Tuesday, March 4, 2014
The AP's David Espo redefines "having it both ways."
In a syndicated article running at the Washington Post, the headline of an article by the AP's David Espo reads:
Analysis: Obama budget tries to have it both ways
That is an awful thing. It's like that abysmal Monkees tune, "Look Out, Here Comes Tomorrow." That's pretty reprehensible.
Mary, oh what a sweet girl, lips like strawberry wine;
Sandra, long hair and pigtails, can't make up my mind.
I see all kinds of trouble, oh how I wish tomorrow would never come.
(In fact, if the Monkees were President, that would be an impeachable offense under the scales currently used by rabid Republicans. But thankfully, this is a column by someone from the AP, not some flesh-eating RW jerk from Minnesota who engages in MEGO, TLDR blog posts and tries to impress you with his lawyerly skills of putting juries to sleep.)
So what makes David Espo conclude this?
President Barack Obama tried to have it both ways Tuesday with an election-year budget that paid faint lip service to reducing federal deficits, then piled on about $1 trillion in tax increases and hundreds of billions in higher spending designed to appeal to economically squeezed voters rather than congressional foes of red ink.
So, while we get the "tax and spend" sliming of the President, it seems like he's trying to pay for the spending by increasing taxes. Is that "have it both ways"?
I have a better example of "having it both ways," Mr. Espo. Let's go into the Wayback Machine with Mr. Peabody, and set the clocks back to... ancient Rome... wait, that's too far back, how about the Elizabethan period? nope, nope... overpassed it... Teapot Dome? not on the Wayback Machine's dials, sorry... Oh, here we are, the George W Bush administration, where Bush put through tax decreases while fighting TWO unfunded wars, neither of them appearing in any budget. Special appropriations.
You know how RW critics complain that governmental incompetence should lead to people getting fired? May I introduce the Right Wing to the AP's David Espo. He's on Twitter.
Link | Comments | 9:29 PM
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Decent progress, and we'll take it.
Arizona's governor has vetoed a state bill allowing people to discriminate against gays on religious grounds.
The best part I can see from the NYT account (link above) is this:
At her news conference, Ms. Brewer acknowledged the qualms that many people have about same-sex marriage and noted that society was undergoing many dramatic changes. She said, "religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value," but added, "so is no discrimination."
Thereby throwing a consoling bone to the forces that joined in on the bill out of their religious values. I am not Jan Brewer, and I don't play her on TV, but if I were her, I would have made explicit mention of our proud history where our colonists told those who didn't adhere to their individual theological view of God's word that they get out of town and find another settlement.
But I'm not Jan Brewer, and I suspect that pointing out that our early colonists had their heads up dark channels might not play well for book deals.
Link | Comments | 9:43 PM
Monday, February 24, 2014
"You can write that article right now," said Denzel Washington.
I think it was 2007. Denzel Washington won best actor, and Halle Berry won best actress. Afterwards, a journalist asked Washington if he could look forward to a day when it the press would write about two blacks winning lead actor Oscars and not remark on their races, as an unsual occurrence. Washington said something like, "you can write that article right now."
Jason Collins, an openly gay professional basketball player, signed a ten day "trial" contract with the Brooklyn Nets, and it seems as if his sexual orientation didn't exactly provoke OMG's from his teammates:
His new teammate Joe Johnson was asked afterward what the evening was like: "It was normal," he said. "Not any different."
Deron Williams was asked whether the night had any special implication: "It just wasn't a big deal," he said. "It was a basketball player coming to a team that can help us win."
I've long felt that we would know that acceptance was here when media like television dramas would just refer to a gay couple in passing without making it a plot element. You know, the employees are discussing weekend plans, and Jeff says "Mark and I are going to the Catskills," and someone else responds "I love the Catskills. If you're up in Tannersville, there's this abandoned hotel..."
I mean, I get it when Mad Men dramatizes the need to remain under cover. And I got Archie's discomfort when he arm wrestled Steve. And I got it in the 90's when Ellen, on her sit com, had her character come out. I get that. But I also remember episodes of "Sisters" when the revelation just didn't upset apple carts. I'm just saying that the blase attitude of the Nets is welcome, along with Sam's teammates total non plussery.
Link | Comments | 9:15 PM
Friday, February 21, 2014
Well, my broker is Jonah Goldberg, and Jonah Goldberg says...
The morning papers of February 5 carried the news that CVS was going to stop selling tobacco products in its stores:
"Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health," Larry J. Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Caremark, said in a statement. "Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose."
Later that day, my financial advisor (Jonah Goldberg, who is so energetic that he also writes on the side) wrote a post at NRO Corner, titled "CVS to Shareholders: Drop Dead." His argument was that people who come to CVS to buy cigarettes buy other things at the same time, and so this is a bad move for CVS's retail revenues.
I'm really glad I have Goldberg for my financial advisor, because the man knows how the markets will react, and how shareholders will fare. That's what shareholders care about. Let's see if I can find how the stock has been doing... (I bet it's been dropping like Galileo's hammer from the Tower of Pisa.) February 4th, before the news was out, the stock closed at $66.11. Today, February 21 (about two weeks later), its price has fallen to $71.20. That's a drop of... calculator... $5.09. Wait, that can't be right, it's an increase of $5.09, and on a base of $66.11, that works out... as a percentage... to an increase of 7.7%! Lord! There must be something wrong! Joooooooooonah! Is Obama fudging the CVS stock prices, too??
Link | Comments | 10:31 PM
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Is "better late than never" always true?
The head of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey apologized for the September lane closings on the George Washington Bridge. Today.
"I cannot allow this agency to be mischaracterized by the actions of a few individuals," Mr. Samson said, apparently referring to two officials, Bill Baroni and David Wildstein, who resigned amid questions about their role in the closings.
"On behalf of the board of commissioners," he added, "we are deeply sorry for inconvenience caused to our travelers."
Does there come a point where an apology is so late that a mere apology is destructive? I mean, it's five months after the fact. Five months after the fact this is not the apology I would have crafted. I would have added language which distance the organization even further than Samson's did -- words like "I hope you take it as a given that we are galled;" "I cannot say enough about employees X and Y who pushed back against this;" and most of all "I not only apologize on the behalf of the Port Authority for the lane closures, but I also personally apologize for the way I let it languish and did not see fit to apologize before."
Some people just don't know how to apologize. I wonder if Samson went to Catholic School. The nuns and priests would have taught him a thing or two about contrition.
Link | Comments | 8:15 PM
Monday, February 17, 2014
About damned time.
Results from a new Gallup poll show that as of now, unemployment is the issue of greatest concern.
It's great that it's finally eclipsing the deficit -- and I'd love to attribute it to the education of the populace -- but of course I wish it weren't an issue at all. But so long as it's this high, I'm glad to see it garner attention.
Next, let's talk about the kinds of jobs which have been created; it's another way to talk about inequality, without the movers-and-shakers feeling like they're about to be put on transport trains. Maybe they could do some real hiring, and reinvest in their companies, under the supposiiton that they're going to be around for awhile and ought to plan for the future? Their competitors aren't going to help them invest for the future, are they?
Link | Comments | 7:01 PM
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