Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 In Review

What Government Institution is 3 Times Less Popular than Lawyers?

See the other 10 "charts that do the best job of explaining the political and economic scene in 2011, at the Washington Post, 2011 in 11 charts.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

How About Maverick @ for President

"For all the roller-coaster tumultuousness of the primary season, the general election promises another strange jolt: the likely presence on the ballot in all 50 states of a third-party nominee — identity, and ideology, to be determined.

This political wild card for the Internet age is Americans Elect, which just secured a spot in California, meaning it has now qualified for the ballot in 13 states and collected signatures in the 17 others that allow signature-gathering the year before the election."

Read the Washington Post, Americans Elect: A wild card for the Internet age.

If nominated, I'll ask Sarah to be my running mate.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Local School Makes the National News for Teaching Religion

"Despite Supreme Court rulings in 1962 and ’63, open prayer and Christian symbols have never really disappeared from some schools." Read The New York Times, Battling Anew Over the Place of Religion in Public School, which mentions the ACLU court case regarding "Pace High School near Pensacola, Fla. [where] teachers cited the Bible as fact in class and one teacher preached to students with a bullhorn as they arrived at school."

Explaining the Election Hype

"One more thing to keep in mind with one week to go before Iowa: everyone in the system has strong incentives to exaggerate how volatile the presidential nomination contest is and how uncertain the outcome. Matt Glassman has a timely reminder of that today; he argues that even Mitt Romney may find it in his interest to pretend the race is wide open." Read the Washington Post, Prediction for Iowa: hype.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Just in Time for Christmas

UPDATE II: FYI, before you buy me one of the gifts below, you should know that a "gift’s price matters more to the giver than to the recipient, and people like getting cash or something on their gift registry more than a surprise gift."

Read The New York Times, In Pursuit of the Perfect Gift? It’s a Lot Closer Than You Think.

UPDATE: Of course, there is also "a $420,000 tour of European flower shows on a private jet and waysa $250,000 handcrafted mahogany speedboat." Or even a $1 million home fountain. See the Washington Post, Get your $1 million dancing fountain! Neiman Marcus unveils latest extravagant Christmas ideas.

Get me "the 2012 Ferrari FF . . . priced at $395,000, [it] jumps from 0 to 60 in less than 3.7 seconds and reaches top speeds of over 200 mph."

"Kohler’s Numi toilet comes with a heated seat, music, a lid that automatically raises and lowers, a remote control and more, all for $6,400." Read The New York Times, Bells and Whistles Descend Upon the Throne.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Republi-CON Zombie Myth That the Government Forced the Banks to Make Bad Loans

UPDATE II: How does the Big Lie, "that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac started the housing crisis," work? Read The New York Times, The Big Lie.

UPDATE: The 'Big Truth' is that the financial crisi was caused when "Congress allowed Wall Street to self-regulate, and the Fed the turned a blind eye to bank abuses." Read the Washington Post, What caused the financial crisis? The Big Lie goes viral.

Those Republi-con zombie myths live on. But it is not true that the government forced banks to make bad loans. The vast majority of subprime loans were made by independent lenders not covered by government banking regulations. Read:

Businessweek, Community Reinvestment Act had nothing to do with subprime crisis,

New America Foundation, It's Still Not CRA,

Economist’s View, Yet Again, It Wasn't the Community Reinvestment Act. . .,

The American Prospect, Did Liberals Cause the Sub-Prime Crisis? (Conservatives blame the housing crisis on a 1977 law that helps-low income people get mortgages. It's a useful story for them, but it isn't true.), and

Rortybomb, Bloomberg’s Awful Comment; What Can We Say For Certain Regarding the GSEs?, which notes:

Highly respected analysts who have looked at these data in much greater detail than Wallison, Pinto, or myself, including the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office, the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission majority, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and virtually all academics, including the University of North Carolina, Glaeser et al at Harvard, and the St. Louis Federal Reserve, have all rejected the Wallison/Pinto argument that federal affordable housing policies were responsible for the proliferation of actual high-risk mortgages over the past decade.
You might also re-read earlier posts regarding this old but tired Republi-con myth:

More Proof That Republi-cons are at Fault for the Economic Mess,

Republi-Con Myth Busters, and

Problem, Causes and Professor NoBull's Solution for the Economic Mess.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Class Today at NoBullU on WEBY, Special Holiday Edition

Listen to the voice of wisdom and reason in a wilderness of partisan rhetoric -- no political insanity, no conservative hypocrisy, no liberal foolishness -- Just straight talk, straight at you, and that’s no bull!!

NoBullU will broadcast today from 4:05 to 6:00 p.m. at 1330 AM WEBY and on line.


Local Business/Event Shout-Out: TBD;

Follow-up: see below;

Fact-free fantasies of the shrieking hatemongers of right-wing rhetoric and partisan hackery: all part of the fundamentalist subculture of ignorance that embraces 'discredited, ridiculous and even dangerous ideas'

And America's preference for rhetorical fairy tales to unpleasant realities

One was gays in the military, funny thing, the world's still turning, not even a hurricane, earthquake or an oil well

Speaking of gays in the military, on December 21, 2011, a "Navy tradition caught up with the repeal of the U.S. military's 'don't ask, don't tell' rule . . . when two women sailors became the first to share the coveted 'first kiss' on the pier after one of them returned from 80 days at sea." Read the Washington Post, Two women kiss at Navy ship's return

And don't be duped by the Birthers, including our very own Pastor Dred Scott (you may remember the infamous Dred Scott decision of 1857, which asserted that African Americans were "beings of an inferior order" who "had no rights which the white man was bound to respect." That ruling declared that African Americans could never be U.S. citizens and therefore could never be President),

See The Fogbow, "your best resource for debunking the lies of the 'birther' movement and discussing the birther antics" and, there is even a Birther Case Scorecard, 0-80 for the birthers;

Local and regional: TBD;

National and international: I'm waiting, where's the balanced budget, don't hold you breath because the Republi-CONs Con the Tea Party, there'll be no $100 billion budget cut, and let's admit the obvious, the Republi-CONs are not serious about deficits, and who's responsible for the debt

To balance the budget, do nothing

One way to reduce the deficit

Still no sign of those 'invisible [Republi-CON] bond vigilantes'

Did Obama con the Republi-CONs?

The Republi-CON zombie myth that the government forced the banks to make bad loans

The myth of expansionary austerity

Pity the 1%, they control only 43% of the country's wealth

Republi-CONs in their Delusion-land

The Great Stagnation' and our broken political system

Happy Shopmas!

Did you know, polyester is a sin

And the Republi-CON race cont., to find America’s Not-Mitt

Eeny meeny miny moe, which Republi-CON, in Iowa they still don't know

Still searching for the ideal Republican candidate: conservative, interested, electable

Iowan Republi-Con religious conservative hypocrisy

Cain isn't able, except maybe to grope

Gingrich the Republi-CON, Gingrich is soft on crime, Gingrich supports child labor, Newtenstein, What goes around comes around

Obama in 2012?, Lookin better for Obama all the time

Déjà vu all over again, what to expect if it is Obama v. Romney

Save Us, Sarah, Save Us!

Health Care Lawsuit Update

After reading two of the appellate opinions, it doesn't look good for the Republi-CONs

OMG, Republi-CON are ready to endorse ObamaCare

Republi-CON 'it's not Judicial activism, it's judicial engagement' hypocrisy

Does Palin have a point about the corrupt crony capitalism

Corrupt crony capitalism and Congress


Is the can at the end of the road?, an update and was it worth it

The myth of voter fraud

Watch Hedgehog News, be dumber than the dumb

Fun stuff: Just in time for Christmas,

'Twas the Night Before Christmas with Peanut and Jeff Dunham

A Very TSA Christmas

Now why didn't we think of this: urine-controlled video games


Donate to a good cause: TBD.

I'll discuss anything, but expect a no mercy take-down if you are a shrieking hatemonger of right-wing rhetoric and partisan hackery, pandering to fear, anger and hatred, because the truth sure makes it hard out there for the party pimps.

So tune-in, call-in, but only if you can handle the truth and some ass kickin' discussion of politics and current events.

Ron Paul's Not-So-Wacky Foreign Policy

So, you'd vote for Ron Paul if it weren't for his wacky foreign policy? Mom & Pop Tammy suggests that you watch:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Now Why Didn't We Think of This: Urine-Controlled Video Games

"Going to the loo has never been more fun, after the world's first urine-controlled video game is installed in a London bar:"


"Many politicians are full of themselves. Gingrich is overstuffed." Read The New York Times, Self-Adoration Reaches Newt Heights.

But not everyone is so full of Newt.

"Some Republicans are going public with their worry that Newt Gingrich would be a weak general election candidate and a drag on the party’s fortunes." Read The New York Times, As Gingrich’s Star Rises, So Do His Party’s Concerns.

The Republi-con establishment has no one to blame but itself.

"It is one of the true delights of a bizarrely entertaining Republican presidential contest to watch the apoplectic fear and loathing of so many GOP establishmentarians toward Newt Gingrich. They treat him as an alien body whose approach to politics they have always rejected.

In fact, Gingrich’s rise is the revenge of a Republican base that takes seriously the intense hostility to President Obama, the incendiary accusations against liberals and the Manichaean division of the world between an “us” and a “them” that his party has been peddling in the interest of electoral success.

The right-wing faithful knows Gingrich pioneered this style of politics, and they laugh at efforts to cast the former House speaker as something other than a “true conservative.” They know better.

The establishment was happy to use Gingrich’s tactics to win elections, but it never expected to lose control of the party to the voters it rallied with such grandiose negativity. Now, the joke is on those who manipulated the base. The base is striking back, and Newt is their weapon."

Read the Washington Post, Newt Gingrich and the revenge of the base.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Iowan Republi-Con Religious Conservative Hypocrisy

UPDATE III: The winners after last night's debate: "Romney (who might have revived his frontrunner status) and Bachmann. And the rest of us, who don’t have to wade through any more debates [Republi-CON lies] — until 2012." [The tautology, Republi-CON lies, added by editor.] Read the Washington Post, Romney wins, Gingrich and Paul falter in Sioux City and Fact checking the Fox News debate in Iowa.

UPDATE II: Tonight's the night, the sweet sixteen of the Republi-con debate-a-thon, the last debate before the Iowa caucuses. Read The New York Times, Final Debate of 2011 Poses Danger for Hopefuls and the Washington Post, GOP debates, both interesting and important, score in TV ratings.

UPDATE: Speaking of Iowa, "[t]he race for the Republican nomination may be coming down to Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, but in the contest for the Iowa caucuses, their high-profile battle might still turn out to be a sideshow. The national party has spent the last two weeks resigning itself to a choice between the former speaker and the former Massachusetts governor. But Iowa Republicans may end up choosing between Gingrich and Representative Ron Paul. . .

Should Iowa really come down to Paul versus Gingrich, the clash will make for a fascinating contrast. Physically, neither man resembles a classic presidential candidate (especially compared to Romney and Perry) but for completely different reasons. Paul is all bone and sinew and nervous energy – an Ichabod Crane or a Jack Sprat, hunched and herky-jerky in too-large suits. Gingrich is broad and self-assured and faintly decadent, with a Cheshire Cat’s face and a body that looks like it’s ready for its toga.

Neither man talks like a typical presidential candidate, either: They’re more verbose, less sound bite-ridden, more digressive and less embarrassed about displaying erudition. But again, their specific rhetorical styles are worlds apart. It’s useful to imagine both of them as the kind of eccentric uncle who talks your ear off at a Christmas party. Uncle Newt has an easygoing and expansive mien, the latest gadget on his belt, and a remarkably persuasive five-point case for why you should invest in his new business venture. Uncle Ron just wants to hector you about the evils of the Trilateral Commission.

Most important, they represent two very different endpoints for the Tea Party movement. Paul, for all his crankishness, is the kind of conservative that Tea Partiers want to believe themselves to be: Deeply principled, impressively consistent, a foe of big government in nearly all its forms (the Department of Defense very much included), a man of ideas rather than of party.

Gingrich, on the other hand, is the kind of conservative that liberals believe most Tea Partiers to be – not a genuine “don’t tread on me” libertarian, but a partisan Republican whose unstinting support for George W. Bush’s deficit spending morphed into hand-wringing horror of “socialism” once a Democrat captured the Oval Office."

Read The New York Times, Ron Paul Rising.

"The latest polls show a surging Newt Gingrich winning substantial support among white evangelical voters, the key voting bloc in the upcoming Iowa Caucuses. Those same voters, who comprise the core of the religious right movement, powered former minister Mike Huckabee to a Corn State upset in 2008. Huckabee’s decision to not run this election cycle created an opening for the rest of the GOP field to now court their support.

Yet Gingrich may seem unlikely as their choice for leader.

The thrice-married Gingrich has acknowledged infidelities and other personal failings, and a recent Public Religion Research poll finds religious conservatives in overwhelming agreement that marital infidelity is a disqualifier for public office. . .

[But] Gingrich's checkered past, along with his failure to build a grassroots organization, defies the conventional wisdom about how to win Iowa. But this year, religious conservatives everywhere appear to be looking for a different kind of faith: They want a conservative GOP leader whose message makes them believe that he can make Obama a one-term president."

Read the Washington Post, Newt Gingrich and religious conservatives: A marriage of convenience.

Gingrich is Soft on Crime

UPDATE: Maybe the title of the post should be Gingrich the hypocrite. Read Sentencing Law and Policy, "Newt Gingrich A Hypocrite For Supporting Death Penalty For Marijuana Smugglers, Gary Johnson Says".

But he is a Republi-CON so you should already know that he is a hypocrite.

The Tea Party has failed the test of 'limited government, free markets, and fiscal responsibility,' but they may finally have a soft on crime candidate. Read Sentencing Law and Policy, When might media (or GOP opponents) discuss Newt Gingrich's "Right on Crime" positions?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Republi-CON 'We're Against the Redistribution of Income' Myth

"We take billions from high-income blue states like New York and California, and ship them via federal benefits and subsidies for farming and oil to poor red states like Alabama and Oklahoma. We do this even though the recipient states mostly vote Republican and moan endlessly about getting Uncle Sam off their backs.

We give a hefty housing subsidy via the mortgage-interest deduction to Bill Gates — while Gates’s maid, assuming she rents, gets no housing subsidy at all.

Then there’s Medicare’s secret. Few people realize that Medicare spends wildly different amounts per senior depending on where the senior happens to live. The most famous example, from research by John Wennberg, found that Medicare spends 2.5 times more per senior in Miami than in Minneapolis (even after adjusting for regional differences in input costs, such as for office rents). Yet there’s no difference in quality or health outcomes associated with this extra spending.

In other words, Medicare redistributes billions from regions where doctors practice cost effectively to regions where the local Medical Industrial Complex pads its income with excess services and procedures. . .

When Paul O’Neill was Treasury secretary under George W. Bush I asked him about all this. 'If we want to have a conversation about equities, then we ought to have a complete conversation,' O’Neill told me. 'It should not be about health care. It shouldn’t be about education. It should be a broader conversation about how much resources should be provided from those who have something to those who have less or nothing.

'That’s the clean conversation,' he added. 'It’s about purchasing power for the things one needs to lead a decent and civil life. That’s the question.'

That’s my kind of Republican. But I’d bet a million bucks that today’s GOP wouldn’t agree to a Lincoln-Douglas debate on this question. The president ought to challenge them to one and see."

Read the Washington Post, Real Americans redistribute: The payroll tax debate’s dirty secret.

Never Forget to 'Think Outside of the Box'

From an email:

You are driving down the road in your car on a wild, stormy night, when you pass by a bus stop and you see three people waiting for the bus:

1. An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.

2. An old friend who once saved your life.

3. The perfect partner you have been dreaming about.

What would you do, knowing that there could only be one passenger in your car? Think before you continue reading.

This is a moral/ethical dilemma that was allegedly once actually used as part of a job application. You could pick up the old lady, because she is going to die, and thus you should save her first. Or you could take the old friend because he once saved your life, and this would be the perfect chance to pay him back. However, you may never be able to find your perfect mate again.

The candidate who was hired (out of 200 applicants) had no trouble coming up with his answer.

For his answer, see the comments.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


An oxymoron is a "a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect."

From an email:

1. Is it good if a vacuum really sucks?

2. Why is the third hand On the watch Called the second hand?

3. If a word is misspelled In the dictionary, How would we ever know?

4. If Webster wrote the first dictionary, Where did he find the words?

5. Why do we say something is out of whack? What is a whack?

6. Why does "slow down" and "slow up" mean the same thing?

7.. Why does "fat chance" and "slim chance" Mean the same thing?

8. Why do "tug" boats push their barges?

9. Why do we sing "Take me out to the ball game" When we are already there?

10. Why are they called " stands" When they are made for sitting?

11. Why is it called "after dark" When it really is "after light"?

12.. Doesn't "expecting the unexpected" Make the unexpected expected?

13.. Why are a "wise man" and A "wise guy" opposites?

14. Why do "overlook" and "oversee" Mean opposite things?

15. Why is "phonics" Not spelled The way it sounds?

16. If work is so terrific, Why do they have to pay you to do it?

17. If all the world is a stage, Where is the audience sitting?

18. If love is blind, Why is lingerie so popular?

19. If you are cross-eyed And have dyslexia, Can you read all right?

20. Why is bra singular And panties plural?

21.. Why do you press harder On the buttons of a remote control When you know the batteries are dead?

22. Why do we put suits in garment bags And garments in a suitcase?

23. How come abbreviated Is such a long word?

24. Why do we wash bath towels? Aren't we clean when we use them?

25.. Why doesn't glue Stick to the inside of the bottle?

26. Why do they call it a TV set When you only have one?

27. Christmas - What other time of the year Do you sit in front of a dead tree And eat candy out of your socks?

28. Why do we drive on a parkway And park on a driveway?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Republi-CON 'Taxes and Regulations Are Killing Business' Myth

UPDATE X: Some much for that Republi-con myth.

"[T]he net percentage of companies that say they have already increased their employment in the last three months — that is, the percent saying they increased their staff minus the percent saying they decreased it — was positive for the first time in nearly four years."

Read The New York Times, Small Businesses Plan to Increase Hiring.

UPDATE IX: You "may not like President Obama’s regulations, but they are not stealing jobs or crushing our economy." Read The New York Times, The Wonky Liberal.

UPDATE VIII: "For the last nine years, the World Bank has been grading countries on 10 measures of business regulation: getting electricity, enforcing contracts, protecting investors, dealing with construction permits, trading across borders, registering property, resolving insolvency, paying taxes, getting credit and starting a business.

Based on these criteria . . . The United States comes in fourth."

Read The New York Times, Is Overregulation Driving U.S. Companies Offshore?

UPDATE VII: Another brilliant take-down by Colbert, this time the Republi-con myth regarding "the EPA's job-murdering environmental regulations." Watch the Colbert Report, Indecision 2012 - Job-Killing EPA:

But if you think life is so much better in other countries, Colbert notes that in China, "thanks to mercury poisoning and factory suicides, positions are opening up all the time."

UPDATE VI: "If people are willing to do a job, no matter how dangerous, pointless or dehumanizing, the government has no business stopping them." Watch The Colbert Report, Look out for the Little Guy, which notes the efforts by Florida Republi-con Ritch Workman to repeal 'job-killing' laws against dwarf tossing:

Why not allow baby-juggling also?

What a fine society we will have when Republi-cons next rule.

UPDATE V: "[R]egulatory uncertainty is a canard invented by Republicans that allows them to use current economic problems to pursue an agenda supported by the business community year in and year out. In other words, it is a simple case of political opportunism, not a serious effort to deal with high unemployment." Read The New York Times, Misrepresentations, Regulations and Jobs, which references several surveys and includes this table:

UPDATE IV: "[C]oncerns over sales, rather than concerns over regulations or taxes, are what have really changed in recent years" Read the Washington Post, Regulations aren’t to blame for the 'uncovery', which references Economic Policy Institute, Regulatory uncertainty: A phony explanation for our jobs problem.

UPDATE III: "Despite what Republican presidential candidates are saying, regulation and taxes are not responsible for America’s weak job growth." Read The New York Times, Phony Fear Factor.

UPDATE II: For more on taxes, regulations and the Republi-con "confidence fairy's effect on the American economy," watch The Colbert Report, Barack Obama's American Jobs Act - Paul Krugman:

UPDATE: Imagine a world without government regulation, where businesses invite more foreign 'guest workers' to take American jobs for piece-rate wages.

No need to imagine, businesses are allowed to do so now.

Read The New York Times, La. Business Owners Sue Over New Rules for Guest Workers.

"Politicians and business groups often blame excessive regulation and fear of higher taxes for tepid hiring in the economy. However, little evidence of that emerged when McClatchy canvassed a random sample of small business owners across the nation.

'Government regulations are not 'choking' our business, the hospitality business,' Bernard Wolfson, the president of Hospitality Operations in Miami, told The Miami Herald. 'In order to do business in today's environment, government regulations are necessary and we must deal with them. The health and safety of our guests depend on regulations. It is the government regulations that help keep things in order.'"

Read McClatchy Newspapers, Regulations, taxes aren't killing small business, owners say.

As discussed in the past, Republi-CON zombie ideas live on.

So many lies, so little time to refudiate.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Republi-CON Wealthy 'Job Creators' Myth

"In getting to the truth about those wealthy 'job creators' the Republicans aim to protect, the ’80s film 'Wall Street' seems more relevant than ever." Read The New York Times, All the G.O.P.’s Gekkos.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Did You Know, Polyester is a Sin

I didn't know that.

Read Leviticus 19:19.

I learned that at Time, Top 10 Protest Signs, Silent Bob Strikes Back.

What Goes Around Comes Around

"Kevin Drum of Mother Jones recently dug up a 1978 Gingrich quotation lamenting that ‘one of the great problems we have in the Republican Party is that we don’t encourage you to be nasty.’

Thanks to Gingrich, this is no longer a problem, in either party. Embracing Newtonian Nastiness, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) called Gingrich ‘too erratic,’ ‘too self-centered’ and lacking ‘the capacity to control himself.’ Former congressman Guy Molinari (R-N.Y.) called Gingrich ‘evil’ and the prospect of him becoming president ‘appalling.’

Then came the Romney-hosted teleconference.

Gingrich ‘says outrageous things that come from nowhere, and he has a tendency to say them at exactly the time when they most undermine the conservative agenda,’ Talent reported.

Gingrich ‘is more concerned about Newt Gingrich than he is about conservative principle,’ Sununu contributed. The ‘off-the-cuff thinking . . . is not what you want in the commander in chief.’

Now, Gingrich said he doesn’t want to be ‘the attack dog in the Republican Party.’ But it’s a bit late for purity. He’s Newt Gingrich, and he approved this message."

Read the Washington Post, Newt’s nastiness comes back to haunt him.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Candidate Doth Protest Too Much

UPDATE IX: "You understand, of course, that Herman Cain is never going to go away.

'Me, a womanizer? I would never have thought they’d come up with that one,' Cain wrote to his supporters this week in an essay promising to — yes! — keep talking.

Where do you think he’ll pop up next? As the newest Fox commentator? On 'Dancing With the Stars?' As Donald Trump’s guest judge on 'Celebrity Apprentice' As a contestant on 'Celebrity Apprentice?'

We’ll know all too soon. The only part of his last chapter that remains sort of fascinating is Ginger White, the accuser who has been given credit in some corners for bringing the Cain campaign down. All things considered, that couldn’t have been much of a strain. ('Rumors of Extramarital Affair End Campaign of Presidential Candidate Who Didn’t Know China Has Nuclear Weapons,' read a headline in The Onion.)" [Link added.]

Read The New York Times, The Last Herman Cain Column.

UPDATE VIII: BTW, I can't wait to hear our Pastor Truthiness (formerly known as Pastor Poppins) defend Cain on Friday.

But expect the Pastor to avoid the subject and enlighten us with his wisdom on God's wrath, or delusional birther lies, WMDs in Iraq, or even mythical missiles over LA.

UPDATE VII: His modus operandi seems to be economically vulnerable women. Read the Washington Post, Ginger White accuses Herman Cain of long affair.

So much for that NoBullU prediction.

UPDATE IX: At the CNBC in Michigan, Cain "offer[ed] a rather strange defense, saying, 'For every one person that comes forward with a false accusation, there are probably thousands who will say that none of that sort of activity ever came from Herman Cain.'

While having the majority of women you've met not accuse you of sexual harassment might seem like a low bar for a human being, let alone a presidential candidate, the debate audience cheered enthusiastically."

Read Mother Jones, Herman Cain: Not Every Woman I Know Has Accused Me Of Sexual Harassment.

UPDATE VIII: For a timeline of "the unfolding allegations and Cain's responses," read the Washington Post, Cain’s response to accusations.

UPDATE VII: Add to the Cain defenses that Republi-con tried-and-true technique: appear on Hedgehog News and make stuff up. Read Politico, Fox will correct Block claim on air.

UPDATE VI: "Cain, like those before him, was a politician, standing behind a microphone, surrounded by the clicking of cameras. He wagged fingers and denied. From his spot on the dais, Cain employed the tried-and-true techniques so often trotted out by politicians in the headlights of a scandal. And what struck us was his range: he didn’t just pick one tactic, he used them all. . .

Deny . . .

Split hairs . . .

Trash-talk the accuser . . .

Blame the media . . .

Play the victim . . .

Blame political enemies . . .

Invoke the wife . . .

Sneak in a commercial . . .

Read the Washington Post, Cain’s defense: a script we’ve heard before.

UPDATE V: Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for the Washington Post, "offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective,' and she writes in her column, Herman Cain discredits himself:

"There’s really no way to adequately describe how downright weird Herman Cain’s news conference was today. There was Cain referring to 'Herman Cain,' a throwback to Bob Dole’s frequent use of self-referential third person. There was the part where he told us that there may be other allegations --- but those will be false. Memorable, too, was his insistence that the claimants are all anonymous, when in fact two women have been identified by name. Then there was the ranting and raving about the media, although Sharon Bialek came forth with no media filter. I sorta liked the part where he conceded that there was no 'definitive' — definitive in the sense of “any” — proof that he was the victim of a conspiracy.

In a way, this was a fitting downfall: The slick ex-talk show host undone by his own rambling. He was no longer charming. He was desperate and entirely unbelievable. Forget the presidency. Forget becoming a conservative icon. Cain succeeded only in leaving the impression that he may be a bit off his rocker. . .

Who is to be believed: Cain or the women? Certainly Cain has managed to discredit himself as much, or more, than any of them have.

What about those bloggers and talk show hosts who went to the ramparts defending him and pushed the narrative that this was all a racist plot? One only hopes that readers and listeners will take their future utterances with a large helping of salt. These 'genuine' conservatives who pretend to talk for an entire political mvement, it seems, have rather poor judgment. Good thing the GOP electorate as a whole is blessed with a good deal more common sense. . ."

UPDATE IV: "If true, the experience related by Sharon Bialek, a former employee of the National Restaurant Association’s educational foundation, was more than a joke. Allegedly, on the pretense of showing Bialek the restaurant association’s offices, Cain parked the car and essentially assaulted Bialek, slipping his hand under her skirt and trying to bring her head toward his lap.

Not a very presidential image that.

When Bialek protested, reminding Cain that she had a boyfriend, he allegedly said, 'You want a job, right?'

Corroborating testimony via written statements from two other individuals, whom Bialek had told about the incident at the time, including her then-boyfriend, further reduces Cain’s wiggle room.

Read the Washington Post, Herman Cain and the parked car.

It's the audacity of grope:

UPDATE III: Did you hear Grace Vuoto rip Pastor Truthiness (formerly known as Pastor Poppins) a new one on Friday? Loved it!

UPDATE II: 9-9-9 has more than one meaing to Cain. Read Politico, Herman Cain accuser attorney: Settlement dated 9/99, Kilgore signed.

Coincidentally, Cain "resigned as president of the NRA effective June 30, 1999, before his three-year term was up, yet these board members say they were never fully informed as to why."

UPDATE: "Herman Cain, the long-shot Republican presidential candidate turned frontrunner, has done just about everything wrong since news broke Sunday night that his former employer had paid two women to settle sexual harassment complaints against him.

Cain denied it. He said the women didn’t understand his humor. He said his accusers fabricated the charges. He said he couldn’t remember the details, then suddenly he could. He said he had no knowledge of the settlement, then suddenly recalled some details, which turned out to be vastly understated. He publicly predicted more allegations would surface. He blamed his opponents, he howled about racism, and he accused the media and the entire city of Washington of trying to do him in.

On Wednesday morning, he raised the paranoia dial another notch. 'There are factions trying to destroy me personally, and this campaign,' he announced, revealing this conspiracy to a group of technology executives at the Ritz-Carlton in Tyson’s Corner."

Read the Washington Post, The Herman Cain crack-up.

Cain "might have a real problem on his hands" with the sexual harassment allegations. Read The New York times, Harassment Allegations Could Cut at Core of Cain’s Appeal, which notes that "blaming the messenger, if it can be an invaluable first line of defense, can also be a strategy with a short shelf life."

And his campaign stonewalled too long, the 'pushback' should have included all "mitigating and qualifying information at the outset, for the initial story." Read the Washington Post, Herman Cain and the penalties for stonewalling.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Test Your News IQ

Find out how your score compares with other Americans who took the Pew Research Center's The News IQ Quiz.

Gingrich Supports Child Labor

"It is a rare day when Al Sharpton emerges as the voice of sagacity, but when Newt Gingrich has the microphone, all things are possible.

Just four weeks out from the Iowa caucuses, Gingrich — swinging like a trapeze artist over the heads of his fellow Republican contenders — has done what everyone knew he would, said something mind-blowingly wrong. Not just wrong as in incorrect but off-the-charts insensitive, insulting and, most important, Out. Of. Touch.

He might as well have wrapped his remarks in a Tiffany box and handed them to Mitt Romney, who could exhale for a moment. Or to Sharpton, who finally had a justifiable excuse for outrage on his MSNBC show and scorched the earth beneath Gingrich’s feet.

Gingrich’s big idea was that kids from poor neighborhoods should work janitorial jobs at school in order to learn a work ethic."

Read the Washington Post, Gingrich’s poor excuse for a big idea.

Monday, December 5, 2011

All Puns Intended

From an email:

1. Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love and got married. The ceremony wasn't much, but the reception was excellent.

2. A jumper cable walks into a bar. The bartender says, "I'll serve you, but don't start anything."

3. Two peanuts walk into a bar, and one was a salted.

4. A dyslexic man walked into a bra.

5. A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm, and says: "A beer please, and one for the road."

6. Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other: "Does this taste funny to you?"

7. "Doc, I can't stop singing The Green, Green Grass of Home." "That sounds like Tom Jones Syndrome." "Is it common?" "Well, It's Not Unusual."

8. Two cows are standing next to each other in a field. Daisy says to Dolly, "I was artificially inseminated this morning." "I don't believe you," says Dolly. "It's true; no bull!" exclaims Daisy.

9. An invisible man marries an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at either.

10. Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard this bull before.

11. I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day, but I couldn't find any.

12. A man woke up in a hospital after a serious accident. He shouted, "Doctor, doctor, I can't feel my legs!" The doctor replied, "I know, I amputated your arms!"

13. I went to a seafood disco last week...And pulled a mussel.

14. What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh.

15. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says, "Dam!"

16. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Not surprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

17. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel, and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories.

After about an hour, the manager came out of the office, and asked them to disperse. "But why," they asked, as they moved off. "Because," he said. "I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer."

18. A woman has twins, and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt , and is named 'Ahmal.' The other goes to a family in Spain ; they name him 'Juan.' Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, "They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal."

19. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him (oh, man, this is so bad, it's good)...A super-calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

20. A dwarf, who was a mystic, escaped from jail. The call went out that there was a small medium at large.

21. And finally, there was the person who sent twenty different puns to his friends, with the hope that at least ten of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.