Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
"I'm not going to do like the Europeans have and have expensive health care systems that are neither efficient or, frankly, the quality we have here in America."Huh? The New Republic's Jonathan Cohn has coverage from CBS titled The Many Myths Of European Health Care: The New Republic: Statistics Show That Arguments Against Universal Coverage Are Weak. Reckon our media will question the Straight Talk Express on this latest lie? John Gunn
Saturday, April 26, 2008
ALCAP's moral compass seems broken. Mercy! John Gunn
But Ireland believes HB 196, which also passed the House and is currently placed on the Senate calendar, could be more dangerous to the state, and particularly its underage drinkers.
Sponsored by Rep. Thomas Jackson, D-Thomasville, HB 196, known as the gourmet beer bill, more than doubles the alcohol content allowed in beer sold in Alabama.
"The Free the Hops people wanted to have their own beverage in the state," Jackson said. "That's an imported beer that the Germans and Europeans drink all the time. I feel like if we can take [the Germans' and Europeans'] dollars we ought to be able to embrace their culture."
To that comment, Ireland responded, "If they have prostitution over there, do you think we should have it over here too?"
Ireland believes this bill would provide underage drinkers greater access to a more potent beer, but Jackson, a Church of God in Christ minister, does not believe this will be the case.
"I don't think our teenagers will enjoy drinking this beer because the taste is not good, and it costs $7.60 per bottle," he said.
However, Ireland believes money is not an issue for today's youth.
"To bring what I call a 'high-octane beer' to this market is a dangerous step toward the young people," he said.
"Young people pretty much have the wherewithal to buy what they want when they want it. With that alcohol level, it's a possibility that a teenager can get drunk on one beer. There are too many red flags to allow this to happen."
UPDATE - mooncat at Left in Alabama has more details on Huggy and Homewood.
McCain's poverty tour filled with contradictions by Matt Stearns of McClatchy ties in with the work of James Pethokoukis of U.S. News and World Reports in The Return of Big Government: A bulked-up uncle Sam is coming back to deal with housing, healthcare, Social Security, and more yet the image above might say as much as either. For the record, I found some of what James Pethokoukis was offering a little off yet the article is still with merit.
Huggy Bear is seemingly trying to emulate Bu$hCo's "compassionate conservative" angle from back in 2000. Given Dubyah's punking of America I'm not sure the strategy will work. All but the true believers have given up on Bu$h and the GOP brand is bent if not broken. My thinking is that St. John can't square conservatism with his talking points on his "poverty tour". Despite the Democratic Party's tendency toward a circular firing squad, Huggy's handlers surely know he's got the at least try to appear moderate and sensible to have a chance this fall. John Gunn
Friday, April 25, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Well done TPM reader GB. What Senator-elect Obama was saying about struggling rural and working class Americans made sense back in 2004 and what Senator/Candidate Obama recently said made equal sense. The man continues to impress me. John Gunn
A true friend tells you when you're walking down the path to defeat. A true friend tells you when you're acting despicably. And that's why Jimmy Carter is Israel's best friend in America—the only President to negotiate a lasting peace between Israel and one of its enemies and the only major figure to tell the Israelis that they're walking a path to their own destruction.Well stated. The population numbers Ian provides do paint a telling picture for Israel. Jimmy Carter continues to earn our respect and admiration. John Gunn
Saturday, April 12, 2008
I mentioned the FAA issue just last Thursday before I jumped on a plane. Now I'm hardly a swell like those the WSJ claims to have among their readers but I expect even they want a safe flight. "There's no better regulator than a competitive marketplace" might sound good on paper yet even the fat cats in first class, when not on a private jet, might want an FAA that functions.
The WSJ's Opinion site opines "Whether any of this would in fact produce safer toys or food or medicines is beside the point for lawmakers like Mr. Oberstar, whose real goal is to augment Washington's power vis-a-vis industry. But it's worth noting that in the case of air travel, safety gains have accompanied less regulation, not more." While I appreciate their reference to statistics on flight safety and can accept the good news are they really wanting to now claim there's a return to a "hypernanny state mentality in the 1970s"? For the record, I surely don't accept this was ever the case. Also, I have a toy safety post banging around in my noggin but have yet to reduce it to writing. Perhaps soon?
The WSJ's Opinion portion laments, "It would mean that every business misstep, no matter how rare, could potentially result in industry-wide repercussions. Congress would call for more rules and greater enforcement, in the name of "safety." And regulatory agencies would respond with overkill. The cost of doing business would rise, and consumers would pay for it in higher prices, less convenience or both." Isn't this a rather broad brush to pick up at this juncture?
Again, my whole beef is that these jokers never miss an opportunity to advance the corporatists' agenda of "free markets" and "deregulation". John Gunn
UPDATE ~ Huggie isn't happy!
Then again, maybe he ought to just keep on talking. I personally like the idea that he'll offer a reasoned analysis on issues such as these. There's truth a plenty in what he said. As I posted back in May of 2006 "common sense often can be reconciled with intellectual elitism" and darned if Senator Obama doesn't have that touch. The more I hear him talk the more I hold out hope that he might be a step in the right direction. Use the attention Senator. I suggested this assertive approach when the Reverend Wright mess first started breaking. Jujitsu politics is sort of like earned media in that it's free. He might as well turn it to good. Flip what St. John and Senator Clinton are hurling at you into a positive.
Finally, I can't help but think of how Bu$hCo managed to somehow get the votes of the unwashed masses in 2000 and 2004. The reality that Dubyah is a child of privilege can't be ignored. Daddy Bu$h got him out of Vietnam and he was essentially AWOL for a portion of his time even then. After failure after failure in business, with SEC violations while with Harken Energy that were covered up, he got lucky upon selling the Texas Rangers after a gov't land grab and then publicly financed ballpark so he could buy "a ranch" where he rides around in a pickup with a cowboy hat to cut brush. I also love how reporters do their thing in front of that nice John Deere or a barn or ... It's almost as bad as his Commander Codpiece moment. Bu$h is totally out of touch with the working class. All hat and no cattle!
St. John McCain is the son and grandchild of two high speed Admirals and yet he finished at the bottom end of his class at Annapolis. He married into Anheuser-Busch distributor money. Senator Clinton is better positioned to throw stones here yet she's hardly one of the regular folks. I understand that HRC and her surrogates like Evan Bayh (Senator "Centrist Weenie" from Indiana) will play the hands that are dealt them yet I surely wish they'd look ahead to November. John Gunn
I knew this book was out there, and I've followed some of Brownstein's past writings, yet I was motivated to do some digging on him after reading his MSNBC/National Journal piece titled The bottom line on Iraq: How much is America willing to spend to try to stabilize Iraq? That my son and other young people will be paying for the "Reign of Error" that has been Bu$hCo is bothersome enough yet I especially appreciated how Brownstein pointed out how General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker's somber caution contrasted with the somewhat chirpy optimism of McCain" in last weeks hearings. John McSame is appearing all the more willing to follow in the tradition of Dubyah's denials. Can we afford much more? John Gunn
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
The official doing the honors was a Republican named English yet if that's what it took to marry this amazing woman then it was worth it. Here we are outside of the Lee County, Alabama courthouse on Monday morning but I was back on Fort Lewis by 4:00 this morning. We'll grow old together as credited to my brother in law that we recently lost yet I'd ideally have had a few days more with her before flying back out to the Left Coast. I miss her something fierce. Nothing else to post this evening. I'm a tired fellow and there's so much news to read. Might attend Drinking Liberally tomorrow in Tacoma (at Merconi's Pub on Pacific around 7ish) so I could skip posting then also. Starting at the first of the week I'll be training in Yakima for about ten days so I'll be unable to post then also. Without the posting I'll miss her even more. John Gunn
Sunday, April 06, 2008
The Anniston Star's John Fleming has a nice review of the book and also the man. Despite his failures, and I agree the times made it tough for anyone to do the right thing on integration, I remain so very proud to carry his name. John Gunn
Thursday, April 03, 2008
I found this Katrina vanden Heuvel editorial which had a huge chunk of Dr. King's April 4, 1967 Riverside Church speech on the Vietnam War and other failings of our society. Katrina wrote in part the following:
Amen! I'll stop short of her calling the war in Iraq "unjust" although anyone that knows me of has followed my blogging likely accepts that I do have strong concerns about both the utility and certainly the consequences of the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq. That forces were pulled from Afghanistan to be projected into Iraq is all the more bothersome. I think the Bu$hCo years will prove to be a sorry chapter in American history, although we've had plenty of opportunities lost just in my lifetime, mostly due to "conservatism". Certainly the way that Dubyah, his handlers/enablers, the media, and our nation as a whole handled Iraq will be at the top of the list of what all went wrong during this "Reign of Error".
It is a moment to listen to Dr. King's words about the broader casualties of another war--casualties that go beyond the carnage of battle to the devastating costs of war at home--the damage to social justice and racial equality, and the unbearable cost to free speech and dissent. ...
Today, 41 years later, we are once again, as Dr. King told us, "in an unthinkable position morally and politically..." Who of sane mind can look out over the current landscape in America and breathe easily. At The Nation, we recognize that when it comes to the future of our democracy, of our country and the world, we are in the fight of our lives--confronted by failed policies, wanton destruction, false promises, rampant corruption, metastasizing financial pain, and the downward spiraling of America's standing in the world.
"The fight of our lives" rings so true for me. And perhaps that is why I feel compelled to do my little part here with blogging to just a few readers. Katrina ends with a promise to "continue to work passionately to speak truth and build a better nation and world." Although this weekend may be some time away from working, I think I will too. John Gunn
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
UPDATE ~ Noonish on March 5, 2008 - Glenn Beck interviews James Inhofe. They lead with the argument that numbers are increasing yet ignore the fact that this particular right wing lie depends on looking at various groups and locations and/or an interest group "study" rather than the species as a whole. That study commissioned by the Inuit-dominated government of Nunavit is giving the right wingers some cover I regret. This WaPo Polar Bear Population Seen Declining seems to consider the long view rather than selective numbers. Here's NPR's Polar Bear Population Struggles as Sea Ice Melts.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Today's Senators hear of poor work conditions in poultry plants from Ames Alexander and Lisa Zagaroli of McClatchy Newspapers reported that many of those doing the hearing "called for stiffer penalties and stronger enforcement against chronic violators." The Charlotte Observer was credited with a series that prompted these hearing. Their "The Cruelest Cuts" would have done that. A tip of the tam they are surely due.
Senator Patty Murray from Washington said, ""I am very concerned because the evidence shows that in the last seven years, OSHA has been dangerously ineffective." Reckon why that might be? So what's a Republican to do? Especially a historically loyal one like Johnny Isakson of Georgia? Here's Johnny:
At times I'm not sure whether Saxby Chambliss or Johnny Isakson is the peachiest Georgia Senator yet I find the above rather off base. Your President's basic Bu$hCo approach to gov't gets OSHA to where they can't do their job. Still, you'll not think to hit these offending companies in the pocketbook. And where these "compliance officers" will come from given how Bu$hCo has gutted this agency is beyond me. Let's hope the price of loyalty comes home to bite you in the butt come 2010. John Gunn
Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia, the ranking Republican on the subcommittee, said higher fines alone won't change a company's willingness to look the other way when it comes to unsafe conditions.
When OSHA finds companies with a pattern of workplace safety problems, it should assign compliance officers to follow up until all problems have been fixed, he said.
"It's those kinds of things that get to the meat of the coconut more than beating your chest that you tripled fines," he said.