Sunday, October 05, 2008

Campbell Brown; The New Sergeant Joe Friday

I was somewhat amused at Campbell Brown taking John McCain to the woodshed for his sexist treatment of Sarah Palin. A recent article in the New York Times explored the shift in Ms. Brown's view of her role:

“As journalists, and certainly for me over the last few years, we’ve gotten overly obsessed with parity, especially when we’re covering politics,” Ms. Brown said. “We kept making sure each candidate got equal time — to the point that it got ridiculous in a way.”

“So when you have Candidate A saying the sky is blue, and Candidate B saying it’s a cloudy day, I look outside and I see, well, it’s a cloudy day,” she said. “I should be able to tell my viewers, ‘Candidate A is wrong, Candidate B is right.’ And not have to say, ‘Well, you decide.’ Then it would be like I’m an idiot. And I’d be treating the audience like idiots.”

Exactly right. Pretending two sets of facts exist in the name of "parity" just on its face is a ridiculous concept. Expect to hear more howls from the right, Ms. Brown, when as a reporter, you point out the truth.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Is Sarah Palin A Tax Cheat?

The United States of America is a union of states. As with any union, dues must be paid and in order to keep America the greatest country on earth it is the patriotic duty of every American to pay these dues. Some people, like Sarah Palin, disagree with this notion and think freedom means the shortest distance between two points is an angle.

Sorry if you didn't understand that last sentence, because I was channeling the gibberish of Ms. Palin and did not provide anyone with the benefit of a UN headset.

Seriously though, Sarah Palin has been playing fast and loose with the tax code, thinking it is really just another wingnut welfare program. The rub is that her house is in Wasilla but the governors mansion is in Juneau. Since she is rarely in the governors mansion, I've seen reports indicating a total of 85 days, she feels comfortable billing the state for per diem while at her home in Wasilla. Problem is, the feds sorta disagree with Sarah charging the government for sleeping in her own bed.

We'll let ABC News take it from here:

Of particular interest: roughly $17,000 in state-issued per diems for evenings spent in her own home in Wasilla. The Washington Post recently reported that the per diems and associated travel costs from the state capital in Juneau for Palin’s family could mean a tax liability of more than $60,000 for Palin’s first year and a half as governor.

The address listed on the 1040’s is Palin's family home in Wasilla, which would seem to suggest Palin considers that, not the governor’s mansion in Juneau, her "tax home." However the McCain-Palin campaign maintains that her “tax home” is technically the governor's mansion in Juneau.

The point is potentially significant because any per diems and travel reimbursements received in connection with someone’s “tax home” would likely be taxable as income. According to IRS regulations: "If you (and your family) do not live at your tax home (defined earlier), you cannot deduct the cost of traveling between your tax home and your family home. You also cannot deduct the cost of meals and lodging while at your tax home."

The IRS also strictly forbids deductions for expenses incurred bringing a spouse and kids along on a business trip. Tax authorities say any reimbursement for travel costs for family members would likely incur income taxes.

But Palin’s tax returns indicate she paid no taxes on the disputed per diems and travel expenses.

The problem here is Sarah Palin feels she should be paid to stay at her own home while not claiming this as income. This does not come anywhere near passing the smell test and depicts Sarah Palin as someone willing to cheat old ladies out of their social security checks.

Everyone should help keep this the greatest country in the world. Why doesn't Sarah Palin feel the same way?

Andrew Rice Announces Debate With Inhofe

On Tuesday, October 7 at 5:15 pm Andrew Rice squares off in a debate with incumbent senator James Inhofe. The debate will take place in Tulsa and will be carried by local teevee station KJRH-2 and streaming it on their website here. The teevee station is welcoming questions citizens would like the candidates to answer at their website located here.

What kind of questions should Inhofe answer?

Free OJ

My house got broke into so I filed a police report. I was broke into again and filed another police report, then I went and bought a security camera that saves images remotely. Sure enough, I was broke into again and the thief stole my camera, which means I have a beautiful close-up of the criminal in the act of stealing. I identified the criminal as the punk from across the street and gave all the evidence to the police.

It has been about six weeks and still the police have not arrested the little prick. In light of their refusal to act, I should be able to go get my stuff back, and pity to the fool who tried to stop me.

Seems the police would rather hide in the bushes waiting for some poor slob who overslept due to workload, driving too fast to work to pay for the stuff some criminal is carrying out his back door.

I am not a fan of OJ, but what is a guy supposed to do when the police refuse to act?

Post VP Debate Show Republicans Tanking

George Harris of the Kansas City Star did a roundup of polls for the VP debates between Biden and Palin:

Survey USA Biden 51% Palin 32%
Undecided 17% tracked independent voters, showing them breaking to Biden 67% to Palin 33%.

CNN/Opinion Research Biden 51 Palin 36
CBS Biden 46 Palin 21
Fox Biden 61 Palin 39

He also included this:
The issue from the Thursday night debate ultimately is not about Palin but about McCain's judgment in selecting someone with so little qualification for national office.
Which may be one reason why McCain's favorable rating stands at -5 and Palin's stands at -10. Of course all these things can change, but the view of things have Obama on the offense and McCain on the defense. Seems like the 50 state strategy was a good idea, instead of just hunkering down on the east coast, west coast and around Chicago.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Rudderless Republicans

Current polls show Obama at 51 and McCain at 40. Perhaps Johnny should put his suspenders back on because it's getting pretty boring out here. For some reason, America has seemed to notice the gigantic pile of corpses, overloaded big oil bank vaults, debt numbers that only exist in theoretical physics, massive job losses and the Wall Street extortion of American taxpayers.

The lock step march of the Republican party dragging America off a cliff has began to seep into the American consciousness. When McCain loses, which he will and very badly, will the conventional wisdom blame him for not embracing the christopaths hard enough? That was the downfall of Kerry, right?

We need leadership in this country, both on the domestic economy side and on the foreign policy side and both are extremely urgent--the dash lights are blinking red. The next President will have to look at his vice-president and divide down the middle, attacking both directions at once.

Where would you put McCain and where would you put Palin?

Fortunately, by all appearances that turd will not have to be split. I usually don't make predictions but it is starting to look like Obama will break 300 in the electoral college.


We are all Socialists now. Congress just sent Bush a $700 Billion check that he signed before giving it to former Goldman Sachs CEO and current Secretary of the Treasury, Hank Paulson. Presumably, he will use the money to clean up the big shitpile, also known as "toxic assets."

Suddenly it seems everyone is a regulator and fingers are flying fast and furious. The most absurd is blaming the Community Re-Investment Act forcing banks to lend to minorities and "other high risk individuals." I'll not even debate such absurd claims made by people who have no idea what they are talking about. This does put a period, nay a tombstone, on the republican mantra of de-regulation.

I have often wondered why those who do not believe in government desire public office.

What is needed now are serious and reasonable government regulations of our financial industry. This massive bailout bill should forever stifle those claims of evil government versus good markets. Those screaming the loudest about the evils of government were screaming the loudest for a bailout.

Say it with me. Government does have a role to play regulating the financial sector.

After the great depression very serious people with a very serious mission looked at this issue and decided a firewall must be erected between commercial banks and investment banks and insurance companies. This firewall was removed during the waning years of the Clinton administration, coupled with several other deregulating measures.

The result is a seven hundred billion dollar shitpile fed to the American taxpayer. Enjoy.

The Palindroid Debate

I watched the debate last night while chewing on a ball of tin foil to distract me from the horrors on the teevee. Fortunately, the republican debate preparation team were able to stuff enough canned answers into Palindroid to save me great pain. Some unseen person would pull a string at her back, but do not interrupt her or she'll lose her place.

Avoiding a complete meltdown just isn't good enough these days, especially for the number two of a 72-year-old chancy-cancy nominee. Still, some particularly bad gaffe's Sarah committed did not escape me. Calling Joe Biden's college professor's wife a "school teacher" and saying "she'll get her reward in heaven," was at the minimum disrespectful, but mostly downright vicious, considering Joe lost his first wife in a traffic accident.

Someone also needs to tell Sarah Palin what "achilles heel" means.

Sarah closed her comments by quoting Ronald Reagan:
It was Ronald Reagan who said that freedom is always just one generation away from extinction. We don't pass it to our children in the bloodstream; we have to fight for it and protect it, and then hand it to them so that they shall do the same, or we're going to find ourselves spending our sunset years telling our children and our children's children about a time in America, back in the day, when men and women were free.
This quote actually came from Reagan warning of the pending doom America would face by enacting Medicare. Is the head of the Republican party "Wrinkly and Winky" promising to protect us from Medicare? How will the over 60 crowd react to this position?

Before the debate, CBS aired another piece of the Palin interview where she said Cheney's worse moment was the "duck hunting accident."

I think America has had enough of incompetence in the White House.