-New York Times contributor Paul Krugman noted on Twitter that “Another metric: Trump would have to do one Carrier-sized deal a week for 30 years to save as many jobs as Obama’s auto bailout.”

-So the NFL decided to bust the Bills’ Offensive Lineman Seantrel Henderson for using medical marijuana…to treat Crohn’s Disease. First, just legalize it already. Look at the revenue that Colorado is reaping. Second, NFL? Really? Seriously? It’s not a performance enhancing drug, it’s a medical regimen. Good thing he isn’t beating anybody up. Oh, wait, you’re cool with that.

-The Affordable Care Act is a noble idea, but a flawed law. I think Congress wasted all those votes on repeal because they didn’t have to actually deal with the consequences of “what’s next?” Well, guess what, time to shine, obstructionists!

-Cutting Social Security and Medicaid, this confuses me a little, as they are things that we pay into, why would payouts need reduced? Oh yeah, because that pot of money keeps getting borrowed for other things.

-I’m not certain that Bernie Sanders would have won, but I’m glad the grumpy old man isn’t going gently into the good night.

-The recount efforts won’t change anything, but there is no harm in letting the process play out. I mean, unless you think it might not go your way, then panic on twitter.

-Nobody, and I mean, nobody ever gets everything they want or promise done once they get into office. That said, despite not being the most natural campaigner, Secretary Clinton was a pretty capable Senator.

-It would be good for our current President to take some action on Standing Rock, any action. And place his nominee on the court as a recess appointment. The court would be fully stocked for a year, while the obstructionists in congress publicly obfuscate, squirm and talking point their way around a nominee who actually meets their criteria.

-Steven Colbert was right, we are overpoliticked with the election. One of the worst mediums ever is the public comment sections of newspaper and tv websites. Laden with digital ninjas whose sole human contact is their moms yelling from upstairs to come up for breakfast, that style of uninformed, meme-posting, if you don’t agree with me, you must be a moron discourse is all over social media. I suppose this essay falls into that category, but it’s okay to disagree with me and I don’t live with mom.

-That said, everybody’s history has some poison in it. Every race, creed, color has a list of do-overs and we haven’t always come to grips with that. The naysayers who have issues with Black Lives Matter miss the point. All lives do matter and should matter, but the central point to me is that some lives haven’t mattered as much and correcting that takes time, time and recognition that a lengthy history of abuses, misconceptions and prejudice affects all involved and doesn’t magically go away. So, standing up for that is a good thing and that reminder very good.

So, another transition.

-The Buffalo Bills have me concerned. They had trouble with the 2-8 Jaguars at home and are going to play the Raiders, in Oakland, and the Raiders are pretty good again.

-It’s great that Jack is back, but should one guy….

It’s that time of the year where we act, mostly, like we should all year long. Let’s strive for less idiocy and realize that differing views don’t make the opposing parties morons. We can learn beyond facebook bickering.

 

 

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Schlockin’ the Vote


My dad has been the perpetuator of a number of great cons. I’ve tried to imitate a few in my own parenting career. One of the old man’s best schemes was the library trick. My folks correctly put a premium on reading and a weekend trip to the town library was a regular feature of my grade school life. Occasionally, we’d make a trip to the main library downtown. Saps that we were, my siblings and I ate it up. The result being that we grew up informed.

This came to mind watching the coverage of the stupidly early Presidential election. It is that right of passage where many things get said, but nothing gets talked about that has any ramifications for that often mentioned entity “the American people.”

I openly mocked the debate a few weeks ago and a friend pointed out that the show was “better than the state of the union the past six years.” He was probably right as those speeches don’t add up to anything typically no matter who was delivering the addresses.

And the same is holding true for now. The coverage shows that many of the republicans are upset with Hillary Clinton and the current president (who they are not running against). I think folks are gravitating toward Bernie Sanders as he is actually talking about the, get this, things he would do if he got the job of President. I like that. That’s a healthy trend, hopefully it spawns an imitator. It is something to respect the candidacy of Mr. Trump. While I don’t agree with what he stands for, he picked out some opinions and is hanging on them.  If I wanted to stand out as a candidate on the overcrowded republican side, perhaps that would be a good thing do, say why votes should come to my campaign. I mean when seven guys get relegated to debate happy hour, perhaps you should say something other than “I want to make America great again.”

I mean, what does that even mean?

It’s a great rant, and we could stand to know more. We could stand to know that the President shouldn’t get the blame for high gas prices or the credit for low ones, that it is more complicated that. We should know that Benghazi wasn’t the first time an embassy was a battle site. Every adminstration has had people who shouldn’t be in it.

Another favorite program of mine pointed out that “people get stupid during election seasons.” Another character correctly pointed out that wasn’t the case that “people get talked to like they are stupid.”

We shouldn’t be stupid. It’s a complex world and shouldn’t be boiled down to intolerant facebook status updates.

When it comes time to actually vote, which a long time away still, please do

Still six months till primaries start.

Hailing to the Chief


C’mon, admit it, regardless of whether or not you like the office holder, it’s still pretty cool seeing this fly over the area today. This was a picture caught by a sharp eyed contributor to the Buffalo News website and it’s pretty awesome,Air Force one

I think it’s good when our leaders get out talk to us. By this point, nobody really remembers the speech as various restaurants pout about no motorcade for them. While nobody is compiling mp3s of the special themes used to intro coverage, it was nice for the area to get a little national attention.

And we should share the wealth. The White House press corp has gotten their share of LaNova’s, Duff’s and Charlie the Butcher. Good for some of those folks to get themselves a proper garbage plate.

Doesn’t matter who’s plane it is, Obama, Nixon, Bartlett, still cool to see it go past. The visit to Buffalo and the other areas, including nearby Scranton (thanks, MSNBC) ultimately don’t mean a great deal beyond the symbolism and soundbytes. Wouldn’t it be great if he announced college tuition became entirely tax deductible or something of that ilk? (Alas, Josh and Toby don’t work for him. He is right about the expense going on a runaway trajectory at some schools. I know a few could stand to be a little more efficient.

I saw a few posters who took that hallowed medium of facebook for everything from business failings in the Western New York area to sundry other drumbeats of the opposition parties. Everybody has their soap boxes for standing on, I guess. In the case of businesses failing, the state and the business operators can have some shares of the blame I think. But opinions are like tookuses in that regard.

Had he gotten into the city proper, I know we could have brokered a polar bear meeting.

Our Top Story Tonight


“If only news networks would pursue wastes of taxpayers’ money and political BS like they cover First Lady hair and inaugural lip-synching…”

That is an apt sentiment. Why anybody cares if Beyonce sang live or to her own recording escapes me. Pretty much every grand performance like that is recorded to guard against weather and technical elements.  Enjoy the moment and move on. Yo-Yo Mama “cello-synced” at the last inaugural and nobody said boo. The wonder on Monday was that James Taylor’s guitar cooperated for him. The weather can play havoc. So, in a word, so what. Move along, Network morning shows, there are actual news to cover.

Only interest I have in the football player with the imaginary girlfriend issues is if the Bills take him. They should, they need linebackers.

The discussions, internet memes, and blatherings of self appointed constitutional scholars continues in the various facets of the gun debate.  I was forwarded the following and thought it beared reprinting. It was written by a guy named Josh Fielder and I wish I wrote it. If you are on facebook, follow him. This is good thinking:

“So, here’s my two cents (which will end up being closer to $1.50 I’m sure) and I’m sure I will regret posting this later, due to the “friends” I will lose while exercising my First Amendment, but here goes. Instead of posting a meme with a picture and a falsely attributed quote or a made up statistic, I’ve spent my time researching the gun violence/gun control debate. And I’d like to talk about some of the pervasive themes I’ve seen lately. First off, Hitler did not say “In order to conquer a country, you must first disarm its citizens.” In fact, Hitler made it his position to enable guns to be obtained more easily. http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/disarm.asp  Secondly, the presidents, and I mean ALL of them, and their families, receive death threats on a daily basis. President Obama did not enact the regulations that REQUIRE Secret Service protection for him and his family. If you believe your children are as much of a target as the president’s children, then you have a self inflated idea of your position in this world. http://www.secretservice.gov/protection.shtml .Thirdly, there is NO law or bill being considered that would allow anyone to come marching into your home to take your legally obtained and legally owned firearms. There are possible laws that are being explored that would require more responsibility on the part of the gun owner or person purchasing a gun (i.e. pass a background check even if buying a gun from a gun show dealer). If you buy a car from a dealer it must be registered (a record of the transfer is documented). If you buy a car from a private citizen, it must be registered. If you buy a gun from a dealer, there is a record of that sale and it is registered. So how is it illogical to require the same for private sales of firearms? Fourth, there are not more people being killed with baseball bats than guns. If you disagree with that because you saw a picture stating otherwise on the internet, then I would like to offer you the chance to buy some oceanfront property in Arizona and I’ll throw in the Brooklyn Bridge for free. There is no magical solution for solving the problem of gun violence.

THAT is what we need to solve. http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/baseballbats.asp
We don’t ban cars that are used in DUI related deaths, but we do enact regulations regarding blood alcohol limits, prosecute people who enable a drunk driver to operate a vehicle after serving them, promote a DUI campaign raising awareness and educating drivers on the dangers of driving while intoxicated. All of which has reduced DUI related fatalities by over 40% in a decade. http://www.centurycouncil.org/drunk-driving/drunk-driving-statistics
The media is not hiding other gun related stories because they want to sensationalize the problem, they are simply unable to cover every gun death story because there would be an average of 80 of them each day. So they concentrate (unfortunately) on the massacres which I think we can all agree, happen all too often.
I find the fact that more children are killed in the US by guns than in the entire Middle East region, very disturbing.
I find it disturbing that the NRA blames the rise in violent shootings on video games and then comes out with its own shooting video game (categorized for children as young as 4 years of age) less than a month after Newtown.
I find it disturbing that other countries spend in excess of twice as much as the US on violent video games and have a small fraction of the amount of gun related deaths/injuries.
I find it disturbing that instead of looking for a solution to a problem like Newtown, there are people wasting their time and energy by trying to turn it into a conspiracy theory.
I find it disturbing that guns are the third largest killer of children ages 5-14 in the US.
I find it disturbing that a child in America is 12 times more likely to be killed with a gun than the rest of the “developed” world.
I find it disturbing that there are more guns privately owned in America than the next SEVENTEEN countries combined.
I find it disturbing that all of these statistics are not discussed but fake statistics about a baseball bat death rate are plastered everywhere.
I find it disturbing that some people believe that the ONLY answer to this problem is more guns.
Banning all firearms is NOT the answer, which is exactly why it’s not being proposed. This country has enacted laws that didn’t work before, so they’ve been revised, repealed, reformed, etc. It’s ludicrous to think that as a society, we evolve, but the laws governing us cannot? The NRA states that the assault weapons ban didn’t work the first time. Well, you know what they say, “If at first you don’t succeed, f*%k it.”. If armed guards are the only answer to ending school shootings, then explain the VT shooting. Virginia Tech had an entire police department complete with a SWAT unit. Explain Columbine, which had an armed officer on staff. When discussing an end to gun violence in schools, there should be NOTHING left off of the table.
Ronald Reagan, a huge gun proponent and signor of the Brady Bill, wrote to Congress in 1994 asking them to propose legislation limiting or stopping altogether the manufacture of guns classified as assault weapon. And anyone saying “assault weapon” is a made up term should remember that every word in every language is, in fact, made up. And yes, criminals don’t typically obey laws, but we still have them. Can you use that logic to say there should be none at all? No. Let me be clear, I am NOT anti gun. I have nothing against guns or responsible gun owners. I served proudly in the military, I worked in armed security, I’ve hunted, and enjoy target shooting since I was a kid. And I’m sure most gun enthusiasts are the same way. However, this issue should be discussed logically and rationally, and all I see are comments and pictures that are anything but rational and for the most part, are just viral, inflammatory, unresearched, vitriol. The president enacted 23 executive actions today, of which only 2 have anything to do with limiting the availability of a category of gun or a magazine capacity. The remaining 21 deal with aspects regarding background checks, school safety and mental health system requirements and deficiencies. Will it be a perfect solution? No. Will it help? We’ll see. Is it better than doing nothing? Definitely. If we keep using the statement, “It’s too soon to talk about it.” after each tragedy, pretty soon, we’ll never talk about it.
OK, so maybe it ended up closer to $2.00 instead of 2 cents. So sue me.”

On the money

Mock the Vote


“They say statesmen are politicians who’ve been dead for 20 years. I’d like it if we try to be statesmen right now” – President Jed Bartlett.

Actually Aaron Sorkin wrote it, but it sounded cooler when Martin Sheen‘s voice brought it to life. The quote occured to me during the Presidential wrestlemania, er, second debate. It was riveting tv to be sure, but it was lousy politics and worse discussion. The repeated grousing about time was unbecoming both gentlemen. If you look to that for substance or to make your mind up, it wasn’t to be had.

They obviously aren’t fond of one another. I wasn’t crazy about the Governor interrupting the President or scolding.

It’s a crappy example to set, but so is the foolishness over making hay about the “Binders” comment. Nothing furthers the discussion. Much as been made about the Benghazi discussion where the Governor was factchecked live and proven incorrect. While I admire the President’s buck stops here speech that followed, folks are still getting hung up on things that don’t matter. None of the recent nitpicking on when and what to label it matters and nobody should be making their minds up out of the generalities that made up the bulk of the theater of the absurd.

If you have your guy now, that’s cool. I just wish the candidates would realize that and tell us specifics.  Don’t let media manufactured dreck rule the day.

Talk to us like adults, maybe, we’ll even act the part.

For a moment

“Because, Bite Me, That’s Why.”


I wish our Presidential candidates would just stop, stop what you’re doing. I’ve trying to reconcile the whole Big Bird nonsense in light of all the bonkers coverage.

It was questionable for Governor Romney to cite that as a wasteful program. As such a small fragment of the federal budget, deleting PBS funding is like thing throwing one brick in the grand canyon. It was even dumber for the President’s folks to take the bait, run with ads that have apparently ticked off Sesame Street’s producers.

It’s bad enough that the Vice President and Paul Ryan are messing with Thursday night tv in the battle of platitudes, but it all brings me back to does anything really matter at this point.

If you are voting for Romney, that’s fine. I respect that. If you’re for the President, that’s fine. If you are undecided, I mean, what the hell? Can canned platitudes, abbreviated stump speeches, camera tested ties, bloviating pundits, polls with plus or minus margins for error greater than my checkbook really sway you?

What’s not to know? The President isn’t exactly an unknown commodity at this point. The Governor has been running for President for at least 4 years.

Much like the conventions, the debates don’t reveal much. Neither guy actually said much last week (despite Rommey’s “vigor” or the President’s um, nacrolepsy?) and I do wonder how much the moderator paid for his ticket as he got a really good seat. We’ll get “perspective” from paid opinion people after the Vice Presidential debate and that spin won’t be troubled by facts, much like last week.

The musical buddha of my rapidly dwindling youth, Mr. Springsteen, asked concert goers the following question in 2004: “It’s October 11th, what the hell are you waiting for?”

Please don’t say a good debate performance, because that really matters not.

Can we just go vote now?

Hard Not to Fret


I worry.

I worry not that Todd Akin is apparently really dumb, but that apparently dumb polls apparently  okay.  He was mindblowingly stupid in the now famous soundbite, but what is scary is that when even the less than progressive GOP says go away, there are still people who will rationalize his statements and mindblowingly, still vote for him.

I refer you here for more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-maher/todd-akin-republicans_b_1826617.html

Bill can be a jerk, but he is also right in this instance.

Incredible (if ever there was time to vote for anybody but, this is it)

I worry.

With shootings in New York and Chicago of the mass variety within the past 24 hours, what are the odds the NRA admits that we might have a gun problem.

Let’s pause for a moment:

A vicar was booking into a Hotel, he asks the receptionist, “I trust the pornography channel is disabled, young man”
“No, it’s just regular porn, you filthy Bastard!” Replied the receptionist.

Okay, where was I

Oh, yeah, got three different pieces of mail, all by 9 x 12 inch glossy post cards from the same candidate for the state assembly, all rich in detail over his dislike for his opponent. This bothers me because in these days which most cable news having unfettered bias of some type, we have a woefully underinformed group of voters. People aren’t consuming information nearly as fast as they are sucking up rhetoric. And you should be concerned at that. I’d like the presidential and vice presidential candidates and all their minions, talking heads, synchophants and hangers on to forget about who they are running against and consider a question: “You get four years, what are you gonna do with them?” I have this idealized notion that when somebody will run for an office and tell us why we should vote for them, not why we shouldn’t vote for the other guy.

I worry.

Just lock out and get about fixing hockey, please.

Need a sign a progress somewhere.

Bing! Bing! Bing! Zoom! Zoom! Zoom!


I don’t care…..

With apologies to Kevin Meany, ignorance can indeed be bliss.

Recent news “coverage” suggests that Milt Romney was a bit of a prep school jerk. Are the networks so desperate for news that assignment desks are setting their way back machines 50 years? I mean, I don’t care and neither should you. Vote or don’t vote for the jerk you see before, not for some second hand account of jerkiness.

That fact that those things resonate with voters is scary. The story of President Obama eating dog as a child isn’t something newsworthy. At 9 or 10, you ate what was in front of you.

And the fact that either guy has changed his mind is a bad thing. Both the GOP and the Democrats like to point fingers and scream “Flip-Flopper” at the other. While it’s a fun turn of a phrase, it is a silly thing to get lathered up about.

It’s tough enough to get voters to make informed decisions when so much press coverage sounds like they are covering a beauty pageant. And that isn’t just a swipe at Fox News, it’s all of em and the effect the bloviating seems to have on us masses.

While I applaud the President for stating his position on gay marriage (as I agree with it) and taking a stand on something because that’s what he believes, what nobody notices yet is that the stance doesn’t change anything. Commentators are stumbling all over themselves as to the potential ramifications of the President’s speaking out. To see Mr. Limbaugh and his many divorces up in arms over the President’s “war on marriage” was pretty hilarious. As you go to City Hall to get your license and no one church has a monopoly on marriage, this is all a little odd to me. Don’t like gay marriage, don’t get gay married. Just like your faith or lack thereof is the rule in your house, but mine calls the shots in mine. But I digress…

Okay, one last point, we seem to be for religious freedom, until somebody actually uses it.

Okay, one final last point, shame on you, North Carolina.

Now, where was I…

Oh, yeah, let’s ask each guy about what matters, wouldn’t it be cool if that actually happened? You might get informed voters. If they toss out some bromide like “We’re gonna do what’s needed to get this country moving again,” ask what the hell that is suppose to mean?

It’s not a job that anybody can do and nobody should “settle” because that is what Beck, Olbermann, Limbaugh, Maddow, Blitzer, etc decide to cover. There are important questions to be asked, serious decisions that lie ahead with enough gravitas to sink an cruise ship. We’re never going find somebody we complete agree with, but we shouldn’t be satisfied with the McNuggets and neither should the folks with the microphones.

Good thing I have pie


Where to begin:

-Senate republicans doubled the interest rate for student loans, for no foreseeable reason.

-One school board member said our Superintendent was foolish to go to Albany in pursuit of funds. Funny, he’s been quiet since she came back with some funds.

-the great state of North Carolina passed a gay marriage ban, reinforcing the stupidass notion that THAT somehow protects the sanctity of marriage.

-Mitt Romney says President Obama is “politicizing” the  anniversary of the assassination of Bin Laden. Of course, the Mittster was saying this into microphones, which actually means he was politicizing the politicizing.

-the New York State Thruway Authority (talk about your misnomers) wants to raise tolls here to pay for a downstate bridge?

Makes me wish hockey was interesting at the moment, I could use the distraction,

as it is a good thing I have pie

Blind Faith


Couldn’t watch latest G.O.P. debate, couldn’t do it. This never ending reality show is a frustrating commentary to voters, an indictment of attention spans, and just plain sad. We’re in a heap of trouble to be sure. If you are not a fan of the President, I respect that to be sure. We’re in a heap of trouble to be sure. Congress couldn’t be any more dysfunctional as it appears we’ve elected meandering democrats, obstructionist tea-partiers and republicans who probably wouldn’t elect Reagan.

It is frustrating that when Speaker Boehner gets asked if he thinks the payroll tax cut would help the economy and he replies that he isn’t an economist. Tool!! You don’t have to be. Give people who are paycheck to paycheck folks a little more to spend and chances are that it will help the economy as we are the only ones putting anything into the economy. Boehner, McConnell, Kantor, et. al are so busy protecting the big money that they are seeing the whole picture, making it look like they are still resenting the President for having the nerve to get elected.

I don’t entirely believe the dude in video entirely, but beneath the histrionics, he has some points.

Certainly not an all inclusive discussion, but there must be something other than bringing down the President on GOP/TEA agenda. It seems like that this has been going on forever and the only thing that has changed is that attention spans are dwindling. People are resentful of other opinions and are seemingly grabbing at the McNuggets. I listen to folks who resent the occupyers, labeling them as jobless or just wanting a hand out, because that is so obviously not the case. As Warren Buffett says, his secretary is taxed harder than he is. One guy who is honest. Can we get a second?

Rick Perry thinks President Obama has a war on religion in a deservingly ridiculed and parodied video. People are struggling and it seems more and more that our representatives are getting further away from representing. What is troubling is that people will decisions of videos and other propaganda rather blindly.

I think it summarizes my trouble with these slates. The Repubs are hating on the President. Fine, tell me what you would do. The President has disappointed me at times as somebody who voted for him. In fairness, he has gotten much done, but when you are hurling a few bricks into a mountain of trouble it can be difficult for the good stuff to get its due. From positions of strength, he’s got it, but too often he is spending time trying to broker with people who resent him and the folks who voted them there.

I think the current contestants on the GOP version of Survivor should quit making bets, scaring kids about parents “needing fixin,” imaging wars on topics not even touched upon and think about the job itself. And any voter who says they are casting their vote purely on the basis of a candidate who uses phrases like “putting America back to work” might want to consider a second news source, because the first one is failing you.

Blind faith isn’t getting us anywhere.

Got to see the whole board and there seems to be shortage of people willing to do that.