You know what is just a HUGE coincidence? That under George W. Bush, Republicans didn't flinch about deficit spending - some may have grumbled, but none stood up and really fought for it. Now, Republicans in Congress and at home are suddenly apoplectic about it. It's TERRIBLE!
It's so ODD, such a huge COINCIDENCE that this happened only once a Democrat took office.
What's funny is that the GOP seems to be just wonderful at bitching about it, but completely clueless in terms of any suggestions to how to fix it. They supplied a 19-page response to the Obama budget that contained exactly zero numbers, didn't project a reduced deficit in any actual terms, and ... well, there's not much else to say except that this was in it:
This is like the equivalent of the Underpant Gnomes from South Park:
Phase 1. Collect underpants.
Phase 2. ??
Phase 3. Profit!
This from the party that calls itself "the party of fiscal responsibility" with a straight face.
So, I had a pretty odd, unnerving incident this night on my way home from work, and if I don't write about it here, well ... what's the point of the blog, right?
(Don't answer that.)
Anyhow, I'm going over the Richmond-San Rafael bridge, which has two lanes. I'm in the fast lane, and from the slow lane a reddish Karmann Ghia pulls FAST into my lane, in front of me, then immediately pulls back into the slow lane. It was an erratic move that accomplished nothing, and as I sped up to pass the car I noticed the driver was a very average looking white guy with a goatee, baseball cap, etc.
A bit further up, as usually happens during rush hour, we hit some traffic. I noticed, apropos of nothing, that the Karmann Ghia was behind me. (I happen to like these cars, which is probably why.) Gradually, I realized that as I inched up each time traffic eased, the car would lurch forward, almost as if he was quickly accelerating, then braking.
The odds here of him rear-ending me seemed pretty high. And then, I noticed the yelling.
Over my music, I realized I could hear what sounded like a man screaming. I paused my iPod, and looked in my rearview -- indeed, this driver was yelling. He wasn't looking at me or anyone in particular.
Wow. That dude is crazy.
Because anyone yelling openly, not at anyone, repeatedly - well, that's the sign of a crazy person.
These were my thoughts. So, I wrote down his license plate, figuring if he DID hit me, he'd be a little risky for providing me with all his insurance, etc.
Then ... I got curious. I wondered what he was saying.
(By the way, this is where it gets disturbing.)
He was yelling - yelling now:
KILL THE N**GGER! KILL THE N**GGER!
OBAMA SUCKS! OBAMA SUCKS!
KILL HIM! KILL HIM!
Truly, this rocked me back. I've rarely seen such hatred on display, and it was horrifying. I often use that word casually, but it's pretty much the most appropriate one I can think of. You may hear that word tossed around casually, but I do not and I'm thankful for it. Who was this guy yelling at, or to?
And then, I thought ... is he yelling at me?
I do have an Obama sticker on my car, as does over half the autos I see driving, but I can't imagine this is what set this nutjob off.
As we eased into more fluid traffic, he sped by me and veered SHARPLY towards me, sticking his arm out the window, flipping me the bird and screaming, once again, "OBAMA SUCKS!"
A few things.
One, I'm inclined to go with my original hypothesis -- the dude is crazy. I don't wnat to paint all Obama haters with the same hating, racist brush.
Two, I reported him to the Highway Patrol and provided a description, license plate and all the relevant details. I doubt it will come of much, but at least somewhere there's a record on this guy. Edited to add: I reported him for reckless driving and, if it mattered, making public threats against the President. Our country ahs conducted 'harsh interrogation techniques' on folks for less than this.
Three, the more I thought about it, the more I realized he was trying to incite me. What would have happened if I had reacted the way I thought of, to get out of my car and yell back at his racist jeers? I'm not saying I was bold enough to actually do it, but I thought about it and wish at some level I had. But ... it kind of freaks me out to think of what a guy like that would be capable of.
Hate is so ugly. And really, I know there are some folks out there that don't like what President Obama is doing but seriously, this is insane.
As is the driver of that car.
Anyhow, freaky evening.
Apropos of nothing, I saw this picture on one of the blogs I visit:
My first thought was, hey, Kyle Gass of Tenacious D looks pretty good.
Then I realized this is Fred Durst, formerly of the craptacular band Limp Bizkit. I mean, I could have sworn that just a few shitty years ago, he looked like this:
What happened? Did he just get old? Start using more drugs? Stop using drugs altogether? Take reverse aging pills?
I honestly don't care what the answer is, but dude ... sorry about your face.
Yeah,I'm an easy mark, but I have to like the Google logo of the day:
It's for the first day of spring, though I thought that was the 21st (tomorrow) and not today.
Since Google knows all, I'm guessing I'm wrong.
Anyhow, if you'd like to see archived holiday logos, they seem to be collected here.
I find it both comforting and a warning sign that President Obama and I have both picked the UNC Tarheels to win March Madness. In fact, we have three of the same four Final Four teams (UNC, Pittsburgh and Memphis, the latter who almost lost today to Cal State Northridge. Eeks.) In the Midwest, President Obama is banking on the Louisville Cardinals, while I'm taking Wake Forest.
I should point out at this time that I don't know squat about NCAA basketball.
More specifically, I find it pretty awesome that he's actually playing a bracket. (And yes, if John McCain had won and did this, I'd probably think he wasn't keeping his eye on the ball. I'm a hypocrite, but at least I acknowledge it.)
What begins, you ask?
Good question. The time when we humans inadvertently create robots that eventually turn against us and eradicate our species.
Exhibit A: BigDog, a product of Boston Dynamics and DARPA. This is a picture of BigDog right here, a robot that looks to be, at this point, a transport device.
Here's how they describe it on the website:
BigDog is the alpha male of the Boston Dynamics family of robots. It is a quadruped robot that walks, runs, and climbs on rough terrain and carries heavy loads. BigDog is powered by a gasoline engine that drives a hydraulic actuation system. BigDog's legs are articulated like an animal’s, and have compliant elements that absorb shock and recycle energy from one step to the next. BigDog is the size of a large dog or small mule, measuring 1 meter long, 0.7 meters tall and 75 kg weight.
In separate trials, BigDog runs at 4 mph, climbs slopes up to 35 degrees, walks across rubble, and carries a 340 lb load.
The key here is the video on the site - be sure to stick around for the part when the BigDog slips on an ice patch. It's both amazing and eerie and certainly one of the creepier things I've seen in awhile.
And clearly, this is the primordial ape to the artificial intelligence that, once again, will be the death of the human race.
Anyhoo, it's unclear why, but there doesn't appear to be a way to embed that video even though it's readily available on the site here.
Before you hit that link, be advised that BigDog clearly has one major flaw -- it sounds like a swarm of the angriest flies you've ever heard. It may be advisable to turn the volume down.
It occurs to me that since November, and certainly since January, this blog has shown a decided lack of George W. Bush bashing.
Mostly, it's because our long national nightmare is over - sort of (the impact of his administrations incompetence will be felt all over the world for a long time.) But mostly it's because I've been busy.
So just in case there is any confusion:
I FUCKING HATE GEORGE W. BUSH. I'M GLAD HE'S OUT OF OFFICE, AND HE'S A MONUMENTAL DOUCHENOZZLE.
Oh, and that Cheney guy? He can choke on his own vomit after his Pacemaker blows out, and I wouldn't feel a thing.
Some guys just earn that kind of contempt.
Back to whatever you were doing.
I have this problem. You see, I have the ability to think and reason on my own, and I can read at above a first grade level.
This apparently distinguishes me from the angry right, who keep saying that President Obama is enacting socialism, and that his tax structure shows that he doesn't want people to succeed, etc.
Let's dispense with that last part because while I can say with certainty that these people have no idea what Obama is thinking, the same is true for me.
But let's be clear about one thing: his tax proposal simply reverts the tax rates back to the income tax levels under President Clinton.
Some obvious questions arise, none of which any of these nincompoops ever address:
- Was the United States a socialist country from 1992-2000?
- If yes, does the prosperity this country experienced during that time indicate that socialism works? If not, why not?
- If it is unfair to revert back to that tax code, why was it fair to give the 5% of people getting a tax hike now all those tax cuts in the past? (As a pre-emptive strike here, I know that most 'informed' responses will say, 'Just because it was imbalanced in the past doesn't have anything to do with the present.' To this, I say, "Phooey."
- Do you actually know what socialism is?
This simple quiz has been brought to you by the public education system (which, incidentally, is also NOT socialism, though closer to it than anything described above).
I just saw this via Andrew Sullivan's blog, and it is sort of stunning in its stupidity:
We have a guy who ran a ponzi scheme that stole billions of dollars from people to fund God knows what. Granted the American people elected him President, but compare what Barack Obama is doing to what Bernie Madoff did and I fail to see a substantial difference beyond Obama having a “mandate” from voters and Madoff not having one. Both Madoff and Obama have put people out of work. Both Madoff and Obama have destroyed the financial health of lots of people. Both Madoff’s and Obama’s schemes have convoluted accounting schemes designed to obfuscate the criminal mismanagement of other people’s money. The difference is that Madoff did it to powerful billionaires who are now millionaires. Obama did it to the rest of us.
Who is that dumb? His name is Erik Erickson, and he's the editor of redstate.org, which is a conservative blog similar to Daily Kos. This is the kind of insanity that would take ten times longer to unpack than it would to simply laugh at. How Obama has put people out of work, destroyed the financial health of people -- it's just laughably, moronically stupid. He's been President for less than two months.
People like this are mean spirited, woefully ignorant and purposefully misleading. Glad to know the country thinks this about them as well.
This is definitely something I'll tune in for:
Minka Kelly is going to Washington.
The "Friday Night Lights" star has been tapped as the lead of the CW's drama pilot "Body Politic."
She is joined by an alum from another critically praised but low-rated series, "Veronica Mars' " Jason Dohring, who also been cast in the pilot.
Frankly, I think I'd watch Minka Kelly sit in a laundromat for an hour every week, but this show sounds like it might have a touch of The West Wing in it, and frankly Dohring demonstrated pretty clearly on Veronica Mars that he has chemistry with pretty much everyone. This is good news.
But, what about Friday Night Lights?
For the "FNL" fans whose hearts started racing, Kelly's new gig is not an sign that "FNL" is not coming back. Negotiations between NBC and DirecTV are still going on, and insiders are optimistic that the show will return for a fourth season.
But given the fact that Kelly's character on the show, Lyla, graduated from high school this season and is off to college, she is not going to be a regular next season but will return for a multiepisode arc if "FNL" clinches a fourth-season pickup.
The series' producers used a similar tactic for Gaius Charles and Scott Porter, regulars on the first two seasons, who were brought back for four episodes each this season to wrap up their characters' stories post-high school.
Whew. And if FNL does come back, that will be another piece of great news.
I'm less thrilled about the next thing here, but I'm certainly going to support it and give it a chance:
CBS is hoping to score an "Ace in the Hole" with a last-minute pickup to a multicamera comedy starring radio host/actor Adam Carolla.
The project hails from CBS Par, BermanBraun and Jackhole Industries, Carolla's company with his longtime friend, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel. It stars Carolla as a husband and father (Carolla) who works as a driving instructor.
Carolla penned the script with Kevin Hench, who has worked with him and Kimmel on Comedy Central's "The Man Show" and "Too Late With Adam Carolla."
Look, I love the Ace Man, and the fact that his radio show has been canceled is just another piece of evidence that there's no accounting for taste, especially in radio. But it's never been quite clear - even in his movie The Hammer, which I enjoyed quite a bit, that Carolla can act. I'll check it out, but I'm not holding my breath.
Tonight I went into San Francisco - something I don't do enough now that I live in the burbs - and went to see Richard Price speak. He was terrific, and Michael Chabon did a fantastic job interviewing him and, frankly, letting Price just run with it.
But that's not the point of this post. When I was parking my car, two homeless people were crossing the street, a man and a woman. In that part of town, it's not all that rare and I almost didn't notice them - until I looked a bit closer at the woman.
I'm fairly certain it's the same woman I've now seen, homeless and on the street and begging, for almost 18 years.
In one sense that's insanely tragic, that this woman hasn't been able to break this horrible cycle. In another sense, it's nice to know she's not dead.
Good news, or bad news?
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