Friday, November 19, 2010

Can YOU Balance the Federal Budget?

Here is a really NEAT little game from the New York Times....it let's YOU balance the Federal budget...what would you cut? what would you keep? Do the things you THINK cost a lot actually make a huge difference? Will you have to cut something you care about?


Click on the link to "Play". When you're done...drop back by Rip and Read and leave a comment (you may post anonymously if you wish) letting us know what you cut and kept! Extra Credit if you want to explain "Why".

If you're reading on Facebook, please go to the original blog page to leave your comments...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Abram the psychopath?

Okay, I'm not sure why, but I happened to notice a post on Facebook where one friend wished some other friends a happy "Eid Al Adha"... not being something I see everyday...I just had to ask myself...what IS Eid Al Adha?

Well, it turns out, according to Wikipedia, that Eid Al Adha marks the anniversary of the day that Abraham showed his faith in God by showing himself willing to sacrifice his (at the time) only son...Ishmael. Yes, you read that right, Ishmael.

Anyone who remembers Sunday school will remember that Abraham and Sarah were very old and had no children, God said they WOULD have children, but, being very old they didn't have a lot of faith, and so Sarah "told" Abraham to go and sleep with Hagar, the servant. He did, and she beget Ishmael... and God was Angry and told Abraham to cast her out...so he took her to the desert and...for Christians (I'm not sure about Jews) that's pretty much the end of the story. Hagar and Ishmael are driven off into the desert and we never hear another word about them until Ismael's angry, angry grand-kids come out of the desert one day about two thousand years later, take over Spain, kick the Christians out of Jerusalem and eventually work their way up to 9/11.

But if wikipedia has it right, then according to Islamic tradition...Abraham later went back to the place where he left Ishmael and Hagar and built them a well. When he got there, he had a dream...he was to sacrifice Ishmael to God...


Hold the phone, say us Sunday School graduates....that's EXACTLY what he did to his LEGITIMATE son, ISSAC... In both stories, Abraham is about to plunge in the knife when God intervenes and sticks a sheep in a thorn bush...allowing Abraham to kill THAT instead...

Which all leaves me wondering about the three major religions of the West.

See, I have to admit, I had no real trouble swallowing the Issac story as a kid...it all turned out ok in the end: God got a display of loyalty, the kid didn't die, the sheep was good with mustard and everything worked out for the best...(except for the sheep, but who cares?)

...but now, I read that THIS WASN'T the FIRST TIME IT HAPPENED...Turns out this nasty old sleep-with-the-maid-leave-the-kid-in-the-desert man was fond of running around sticking knives in ALL of his kids... Father's Day must have been quite the trip!

Humm...as you look at the modern family of Middle Eastern Monotheistic Religions...Judaism, Christianity and Islam...is is any wonder we have such a bitter family dynamic and can't get along? I think not. Father Abraham was apparently some kind of a nut!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Election Summed Up in One Sentence....
albeit a long one

You've got to hand it to Wall Street...FIRST they get the Liberals to bail them out (which we did to save jobs) and NOW the get the RADICAL RIGHT WING to vote them a TAX CUT so they don't have to pay for their bailout! Sleazy, but Brilliant.

Also, a friend of mine posted a link to this article on Facbook... Personally, I think this writer lets the President off the hook...not for his lack of accomplishment, but for his lousy communication skills...still there is one paragraph here not to be missed...
If you are a lower to middle-class Republican, Tea Partier or flip-flopping indie voter, you are now in the most delightfully ironic position of all -- you think you just voted yourself more voice, when in fact you voted for far less. You think yourself a lion; you're actually the meat. You actually just voted yourself an even lower position on the food chain. Congratulations.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2010/11/10/notes111010.DTL&ao=2#ixzz151cAzK4v

And dat's da truth....phhhhhttttttth!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

OMG! Has the White House Got it Wrong AGAIN???

NOTE TO WHITE HOUSE: BIPARTISANSHIP DIDN'T WORK: you held out your hand and the GOP spit on it...and then they complained that you tried to touch them with a spitty hand!

Okay, just last night, as I watched John Boenher slur his way through a victory speech, I looked for some silver linings...and I found one: now that the GOP holds the purse-strings in the House, they will actually have to DO something, rather than carp, complain, and pretend that this is not their mess in the first place.

I am very confident that, by 2012, the seeds planted in 2009 will begin to pay off for Democrats, while Republican efforts will bring absolutely no relief to a nervous American people. Making 2012 a pretty good year for Democrats...and allowing them to finish the work they started. We need to get this country BACK ON THE RIGHT TRACK...we need to re-build our neglected infrastructure, incubate the industries and energy sources of the future and set ourselves up to compete with China and India...so that we do not wind up as a second rate power within the next three decades.

The only thing that really needs to be in place to make this happen is a White House Communications Team who understands that we are fighting for the future of our country...and that we are in a fight against a party who is completely wrong, and so completely bullheaded that they will never realize it, they will never compromise, they will never surrender. We must, therefore, do the same. Draw the Sword and toss the scabbard. The White House needs to cast itself as the underdog, show the country how arrogant and ignorant these republicans are and...FIGHT! (Have I said that before?)

But this morning...I have to admit, I'm a lot less optimistic than I was last night.

The first thing I read was this headline:
"White House aide: President Obama will heed election message"

The text doesn't get any better:

A top aide to President Barack Obama said not to look for a change in his “fundamental principles, but certainly there were messages that have to be heeded, and we will.”

“If you believe in democracy, we were swept in by a big wave, so you have to pay attention to these results and what people are saying,” the aide said. “They want us to work together, to focus on the economy – for jobs and growth — and we’re going to do that.”

The tone was more humble than is customary for this White House, and the aide promised a period of introspection.

The aide also mentioned deficits as an area that the parties can do a better job of working together.

JEESOM H FREEKING CROW!!! A better job of working together? What freaking planet is the "aide" living on?

And where have they freaking been for the last 20 years? When Republicans get their asses handed to them, they don't go talking about "working together"....HELL'S NO!

Republicans get Whooped, and immediately they go put their big boots on and start stomping around like they OWN the place! They start talking trash, throwing rocks, and pretending like they actually won...and nine times out of ten, it works. My god, by February of 2009, a mere month after Mr. Obama took office, you'd think the freaking GOP had actually WON the election of 2008!

But our Team Of Leaders in the White House is "Humbled" and talking about "working together"...

Look, kids: That's what you said when you WON in 2008. And I have to admit, that whole Bi-partisan reaching across the aisle thing...it was a nice try, it showed class...really, it did. But it didn't work. Again, in case you missed it: IT DIDN'T WORK: you held out your hand and the GOP spit on it...and then they complained that you tried to touch them with a spit covered hand!

If it didn't work then, what the hell makes you think it's gonna work NOW?

Look, Democrats...the policies are GOOD. They are working and will continue to work. But you are going to have to FIGHT.

Because that is what the other side is doing:

Boehner and many Republicans floated some conciliatory messages toward Democrats on Tuesday night, but many factions of the party, including those closely aligned with the tea party, remained defiant. Two leading tea party leaders -- Sarah Palin and South Carolina GOP Sen. Jim DeMint -- insisted that the election results were more an argument against compromise than a case for working with Democrats. "The GOP has to understand, that machine has to understand, we are not sending Republicans … to D.C. to sing Kumbaya with Obama," Palin told conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham. "We're sending them to stop Obama!"

That's a clear a declaration of war as you could possibly want... so stop showing up dressed for tennis, Mr. Obama, and come dressed for all out combat...

It Could have been better, It could have been worse

Alex's Blog-

It's about midnight, and I just returned home from the DFL Victory rally downtown. All in all, mixed emotions...on the local level, Kim Norton and Tina Leibling are returning to the Minnesota House...but we lost two great public servants, State Rep Andy Welti and State Senator Ann Lynch.

My main hopes for the night, however, seem to have been fulfilled...no Emmer, no Demmer (my wife has remarked often how much that sounds like Dumb and Dumber...). Our Congressman, Tim Walz will be returning to the US House...despite the fact that big GOP groups (or, more accurately, small groups of big donors) dumped a ton of money in to the district to try and unseat him. The word's not in yet, but it also looks like Mark Dayton, DFL, will be our new governor.

And, on the national level...we've kept the Senate.

Of course, we lost the house...and sitting through John Boner.....whoops...Boehner's speech was painful...the media now says he was trying not to cry...but I'm wondering if he was trying to just get his lips around one too many scotch and soda's.

In the end, the fact that the Republicans have now taken control of the US House may be the silver lining...in two years, assuming that the White House finds a communications team that can find it's ass with at least one hand....the American people will have seen that these guys and gals don't have a clue...there will be no jobs...a lot of hair brained schemes to cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans...and the stimulus programs will be cut...I think that, by then, the American people will realize that they have been had. We'll see...but that's my guess...and I'm willing to put money on it: Tonight's results will see the Democrats back in the White House in 2012.

POSTSCRIPT: And it just gets better...they say that there is a movement to draft Michelle Bachmann into the leadership....LET HER AT IT, I SAY! She'll do for the GOP what Christine O'Donnell did for masturbation.