Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sarah is a Secret Democrat!

Where can I buy one of these big red white & blue non-elephantine repuglican "FASHION NOES"! I lifted the following directly from Jason Linkins in Huffington Post today:

"OH NOES! Why on earth is Sarah Palin wearing a Democratic Party keffiyeh, festooned with donkeys and the word "Vote?" Why won't McCain question her on her ties to radical leftist accessories?
So, yeah. I'd say that this is money well spent by the RNC! In my imaginings, this scarf cost Palin $15,000, and all proceeds went directly to ACORN."
DK says: and what's up with those earrings? Are they miniature versions of her trademark glasses? Some kind of special FastGasPass for filling up Todd's snowmachine at ExxonMobil Gas Stations? What?

Palin's personal shopping expenses, RNC list to date:
* Saks Fifth Avenue: $49,425.74
* Neiman Marcus: $75,062.63
* Macy's: $9,447.71
* Barneys New York: $789.72
* Bloomingdales: $5,102.71
* Hair and make-up products: $14,716.49

Sarah has spent more on 2-months worth of clothes & cosmetics than the assessed value of Joe the Phony Plumber's house ... more than the Avg Joe & his hard-working spouse TOGETHER earn in 2 YEARS (per their joint tax return) ... more than the price of FOUR brand-new PRIUS's ... more than the amount of federal income tax paid by GM, Ford, Chrysler combined (ok that last item was a cheapshot since most large U.S. corps pay little or NO fed income taxes)....

Oh, and she's gonna give the clothes to charity after the campaign? That's really rich. How many Size 3 homeless women have you seen?

Here is Jon Stewart's take on the Palin family of grifters:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dude, where's my sign?

Everyone I talk to who has put out Obama yard signs has had them stolen. It usually happens late at night. I don't know if this a Freedom of Speech issue or plain old theft of private property issue, but if this is the master plan of the republicans, they really must be desperate.

I was talking to Jan at the Red Coyote Cafe last week. Her cafe enjoys an nice location on the main highway into Zion National Park. As I was complimenting her excellent taste in Obama signage, she sighed & told me how many times it has been stolen. Sometimes the sign-stealers are not content to just take the sign. Sometimes they use it to destroy her patio plants. She always replaces it and wonders what the sign-stealers are really trying to say. Are they saying she is not entitled to express her own political opinion on her own property? As she serves her tasty Breakfast Burritos, she wonders if perhaps one of the customers is enjoying her food by day and coming back to steal her signs at night. She worries that the sign stealers may turn violent, but that hasn't stopped her from putting out Obama signs.

After a woman in a nearby town had her Obama yard sign stolen a few times, she mounted one on a branch of a big tree in her front yard. A few days later, she found the tree branch laying on her lawn with a rope hanging from it ... no sign of the sign. Was this done by her neighbors, she wonders, or just some drive-by McManiac? She now takes her sign inside each night at dusk.

Apparently this is a national phenomenon.

In North Carolina a couple of stolen Obama posters were wrapped around a murdered baby bear which was left at the entrance of Western Carolina University.

In Sacramento CA a family had so many yard signs stolen, they put out a sign saying if you steal our sign we will donate money to the Obama campaign. It was stolen, so they now have put out 100 yard signs & donate a dollar every time one is stolen.

In Portland OR 16-yr old Preston Fosback has mounted a webcam to watch his Obama sign after having a few swiped. People all over the world are now monitoring his sign every night.

It's happening in Texas. "What are people thinking? Signs don't vote!" East Texans are attributing the theft to racism.

In Virgina a baptist minister found his 4x8-ft Obama yard sign replaced with a big Confederate Flag.

SWASTIKAS were spray-painted on some Obama signs in Albuquerque NM ! (link includes video) ... what does this say about THE REAL AMERICA, the one humped by Sarah Palin ... does that place even exist anymore?

I don't normally put out political yard signs because I live on a dead-end street and my neighbors are beyond political redemption. However, I'm rethinking that position because I came home tonight to find this little message stuck in my front door:

"VOTE PALIN-McCAIN ... Palin will go to work cleaning up corruption in Washington DC just like she did in Alaska. Palin has a record of transparency. You can bet she will fight for drilling for oil ... immediately! ... She has a record in Alaska of fighting unreasonable environmentalists, like the polar bear claim. Thank you for your vote."

You notice, not a word about McCain, except to put his name 2nd? Wow, I knew Utahns weren't impressed with The Mav-prick, but did not realize they consider HIM the afterthought to the Republican ticket. And what to say about the brazen ignorance of Palin's attributes they so lovingly cited? Maybe it's time to finally put out my Obama sign and see how long before it is stolen!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


M cCain - P alin




M ilitary P olice !

coincidence, or crap?

Friday, October 17, 2008

WOW, is there ANYTHING this guy CAN'T do?

Ask any comedian, comedy is hard work. You need good material delivered with a deft touch and natural timing. Roasting is the hardest comedy of all. Great care is necessary to assure that you don't go into unfunny mean territory. Here is Obama doing an impressively funny roast speech tonight at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner (10.5 minutes):

Now here is McCain speaking at the same dinner (you know it won't be pretty ... in fact, it is practically a concession speech):

Thursday, October 16, 2008


sorry, couldn't resist posting this shot.
last night's great debate moment!
I can't even begin to analyze this posture,
but McTongue sure does look hungry for Obama's ass.
too bad he got handed his own, instead.
* * * * * * * * * *

if you want some tax analysis, scroll down and
read why "Joe the Plumber is a Selfish Prick";
also tell me what you thought about "Intervention" (below) ...

Joe the Plumber is a Selfish Prick

Disclaimer: I don't know Joe the Plumber from Joe Blow, but after hearing about him and his tax problems throughout the debate last night, I have to say he is a selfish prick. Here's why:

He claims to be unable to buy a business he has been working for because Obama's tax plan would make it unfeasible. Apparently, the additional 3% tax increase Obama would impose on any of Joe's net business income over $250K per year will make it unprofitable for him to realize his dream of purchasing his own plumbing business.

Where to start? Let me address Joe directly ...

Joe, you do realize that in "purchasing" an existing business, as you are proposing to do, you must first come to terms with the seller on the selling price? If this additonal tax is going to cost you too much of your prospective net profit, you must realize it is also going to cost the seller more of his net profit if he does NOT sell the business. This is, therefore, a negotiable item that both you and the seller must take into consideration in agreeing on a purchase price. You are in the catbird seat here, Joe. If you can't handle this type of negotiation, perhaps you should not be in business for yourself in the first place.

You also realize that once you are a business owner, virtually every expense you incur in your business is tax deductible? It is only the NET business income that is taxable, and under Obama's tax plan, only the net income over $250K will face a tax increase. And just to be extra clear, it is not so much a tax increase as it is allowing the Bush Tax Cut for the Wealthy to sunset as it was intended to do in 2010 regardless of WHO is president. This means income tax rates will return to their pre-Bush level, back to the time when our government was not running such huge deficits because the income tax rates were high enough to cover our national expenses ... kind of like the way you would hope to run your own business, Joe.

Do you realize the "onerous" tax increase you are facing under Obama, the one that is precluding you from purchasing your dream business, is only $1500 for every $50K you net over $250K? Remember the $250K is NET, meaning you have already deducted every possible business expense from your gross revenue and still have over $250K left for yourself. And the Obama tax plan has incentives to help you realize immediate deductions for capital expenses, which will help you further reduce your net taxable business income.

You talked about Obama's tax increase being so high as to not allow you to employ "people". Since you said "people", I assume you are talking about at least 2 people, in addition to yourself. Having run a small business myself for 25-yrs, I know how much it costs to employ "people". It generally runs the employer about 1.5 times the actual salary of the employee. This includes paying the employer share of payroll taxes, state unemployment and workers compensation fund insurance, and any employee benefits you intend to offer such as health insurance and pension. The Obama tax plan has incentives in the form of a tax credit for each new employee you hire, which will help reduce your cost of each employee.

I've estimated that in order for any Obama Tax Plan increase to even begin to impact you, Joe, your prospective business would have to be generating gross sales revenue of around $2million/year. Using industry standard expense figures, your direct costs would be about 70%, or $1.4million, leaving $600K to cover 10% avg overhead expenses (=$200K) and 2 employees at $75K each (=$150K) ... which would leave you a net taxable business income of $250K.

Now here is why I say you are selfish, Joe:

From your complaint, it's obvious that your prospective plumbing business must be grossing a lot more than $2million/yr, therefore netting you a lot more than $250K/yr. Well, Joe, I don't mean to sound like I'm picking on you, but if you're netting more than $250K/yr, maybe you ought to be paying your employees more. Every dollar more you pay them reduces your net taxable income. Think about offering better benefits, like increased matching pension plans and family medical coverage. Whatever benefits you offer your employees will also be available to you, TAX-FREE (unless McCain gets elected because he will make some of those benefits taxable)! Or think about hiring additional employees, which would provide the jobs our country needs to help get our economy back on track. Think about new equipment purchases which will not only help your business to run more efficiently but also help the economy in general (remember every dollar you spend on these business items is a sales dollar to some other business). All these expense items will help you grow your business while reducing your net taxable business income, so you won't be stuck paying the IRS that extra 3% on net income over $250K/yr! While you're at it, get yourself a knowledgeable tax accountant (his fee will be another business expense to help reduce your net taxable income), because you obviously do not have the skills to do this yourself.

And if after all this, your business is still netting more than $250K/yr, then I say, congratulations, Joe! You are a successful business owner and should be proud to pay your fair share of taxes in order to keep the country that made your success possible sound. Now, if you don't care about contributing to keeping our economy sound, if all you care about is Joe, then I say you ARE a selfish prick and your business venture is probably doomed to failure, no matter WHO is president and no matter what their tax plan is.

***** UPDATE: In addition to everything else, Joe the Plumber was probably a republican plant! Read HelenWheels & follow her links today. Looks like "Joe" is related to Charlie Keating. McCain may regret making "Joe" the centerpiece of his debate points. Well as the Church Lady would say, how conveeeenyunt!


Was anybody else as creeped out as I was by McCain's use of "INTERVENTION" in the following exchange during the debate last night:

Bob Shieffer: ... Sen. McCain, your commercials have included words like "disrespectful," "dangerous," "dishonorable," "he lied." Your running mate said Obama "palled around with terrorists." Are each of you tonight willing to sit at this table and say to each other's face what your campaigns and the people in your campaigns have said about each other?

John McCain: Well, this has been a tough campaign. It's been a very tough campaign. And I know from my experience in many campaigns that, if Sen. Obama had asked -- responded to my urgent request to sit down, and do town hall meetings, and come before the American people, we could have done at least 10 of them by now. When Sen. Obama was first asked, he said, "Any place, any time," the way Barry Goldwater and Jack Kennedy agreed to do, before the intervention of the tragedy at Dallas. So I think the tone of this campaign could have been very different...


It just seems so creepy for him to call JFK's assassination an "Intervention".

Maybe it's just me....but it sure seems like an odd word to use, especially since the question pertained to negative campaigning which we have seen has inspired some truly hateful audience responses that I won't repeat here.

And BTW, if we had had to endure 10 of those phony town halls as McCain was pushing, I think we'd all need an intervention by now.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

McShingles, Gaslight, Hate, Hope (the antidote)

I. "McShingles" is what I am referring to my recent shingles outbreak as. At the current rate of inflammation progression, it looks like I will be under their spell until, ohhhh, November 4th. Really! When the election results are finally known, I will breathe a big sigh of relief and suddenly notice my McShingles are eradicated. Absolutely!

II. "Gaslight" is the name of a classic Victorian thriller play I attended last week. Written by Patrick Hamilton in 1938, set in London in the mid 1880's. The play takes the audience into a world of mystery, gaslight, secrets, hushed fears, deception, paranoia, and the stark edge of madness.

Note: Enigma's post about the Alaska Governor's Mansion and the comment thread about the mysterious Obama sign by HelenWheels and Hairball made the "gaslight" connection in my mind.

The term "gaslighting" entered the English language, coined directly from this play! It originally referred to a form of psychological abuse where there is a deliberate attempt to convince someone they are losing their grip on reality. Gradually, "gaslighting" has acquired the meaning of ruthlessly manipulating an individual, for nefarious reasons, into believing something other than the truth...

III. Which brings me to Sarah "Gaslight" Palin and her two-minute hate speeches wherein she "gaslights" her audience by invoking terror of the other, the unknown. John McShingles flings out "that one", then offers a few false-sounding reassurances when the pyschological melodrama becomes overwhelming. Meanwhile, Sarah Gaslight protects his back & keeps the audience dangerously stoked.

Her rallies remind me of the Two-Minute Hate speeches George Orwell wrote about in his novel, "1984". These were the canned broadcast speeches everyone was required to attend every day. Here is Orwell's description ... does any of it sound familiar? Warning: this way lies madness ...

The horrible thing about the "Two Minutes Hate" was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretense was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one's will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp.

The Hate rose to its climax. The face of Goldstein (DK note: Goldstein was "that one", "the other") ... changed into ... the figure of a Eurasian soldier who seemed to be advancing, huge and terrible, his sub-machine-gun roaring, and seeming to spring out of the surface of the screen, so that some of the people in the front row actually flinched backward in their seats. But in the same moment, drawing a deep sigh of relief from everybody, the hostile figure melted into the face of Big Brother ... full of power and mysterious calm, and so vast that it almost filled up the screen.

Nobody heard what Big Brother was saying. It was merely a few words of encouragement, the sort of words that are uttered in the din of battle, not distinguishable individually but restoring confidence by the fact of being spoken. Then the face of Big Brother faded away again and instead the three slogans of the Party stood out in bold capitals:


But the face of Big Brother seemed to persist for several seconds on the screen, as though the impact that it had on everyone's eyeballs was too vivid to wear off immediately ... At this moment the entire group of people broke into a deep, slow, rhythmic chant of 'B-B! .... B-B! .... B-B!'—over and over again, very slowly, with a long pause between the first 'B' and the second—a heavy mumurous sound, somehow curiously savage, in the background of which one seemed to hear the stamps of naked feet and the throbbing of tom-toms. For perhaps as much as thirty seconds they kept it up. It was a refrain that was often heard in moments of overwhelming emotion. Partly it was a sort of hymn to the wisdom and majesty of Big Brother, but still more it was an act of self-hypnosis, a deliberate drowning of consciousness by means of rhythmic noise.

IV. Well so, we have come to the end of the "Hate" portion of this post. Many others have written how dangerous this type of mindless crowd can become. I would like to think part of this is the result of an extraordinarily long campaign season. I would like to think thoughtful people recoil from this this type of manipulation.

But never fear, there is hope. Hope is the antidote! Here is the legendary Sam Cooke singing "A Change is Gonna Come" written during the civil rights movement of the 1960's ... you know how this will end .... (a 3-minute history of civil rights, with hopeful ending):

There have been many covers of this song, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin & Tina Turner come to mind, even Bob Dylan (which is appropriate since Sam always credited Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" with inspiring him to write this):

"There were times when I thought I couldn't last for long,
But now I think I'm able to carry on.
It's been a long, been a long time coming,
But I know a change is gonna come ... oh yes it will"


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

On the McCover of the Rolling Stone


"We got all the friends
that money can buy
So we never have to be alone
And we keep gettin' richer

but we can't get our picture
On the cover of the Rolling Stone"

Well now they've really gone and done it, putting McCain on the Oct 16th cover of Rolling Stone! But in this case, the cover is followed by a very good article. If you thought you knew most of McCain's history, you might be surprised. Click here to read online, Make Believe Maverick: a closer look at the life and career of John McCain reveals a disturbing record of recklessness and dishonesty. Or do like me and print it out to read at your leisure. It's 10-pages long, but every page is worth the reading time.

If I felt better (more about that below), I'd post some snips here. But look, if you want to read it, you will ... and if you don't, you won't. I can only say the more I learn about McCain, the more I realize the man is an unworthy flat-ass crazy lying corrupt warhawk and actually has the potential to be worse than Baby Bush (something I did not think possible)!

And now for my own cry-baby story: (warning, this may be TMI for the some) ... I want to apologize to my blog friends for my blog absence. I'm currently in the middle of a protracted Shingles outbreak, my 3rd this year. I wish I was still as ignorant about Shingles as I was a year ago. Ahhh, those were the days!

It turns out the Shingles virus is the chicken pox virus you probably contracted as a child. It's so vicious that even after recovering from the chicken pox, the virus never goes away. It lays dormant in your spinal fluid, for decades usually, just waiting for an opportunity to come raging back out & wreck havoc with your body.

They say Shingles is "stress-related". Gee, ya think? All I know is this particular outbreak coincides with the U.S. financial meltdown. Watching this economic train wreck has been particularly excruciating. Each piece of scary news pings my painful shingles-invaded nerves.

Just today, seeing first Ben Bernanke and then George W Bush on cable news trying to reassure us did not "talk me down" (as Rachel Maddow would say). Does Bernanke think a calm voice makes scary news more palatable? And GWB ... jeez, he starts out sounding like a bored child and ends up yelling at the audience questioners about needing a loan to buy a desk!

One shingles effect has been to sap all my energy and make computer-time all but impossible. So, that's my excuse for not blogging. As I begin to regain my strength (soon I hope), I will be trying to catch up more on the blogs. I really look forward to reading some of your posts & thoughts. I've missed you all very much!

In the meantime, I will be laying on my side (the only comfortable position) to watch tonight's debate ... and wondering why Senator McDeregulation was not mentioned by either Bernanke or Bush today in their long list of scurrilous reasons why we are in this mess.