Tuesday, January 31, 2006

SOTU

All times are Central time zone

8:02 internet is not working; I’m going to have to put all this stuff up after the fact.

8:03 a1337o haX0rs the Supreme Court

8:05 people are shaking hands; the pundits are talking about how “so much” hinges on this speech (at least for the president.

8:06 Man! The people who run our country are really quite ugly.

8:07 Octagonal logo above the entrance door really looks like the Umbrella logo (Resident Evil indeed)

8:08 President opts for a blue tie. Damn! Roy Blunt is an ugly, ugly man.

8:09 $20 says Tom Delay is in the cheap seats. Another $20 says I don’t see his face on T.V. tonight

8:10 pundits talk about how there is already criticism to the SOTU. They fail to mention that everyone who would be so interested already has advance copies of the themes the president is going to be talking about. They also fail to mention the spin rooms they have set up immediately following the SOTU, necessitating advanced talking points by BOTH sides. F--- them. I hear this same criticism every year.

8:12 President honors Coretta Scott King. Applause all around.

8:15 September 11th

8:16 John McCain isn’t buying this shit.

8:17 Digging the right-side of Denny Hastert’s face.

8:20 The phrasing the president is using suggests that the War on Terror is being fought not to keep America safe, but to spread Democracy to the Oppressed. The results suggest that neither goal is being met.

8:24 The President just admitted that Iraq is no where near capable of keeping itself safe. In his own words, leaving now would “turn the country over” to the like of bin Laden.

8:26 Fah-loo-ja

8:26 Much respect for Dan Clay’s family. I hope his death will not be in vain, but I worry with the people we have in charge.

8:29 For the last time, wishing for something won’t make it happen

8:30 Liberty in the middle-east won’t look like the way we define liberty. For 5 years, Bush has been the leader of lowered expectations.

8:31 *speaking directly to Iran* We respect you, please don’t blow Israel up.

8:32 I don’t remember Bush saying “The State of the Union is strong.” Did he?

8:33 Patriot Act, cause our law enforcement is awesome and that is how to respect him.

8:34 President lies

8:35 President lies

8:35 There has never been an explanation of how the secret wire-taps are making us any safer. The fact that any evidence the program might turn up would be inadmissible in court actually makes us less safe.

8:37 Hillary looks nonplussed.

8:38 The President actually thinks this economy is good. I hope he repeats this argument again and again. No one in the middle and working classes is going to buy it because THEY CANNOT AFFORD IT.

8:39 Oh snap! President told the truth. Our economy depends on immigration. Republicans gave a very reluctant standing ovation.

8:40 I caught Condoleeza Rice picking her nose.

8:41 Perma-tax-cuts, followed by president actually claiming to have cut spending. Absurd! This president loves legislation almost as much as war.

8:43 President lobs a soft-ball to Democrats. We stomped his a-- on Social Security.

8:44 The problems of the Baby Boomers, including Social Security, will not be solved by this president.

8:45 President throws protectionists a bone on Immigration.

8:46 Michael Chertoff is a zombie, or addicted to heroin.

8:47 This President is penny-wise and pound-foolish.

8:48 Clean, safe, Nu-clear energy! The word “nuclear” is so heinous, that he had to preface it with “clean” and “safe.”

8:50 I would love if the future he painted came to pass. But I feel this is just empty rhetoric on Energy. I’ve been burned by this guy before.

8:55 2 new SCOTUS justices, it’s too early to know how they’ll turn out. History will have to judge their tenure. I fear they will be as bad as their previous records suggest.

8:57 Barrack Obama is in the good seats.

8:59 The response to Hurricane Katrina was the moment I went from disgust to anger with G.W. Bush. He failed in every possible way to fail. For that, I will never forgive him.

9:03 wrapping up. I was expecting more about his Health Savings Accounts. There is actually very little new material here. He spent the vast majority of his time on defense, especially regarding Iraq and the NSA spying program.
-Synthesis

42

There were 42 Senators who did not think Alito should be confirmed as a justice of the Supreme Court. Only 41 votes were needed to stop him from ascending to the Supreme Court.

Yet only 25 Senators voted to extend debate. If you do the math, you will find that many Senators acted very, very cowardly.
-Synthesis

Friday, January 27, 2006

Letter to the Today show

The Abramoff scandal is entirely Republican, and it is shameful that in the interest of “fairness,” you are equivocating the scandal between Republicans and Democrats.

You purposefully make it seem as though the Indian Tribes involved in this story are agents of Jack Abramoff. The opposite, in fact, is the truth. The Indian Tribes gave money to Democrats of their own accord, never at the prompting of Abramoff. In fact, Jack Abramoff actually advised them to reduce the contributions they gave to Democratic candidates. All the charges, of which Abramoff pleaded guilty, were concerning the literal buying of votes, by Abramoff, from Republicans in congress.

The story here should be Abramoff and his ties to the Republican Party. You are suggesting guilt by association through 2 degrees of separation: Abramoff to Indian Tribes, and then Indian Tribes to Democrats. If guilt were to extend 3 degrees, I would be caught up in this scandal, through my membership in the Democratic party. That sentence is equally as absurd as your insistence that this scandal is somehow bi-partisan.
-Synthesis

p.s. feel free to write your own letter and send it to today@nbc.com

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Bushspeak

More nefarious than any Orwellian dialect.

Seriously, I think the president is acting like an 8-year child. But instead of opposite-day, he's celebrating opposite-decade. It is getting to the point where one can count on whatever he says to be a 180-degree reversal of the truth. When he says something like this, the subtext has become "now I know you all know the truth, but here is my total bald-faced lie, please understand that my total lie must be accepted as truth."
-Synthesis

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

MLK

As we come back from our 3-day weekend, let us reflect on the accomplishments of the 20th century's greatest citizen.

Though he was never elected to any office, King changed our country. Through the power of his words and personality, he was able to make a better future for us all.
-Synthesis

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

hey, remember when...

Remember when the president nominated Harriet Miers for the SCOTUS? Liberals were LOL and Conservatives were all OMG. No one could make any sense of such a politically stupid move.

Perhaps the president knew this "spying" story was going to break, sooner or later. Perhaps he wanted a friendly body on the nation's highest court. Perhaps he thought he could make his illegal actions legal after the fact.

Maybe that was why he was willing to take the hit on all the issues that Social Conservatives so desperately wanted.

This is all speculation, but they really seem like the actions of a criminal.
-Synthesis

Friday, January 06, 2006

Why we must raise the minimum wage

I'll try to convince you with numbers.

The minimum wage has not been raised since September of 1997, more than 8 years ago. It was raised twice during Bill Clinton's 8 years in office, against the will of many in the Republican-controlled congress. George Bush has been in office for a bit more than 5 years now, most of that time with a congress completely under his thumb. No movement at all.

I don't think he'll raise the minimum wage in the next 3 years either.

Over a long period of time, America has had an inflation rate of about 3%. This means that something you buy today for $100 will cost you (more or less) $103 in a years time. Periods of rapid recession or inflation will skew this numbers, but over time, we tend to even out at about 3% inflation. Indeed, some people are lucky enough to receive "inflation" raises every year.

In 1997, $5.15 would buy you $5.15 worth of stuff (in 1997 dollars)
In 2006, that same $5.15 will only buy you $4.07 worth of stuff (again, 1997 dollars)

To have the same purchasing power of the 1997 minimum wage, the 2006 minimum wage should be raised to roughly $6.50 . I would advocate it be raised even higher, but $6.50 is, at least, a good start.

Without a raise, those earning the minimum wage are effectively getting a pay-cut every single year. Over an 90-hour work month, they have lost nearlly $100. Over a year, that is well over $1000 dollars. Progressives don't need to be told this, but that $1000 ($1166.40 to be exact) can mean the difference between getting by and not.

They must get their money back.
-Synthesis

Thursday, January 05, 2006

this is mandatory

It is only the 5th day of the new year, yet Glenn Greenwald has already written the best article you'll read all year. The argument was so compelling that I actually felt it self-evident by the end.

It is a bit lengthy
It is that deeply irrational, fear-driven view of the world which has to be undermined in order to make headway in convincing Americans that this Administration is engaged in intolerable excesses and abuses of its power. The argument which needs to be made is the one that we have seen starting to arise in the blogosphere and elsewhere: that living in irrational fear of terrorists and sacrificing our liberties and all of our other national goals in their name is the approach of hysterics and cowards, not of a strong, courageous and resolute nation.

-Synthesis

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year

Looks like we survived another round of the War on Christmas. Phew.

I was raised Catholic, so I usually say "Merry Christmas" out of habit. I got a smattering of Happy Holidays, Merry Christmases, Merry Capitalism Days, and a few others.

I find it very difficult to believe that anyone could be so petty and small as to wield their preferred Holiday as a weapon. I find it absurd that anyone's sensibilities could be so delicate that any attempt at December inclusivity could prompt such strong injury.

Apparently they survived too.

We have a new year, an election year--my favorite kind of year. It is 2006 now, and we have a lot of work to do.
-Synthesis