Thursday, October 14, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
at a gas station after a duck hunt the attendant says, "are you a hunter?" (I have dogs, a cased shotgun, decoys and ducks in the truck).
my reply "just damn you must be psychic"
answer, "no sir, you have dog snot on your windows and feathers in your hair."
at the same station a girl hears me talk and asks me where I'm from (keep in mind this is Boondoggle, MN). I tell her Georgia. Her answer:
"Oh Yah, say something Southern."
(giggling) "oh, how cute!"
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
The largest union’s meeting opened here on Saturday to a drumbeat of heated rhetoric, with several speakers calling for Mr. Duncan’s resignation, hooting delegates voting for a resolution criticizing federal programs for “undermining public education,” and the union’s president summing up 18 months of Obama education policies by saying, “This is not the change I hoped for.”
“Today our members face the most anti-educator, anti-union, anti-student environment I have ever experienced,” Dennis Van Roekel, president of the union, the National Education Association, told thousands of members gathered at the convention center here.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
I've uploaded the current group photo...for any and all who want it. Back row (left to right): Erin Daly, Vince Lombardo, Chris Nicholson, Rich Taylor, Joe Arico, Eric Stefan, Jeanette Young, Dan Honigfort, Claire Sokas; Front row (left to right): Matt Wilson, Lionel Nicolas, Grace Park.
Monday, June 7, 2010
More significant, Duncan has said that some of the billions in more traditional annual federal aid that has flowed to states according to population formulas should now be based on Racelike competitions aimed at various pieces of the reform agenda. “This is the chance of a lifetime,” Duncan says. “We have to move the country in a fundamental, dramatic way.”I was wrong -- on this, the President seems to be pursuing this as hard as he can. If there is one thing that he can change in this country for the better, and if there is one thing that will push me into being an Obama voter, it will be if he succeeds in forcing long-term public school reform in this country.
In a Congress controlled by Democrats, that could be a struggle. When Duncan’s testimony broached the broader idea at a March Congressional hearing, the House Appropriations Committee chairman, David Obey, a Democratic representative from Wisconsin — which finished 26th out of 41 entrants in the first round of the Race — reminded Duncan of the states’ dire need for basic funds and signaled his skepticism about the Race reforms, declaring, “When the sailboat is sinking, my top priority would not be to put a new coat of varnish on the deck.” (Obey recently announced he will retire next year, perhaps making Duncan’s reform path easier.)
“Every Democrat knows the president really cares about this,” Schnur says. Which suggests that the Nixon-to-China dynamic that prevailed in states like Tennessee may work in Washington. Obama could most likely get some, probably many, Democratic votes, while winning support from Republicans on an issue they have championed so strongly in the past that taking a flat-out anti-Obama approach would be especially awkward.
“That President Obama did this is a total game changer,” says Pastorek, the Louisiana schools superintendent, who is a Republican working for a Republican governor, Bobby Jindal. “If he really sticks to this, education will never be the same.”
Sunday, June 6, 2010
"NORRIS: The United States is a nation that gets things done. It's a can-do nation. That can-do attitude is an important part of the national psyche. But this so far is a problem that the government can't fix, at least not anytime soon. Help us understand why this should not shake the faith of people in their government?Let's ignore that Jackson doesn't even begin to answer an interesting (if off topic) question. Rather, I'm really frustrated with Jackson's near-rote repeating of the day's talking points: Barack Obama really, REALLY cares and isn't going to leave you or forsake you.
Ms. JACKSON: The most important thing here is to realize the president's personal commitment. He said again today that, you know, we are here and we're not going anywhere. That we realize that even if and when the flow of oil is finally stopped, this recovery, this response and recovery is going to be a long-term thing and requires a long-term commitment. He said that over and over.
I do think that, you know, just in terms of the psyche of this region being from here, part of the anger that is so palpable - and I have it myself - is that that frustration of watching something this catastrophic that we cannot - none of us can do anything about."
I don't give a crap if the president can emote. I really don't. I feel rather sorry that Reagan, Clinton and Bush 43 pushed this idea that you have to think that the President gets you and your concerns and really, REALLY cares. I want President Obama to solve problems; right now, the problems/answers are all at the technical level and the funding/politics is a couple months away.In recent language, in other words, the President isn't Aquaman and can't do much for the situation other than keep repeating that BP is going to get the bill.
What can he do? Quit ignoring Asia. This is the second time he's cancelled a trip to Asia to deal with pressure that "he doesn't care enough" or whatever baloney the political media is pushing for the day. It's time for them (and the President) to realize that the long-term problems of the country should take precedence over the P.R. crisis of the moment.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Think about the pressure there must be on the field-level guys at BP, Schlumberger, Transocean (and yes) Halliburton. The guys actually trying to stop this thing? The guys you laughed at when they tried to execute the 'junk shot' and the 'top kill'? The folks working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to drill that relief well?
Yeah, those guys, those folks deserve our absolute thanks. BP senior-level executives? They're the same suits you get at every big company. But the guys (and gals) on the oil rigs, boats and derricks? Those people are heroes, in my book.
So thanks, folks.
(Had pressure? No, that's pressure.)
Saturday, May 29, 2010
That's right! Hillary Clinton is our nations most popular politician. Personally I feel she is doing a great job as Secretary of State, and plays Obama's "bad cop" quite well. As Tina Fey once said, "Of course she is a bitch. But bitches get shit done!" Also, giving her a prime job in his cabinet, President Obama has set up Hillary as the top presidential candidate in 2016.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I really don't know what to think about this. Perhaps things are really, really bad for Alabama farms. But boy, Dale Peterson means business!
P.S. I don't know when (probably in August), but I'm going to be putting money down in the Iowa Electronic Markets for the Democrats to retain control in both houses. That's selling at 56 cents right now (for a dollar contract in November, if true.) Hopefully, the price doesn't keep going up.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
"I kept hearing that we had lots of projects that were shovel-ready," says one administration official. "But they weren't. We have think tanks that make a compelling case for Keynesian stimulus. What we need, it turns out, is a think tank that tells us how to actually do a stimulus -- how we can get the dollars out there now" to reduce unemployment. [snip]Jim here again. Recrimination first: the Obama administration's original sin will be the stimulus package, which was neither fish nor fowl. If they wanted to do Keynesian stimulus, it should have been MUCH bigger (1.2T instead of 800B.) It was also sold with the phrases "shovel ready" and "timely, targeted and temporary." I think they painted themselves into a corner with those words.
The disparity in the speed at which different projects get going is evident in the state's own tally of jobs funded through the stimulus dollars. By the end of 2009, stimulus money had funded 50,138 jobs in education but just 1,656 in transportation. Totaling all infrastructure spending in the stimulus, $10.6 billion was slated to come to California, $5.6 billion had been awarded, and just $1.2 billion spent by the end of last year.
What happened? Big government -- spending, that is -- ran into good government -- regulation, competitive bidding, environmental safeguards, the works. [snip]
"Environmental-impact reviews, historic-preservation safeguards, unionization of government workers -- these are good things, but they've changed the way government can operate. Plus which, the federal government said, 'We'll give you a ton of money, and we want you to spend it faster -- and better.' There are no exemptions from regulations that came with the stimulus funds. They didn't waive the requirement for competitive bidding; they stressed competitive bidding."
She continues, "You can't just build a new bridge. You've got to do environmental-impact reports, you have to open up the decision to community input, you face potential lawsuits. I'm not saying concern for environmental impacts should go away, but it makes it harder to deal with an economic crisis."
Most frustrating: I don't think Obama can get another stimulus package through. That was the only bullet, and they wasted it.
Perhaps Obama can do some good for the country and untangle the Gordian knot of red tape and regulations around construction. I doubt it, though.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Question: is 4 to 6 games consistent with past Goodell punishments for similar offenses? I am thinking 8 games (punishing by killing the 2010-11 season for him), but I think that's because I don't like ol' #7.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
This story is just a distraction, but a fun one. Here's my favorite joke about it so far, taken from an unnamed liberal blog:
"The real anger should be at Biden for spoiling the rollout of the new phrase. You thought the New Deal was major? This is the Big F----g Deal!"
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Speaking at an event intended to highlight his strategy for turning around struggling schools by offering an increase in federal funding for local districts that shake up their lowest-achieving campuses, Obama called the controversial firings justified.I think it's clear that the Obama Administration is really real about education reform. Good.
"If a school continues to fail its students year after year after year, if it doesn't show signs of improvement, then there's got to be a sense of accountability," he said. "And that's what happened in Rhode Island last week at a chronically troubled school, when just 7 percent of 11th-graders passed state math tests -- 7 percent."
The board that oversees Central Falls High School took the startling step last week of firing 93 teachers and other staff members after the teachers union refused to agree to a plan for them to work a longer school day and provide after-school tutoring without much extra pay.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan has said repeatedly that he wants to work with unions rather than impose reforms on them, and the National Education Association, with 3.2 million members, and the AFT, with 1.4 million members, have generally sought to play down policy differences with the administration.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
It should be like ten bucks a year, and pay out like, I dunno, 100 or 200 dollars. Palin's enough of a bogey-woman that I think I could make a pretty penny on this (or lose my shirt.)
Monday, February 1, 2010
My point is unless our friends in Washington finally get their heads out of the sand and propose real cuts and not freezing decretionary spending while in the same breath proposing a new $100 billion plan for job growth, we are in for some real pain in the coming years (think early 1980s: high unemployment coupled with double digit interest rates). I guess thanks to the healthcare bill (which will pass at some point) more of the unemployed will have health issurance.
It could be a very interesting mid-term election!
Saturday, January 23, 2010
From the transcript of Charlie Rose interviewing Washington Post health care wonk blogger Ezra Klein on December 15:
EK: This bill is both quite an achievement, but a recognition of ourWith the change in the numbers in the Senate, the reform train slows down a little. But only a little -- Democrats will continue to push for health care reform and I expect a bill to pass by the end of the month. They'll be back for more.
limits. And at some point we are not going to be able to content ourselves
with having picked the low-hanging fruit. We are going to have to sit down
and make hard decisions and hard choices on cost, and there won’t be the
spur and the shining goal of covering the uninsured. There will be a lot
less. And we’re still going to have to do it.
So this bill, it’s a good first step, it will make the next one
easier. But the next one is going to be the harder one and I don’t think
anybody looking at this process should be very confident that we will be
able to take it.
CHARLIE ROSE: What’s the next one?
EZRA KLEIN: In a very hard way, cost control. Not just starting the
procedures and the pilot programs, but telling doctors and hospitals and
device manufacturers and Pharma "You are going to make less money next year
than you made this year," or "You are going to make a lot less money in ten
years than you expect to be making now." That’s going to be very hard.
Just remember that their long-term plan is "You are going to make a lot less money in ten years than you expect to be making now."
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
So some Senate Democrats are going to panic about the Coakley loss (which I did not predict correctly at all). Evan Bayh may have already.
Here's what I think President Obama should do: go all out. The whole centrist, calm, cool, collected thing isn't working. He should mash all the buttons down, turn the volume to 11 and just give a general "screw you" to the Republican party. Bring it all out: kill the bankers on Wall Street, go for single payer health care, stop all foreclosures for 180 days, all the big hits.
I think it would be politically braver than any of his baby steps and it would convince the strangely apathetic left that there's something worth fighting for. And I, for one, would enjoy the show.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Should he be in prison? Playing devil's advocate here, it sounds to me like Harrison and his friends may have done Philly a service. That being said, lying to law enforcement is something that society cannot tolerate and I hope that justice before the law is served.
Monday, January 11, 2010
That being said, the mostly ridiculous increase in security is 100% in his purview. I was really hoping that he would scale back the more ridiculous stuff, like the taking-off-of-the-shoes, etc. A citizen can hope.