Archive for January, 2013

not enough women because of…

Monday, January 14th, 2013

An interesting little nugget in the article about Obama’s problem picking women for his Second term cabinet:

The last time Obama faced pressure to select a woman for a principal role in the White House, he went so far as to consider a female economist that many of his staff feared had Republican sympathies.
In the summer of 2011, criticism from women — both inside and outside the White House — prompted Obama to consider Carmen Reinhart, then a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, to replace Austan Goolsbee as Council of Economic Advisers chairman, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Eventually, Reinhart’s political leanings convinced the president that she was not the right choice as his chief economist during an election year, and he settled on another woman,Rebecca Blank, then-deputy commerce secretary, for the role, said the people, who requested anonymity.
After offering her the job, he then withdrew it when some advisers discovered old academic papers by Blank in which she discussed wealth redistribution, said the people. A spokesman for Blank declined to comment on the retracted offer.
Eventually, Obama went with the remaining male candidate on his list, and gave the job to Princeton University economics professor Alan Krueger, ensuring that the White House’s economic team remained all male.

Fear of appointing a Republican and fear of appointing a Socialist.


Sunday, January 13th, 2013

I walked into the local library at about 2 today, and saw that the meeting room had someone who was showing something kinda interesting… a film, Soviet propaganda from Max Eastman and another name I’m vaguely remembering, “From Czar to Lenin”.  I was thinking of going in, but looked and saw that it was being shown by… the Youth International Socialists, or something like that.  I sort of wanted no use for such a thing… afraid I’d have Youth International Socialists of Portland see me around and think I’m interested in joining the movement, or something.

The query here would be what org showing such a moderately interesting film would allow me to see it unhampered by this problem.

White House Petitions: Secession, Jones, and Death Stars.

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

A few years back, Obama had to respond to the number one question asked for a youtube forum — it was Marijuana Legalization.  He gave one of those sort of giggling responses.

There’s a selection bias on this.  And the “We the People” petitions which the White House has threshold of signatures that force them to respond.  Passion is the key.  See, for instance…

We Request Obama Be Impeached for the Following Reasons.

The White House staff set in charge of responding to such a thing can just sleep walk through the answer.  I note that the answer on why signing “Obama Care” is not an impeachable offense is off — it wouldn’t be impeachable if the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional — but in a case of an un-serious petition, a bit of chest thumping is in order.

Here’s one of those petitions that received a bit of attention a month or two back…

We Request (name of State) be allowed to secede for the Union.

A good chance to quote Lincoln.

The two petitions that are receiving some attention right now… the freak Alex Jones — and if this reads right the petition was started by one Kurt Nimmo who anyone whose bounded about Alex Jones would know well enough  — and the “Deport Piers Morgan” thing.  CNN — why would they bring out a platform for Alex Jones in the first place?  — Glenn Beck calls Alex Jones a “Fascist” — and in this case we do have to say, Jones / Nimmo’s opinion expressed … is fascist.  Whether or not Alex Jones has “exposed him of being a shill of the new world order” is immaterial.

This is a no brainer answer for the White House … “The First Amendment is still valid“.

The other big petition — the Death Star Petition — one of those “too cute by half” items which are meaningless humor pieces —

gets this send-off.

And, okay, that makes even this bit of silliness all worth it afterall.

the new lincoln line

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

I’ve seen the “Introducing the Lincoln Motor Company” ad — particularly in various playoff football games I’ve watched, which is apparently a bit of a re-branding push to further differentiate the upper market project line from the lower market project line … pickup truck drivers looking askance at the snobs and mansion dwellers looking down at the dirty rednecks or something  — from wikipedia I get this:

On December 3, 2012 Ford changed the name of the Lincoln division to the Lincoln Motor Company. To help differentiate Lincoln-branded products from Ford-branded products, Ford established unique design, product development and sales teams for Lincoln. Ford appointed Jim Farley to lead the Lincoln Motor Co.

What’s interesting is the initial image.  Which, I guess works… it grabbed my attention.  (Nothing else in the commercial is interesting in any way.)

It has the feel to it of the same vein as your “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter” — the new sort of dripping irony item.  His long coat is all aflutter in the wind as smoke drifts by him… and he’s staring right at you… ready to kick ass and take names.

As a Luxury Car icon, we are a ways off from his political-ized image… “Log Cabin” and “Rail Splitter” — the latter a job he more or less hated which was dumped on him to pump up his “humble origins” bonafides by his state party promoters.

I can’t remember from reading this Lincoln Inc book on Lincoln kitsch how many brandings came before the Lincoln Towncar — the first ones — Lincoln Financial —  at least came with his son on board.  After that you just grab Lincoln for your own use and have his coat blowing in the wind.

… Abraham Lincoln isn’t rolling in his grave, but he is grabbing his anti-depressant medication.

in the anals of fun but meaningless polling

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

This is all very much fun, but it’s also all very much meaningless.

When asked if they have a higher opinion of either Congress or a series of unpleasant or disliked things, voters said they had a higher opinion of root canals (32 for Congress and 56 for the dental procedure), NFL replacement refs (29-56), head lice (19-67), the rock  band Nickelback (32-39), colonoscopies (31-58), Washington DC political pundits (34-37), carnies (31-39), traffic jams (34-56), cockroaches (43-45), Donald Trump (42-44),  France (37-46), Genghis Khan (37-41), used-car salesmen (32-57), and Brussels sprouts  (23-69) than Congress.
Congress did manage to beat out telemarketers (45-35), John Edwards (45-29), the  Kardashians (49-36), lobbyists (48-30), North Korea (61-26), the ebola virus (53-25),  Lindsay Lohan (45-41), Fidel Castro (54-32), playground bullies (43-38), meth labs (60- 21), communism (57-23), and gonorrhea (53-28).

When push comes to shove, those numbers would shift a tad.  Really the query is not even asking for satisfaction / dis-satisfaction.  It becomes one of which item amuses the called upon polled person to complement.  “Hm.  Communism.  Yeah, I’ll go with that one.”

This exercise by the Public Policy Polling is… too cute by half, and falls into the “Water Skiing Squirrel” news highlights category.

I demand Wizard of Id out of the paper.

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Two problems with today’s Wizard of Id.

#1:  Basketball was invented in the twentieth century.  The Wizard of Id takes place in … what?  Medevial Europe?

#2:  This just has to be reference to the Portland Trailblazers of the mid 1990s through mid 2000s, when they gained the nickname “Jailblazers”.  Once again, we have an anachronism, and misplacing.

the next Senator from Massachusetts… for, like, five minutes.

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

Barney Frank wants to be something Michael Dukakis doesn’t.  Interim Senator.

Why Barney Frank wants such a thing… apparently to fill some voids.  Because he views the next three months as important.  Too important to leave to … um… Senator someone short of the stature of Dukakis.

The problem comes in on why the Democratic brass always wants non-entities to fill interims.  Because there are politicos trying to stake out ground to beat Scott Brown.  Though, in that vein, you can skip back over to Paul G Kirk as a sort of permanent fill in.