Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Update on scumbag ad

Channel 9 in Denver pulled the ad I raged about on Sunday, calling it "false". The Denver post also called it "a whopper". The question is how does this crap even get on the air to begin with. Should TV stations be responsible for checking to see if the claims in ads they run are true?

The fact that this ad was pulled does not change the fact that the slimebuckets who produced it need to be kneed in the nutsack.

Please Read Tom Friedman

If I had the time and the talent, I would write like Tom Friedman, instead of spewing the barely coherent rants I post here. So, PLEASE READ TOM FRIEDMAN'S COLUMN TODAY, and make everyone you know read it too. Busy week. That's all for now.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A New Low in Political Advertising

Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, I saw the ad you can watch below, run against Congressman Ed Perlmutter, who represents a suburban Denver district in which I do not vote. It claims he voted convicted rapist to get Viagra paid for by the health care law. It is run by a group of scumbags who call themselves American Action Network, headed by former Senator Norm Coleman, and apparently is being run against Dems around the country.

There is no provision in the health care law. Tom Coburn introduces an amendment to the health care bill to say that no convict can get Viagra as a ploy to send the bill back to committee, and to give his slimy cohorts the opportunity to spread this nonsense. Read about it HERE.

Anybody who would run an ad like this deserves to be stripped naked and dragged behind a Prius for about 10 miles. Here are the board members of this organization of shitbags. If you see one of them, at the very least, kick them in the nuts!
Board Members of the American Action Network

Fred Malek, Chairman, Network Board, and Chairman, Thayer Capital Partners

Senator Norm Coleman, CEO, American Action Network and Forum

Senator George Allen, President, George Allen Strategies, LLC.

Isaac Applbaum, founding General Partner, Opus Capital

Maria Cino, Vice President of Government Affairs, Pfizer Inc.

Dylan Glenn, Senior Vice President, Guggenheim Advisors

Ambassador Boyden Gray, former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union

B. Wayne Hughes, Jr., Founder and Senior Vice President of American Commercial Equities Inc.

Ken Langone, Founder and Chairman, Invemed Associates LLC

Senator Mel Martinez, Chairman of Florida, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, JPMorgan Chase

Congressman Jim Nussle, President and CEO, The Nussle Group

Congressman Tom Reynolds, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, Nixon Peabody

Professor Gregory Slayton, Adjunct Professor, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College

Congressman Vin Weber, Managing Partner, Clark and Weinstock

Lyrics to the "Dick Van Dyke Show" Song and other stuff

The Dick Van Dyke Show is one of the greatest shows in TV history. Great scripts and great comic actors, including my hero Maury Amsterdam as wise-cracking Buddy Sorrel. If you are anywhere close to my age or older, you know the opening theme song, even to the "whoops" noise where Dick trips over (or, later, avoids) the ottoman. Well, Dick himself was the guest this week on "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" on NPR, and dropped a bombshell: There are lyrics to that song. Then he sang them. An awesome radio moment. You can hear it HERE.

Fox has to be really excited about the Texas Rangers playing the Giants in the World Series. No reason for them to settle their dispute with Cablevision, because no one in NY will be watching the series anyway. (As you are probably aware, a series that does not include the Yankees does not matter!). Earlier in the season I had bemoaned the fact that all games shown nationally had to have the Yankees, Bosox or Mets involved, and that most of the country was not getting to see players who play in smaller markets outside the eastern time zone. Great move guys.

Oh, and remember this coming election day, that the Tea Party's response to the financial collapse would have been to do nothing. Like Herbert Hoover did. Which led to 25% unemployment. Apparently the only history these morons know is that there were Founding Fathers, and they believed everything that Glenn Beck said they did, despite what real historians say.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Ken Buck: Complete Bullshit Artist!

Ken Buck, a tea-bagger running for US Senate here in Colorado, was on the radio today in a lengthy interview. In the ads he is running he claims his opponent, Sen. Bennett, helped "nationalize" health care. So, we know right from the start he is a liar. Health care has not been "nationalized", and only an idiot would say that outloud (to find these idiots, turn on Fox News!).

In the interview though, he actually supported most of the health care bill. Asked about some of the major provisions, Buck said he supports the changes that make it illegal for your health insurer to drop your coverage when you get sick, or deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition. He did say he opposed the rule allowing people to stay on their parents policy up to age 26 (I might actually agree with him on that one.....GROW UP KIDS!).

Of course, the thing that the tea-for-brains bunch opposes most about Obamacare is the supposedly unconstitutional mandate that everyone have health insurance, which Buck referred to as government overstepping it's authority. But here is where Buck proves he is a bullshitter of no higher moral standing than any of those political insiders the teabags are so angry about. Asked what he would do instead, he says there needs to be some sort of "carrot and stick" approach to get everyone to buy coverage. The "carrot" would be some sort of incentive like making health insurance payments tax-deductable for those of us who buy are own (a very good and fair idea), but also a "stick", as in some sort of punishment for not doing it. Hmmmmm, isn't that the same then as mandating everyone get covered, if you are somehow going to punish those who don't.

So, in conclusion, Tea-bullshitter Ken Buck wants to repeal Obamacare, but he supports most of the stuff that is in it! And this asshole is ahead in the polls! Coloradans, if you vote for this scumbag, you deserve to have your health care revoked, as you clearly would have to be suffering from a pre-existing mental illness.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Some good places for political info

Just want to point out a couple of good site for rational people to follow election information.

As the political lying gets more intense, (and I have nearly had to turn off the baseball playoffs because of the insulting ads that run between innings) it is good to have a place to go to check the facts, or lack thereof, with which you are bombarded. A great place to go is They don't appear to have the staff to cover every pack of lies you see on TV, but they are non-partisan and very fair in their approach. They even do a weekly check of the bullshit that politicians say on the Sunday morning TV show.

And, if wonder who is going to win an election, a good place to go is Nate Silver's 538 blog, hosted by the NY Times. He can best be described as a "poll consolidater", taking all the poll data collected by the various polling services and using it to predict the liklihood of possible outcomes. His theory is that using the numbers from a bunch of polls yeilds more numbers than any individual pollster, and thus more accurate results. Good Theory. Oh, and he started his statistics career as a baseball stats geek (I hope he saw The Simpsons last week!).

Finally, for those of you who only want news that tells you what you want to hear, I stole this quote from Barry Ritholtz's blog today.

"If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence." -Bertrand Russell

Monday, October 18, 2010

Great Questions asked. Will they be answered?

Greg Mankiw, a Harvard Economics professor who is author of the best selling Intro to Eco text books in the country, worked as an economic adviser to w when his tax cuts were passed. Last week, he wrote and op-ed piece in the NY Times where he claimed higher taxes would cause people to work less. You can read his article HERE.

Barry Ritholtz is the author of "Bailout Nation" and the blog "The Big Picture" (by the way, this blog has links to both Mankiw's and Ritholtz's blogs on the right). He is great at picking apart philosophical bullshit, so he posts a list of 10 questions for Dr. Mankiw on his blog. You can read his list HERE.

The debate about taxes rages on, with very little data to support any conclusion. Yet, you can watch morons like Larry Kudlow on CNBC who are sure we need to cut taxes. I find the idea that slightly higher tax rates cause people to work less, or innovate less, as pretty unlikely. Clearly, if tax rates were 80%, it would deter people from working hard to make more. But I have yet to see any evidence that people were less entreprenurial in the 90's when rates where higher, than in the 2000's. In fact, we saw a surge of innovation and the founding of a great many substantial businesses. Why did the founders of Google bother if they had to pay an extra 4% in income tax? And why found their company in California, where taxes are fairly high for the rich? Maybe there are other factors?

The best question Rigtholtz asks is this:

Which decade did you work more — the 1980s, 1990s or 2000s? How much of your work decisions were driven by marginal tax rates?

David Leonhart of the NY Times adds a question of his own, which I often try to ask conservatives ( and never get an answer!).

I’ll add one more: Bill Clinton and Congress raised taxes in 1993. Mr. Bush and Congress cut them in 2001 and 2003. Economic growth was much stronger after the Clinton tax increases than after the Bush tax cuts. Indeed, average annual economic growth from 2001 to 2007, even before the Great Recession, was slower than in any decade since World War II.

Why didn’t the Bush tax cuts do a better job of luring people into the work force, inspiring them to start successful new businesses and lifting economic growth?

What does all this prove about the location of an optimal tax rate? Not a goddamn thing! But it does prove that anyone who is sure that taxes are too high or too low is completely full of shit!

Let's keep an eye out for Dr. Mankiw's answers.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Dilemma: Evil Empire v Man Who Destroyed America

This is the worst baseball decision since the Yankees-Mets World Series (which is the only Series in my lifetime I did not watch!). Do I root for the evil Yankees, a team I have proudly hated my entire life (Buffalonians of the 90's will remember by dramatic reading of the classic poem "Steinbrenner Sucks") or the Rangers, a team once owned by, and still the favorite team of the George W. Bush, whose evil 8 years in the Oval Office will take this country a generation to overcome? Yech! Any suggestions are welcome.

Whatever happens in the next 2 series, you can be sure I will be behind the National League champ in the series.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I don't want to vote!

I have voted every year since I was 18. I even vote in the odd numbered years, when it is all local. Of course here in Colorado you have to, because the ballot is always full of crazy measures that have to be defeated (this year the wingnuts have put 3 things on the ballot that would destroy the state's ability to function). But, I the more advertising I watch, the less I want to vote for anyone.

The name calling, lies, half-truths and distortions in political advertising are criminal. But their not against the law. How can we allow this? Wheaties can't claim that they can cure cancer, but I can run for office and run ads saying my opponent caused it. What kind of supposedly moral society would choose it's leaders this way? And how can I expect anything but corruption from someone who would blatantly lie to get elected.

And we can thanks the Supreme Court for the worst offenders. Their decision earlier this year that said banning corporate campaign ads, or even requiring people running ads to be identified should entitle the 5 conservative justices who voted for it for a daily hard kick in the nads. Funny how allowing corporations to buy elections made conservatives realize that Americans have a right to free speech. And how does limiting ads keep anyone from speaking? Meanwhile, I am bombarded between every half-inning of the baseball playoffs with an ad run by one of Scumbag Karl Rove's attacks on Senator Bennett, in which not a single thing said is true. NOT A SINGLE FUCKING THING!!!!

I am far more pissed than the Tea Partiers. They are pissed, but at the wrong people for the wrong reasons. And the candidates they support are doing the same kind of lying, which should make you wonder how they are going to bring any increase in integrity to public office. I am pissed that important issues are being ignored, voters are being treated like idiots (and, I guess, voting that way), and none of the important problems in this country have any chance of being fixed before Bart Simpson graduates from college.

And will someone please tell me how the GOP will cut taxes and balance the budget while not cutting military spending, Medicare and Social Security, because the number just don't make a shred of sense!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Simpsons v Sabremetrics

If you love baseball then, like me, you may have been watching the game last night and missed this great episode of TV's most intelligent show. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Baseball action: 14 minutes

A few months back I wrote about a NY Times study of how much playing time actual takes place during an NFL game. The total was a bit over 10 minutes. Today, the same guys did the same thing for baseball, and determined that the ball is in play 14minutes. Either way, you get a lot of time to read during the course of a game.

The story, which I have not linked to because the Journal has a pay wall, also discusses the percentage of time that the game is on TV that is taken up by play, as well as by other shots. It seems the biggest chunk is "players standing around".

The data came from only watching 2 games on TV, so is not accurate, but feels about right. Of course, if they were watching the Yankees, they would have to add time for "players refusing to get into the batters box". You East coast fans will want to move out here to Colorado as those Yankees playoff games stretch over 4 hours while Derek Jeter adjusts his gloves and cup.

I will repeat a stat that I have written about before, and you can bemoan as you watch the 4 hour baseball playoff games. The greatest game in baseball history, game 7 of the 1960 World Series that ended with Bill Mazaroski's home run to give the Pirates a 10-9 victory over the forces of evil, lasted 2 hours, 28 minutes.

Happy Hockey Season

In the world of retail clothing, there are 2 seasons, Fall and Spring. In my world there are also 2 seasons, baseball and hockey. The symmetry is perfect. The baseball playoffs begin when the hockey season begins, and the hockey playoffs start when baseball does. Brilliant. Makes you almost believe there is a god.

Best of all, the Buffalo Sabres have dumped the awful sweaters they've been wearing for 14 years and returned to the classic buffalo and crossed swords design. And may other NHL teams have done the same.

Happy hockey season. Oh, and let's all root for the Reds to win the world series.