|From Acerbic Politics|
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
How is the American economy supposed to limp its way back towards some pitiful semblance of prosperity when every time a city has a nice space that would be perfect for a cash-earning business, woops, a church just stole it?
This is happening! Did you know that a church does not contribute a god damn thing economically, and, to the contrary, pays no taxes at all while still consuming city services such as firefighter responses when heathens burst into flames? It is true. Churches contribute less to the public coffers than more civic-minded businesses like strip clubs and sex shops and Satanic apparel outlet stores. The WSJ reports that America's entire tumbleweed-strewn business district is hamstrung by a preponderance of freeloading houses of worship, popping up faster than toadstools on the cow shit of the recession.Something useful—not church. When will Jesus start paying his fair share
The City of San Diego fought for two years to prevent a church from settling in an industrial park, which the city said was meant for job-creating businesses, not worship.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Among Democrats, we view the government and the economic engine of the nation as entities designed to serve the people of the world .I could elaborate on this, and might at some point, but for now I'll just leave this for you to ruminate on. Feel free to comment.
Among Republicans, they view the people as servants of the government and the economic engine.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
No matter what you think of the Senates new health-care-reform bill, it didn't come without a lot of bribery. Most Senators got paid huge sums of money (paid into their campaign funds, of course, so as not to look like actual bribes) to get rid of the public option and any substantive reform that didn't benefit the insurance companies and big pharmaceutical companies. But there was more than that.
Gawker summarized some of the bribes needed to get the votes. I'll post just the first two - click on the link to read the rest.
If Your Senator Didn't Get Paid for Supporting Healthcare Reform, You're a SuckerNebraska gets permanent federal aid for its increased Medicaid costs under the bill, valued at $100 million over the next decade. Every other state gets three years of increased aid.
The residents of Libby, Mont., will get special access to Medicare to cover the effects of asbestos contamination from a vermiculite mine that operated there until 1990, thanks to Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.). The EPA has already devoted $6 million to the town's 2,600 residents.
We sat on the runway for 3+ hours - crying babies, long lines for the bathroom, cramped seats, uncomfortable temperatures.
Finally, they started the engines and we were told we had to go back to the terminal to refuel. But they lied. We went back to the terminal and they had us deplane. Our flight had been canceled - but no one told us until we were back inside the terminal. We waited in line for another 2+ hours for an agent to tell us that there were no flights back to Syracuse for two days - that they would not put us up for the two days - that there were no available hotels within an hour's drive of the airport.
We finally caught two seats on a flight to Buffalo, and I rented a car and drove home from there (about a 3-hour drive).
For the privilege of being so rudely treated, we paid American Airlines something akin to $700, round-trip. I hate - no, make that despise, the airlines in this country. Maybe $700 isn't a lot to them - it is to us. One would think that when you shell out that kind of money and put yourself and your transportation into the hands of a large corporation like that, that they would take care of you. They don't. They're willing to abandon you and leave you to your own devices the minute things get tough for them. (One hostess in the airport told us that weather wasn't the reason for the cancellation of our flight - there was a work slowdown by the air-traffic controllers. We still don't know the truth.)
Are the airlines struggling financially? I hope so. They can all go out of business for all I care. I fly as little as possible (maybe once a year) and would fly even less if it were possible.
As far as I am concerned, the new news out of Washington regarding the nation's airlines is minimally good news, but even what the government is allowing is too much, IMHO.
Here's a summary of the new FAA regulations - from the New York Times...
Under the new regulations, airlines operating domestic flights will be able only to keep passengers on board for three hours before they must be allowed to disembark a delayed flight. The regulation provides exceptions only for safety or security or if air traffic control advises the pilot in command that returning to the terminal would disrupt airport operations.
Airlines will be required to provide food and water for passengers within two hours of a plane being delayed on a tarmac, and to maintain operable lavatories. They must also provide passengers with medical attention when necessary.
From January to June this year, 613 planes were delayed on tarmacs for more than three hours, their passengers kept on board.
Airlines will also be prohibited from scheduling chronically delayed flights. Carriers who fail to comply could face government enforcement action for using unfair or deceptive trade practices.
It seems that our government is pretty much based on prayers. Congress members urge their constituents to pray for certain outcomes. Then God decides what to do, based on the number of prayers he hears. For example: Health Bill clears hurdle, Coburn's prayer.
A little after 1:00 am, the Senate health-care bill cleared a key procedural hurdle that almost all but ensures its passage on Christmas Eve. The AP: "All 58 Democrats and the Senate's two independents held together early Monday against unanimous Republican opposition, providing the exact 60-40 margin needed to shut down a threatened GOP filibuster."
Meanwhile, the only way that Majority Leader Harry Reid was going to fail to get 60 votes was if a member of his caucus didn't show up to vote.
And that's exactly what Republican Sen. Tom Coburn said he's "praying" for.
"What the American people ought to pray is that somebody can't make the vote tonight," he said on the Senate floor Sunday afternoon. "That's what they ought to pray."
Apparently, Coburn wanted God to smite one of those Democrats. It's not clear if he wanted him dead, or just incapacitated.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
People's disappointment at the health care "compromise" should not be surprising. Was there ever any serious doubt that we'd get a "reform" which transfers massive amounts of money from the people to the corporations while doing little to genuinely relieve the pressures created by a broken, for-profit system? Real reform would not only reduce profits but increase people's security, both of which are anathema to corporations that thrive on fearful people sending them money (keep in mind that Bernanke is comfortable with 10%+ "official" unemployment for the foreseeable future — and he will not be risking any of his own comfort). Of course health insurance corporations are getting what they wanted.
He [Dean] recapped all the compromises we made: "We wanted single payer, but that was taken off the table early on. That was a mistake. We had to get to the place where we had health insurance for all Americans." But now, he said, there's no public option, and no Medicare option.
"You're forced to pay money to an insurance company or get fined $750 by your government, while 27% of your money goes to CEOs who are flying around in these private jets," he said.
He talked about the compromises made for pre-existing conditions, the most disturbing one the ability to charge you 300% more, merely for being older. "It's guaranteed issue, but if you’re making $65,000 a year for a family of four and you’re paying $20,000 for insurance, how is that reform?"
The Plum Line Greg Sargent's blog
German Reporter To Senator Inhofe: “You’re Ridiculous”
Via Steve Benen, GOP Senator James Inhofe apparently journeyed to Copenhagen to let the pointy-headed Europeans know that America damn well isn’t doing anything about global warming anytime soon. Once there, he had an amusing exchange with a group of reporters:
Inhofe’s aides eventually rustled up a group of reporters, and the Oklahoman — wearing black snakeskin cowboy boots — held forth from the top of a flight of stairs in the conference media center.
“We in the United States owe it to the 191 countries to be well-informed and know what the intentions of the United States are. The United States is not going to pass a cap and trade,” he said. “It’s just not going to happen.”
A reporter asked: “If there’s a hoax, then who’s putting on this hoax, and what’s the motive?”
“It started in the United Nations,” Inhofe said, “and the ones in the United States who really grab ahold of this is the Hollywood elite.”
One reporter asked Inhofe if he was referring to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Another reporter — this one from Der Spiegel — told the senator: “You’re ridiculous.”
From: Who Runs Gov (click the link to read more.)
Friday, December 18, 2009
I still celebrate Christmas - more for the joy of spending time with family, sharing the thoughtfulness of gifts (especially with the grandchildren), enjoying the lights and cheerfulness of those around me - than for any religious reason.
And I certainly don't mind it if someone says Happy Holidays to me. After all, there are three major holidays that fall within a four- or five-week period of time (Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years). Using the plural, non-specific 'holidays" works quite well this time of year.
And as most of you must know, if you're reading this secular blog devoted to caring about others and not focused on the selfish Christian values we read so much about these days (no health care for the poor, no help for women with reproductive problems, non-procreative sex is bad for everyone except moralistic conservatives who can do anything they want, hate for non-Christians, etc.), Christmas isn't even the birthday of Christ. Yep - Christmas was originally a celebration of the winter solstice until the church realized it couldn't get people to celebrate Christ's birth any other time of year, so they confiscated what was previously a secular holiday.
But Christmas is still fun - Santa Claus, TV specials, fantastic music of all sorts, the first snowfalls of the year - I can just ignore the religious crap.
So if you want to wish me a "happy holidays," I'll appreciate it, enjoy it, and I won't chastise you for not saying "Christmas."
Thursday, December 17, 2009
~ Chez Pazienza
from Bits & Pieces by Jonco
3 people liked this
The economy is so bad that I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.
The economy is so bad I ordered a burger at McDonalds and the kid behind the counter asked, “Can you afford fries with that?”
The economy is so bad that CEO’s are now playing miniature golf.
The economy is so bad if the bank returns your check marked “Insufficient Funds,” you call them and ask if they meant you or them.
The economy is so bad Hot Wheels and Matchbox stocks are trading higher than GM.
The economy is so bad McDonalds is selling the 1/4 ouncer.
The economy is so bad parents in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their children’s names.
The economy is so bad a truckload of Americans was caught sneaking into Mexico.
The economy is so bad Motel Six won’t leave the light on anymore.
The economy is so bad Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen.