rhu: (simpsonized)
[The the tune of the Gilbert and Sullivan verse from "Clementine"]

So the supercommittee's
A group that's not witty.
A blooper. Dow's skitty and shy.

Now, sequestering budget's
a festering kludge, it's
a mess, sir, in dudgeon say I!

Continued behind the cut. It's a little too long to leave uncut. )
rhu: (simpsonized)
[The the tune of the Gilbert and Sullivan verse from "Clementine"]

So the supercommittee's
A group that's not witty.
A blooper. Dow's skitty and shy.

Now, sequestering budget's
a festering kludge, it's
a mess, sir, in dudgeon say I!

Continued behind the cut. It's a little too long to leave uncut. )
rhu: (Default)
For years, I've looked at the way the fringe parties in Israel force the near-but-not-quite-majority parties to do their bidding by demanding various things (cabinet portfolios, money for their pet programs, certain government policies) as the price of joining or staying in the governing coalition. And our two-party system has looked pretty good by comparison.

I just realized that the Tea Party is to the Republicans as Shas (I wanted to say UTJ, but they joined after the coalition was over 61 seats) is to Likud. Except that they are coming in by being elected as Republicans.

Nonetheless, I think that the US now has the governmental paralysis typical of the Knesset, and from the same root cause.
rhu: (Default)
For years, I've looked at the way the fringe parties in Israel force the near-but-not-quite-majority parties to do their bidding by demanding various things (cabinet portfolios, money for their pet programs, certain government policies) as the price of joining or staying in the governing coalition. And our two-party system has looked pretty good by comparison.

I just realized that the Tea Party is to the Republicans as Shas (I wanted to say UTJ, but they joined after the coalition was over 61 seats) is to Likud. Except that they are coming in by being elected as Republicans.

Nonetheless, I think that the US now has the governmental paralysis typical of the Knesset, and from the same root cause.
rhu: (torah)
Fifteen years ago, [livejournal.com profile] introverte and I spent two weeks visiting Israel. Purim is my favorite holiday, and it had long been my dream to be able to pull the "double Purim" trick of spending Purim proper in Tel Aviv, home of one of the largest Purim street festivals, and then heading back to Jerusalem in the afternoon and spending Shushan Purim in the Old City.

We had been planning to head to the Diezengoff Centre the afternoon before Purim to do some last-minute shopping, but instead decided to hang out at the hotel and rest. And it was while we were on the beach with friends that we heard the bomb. Instead of going to megillah reading, we huddled in our hotel room, terrified, crying, and reading megillah from a tanach instead of a klaf.

Cut for length )
rhu: (torah)
Fifteen years ago, [livejournal.com profile] introverte and I spent two weeks visiting Israel. Purim is my favorite holiday, and it had long been my dream to be able to pull the "double Purim" trick of spending Purim proper in Tel Aviv, home of one of the largest Purim street festivals, and then heading back to Jerusalem in the afternoon and spending Shushan Purim in the Old City.

We had been planning to head to the Diezengoff Centre the afternoon before Purim to do some last-minute shopping, but instead decided to hang out at the hotel and rest. And it was while we were on the beach with friends that we heard the bomb. Instead of going to megillah reading, we huddled in our hotel room, terrified, crying, and reading megillah from a tanach instead of a klaf.

Cut for length )
rhu: (Default)
Y'know, as much as I agree that DOMA is unconstitutional, it worries me that the Executive Branch is making that decision. Obama doesn't have the right to a retroactive veto, and I don't think we want to relitigate Marbury v. Madison at this point.

Here's a thought experiment: In 2013, based on the DOMA precedent, newly-inaugurated President Huckabee announces that in his opinion, the Environmental Protection Act is an unconstitutional taking, violating the principle of just compensation for eminent domain and also violating the Interstate Commerce Clause, and that he has instructed the DoJ to not defend it. Two days later, the Koch brothers sue the Federal government....
rhu: (Default)
Y'know, as much as I agree that DOMA is unconstitutional, it worries me that the Executive Branch is making that decision. Obama doesn't have the right to a retroactive veto, and I don't think we want to relitigate Marbury v. Madison at this point.

Here's a thought experiment: In 2013, based on the DOMA precedent, newly-inaugurated President Huckabee announces that in his opinion, the Environmental Protection Act is an unconstitutional taking, violating the principle of just compensation for eminent domain and also violating the Interstate Commerce Clause, and that he has instructed the DoJ to not defend it. Two days later, the Koch brothers sue the Federal government....
rhu: (Default)
Some thoughts on the upcoming "Everybody Draw Mohammed" Day.

Cut for length )
rhu: (Default)
Some thoughts on the upcoming "Everybody Draw Mohammed" Day.

Cut for length )
rhu: (Default)
So I've been thinking. How many disastrous decisions have been made by presidents hoping to win a Nobel Peace Prize? But now, Obama has his. Sure, he'll still have to worry about the verdict of history, but just imagine....

He has to decide whether or not to invade Pakistan after the Taliban complete their takeover, and he looks around the situation room at Secretary Clinton, General Jones, and Admiral Mullen, and he says, "I already have my Nobel Prize. Screw it --- blast the bastards to hell!"

He gets Netanyahu and Abbas in a room together and says, "Listen, guys, I already have a Nobel Prize. You guys want yours, you gotta figure this one out."

Oh, and about that nice gesture of donating the $1.4M to charity --- my guess is that it would be illegal for him to keep it anyway. And I hope for his sake the medal itself isn't worth more than $200.
rhu: (Default)
So I've been thinking. How many disastrous decisions have been made by presidents hoping to win a Nobel Peace Prize? But now, Obama has his. Sure, he'll still have to worry about the verdict of history, but just imagine....

He has to decide whether or not to invade Pakistan after the Taliban complete their takeover, and he looks around the situation room at Secretary Clinton, General Jones, and Admiral Mullen, and he says, "I already have my Nobel Prize. Screw it --- blast the bastards to hell!"

He gets Netanyahu and Abbas in a room together and says, "Listen, guys, I already have a Nobel Prize. You guys want yours, you gotta figure this one out."

Oh, and about that nice gesture of donating the $1.4M to charity --- my guess is that it would be illegal for him to keep it anyway. And I hope for his sake the medal itself isn't worth more than $200.
rhu: (Default)
[Adapted from a comment on [livejournal.com profile] hahathor's journal.]

Today, many of my friends devoted their Facebook status updates to a call for health care reform. Unfortunately, I think the particular wording of the "meme" was counterproductive. What I find frustrating about it is that by positing an unachievable absolute it makes those who support health care reform look like idiots.

Cut for length )

We can do better. We must do better. But we cannot achieve perfection, and this "meme" makes the best the enemy of the good. And that's why I dislike it.
rhu: (Default)
[Adapted from a comment on [livejournal.com profile] hahathor's journal.]

Today, many of my friends devoted their Facebook status updates to a call for health care reform. Unfortunately, I think the particular wording of the "meme" was counterproductive. What I find frustrating about it is that by positing an unachievable absolute it makes those who support health care reform look like idiots.

Cut for length )

We can do better. We must do better. But we cannot achieve perfection, and this "meme" makes the best the enemy of the good. And that's why I dislike it.
rhu: (Default)
Three independent data points:

1. Stephen Colbert's item from earlier this week of a bunch of clips of Sean Hannity, I think it was, saying "America is the greatest country God has ever given this earth." Over and over and over again.

2. Sarah Palin's "pro-America areas of this great Nation" quote.

3. This must-read article from today's NYTimes about Sarah Palin's association with "spiritual warriors", a segment of Pentacostals whose...
... adherents believe that demonic forces can colonize specific geographic areas and individuals, and that “spiritual warriors” must “battle” them to assert God’s control, using prayer and evangelism.... Russell P. Spittler, provost emeritus at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif., and an eminent scholar of Pentecostalism, said, ... “Spiritual warfare makes a religion of identifying demons by names and ZIP codes.” [Emphasis added - AMG]
And I thought I was scared before.
rhu: (Default)
Three independent data points:

1. Stephen Colbert's item from earlier this week of a bunch of clips of Sean Hannity, I think it was, saying "America is the greatest country God has ever given this earth." Over and over and over again.

2. Sarah Palin's "pro-America areas of this great Nation" quote.

3. This must-read article from today's NYTimes about Sarah Palin's association with "spiritual warriors", a segment of Pentacostals whose...
... adherents believe that demonic forces can colonize specific geographic areas and individuals, and that “spiritual warriors” must “battle” them to assert God’s control, using prayer and evangelism.... Russell P. Spittler, provost emeritus at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif., and an eminent scholar of Pentecostalism, said, ... “Spiritual warfare makes a religion of identifying demons by names and ZIP codes.” [Emphasis added - AMG]
And I thought I was scared before.
rhu: (Default)
Forget "I'm John Doe, and I approve this message." I'd love to see the campaigns be able to voluntarily submit ads to FactCheck.org, and if FactCheck determines that the ads contain no inaccuracies, then the campaign would be allowed to include an "Approved by FactCheck" symbol on screen for the duration of the ad.

Since this would be voluntary on a per-ad basis, it would not preclude a campaign from rushing a response ad on the air without the FactCheck seal of approval, nor would it prevent a campaign from indulging in a combination of intentionally misleading uncertified ads with their more responsible counterparts. But once a few ads went out with the "Approved by FactCheck" seal, I bet people would start looking for that, and would start wondering about the ads that lack it.

My username is [livejournal.com profile] 530nm330hz, and I approve this blog posting.
rhu: (Default)
Forget "I'm John Doe, and I approve this message." I'd love to see the campaigns be able to voluntarily submit ads to FactCheck.org, and if FactCheck determines that the ads contain no inaccuracies, then the campaign would be allowed to include an "Approved by FactCheck" symbol on screen for the duration of the ad.

Since this would be voluntary on a per-ad basis, it would not preclude a campaign from rushing a response ad on the air without the FactCheck seal of approval, nor would it prevent a campaign from indulging in a combination of intentionally misleading uncertified ads with their more responsible counterparts. But once a few ads went out with the "Approved by FactCheck" seal, I bet people would start looking for that, and would start wondering about the ads that lack it.

My username is [livejournal.com profile] 530nm330hz, and I approve this blog posting.
rhu: (Default)
I don't know if it was a legit poll or a push poll, but it was about the upcoming House election in my district.

Caller: "In thinking of your representative, Barney Frank, would you say he's doing a great job, a good job, an acceptable job, or an unacceptable job?"

Me: "I love my Barney!"
rhu: (Default)
I don't know if it was a legit poll or a push poll, but it was about the upcoming House election in my district.

Caller: "In thinking of your representative, Barney Frank, would you say he's doing a great job, a good job, an acceptable job, or an unacceptable job?"

Me: "I love my Barney!"

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rhu: (Default)
Andrew M. Greene

January 2013

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