Monthly Archives: November 2013

Rand Paul And Doughnuts

Rand is all up in arms over the jack-booted doughnut snatchers:

Sen. Rand Paul warned Americans that the federal government is targeting doughnuts, the latest example of the oppressive nanny state in America.

"They're coming after your doughnuts!" the Kentucky Republican said, referring to the Food and Drug Administration decision to ban trans fats.

Paul added that if the FDA was banning trans fats, the employees of the agency should be forced to get healthy themselves.

"I say we should line every one of them up. I want to see how skinny or how fat the FDA agents are that are making the rules on this," Paul said…

"Because if we're going to have a nanny state and everybody's got to eat the right thing, and you can't eat a doughnut, maybe we just ought to enforce it on the government workers first," he said.

Apparently he thinks you can't make doughnuts without trans fats. I think that's going to come as a surprise to Krispy Kreme. Or anyone who's ever eaten real doughnuts made with real ingredients.

He's all upset about the nanny state in this piece, but keep in mind who he sees as the truly aggrieved party: the major food industry manufacturers who want to keep poisoning people with cheap, chemical ingredients that are killing them.

Beyond Horrible

Really horrible:

Corpses hung from trees, were scattered on sidewalks or buried in flattened buildings — some of the 10,000 people believed killed in one Philippine city alone by ferocious Typhoon Haiyan that washed away homes and buildings with powerful winds and giant waves.

As the scale of devastation became clear Sunday from one of the worst storms ever recorded, officials projected the death toll could climb even higher when emergency crews reach parts of the archipelago cut off by flooding and landslides. Looters raided grocery stores and gas stations in search of food, fuel and water as the government began relief efforts and international aid operations got underway.

Even in a nation regularly beset by earthquakes, volcanoes and tropical storms, Typhoon Haiyan appears to be the deadliest natural disaster on record.

Haiyan hit the eastern seaboard of the Philippines on Friday and quickly barreled across its central islands, packing winds of 147 mph that gusted to 170 mph, and a storm surge of 20 feet.

Its sustained winds weakened to 83 mph as it crossed the South China Sea before approaching northern Vietnam, where it was forecast to hit land early Monday. Authorities there evacuated hundreds of thousands of people.

Hardest hit in the Philippines was Leyte Island, where officials said there may be 10,000 dead in the provincial capital of Tacloban alone. Reports also trickled in from elsewhere on the island, as well as from neighboring islands, indicating hundreds more deaths, although it will be days before the full extent of the storm can be assessed.

“On the way to the airport we saw many bodies along the street,” said Philippine-born Australian Mila Ward, 53, who was waiting at the Tacloban airport to catch a military flight back to Manila, about 580 kilometers (360 miles) to the northwest. “They were covered with just anything – tarpaulin, roofing sheets, cardboard.” She said she passed “well over 100” bodies.

Are we getting so used to these massive disasters that we don't care anymore?

Sarah Palin’s Word Salad

Sarah Palin is on a media tour to promote her silly book about a nonexistent "War on Christmas," and appeared on the Today show with a tasty new right wing word salad, achieving (not for the first time) total incoherence:

The plan is to allow those things that had been proposed over many years to reform a health-care system in America that certainly does need more help so that there's more competition, there's less tort reform threat, there's less, um, trajectory of the cost increases, and those plans have been proposed over and over again. And what thwarts those plans, it's the far left, it's President Obama and his supporters who will not allow the Republicans to usher in free market, patient-centered, doctor patient relationship links to reform health care.


Uh, you know, when you stand in the middle of the road you're gonna get hit on both sides of the road. We need to take a stand especially on this Obamacare, and support those who are just fulfilling their campaign promises, SO many politicians ran for reelection and for election saying they will do anything in their power to defund the status [sic] socialized medicine program called Obamacare. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, some of these guys actually were fulfilling their campaign promises and they asked for debate. That's why they stood up, they took the stand, fought for us, to debate the issue of Obamacare.


Remember, It’s Not Racism

Richard Cohen

Today’s GOP is not racist, as Harry Belafonte alleged about the tea party, but it is deeply troubled — about the expansion of government, about immigration, about secularism, about the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde. People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children.

It's the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde, it's the "conventional view", NOT racism.

I think Richard Cohen just disproved his own point.

By the way, 87% of the population approve of interracial marriage.  Hard to see how the remaining, gagging 13% hold the "conventional" view.

Election Day 2014

It's an off-year, so most people aren't focussed on it, although they really should be.  Local elections effect your life just as much as national ones.  And they act as a bellweather for national trends.  Here are some important local races with national implications:


New Jersey – There is little doubt that Republican governor Chris Christie is going to win re-election tomorrow against Democrat Barbara Buono. The big question is how large the victory will be. Christie is clearly thinking about a Presidential run in 2016 and he would need to make electability a big selling point with GOP base. He doesn’t just want to win, he wants to rack up an incredible victory. Poll shows he likely will. The latest Quinnipiac has him leading 66% to 33%.

Virginia – While the race has tightened slightly in the final days Democrat Terry McAuliffe is still the clear favorite over Republican Ken Cuccinelli. The final polls all show McAuliffe with a lead in the single digits. It will be interesting to see if the Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis can hold on to his support or if it goes to another candidate at the last minute. He has been polling around 8 percent.

State Ballot Measures

Washington State Initiative 522: GMO Labeling – It would require the labeling of genetically modified ingredients in food. Fear this could spark a national trend the big agribusiness companies, like Monsanto, are spending an unprecedented amount to stop it. The ‘no on I-522′ campaign is now the most expensive ballot initiative campaign in the state’s history. The measure started with strong poll numbers but the expensive “no” campaign has successfully erode support.

New Jersey Public Question 2: Minimum wage – It would increase the minimum wage to $8.25 and annually increase it with inflation. The ballot measure has pit unions and antipoverty groups against big business.

Colorado Amendment 66: Income Tax – This would raise income taxes by around $950 million to pay for more eduction spending while applying several changes to the state’s education system. The pro-campaign has spent big on this effort.

Colorado Proposition AA: Marijuana Tax – Now that marijuana is legal in Colorado this measure would apply a 15 percent excise tax and a 10 percent sales tax. Most of the money raised would be used to fund school construction and maintenance. Having both these measure on the same ballot should provide a fascinating point of comparison. We will see how many voters are willing to support a “sin tax” for education than an income tax increase.

Local Ballot Measures

Portland, Maine Question 1: Marijuana Legalization – Voters will decide on a local measure that would legalized up to 2.5 ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and over. The practical impact will probably be modest since marijuana would still technically be illegal under state law, but the political impact could be significant. There are already a substantial statewide efforts pushing for Maine to legalize marijuana in the next few years. An overwhelming vote in Maine’s biggest city for marijuana legalization would be a powerful sign that the state is ready for reform.

Republican Alternatives To Obamacare

As the White House struggles with the rollout of Obamacare’s online health insurance marketplace, pressure has mounted within the Republican Party to begin offering conservative alternatives that address the nation’s health care crisis.

Here are some of the plans the GOP is considering:

  • Repeating the phrase “you can keep your current doctor” over and over until something happens
  • Loosening regulations to allow Americans to ship ill and injured family members to cheaper doctors overseas
  • Whatever the opposite of tyranny is
  • Allowing sick Americans to choose how they exhaust their life savings on a single medical bill, even if it’s out of plan
  • A true market-based solution—perhaps a convenient website—where uninsured people would pay for their own health insurance from private providers
  • $2,500 cash incentive to the first person who cures cancer
  • A health care law that won’t allow the disgrace of another Benghazi
  • Unsettling language and several ominous-looking graphs labeled “Obamacare” followed by a breezy smile and soothing, unspecific words

Yeah, that's from The Onion.  But it's not that far from reality.