Saturday, September 29, 2012

Great line of the day

Talking about the "sex-selective" abortion motion which Parliament is now being asked to vote on, Dawg says:
the abortion “debate” that Harper insists will not be re-opened continues to shamble through the House of Commons like one of the walking dead.
The fetus fetishests are trying their best to get MPs to give them a majority vote on SOMETHING, so they can use it as a wedge to pry the entire abortion issue open again.  Look what has happened in the States, where the fetishists used so-called "late term" abortions to demonize women and create a wedge against Roe V Wade.
It all comes down to is this:  what part of "woman's right to chose" do these people not understand? Whether a priest or a husband or a whole Parliament agrees with their decision, or not, its still the woman's decision to make.

Here's to the new TV season!

Thumbs up!
Great acting, great action

Interesting characters, potentially lots of fun

Thumbs down -
What a disappointment - overwrought, trite

Just dumb

Ehhh, maybe -- worth a couple more episodes anyway

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Yes, but he was right about Powerpoint

So the Politico piece about how Ryan is going rogue and using PowerPoint now was just a joke though perhaps one that cut a little too close to the bone.
But what Simon said about PowerPoint was actually sort of hilarious:
A word about PowerPoint. PowerPoint was released by Microsoft in 1990 as a way to euthanize cattle using a method less cruel than hitting them over the head with iron mallets. After PETA successfully argued in court that PowerPoint actually was more cruel than iron mallets, the program was adopted by corporations for slide show presentations.
Conducting a PowerPoint presentation is a lot like smoking a cigar. Only the person doing it likes it. The people around him want to hit him with a chair.
PowerPoint is usually restricted to conference rooms where the doors are locked from the outside. It is, therefore, considered unsuited for large rallies, where people have a means of escape and where the purpose is to energize rather than daze.
Ryan’s PowerPoint slides were officially labeled: “Our Unsustainable Debt (U.S. Debt Held by Public as a Share of Economy),” “Your Share of the Debt,” “Who Funds Our Reckless Spending?” and “How the Government Spends Your Money.”. . .
Sources close to the Ryan campaign tell me his two new PowerPoint presentations will be: “How a Bill Becomes Law” and “Canada: Friendly Giant to the North.”
Or maybe he could do the Gettysburg Address in PowerPoint.

So we're just afraid to discuss abortion?

Conservative pro-lifer Laurie Hawn says glibly 'Nobody's anti-life and nobody's anti-choice', a stunningly stupid statement because the 91 MPs voting in favour of Woodward's disingenuous motion to "study" when life begins are not pro-choice at all -- they want some parliamentary committee to decide whether a women can get an abortion or not.
Hawn continues "Canadians ought to be able to have rational, respectful discussions on difficult issues . . . we've got lots of difficult issues that we're afraid to discuss in Canada and I think that's unfortunate."
What a great idea. Too bad us pro-choicers are such cowards, we're so afraid to discuss it.
Here's the level that such a discussion would rapidly reach, Laurie old chum -- the priest who authored this piece wants "to expose evil and to call on public servants to know the difference between serving the public and killing the public." And it would be pretty difficult to discuss anything with someone like this commenter who believes that pro-choicers are history's greatest monsters:
How can anyone with even a shred of decency support this brutal and evil act of barbarism. We will all stand before The Lord Jesus one day, and will have to explain our actions. We must somehow stop this unthinkable atrocity from continuing to butcher children. God have mercy on us all.
Yes, a rational, respectful discussion? Not gonna happen ...

How to play football

Goofy - How To Play Football (High Quality) - YouTube: ""

If the replacement refs could just learn the game, they might avoid more calls like this:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The honoured dead

We just spent the summer watching all those "War of 1812" ads and now we find out that the Harper Cons have spent five years and three-quarters of a million dollars to try to claw back pensions from disabled veterans.
I guess the people who fight Canada's wars are only honoured by the Harper Cons if they're dead and gone.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Taxes "owed" vs. taxes "paid"

What's the difference between taxes owed and taxes paid?
Everyone is talking about how Romney's info dump yesterday showed that he did pay taxes between 1990 and 2009.
But PricewaterhouseCoopers said in the first bullet point that "each year during the period there were federal and state income taxes owed", and in the second bullet point "The lowest of any annual 'effective federal personal income tax rate' ... was 13.44 per cent".
Everybody is now reporting that Romney paid at least 13.44 per cent in federal income taxes annually between 1990 to 2009.
No, I don't think this is what those figures mean at all.
He "owed" income taxes every year -- of course, everyone who earns income owes taxes. Does this mean THAT HE ACTUALLY PAID ANY TAXES? How much you owe depends on income, but how much you pay depends on the deductions which can be found to offset the tax owing. And his annual tax rate was 13.44 per cent. Again, does this mean THAT HE ACTUALLY PAID THIS RATE? Again, it depends on the deductions which can be found to offset the rate.
The last carefully phrased bullet point tells the tale --it uses the terminology of "federal income taxes owed" and "state income taxes reported".
Harry Reid, I think you're going to be proved right after all.
Crossposted at Daily Kos.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Calling them out

Sixth Estate calls out Harper on his excuse for pension "reform" and the Globe and Mail for falling for it.
First of all, its not much of a reform:
The “reforms” are, in a word, horseshit. They’ll make MPs wait a few extra years before collecting, and they’ll apparently up the contribution rates. And — best yet — they won’t apply except to new MPsafter the next election. In short, the current crop are all safe. That’s Conservative “reform” for you.
Second, the spin is already being spun:
And then I turn to the Globe & Mail for its coverage:
This would present their political rivals with a dilemma: If the NDP and Liberals oppose the budget – because of other measures in it – they will leave themselves open to charges they didn’t support MP pension reforms.
Oh, come on, Steven High. You’re getting paid for this, aren’t you? You’ve got to do better than that.
I won’t bother explaining to the national correspondent of a major newspaper why voting against an omnibus budget is a piss-poor way to judge whether you support any one of its many measures. I will, however, wonder precisely why said correspondent thinks it is his job to anticipate and even make some advance suggestions for the bullshit spin that some 30-year-old Conservative propagandist in the party campaign office might one day try to put on the budget.

Be nice to the people you meet on the way up

Because you'll meet them again on the way down, as Mitt Romney has now discovered -- he shouldn't have said all those mean things about Jimmy Carter:
James Carter IV has come forward as the online sleuth who tracked down undercover videotape of Mitt Romney's damning comments four months ago to a US$50,000-a-plate Republican fundraiser in Florida....
For Carter, his mission was personal — the 35-year-old online researcher, currently looking for work, said he'd grown sick and tired of Romney slagging his 87-year-old grandfather, a Nobel Peace prize winner who has long worked towards peace in the Middle East.
..."I don't like criticism of my family," the younger Carter told NBC News on Tuesday after it emerged he'd persuaded the fundraiser attendee who secretly taped Romney to hand the video over to Mother Jones magazine.
"It gets under my skin. I'm proud of my role in being able to track it down. My motivation is to help Democrats get elected."
In an interview with The Associated Press, he added: "I've gotten a lot of Twitter messages from people supporting me and saying that it's poetic justice that it was a Carter that uncovered this, considering the way that the Romney campaign has been talking about my grandfather. I agree with that sentiment wholeheartedly."

Monday, September 17, 2012

Great line of the day

Laura Clawson at Daily Kos sums up the Occupy impact::
There may no longer be occupiers sleeping out in parks every night, there may never have been a unified set of goals for the movement, there may be no Occupy candidates for Congress a la the tea party, but a year later there's no doubt that Occupy reinvigorated the economic left, gave even non-political people a language to question the great American wealth divide, and made protest exciting and creative again.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Occupy Wall Street is back, baby

It's already September 17 on Wall Street and the crowds are building in Zuccotti Park. Here's a photo taken around midnight.

Follow #s17 on twitter for the latest news.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Empty chair Obama betrays America!

Romney said this week that Obama sympathized with the embassy rioters and everybody else said "Whaaa?"
What we didn't understand was that John Bolton and Dan Senor and the rest of the Republican campaign retreads and also-rans who are supposedly giving Romney such expert advice on foreign policy were talking about the invisible Obama, the one who sat in Eastwood's empty chair and swore at him, the secret Mooslem Kenyan usurper Obama that no one can see except nutbar Republicans.
But I imagine we'll see lots more dumb attacks on the invisible Obama before this election is over.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What Juan Cole says

When things are going wrong in the Middle East, I always check on what Juan Cole says about it to gain some perspective on how serious it really is:
What happened in Benghazi was the action of a tiny fringe, sort of like Ku Klux Klan violence in the US. It isn’t typical of the new Libya, and Benghazi is not a lawless or militia-ridden city. One of the narratives of what happened there, in fact, is that the police may have been *too* heavy-handed in an attempt to curb the militants’ demonstration, provoking the latter to bring out their one RPG launcher.
The crowds both in Egypt and Libya were tiny. Their militancy is not typical of Egypt or Libya today, both of which are struggling toward more democratic forms of governance. In Cairo, there may have been a failure of policing; police in Egypt feel unfairly demonized because they had been seen as bulwarks of the Mubarak regime, and they often decline to show up to their jobs as a result of this low morale. This police foot-dragging has allowed an increase in petty crime, though Cairo is still far safer than most Western cities.
The government of Egypt is still pretty powerful, and will likely act to curb the militants, as it did in the Sinai recently.


I thought we would have to wait until the debates for Mitt Romney to demonstrate his manifest unfitness to be president. Instead, it happened already and its still eight weeks until the election:
Romney’s decision to use a fatal attack on Americans as an opportunity to seek political gain based on a complete lie is just the latest example of his copyrighted #romneyshambles campaign. It is a classic #romneyfail.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bush and Cheney were the hollow men

Its like caring for someone who had been mentally ill, as they gradually recover their sanity and begin to understand how delusional they were.
As the years go by, the United States seems finally to be able to acknowledge what everyone else in the world has known for years -- 9/11 happened because Bush and Cheney were too stupid to prevent it.
Contrary to all the "nobody could have predicted" excuses, the CIA knew that Bin Laden was dangerous.  They warned Bush and Cheney again and again, month after month.  But Bush and Cheney didn't listen because Rumsfeld and his neocon brain trust in the Pentagon (Wolfowitz, Cambone, Feith) were too busy creating fairy tales about Saddam Hussein:
The direct warnings to Mr. Bush about the possibility of a Qaeda attack began in the spring of 2001. By May 1, the Central Intelligence Agency told the White House of a report that “a group presently in the United States” was planning a terrorist operation. Weeks later, on June 22, the daily brief reported that Qaeda strikes could be “imminent,” although intelligence suggested the time frame was flexible.
But some in the administration considered the warning to be just bluster. An intelligence official and a member of the Bush administration both told me in interviews that the neoconservative leaders who had recently assumed power at the Pentagon were warning the White House that the C.I.A. had been fooled; according to this theory, Bin Laden was merely pretending to be planning an attack to distract the administration from Saddam Hussein, whom the neoconservatives saw as a greater threat. Intelligence officials, these sources said, protested that the idea of Bin Laden, an Islamic fundamentalist, conspiring with Mr. Hussein, an Iraqi secularist, was ridiculous, but the neoconservatives’ suspicions were nevertheless carrying the day.
In response, the C.I.A. prepared an analysis that all but pleaded with the White House to accept that the danger from Bin Laden was real.
This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Banjo Bowl

The Banjo Bowl in Winnipeg follows the Labour Day Classic in Regina -- which (ahem!) the Riders won this year by 52 to zero, thank you jeebuz. How the Banjo Bowl was born: In 2003, Blue Bombers placekicker/punter Troy Westwood was being hauled over the coals for insulting Saskatchewan and he decided to reply:
"I had referred to the people of Saskatchewan as a bunch of banjo-picking inbreds," Westwood said that afternoon in the Bomber locker-room. "I was wrong to make such a statement, and I'd like to apologize.
[wait for it]
"The vast majority of the people in Saskatchewan have no idea how to play the banjo."
UPDATE: 25 riders 24 bombers. Yay, team!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

In the blink of an eye

I was about to post something a little snarky last night about how Pauline Marois couldn't quite close the deal with Quebecers. Then I read about the shooting and saw her amazingly confident ability to react quickly but calmly, and prevent panic.
In the blink of an eye, my opinion of her changed. As the Montreal Gazette put it, In moment of crisis, Marois shows Quebecers formidable poise:
Take her measure. She showed sangfroid — cold blood — in a moment of crisis.
She hit the correct notes in her news conference on Wednesday, pointing out that Quebec is not a violent society, that the incident had nothing to do with politics.
Quebecers will take note of the formidable Madame Marois’s poise today. She can be expected to benefit, especially, from appearing in a positive light to the majority of Quebecers, who did not vote for her.
Marois was elected with the weakest possible mandate: 31.9 per cent of the popular vote and 54 seats. Facing an unpopular premier in the midst of a student crisis and a corruption inquiry, she was unable to make the sale.
But that was then and this is now. She's shown now that she has what it takes.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Invisible Obama Derangement Syndrome

*Yesterday upon the stair
I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away
Jon Stewart thanked Clint Eastwood for making it clear to the nation that only the Republicans can see the Kenyan socialist fascist who they think is Barak Obama:
By criticizing an invisible Obama for doing things that the real Obama hasn’t even done, Stewart could reach only one logical conclusion: “there is a President Obama that only Republicans can see,” and this Invisible Obama is the one they have been running against all along.
As if we needed any more proof that they can see invisible people that no one else can see, today, the rightwing blogs celebrated "empty chair day" . And here's the latest from Chuck Norris:
A video released this weekend by action movie hero Chuck Norris claims that America faces “1,000 years of darkness” if President Barack Obama is reelected.
These people are nuts.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Texts from the dog

I'm impressed that somebody actually thoughtof this:

And The Guardian did an interview about it -- with the dog, of course.